The fact is that the number of robberies and property crimes are rising in the US. What’s surprising is that most of the robberies occur in the residential and suburban area. The thieves normally target these areas instead of commercial areas since homeowners, unlike corporations, lack the financial muscles to hire security guards.
Keeping family members safe and secure is the prime responsibility of the head of the household. One important home security system that can help in ensuring the safety of the household is a video surveillance system.
A security camera can be your eyes and ears when you are away from the house. Installing a video surveillance system can help you to monitor the premises and preventing a crime. Here we will take a look at the value-added benefits of installing security cameras. Also, you will learn about different types of security, and some tips on selecting the best one for your home protection.
Benefits of Installing a Security Camera
1. Catch Criminals Red Handed
Has someone stolen a valuable package from the front door? Has someone smashed the windows? Has someone stolen the tire covers or smashed the windscreen when your car was parked outside? A security camera can catch the criminal red-handed. The video will serve as a clear proof of a criminal act that you can present in the court. The courtroom audiences can watch the clip and establish that the person indeed had committed the crime. This will not only benefit you, but the entire community.
2. Deter Property Crimes
Houses in which security cameras are installed are not normally targeted by the criminals. The thieves generally select houses that are an easy target. They don’t want to be caught committing a crime. And, so they will avoid breaking into a house where their actions will be recorded.
3. Monitor Children and Seniors
Another great benefit of security cameras is that they ensure that the children and seniors are monitored while you are away. You can keep an eye on them using security cameras that feature remote video connection. This will ensure that they remain safe and secure inside the house at all times.
4. Keep an Eye on the Household Staff
You are paying salaries to the household staff, and you have the right to know whether they are properly performing their duties. Whether you have hired a nanny, housemaid, gardener, cook, or any household other staff, you can use the video surveillance to ensure that they are performing the job as agreed. The video can help uncover any case of abuse or theft committed by the hired household staff.
5. Inform the Authorities
Modern surveillance cameras can immediately alert the security personnel about any attempt of a break-in. For a small monitoring fee, the security personnel can monitor your house for criminal activity, fire, and medical emergencies.
What are the Different Types of Security Camera?
Now that you know about the importance of installing a security camera, let’s take a look at the different types of security cameras that you can buy for the protection of your home.
1. Fixed Security Camera
Fixed security cameras remain at a fixed position. They are the most commonly used video surveillance device. The video cameras capture scene inside the direct line of sight. They don’t have any moving part and always point to a single direction. They are usually installed in pairs in a particularly high-risk area.
2. Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) Security Camera
PTZ security cameras provide greater security as compared to the fixed security cameras. They can pan (move left and right), tilt (move up and down), and zoom the lens for aclose-up. A single PTZ camera can allow surveillance of multiple high-risk areas. They can be installed almost anywhere since they can move and zoom in different directions.
The benefit of PTZ security cameras is that they can cover more area as compared to fixed security cameras. However, the zooming feature can be affected in case of poor lighting condition.
3. 360-Degree Security Camera
The 360-degree cameras offer even more area coverage as compared to PTZ cameras. They consist of multiple cameras that are installed in a dome housing. You can zoom in and out in different directions up to a certain limit. The footage of the camera can serve as a great forensic evidence as the camera faces in all the directions.
Using 360-degree cameras is recommended in areas with an unobstructed field of view. If this is not the case, you will be better served with a PTZ or a pair of a fixed camera.
4. Motion Detector Security Camera
The motion detector begins recording a video only when motion is detected. This results in more efficient monitoring of the house. A motion sensor detects physical activity. This saves a lot of DVR storage space. In addition, the camera can record suspicious activities that result in additional security.
5. Thermal Security Camera
Thermal security cameras further increase the level of home protection. The cameras use heat sensors to distinguish between people and objects. They can be used in dark and harsh weather environments. Using the camera can help in detecting motion even in the dust, haze, smoke, and light fog. The camera can also work in complete darkness. The only con with this type of security camera is the high price.
6. WDR Security Camera
Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) security cameras can handle different lighting conditions. These cameras can balance light levels on a pixel level. They can record clear images even in cases when there are dark shadows and bright lights behind an object. They are ideal for monitoring places where there is too much sunlight.
7. Day/Night Security Camera
Day/night security cameras can capture images in both bright and low light conditions with perfect clarity. These cameras generally have an IR filter that is used in dark conditions.
How to Choose the Best Security Camera for the House?
When you head to the store, you will find many different types of security cameras. What type of indoor and outdoor cameras is suitable? Which is better: a fixed or PTZ camera? Should you buy a high-resolution camera? You will know the answers to these questions in this section.
Fixed or PTZ Camera
Whether you should buy a fixed or PTZ camera depends on the high-risk area. In case you only want to focus on a specific area, the fixed camera is the right option. On the other hand, if you rather want to monitor multiple locations at a specific site, you should go for a PTZ camera.
Generally, PTZ cameras are great for larger areas since they can swivel, rotate, and zoom at multiple locations. This can result in reduced need for security cameras that can help keep the cost down. In contrast, if the area size that you want to monitor is small, you should go for a fixed camera.
Another important consideration when buying a security camera is the network connectivity. You can select a camera with either internet or Wi-Fi connectivity. You should consider an internet connected video camera as it offers extra protection. These devices are connected to the internet allowing you to control the camera and access the video footage remotely through an internet connected smartphone, tablet, or PC.
Image resolution is yet another important consideration when buying a security camera. Make sure that the camera can capture the image with sufficient clarity. Image clarity of the cameras is determined by the resolution, which is measured in pixels. Higher resolution cameras can display clearer image. However, they also require more DVR space. Consider getting a video camera with at least 1 MP that can support resolution of up to 1280×720 pixels. Also, you should look for a video camera that supports H.264 image compression and at least 7.5 frames per second video capture speed.
Low Light Performance
Consider buying a camera with capturing clear images both in high and low light conditions. If the budget allows, you should pick a camera with IR and heat sensor technologies. This will ensure that your house remains protected both during the day and night.
One important point that you should note is that higher resolutions cameras are not able to process low light situations as clearly as a lower resolution camera. So, you should not needlessly buy a camera with a high resolution as it will not properly capture videos when it’s dark outside.
Outdoor Camera Considerations
For outside surveillance, you should select a video camera that is weatherproof, vandal proof, and waterproof. These cameras are usually made of an alloy or metal. Also, if you reside in the dusty area, you should buy a dustproof surveillance camera.
Lastly, in case you reside in an area where the temperature gets extremely cold, you should consider buying one with an in-built heater. These cameras operate in harsh weathers without any problem.
Wired or Wireless
You should select a wireless security camera if you want to install in an area where there is no power outlet or that can’t be hardwired. Otherwise, you can save cost by buying a wired security camera.
Apart from the above, other features that you consider when buying a security camera include micro SD/TF slot, alarm connections, speakers, and built-in mic. This depends on your specific home monitoring requirements.
Make sure that you compare the warranty of the security camera. Some small companies offer only six months of warranty, which obviously is not sufficient. You should consider buying a security camera from a reputable brand that offers at least one and ideally three years of warranty.
Deciding Where to Install the Security Camera
The decision about where to install the security camera will depend on your particular home security needs. Generally, they should be installed near the front and the back door. Also, you should consider installing a camera to monitor the weak spots such as the darkest side of the house and the narrow passageway at the back of the home.
A lot of people make the mistake of placing the camera at the highest point. While this may give the largest view possible, the image clarity will be compromised. As a result, you may not be able to properly identify the intruder. The exception to this is a high resolution or PTZ security cameras that provide more coverage without affecting the image quality.
When it comes to installing video cameras at the front doorways, you should go for a WDR camera. These cameras generate clear images even in low lightings. You should install the best quality camera at the front door as contrary to common perception this is the most common entry point for the burglars. Another common entry point is the windows. So, you should install a good quality video camera to monitor this area as well.
The exact area that you should monitor will influence the type and number of cameras you buy. So, it’s recommended that you determine the area that needs monitoring before buying the cameras. Ideally, you should cover the entire perimeter of the house with the security camera. This will result in maximum protection of your property.
Lastly, you should know about the local laws when installing a security camera. Generally, you are not allowed to install a camera that points at other people’s property such as a garage, window, or roof, etc. This point should never be overlooked when installing a video surveillance system to safeguard your home.
Selecting the right security camera is just one part of the home security system. There are many other systems that you need to purchase with the camera including connectors, cables, storage devices, and also a UPS. You should need to ask about the cost of labor and other material charges to avoid any surprises later on.