Thinking about Installing Video Surveillance Cameras to Enhance the Security Around Your Home or Business?
Security surveillance cameras provide both real time monitoring for businesses and homeowners as well as a priceless resource to law enforcement following a criminal act, but only if the proper system is in place. If you are thinking about installing video surveillance cameras on your home or business, we have some suggestions that may help you in choosing the right product. To maximize security and effectiveness, it is essential that you obtain video surveillance equipment that will provide quality images in both daytime and evening (low light) conditions. Keep in mind that inexpensive, over-the-counter security systems are generally ineffective (especially at night). Poor video quality provides very limited value to police investigators.
Here are some suggestions when consulting with your security vendor:
Only use High Definition or High Resolution Digital Cameras. High quality lens (optics) and CCD technology translates to better low light performance with video systems. Keep in mind that you may need different types of cameras for different areas of the residence (based on available lighting). A good camera will be expensive, in the range of $500. These are the cameras you’ll need especially for the front and rear.
LUX ratings are a measure of how low the ambient light can be and still allow the camera to capture a readable image. LUX ratings of 0.01 or even 0.00 for surveillance cameras are preferred to capture the best images in low light conditions. It’s important to have adequate security lighting in the areas around your home.
IR (Infra-Red) lighting on cameras can be helpful in zero light conditions, giving only a black/white image but will automatically switch back to color when ambient lighting increases.
The Digital Video Recorder or DVR is the heart of any security surveillance system. The DVR is responsible for storing and manipulating all the video and audio and controlling when and how that data is manipulated. Having a digital video recorder with the ability to easily jump from one time segment to another in an instant can save you hours of valuable time when trying to locate video on a certain incident.
Another great advantage of a DVR is the ability to be viewed and controlled over a computer network or the Internet. This feature allows you to keep an eye on your home or business from anywhere in the world as long as you have an Internet connection. You can manipulate your cameras and back up footage right to your PC or laptop. An on-site storage system capable of saving at least two weeks’ worth of video is a must. You should have more storage capability if you plan to be away from your home for extended periods of time.
It’s also very important to have a video system that allows for easy retrieval and copying of recorded images for evidence purposes. Make sure you understand how to make a copy of any segment recorded on the DVR especially following any crime in the area. Waiting for a service technician to pull the video and/or provide copies to law enforcement can sometimes hamper investigations.
If you are looking to use professional installers, make sure to get recommendations, ask to see current installations, and look at recorded images from the equipment you are considering purchasing.
If you already have a home security and surveillance system, please make sure they work and use them; even when you’re only gone from the home for short periods of time. Burglars will watch a neighborhood looking for people coming and going, so when you leave your home, make sure that your doors and windows are locked. At night, keep the outside of your home (and driveway where vehicles are parked) well lit. This will deter burglars.