According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, more than 2 million households are robbed in the US every year. This means that someone breaks into a house about every thirteen seconds. This is one of the reasons why home security systems have been invented. With the technological advancements in the present time, this tech is now designed with more features and gadgets that offer the protection that you need for your entire house.
A home security system consists of security cameras, a DVR system, and a control panel to make all these parts work together. Expensive gadgets come with built-in Wi-Fi cameras, making it less complicated when it comes to wiring between the control system and visuals. The systems become more advanced through the years, adding more features like motion detection, night vision cameras, and wireless cloud storage capabilities.
These new devices are even compatible with your smart phones, keeping you updated and notified about the security of your house round-the-clock. It allows you to watch any part of your home anywhere you are. But, before we go and get a home security system to protect your house, there are things that we need to consider. In choosing a home security system, be sure you go for the package that includes security cameras, DVR, video cables, and power supply cables. The DVR system should have all the wires needed to connect the cameras and monitors.
To make the search easier, here are 12 things you should consider before signing off on any tech purchase.
- The difference between a Wireless and Hardwired Home Security System. You need to understand the difference between the two. With a wireless security system, there will be no cables to run other than the electrical cords on the control panel. You can install a wireless security system and save a few bucks on installation fees because you can do it yourself. For hardwired systems, these usually require you to do a lot of drilling on the walls to run the cables and connect everything to your home’s circuit breaker. This will also require the services of a professional installer.
- Home Security Systems vs. Burglar Alarms. These two are totally different. Burglar alarms use sensors on doors and windows that will notify you or the police if someone entered your house without authorization. A home system has more benefits. It does not only alert you if there’s a burglar, but it can also notify you if there’s a fire or even when there’s a flood. Always make sure you know what you’re getting with the security system you’re planning to set up and see the features are suited to your specific needs.
- Compare different security providers. Get at least three or four quotes from well-established companies that offer system installation and monitoring. You can also check the company’s ratings with the Better Business Bureau. A quick online search and scanning local discussion boards about security services will also give you a good idea about other people’s experience with various firms. A personal recommendation from a family member or friend is also valuable.
- Power Outages. Most of the security systems continue to function even when there is a power outage. Traditional home security systems are low in energy, so it doesn’t use much power to keep the system running. Also, most systems include a backup battery. If you live in an area that’s prone to power outages, such as those exposed to storms more often, having this tech as part of your system is important.
- Solar-powered security systems. You can opt for security systems that are solar-powered, but they can be more expensive than regular ones. You can use this for just an outdoor security camera or use it for the entire home security system. The investment will be worth it in the long run.
- Consider the size. There is no one-size-fits-all design when it comes to your home’s security. A compact system may be okay for a small apartment or condos. However, if you’re trying to secure a larger house, you need a network that can handle more information and monitoring. A larger coverage also means a more comprehensive assessment of your safety needs, so it’s probably best to get in touch with a security expert to make sure you don’t overlook anything.
- For those interested in setting up surveillance cameras, you need to understand the difference between live videos and recorded videos. Do you want to watch a live feed of what’s happening at home while you’re gone? Or would you prefer to just watch a recording? IP cameras feature live feeds because they can be directly connected to the Internet while a DVR system lets you watch video recordings later on. IP systems can also be viewed in real-time using your smartphone, tablet, or PC, even if you’re miles away.
- Invest in a good quality camera. Webcams from retail stores will not get the job done if you are serious about setting up your home security system. These cameras are typically designed for video chatting. Look for dome cameras, instead. Also, consider the type of images it generates, whether it’s black and white, colored, or infrared. Consider the quality of the photos and the view range. How many cameras would you need to cover the entire home? How high-quality would you like the images to be? Take note of the optional features for the cameras such as motion detectors, night vision, face detection, audio and video recording, and if it’s weatherproof.
- The contract. You need to understand what’s included in your contract. Some security companies may offer you add-on services or devices, so you need to know exactly what you need and what’s covered by the contract you signed up for. Ask about the monthly charges, installation and monitoring fees. How long is the contract? Can you terminate it any time?
- Security Upgrades. There are some easy security upgrades that you can do by yourself, in addition to your installed network. Make sure to lock all your doors and windows and install a deadbolt as reinforcement. Placing motion sensors outside can also be of great help; same with having dogs and “beware of dog” signs.
- Monitoring. Home security systems come with a monitor that allows the displaying of multiple screens at the same time, with each screen showing its view through a separate channel. The monitor can either be connected using video cables, or if you are using a Wi-Fi-based security system you can monitor channels using your computer through a web browser and a dedicated IP address.
- Asset protection devices. You can protect your valuables by installing devices that have asset protection. If your valuables have been tampered, like if your jewelry box or safe had been opened or moved, this will send you an alert.
Keeping our house secure is one the most crucial concerns that deserve our attention. We always want to make sure that we have the best system installed for our sake and our families’. A good home security system is something we should consider getting to protect all our valuable assets.
Whether you have your own business or work for a company, part of the job is making sure that everyone on site has a healthy and safe environment to operate in. As much as we work to ensure our security at home, so should we make an effort to do the same for the office. This is not just for the safety of the people in it but also to keep the investment on information, equipment and goods intact. Having the right measures in place can also help prevent theft and the unauthorized entry. Security and safety are integral elements of a workplace, so company owners and officers should take the time to create a program and implement regular checks to maintain the peace.
When operating an office, aside from physical security, the last thing you want to happen is a data breach. Information security is as much an issue in many workplaces, particularly now that everything’s moving online. In fact, research shows that American companies spent some $6 million in the past year to cope with the effects of data security breaches alone. With so many threats, how does an office deal? Here are 10 ways to ensure that people, property, and information are secure.
- Keep the workplace clean and organized.
Whether it’s a desk job or a warehouse setup, keeping the workplace neat and tidy helps prevent any accidents to person and property. By making sure that everything is in its place, you get to spot the any inconsistencies immediately and assess its impact on safety. This includes keeping stuff off the floor, putting personal items stashed out of sight, and keeping all possible distractions to a minimum. An organized workplace allows for a systematic movement of tasks, thus improving productivity in the process.
- Have sufficient lighting and ventilation.
By properly lighting your office, you not only create better working conditions for your staff, you also deter outsiders from trying to break in. It also makes it easier for everyone to spot the not. By lighting all areas, you also provide additional security for employees who enter and leave the premises at nighttime. Add to that a well-planned ventilation system to make the environment healthy and comfortable for your people and to protect the integrity of your machines.
- Report any injury or illness, as well as unsafe conditions or acts, immediately.
If there is anything out of place or somebody gets sick on the job, these should be reported immediately. No matter how minor the illness or injury is. This is why every office should have a medical professional on staff or at least have easy access to medical help nearby. These include near misses, as well, so the team can build on lessons learned and devise better ways to prevent them.
- Secure all entrances and provide a clear and easy route to exits.
Issue key cards or ID badges to staff so only they can access the workplace. You can install a door access kit or a digital code system to ensure that anybody who doesn’t work there cannot enter and must approach reception to sign in and be issued a visitor’s badge. This way, you can track who goes in and out, as well as the times that they did. Meanwhile, all exits should be readily accessible at all times, and alarms and fire extinguisher boxes should never be blocked. The office should conduct regular checks on emergency exits and equipment to ensure they are in working condition.
- Have a good security system installed.
Install a security system that not only sets off an alarm in the event of a breach or an emergency situation, but also one that alerts the police in case of break-ins. The password to this system should be given only to a select few staff and it should be changed on a regular basis. This also includes setting up a CCTV system at all entrances, exits, and sensitive areas. If you can afford to place cameras everywhere, by all means do so. Don’t forget to include stairwells and hallways.
- Make sure that all employees know of your security and emergency protocols.
Conduct regular seminars about safety protocols and rules so that everybody on staff knows what to do and what not to do. Simply posting procedures on the wall or sending out emails will not suffice, because not everybody takes the time to thoroughly read — and that’s work on top of what they are already doing. Better yet, conduct drills so people can practice what to do in case of an emergency. When a company policy changes, be sure everybody knows about it, as well. This way, when a security procedure is practiced, everybody does it correctly and will start feeling safer at work.
- Use various tools to keep your tech from being stolen.
Majority of workplaces are reliant on technology and tech equipment, which will be very costly if damaged or stolen. Because laptops and computers contain vast amounts of data about your company, you should take extra precautionary measures to prevent them and their contents from leaving the premises. You can use security clamps or security footwear to make sure things stay where they are and that you know if somebody is trying to take anything out.
- Set up a password system to prevent data breaches.
Install a password for all equipment that contain sensitive company and client data. Whatever business you are engaged in, it is absolutely crucial to keep all files and documents safe. Having a password will help keep the information secure. Just make sure to change it regularly.
- Be attentive and alert at all times.
Be alert and awake in the workplace. By being conscious of the people around you and what they are doing, you can help spot things that might be a threat. You should also be aware of the hazards you might bring to the workplace.
- Bring in a professional to assess your readiness.
To ensure that your business or workplace is compliant with all local laws and that all possible weak areas are covered, it’s best to bring in a security professional to assess your area’s readiness for any emergency. A pro will also know how to spot potential threats, sometimes even those that you might not think can pose a danger. He or she can point out better ways to position your security system, or suggest more efficient ways to carry out emergency procedures. By taking the time to ensure your workplace’s safety and security, you make your environment a better place to be in.
Every business needs to have a security system set in place. Even if your store is located inside an already secure area, like a mall or a corporate center, you still need to apply measures that are specific to you to reinforce your safety. The point is, you can’t really be profitable if you can’t protect your assets.
Fortunately for small business owners, advances in technology have made it possible and affordable to obtain a solid security system. Some even let you view your store in real-time while others automatically call the local police in the even of a threat. Developments have made it more efficient to record and store footage, as well. Whether you need a system that just covers your small floor area or multiple locations, there’s a solution that can be tailor-fit for you.
Let’s look at surveillance cameras first. Here are tips on selecting the right type of security camera for your business.
This is the most important element to consider when shopping for a surveillance camera. You want one that delivers a sharp image so you can properly identify faces and items, so go for at least 720p HD. This is basically an IP camera. If you’re going to spend on any part of your unit, this is the first one on the priority list because you will need identifiable images.
- Indoor or outdoor use
Will you be using it inside or outside? Some cameras are designed to be used only indoors, but if you’re looking to position it at your storefront or side roads, you will need a unit that’s water- and weatherproof. Be sure to find out what level of protection you need and where your camera will be located so you can find the best fit.
There are different models of security cameras, each with its own unique set of features. The most popular ones are bullet cams, which are those rectangular boxes mounted on walls. You might also want to consider dome cameras, which are ceiling-mounted and come with a tinted dome cover. PTZs, or pan-tilt-zoom cameras, have remote control features so you can adjust the field of vision easily. Choose a camera based on the size of your space and your security needs.
- Frame rate
This key element determines who smooth your video will look. The general rule is the higher the frame rate, the better the quality. Cameras with low frame rates often result in choppy footage or stills. As a point of reference, when you talk about “real-time” footage, that usually means 30 frames/second.
This is optional, but if you’re going to go all out on your surveillance camera, go for one that does audio pick-up. There are also models that have a two-way radio feature, so the people at either ends of the screen can talk to each other as long as they are within the camera’s line of vision.
You need a camera that offers great lighting and can see in dim or dark conditions. The more infrared LEDs that a camera has, the better it can see in the dark. If you have extra valuable items or equipment in storage, then seeing in the dark is a priority. Go for the camera with plenty of IR LEDs.
- Storage capacity
If you have a video recorder, you will need a camera that has the capacity to store large amounts of footage and do so for an extended period. Some cameras can archive footage for months, depending on the quality of there resolution, if there’s an audio feature, and more. If you have multiple cameras shooting in HD, you will need a unit that has lots of space. Otherwise, you can just set your camera up to overwrite the oldest one once the system’s capacity has been filled up.
- Camera compatibility
This should be foremost in your shopping list. Throughout all the features and nifty things a surveillance camera can do, make sure that your video recorder is compatible with your cam. For example, NVRs use IP cams while DVRs work with analog cams. If you’re unsure about technical things like these, consult with your security system installer or seller to find out which options are best for you.
- Expansion plans
Will you need to install more cameras in the future? This should be part of your shopping considerations. You might need only one or two cameras now, but as your business grows and your store expands or changes its layout to accommodate new items, you will have to prepare for a redesign of your security system, as well. For convenience, IP cameras are recommended because they are wireless and easy to install. However, if you have a bigger store, you will need the stability of a wired system with a huge storage capacity to ensure that all nooks and crannies are covered.
Overall, a surveillance camera system benefits your business not just by monitoring theft, but also by boost staff safety and aiding investigations or confirming incidents. In addition, cameras can also help you study your market better and determine customer habits and insights. It help tell you if your store’s layout is ideal for your type of business. By understanding your customer’s in-store experience, you get a better feel of their buying habits, so you can find ways to improve service in the future.
Given today’s threats, businesses should have security systems in place to protect their investments and themselves. One of the biggest security issues that entrepreneurs face, no matter the type of business, is thievery. Whether it’s shoplifting, a burglary, or any type of theft, any business that has money or goods onsite is a potential target.
There are, however, specific types of businesses that are more attractive to burglars compared to others. For obvious reasons, these stores are considered lucrative targets because of the high value of the items that are kept in the premises. It could also be because of the large amounts of money being exchanged on site. In addition, even with not too many valuables in store, businesses that have little to no security protection set up are also viewed as easy targets.
In any case, there are certain types of businesses that require more advanced security systems because they are favorite targets. Some are even so prone to burglaries that they need to have securty staff posted on site. Here are some of the stores that get the most attention from thieves.
- Jewelry shops
Jewelry stores are a massive target because of the value of the pieces they keep at their site. Burglars know that your items are more than just the ones on display and that you may have the more expensive piece in a vault, making your business all the more attractive. Thus, there is no doubt about the need to have a comprehensive security system for the protection of the stocks and for the personnel.
Even the small jewelry shops necessitate a security system. While these stores operate at a smaller scale and may have lower priced items in stock, being lax with security measures still makes them a viable target.
There is no argument to this. Banks, big or small, should have a thorough security system in place, not just in terms of technology but also on-site guards. Dealing with huge amounts of cash will always make banks a target. Granted, trying to steal from banks is too risky for thieves, but because the monetary gains are so high, some are willing to go forward and take the risk.
- Retail stores
Retailers are often the target of shoplifters, if not hijackers or hold-uppers. This is because the stocks are displayed in the open and there are only so many staff to look around. Small items can be easily stuffed into pockets and purses, and some products aren’t even attached with security beepers to alert personnel if you’re trying to sneak something out.
Retailers are also a favorite of robbers because of the amount of cash that goes into the register all day. These stores are not just restricted to department store brands. They can also cover supermarkets, convenience stores, clothing outlets, and more.
- Distribution centers and warehouses
Any establishment that holds huge amounts of valuable stock on site will need ample security systems set up. This is particularly true for warehouses and distribution centers because they tend to bulk numbers of high-value items, such as electronics, appliances, and limited edition toys, and other valuable goods. One of the biggest issues with these large storage spaces is that there often blind spots. This means that one of the threats to security can come from inside, thus making the need to install security systems all the more urgent.
- Money changers and remittance centers
The amount of cash exchange in money changing outlets is enough to make burglars see stars. People go in and out of these small stores and often there’s no security personnel posted save for a single camera. Remittance centers, in particular, are always ready with a large amount of cash in case a customer walks in and needs to claim money or exchange their notes for another currency. For this type of business, it’s not enough to have a view cam installed. The premises should have several set up at strategic places as well as on-site security guards to provide added safety.
What Do Thieves Look For?
Some of the factors that thieves consider when looking for a target include how much cash stays in the premises, the presence of expensive goods, operating times (shops that open late are easier targets), the presence of on-site security personnel, and the number of employees inside the store at any given time. In short, regardless of the type of business you are in, if thieves see that you don’t have any security systems set up, you will definitely be their next victim.
If you own a business and are concerned about its security, it’s best to get in touch with professional security providers to get advice on the best type of setup for your specific needs. You might be asked to hire personnel to keep you safe on site or to install cameras, alarms, and the like at the premises. Some security services also provide you with a sort of panic button that lets you send a signal to the local police if you find yourself in distress or are threatened by a burglar.
As an added precaution, you might also want to rethink the way you hire your staff. Most store burglaries are inside jobs; either your employee himself or herself steals or he/she tips an outsider on the best times to come in and take things. Your staff will be the best resource for your “dead” hours and they could exploit that knowledge and take turn on you. Run background checks on applicants and don’t forego checking their references. No matter how much you feel your employees can be trusted, it’s best to be cautious.
Overall, your security needs will depend on the type of business that you own. Regardless if you own a small shop or a high-value operation, the need to put security systems in place is imperative. Talk to your chosen security provider about the most efficient and budget-friendly options available for your peace of mind today.
There are two main reasons why you need a security camera for your home. It can either be used to investigate incidents or as a deterrent to potential burglars. The video footages and photos collected from your surveillance cam will be used to review a previous accident or crime so you see why certain things happened. Meanwhile, its deterrent value anchors on the premise that people will likely be on their best behavior if they know they are being monitored.
If you’re thinking about installing a security cam, or several of them, you will need to place them in the right locations to effectively serve their purpose. Even the best and most HD cameras fail to capture if they are not pointed at strategic areas. It will be a waste of effort and investment when the right equipment are installed at the wrong places.
Whether you’re just about to install cameras in your home or already have a few in place, here are the 5 best places to position your cams.
- Facing your yard with a full view
Backyards are a treasure trove of equipment, such as lawn machines, bikes, tools, and other nifty items burglars can steal and sell later. They can also serve as a way for burglars to enter your property without being detected, depending on where your house is located. It’s also the place where your kids and your pets are often allowed to play without supervision.
All that said, it certainly makes sense to have one of your security cams aiming at your yard. Not only will it act as a deterrent, it will also allow you to keep an eye on your things and your family, for their safety. Of course, make sure that your yard is also well lighted in the evenings, or you can get a security cam that has night vision.
- Your front door
Placing your security camera above the front door is a must. This is because majority of home break-ins are started with this most popular point of entry. A camera placed in full view at this location is a warning sign to burglars or any stranger that they are being watched. If they do still have the guts to break in, footage from this view will help the authorities more clearly identify the intruder.
To make an even more powerful deterrent, you can install a camera with a motion detection feature that instantly turns toward the source of movement or heat the moment it is felt. Some high-tech devices can also stream the feed in real-time to your computer or smartphone so you can see package deliveries, household workers coming and going, and the kids coming home from school. This live feed allows you to act immediately and call the police if someone does attempt to get in.
- The nursery
You will feel more confident and at peace that your little one is safe and sound with a security camera in his or her room. Even if you already have a baby monitor set up, it’s still helpful to have a clear visual of what’s happening. Some surveillance cameras have both features (audio and video), while some also have motion sensors and wireless notification capabilities that alert you instantly when someone is inside the baby’s room. It’s also a helpful tool in case your baby gets agile and slips out of the crib.
Another type of nursery surveillance camera is the “nanny cam,” which is often hidden discreetly in the room so parents can see what the caregiver is doing if they are not around. Do keep in mind, though, that certain states do not allow discreet video-taking. Better yet, just place the security camera in plain view to be safe.
- The home office or common targets
If you keep valuables at home, it will be smart to have a security camera directed straight at where these things are kept. We’re talking about safes, filing cabinets, jewelry drawers, cash drawers, and any other spot that burglars may target. Make sure that the camera you get offers a wide capture. The goal is both to identify who’s doing it and to review the crime for investigative purposes. You can also position your cams higher than usual so you have a full view of the drawers and cabinets.
- Other points of entry
Don’t forget to place security cameras over your back door, basement openings, garage doors and any other locations that burglars might exploit to enter your home. Remember that any door or window is a potential access point, so it’s best to be on the safe side and install on all these.
In addition to catching thieves, these cameras will also help if you have family member who constantly wanders off or young children who might get out undetected. For this purpose, it’s best to install a motion sensor camera. In fact, some of the fancier models can lock in on a moving person and follow them up to a maximum distance. This type of camera not only helps protect your home from stranger entry, but also helps you when your family makes an accidental exit.
These 5 are just the most important locations to install a camera but there are other spots at home, too, that should be covered. These include back or side alleys (if there is one), your driveway, the stairs going to the second floor of your home, your home office, and many more. You don’t need to bathe your house in security cameras inside out. The point is to place them in strategic locations so that you can identify strangers and spot potential dangers.
If you’re still unsure about where best to install your home security systems, talk to a professional so he or she can assess your house and point out the perfect areas where a camera can be placed, among other security equipment that may be necessary. These pros can also advise what types of cameras your home needs.
Everybody knows that security cameras increase the security of your house. Keeping your house under a watchful eye of the camera is a good way of ensuring that people will not mess with your property. A proper security system will have motion activated cameras and an alarm system which lets you know if there is any suspicious activity. People who are worried about the security of their home or offices end up installing security cameras to keep burglars away.
Some people saw that burglars and other bad characters tend to stay away from houses with security cameras. They came up with an idea – why not fake security cameras? If the main purpose of security cameras is to act as a deterrent, then a fake security camera and a real one will deliver the same protection. Thieves will look at the camera and avoid the home/office, resulting in increased security.
This idea has spread so much that you can now go and buy fake security cameras to set up around your home. However, before you entrust the security of your home to fake security cameras, let’s look at them and their effects in detail. Let’s see the advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of Fake Security Cameras
The fake security camera sounds very dumb but the reality is that it does have a few advantages. Here are the benefits you can expect if you have fake security cameras.
If you choose between fake and real cameras, you will end up saving a lot of money on the fake cameras, for obvious reasons. A real camera can connect to the internet, to your home security system, has actual camera parts inside, while a fake security camera is just the body of the camera with no internals.
Ease of installation
Since these are fake cameras, you don’t have to worry about installing them either. With real cameras, you have to set up a whole system. You need connectivity and power to ensure that your cameras can run and broadcast the video to the security system which saves the video. With the fake cameras, you just have to nail them to the wall and you are done.
Amateur thieves will be deterred
Fake cameras are great at deterring small time or amateur thieves. If there is someone around your house who you think may be the one stealing things from your house, a fake camera will probably keep them away. They will look at the camera and realize that they will be in trouble if you take the video to the police, so they will stay away and not mess with your stuff.
Disadvantages of Fake Security Cameras
So fake security cameras do have some advantages, but now let’s look at the other side of the coin. Here are the disadvantages of fake security cameras.
Encourage professional thieves
Fake cameras will end up deterring small time thieves but on professional thieves and other criminals, they have the opposite effect. If they detect that you have a fake security camera, it basically gives them carte blanche to do as they feel around your house. At that point, not having a fake security camera will make your house safer.
Easy to Detect
Wondering how professional thieves will even find out that the security cameras are fake? The reason is that it is quite easy to tell. It isn’t easy to tell for you or for your neighbors – but for anyone who has dealt with security cameras, it is. It will only take professionals a few seconds to realize that a security camera is fake. There are little imperfections in the fake security cameras which give away the truth. Then, there’s the fact that you can just look at the lens of the camera and instantly differentiate between a fake camera and a real security camera.
Increases workplace liability
You should never install a fake security camera in a workplace. It opens you up to major liability issues. If everyone in the office thinks that they have security, but in reality they do not, they can take legal action against you. The false sense of security given by fake security cameras is basically a fraud. Sure, at home you won’t face this problem, but never think of using fakes in a professional setting.
As it must be plain by now, the disadvantages of fake security cameras easily outweigh the benefits.
Alternatives to Fake Security Cameras
Thinking about what you will do now that you know fake security cameras don’t work? Here are some alternative solutions.
Real Security Cameras
Yes, the obvious alternative solution is to get real security cameras. Security cameras are no longer prohibitively expensive. You should be able to pick a good one from a store near you or a website at very reasonable rates. Installing a whole home security system is an investment, but simply getting a camera or two is not a major expense.
Get a Dog
If you are truly worried about security and don’t want to get a home security system, you should get a dog. You get great companionship and security at the same time.
Motion Activated Lights
Motion Activated Lights are also great at making your home more secure. They don’t record the culprits but if anyone is doing anything suspicious around your house, these lights will lit up. It immediately puts a spotlight on whoever is outside your house which will make them run away. It also brings your house to the attention of anyone around – they’ll be curious what caused the lights to turn on.
The real solution is to get a full home security system. Yet, it is an investment but a home security system genuinely makes you and your family safer. Plus, if you ever sell the house, you can add the cost of the security system to the price you are asking for your house. Don’t spend money on security theatre – get the real deal instead.