Home Security Cameras
Kansas City homeowners are becoming evermore proactive about protecting their homes and families. One step in this evolution is the use of video surveillance. There are 4 main reasons that people choose video surveillance:
- Deterrent: Security cameras are an excellent deterrent. Most trespassers and would-be intruders want to avoid being seen at all cost. The presence of security cameras sends a strong signal that security is taken seriously at that home and that the cameras are probably just the first line of defense. The risk of being apprehended is certainly enough of a deterrent to discourage many intruders.
- Apprehension: Security cameras are also an important tool in apprehending wrong-doers. Some clients who have an ongoing problem with crime prefer to use covert cameras to catch the perpetrator in the act so that they can be prosecuted. This is often a case in stalking scenarios, or ongoing disputes. In the latter case, often vandalism is being done at night and the home owner wants to prove who is doing it.
- Peace of mind: Being able to check in on your home while you are away offers a great deal of comfort to some. Perhaps making sure their pets are OK or just to make sure that everything is normal. A camera outdoors even gives one the ability to watch the kids playing in the yard from a TV, computer or smartphone.
Part of the reason for the surge in popularity is the dramatic drop in prices as well as the introduction of smart-phone and internet access to these systems. A traditional system will be composed of a digital video recorder (DVR), a power supply, and cameras. The DVR will normally have 4, 8, or 16 inputs on it where the camera cables are to be connected. It then has a hard drive, just like a computer, on which the video is stored. There is usually an ethernet port so that the video can be viewed over the internet as well.
Selection and installation of the security cameras is what determines the value of the surveillance system. There are many different factors that influence the selection of security cameras. Some of the factors that effect camera selection include the lighting, resolution, distance, mounting conditions, temperature, and vandalism risk.
Security camera selection and installation are where the complexity lies and often relying on a video surveillance consultant and a professional installer can help produce the desired results.
A new security camera solution that is gaining popularity is called hosted video. With hosted video surveillance, there is no need for the DVR. Instead, the video clips are stored on the internet (Cloud) each time a selected event, such as motion is triggered. The recording can also be triggered by security system events such as opening a door or disarming the system. Such a feature would be valuable for making sure that latch key kids arrived home safely. You could have a video clip emailed to you each time the door was opened while you were away to know who was coming and going. This video/security integration is also available on the traditional DVR based systems described above, but require outputs from the security panel to be wired to the DVR to trigger.
The video clips are stored on the internet and can even be automatically emailed. For small systems, this is very economical because the home owner avoids the expense of the DVR. Many of these cameras also can be connected via ethernet or Wi-Fi, to make installation even easier.