Cameras are integral components in most modern home security systems for obvious reasons. Homeowners consider these devices as their all-seeing eyes and/or all-hearing ears in and around their real estate property, if and when these devices are, indeed, placed in and outside of the structure. Think of security cameras as being in two places at once, sort of, and their importance in residential security systems can be understood.
Obviously, security cameras can record the events happening on the coverage areas. These devices are then used for several purposes such as monitoring the baby’s movements in the nursery and recording the would-be criminal’s actions, among others. Who says that home security systems are only used as deterrents against burglars, trespassers and intruders?
Making Your Choice
Before you become excited about the prospect of installing security cameras, you must first discuss your options with your home security service provider – and you have many options, indeed! Your final choice will be influenced by your answers to the following questions:
• What is your budget? The costs for camera setups range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars depending on the features and functions of the camera (i.e., wired and wireless).
• What is your purpose? The number of cameras, which was determined by your purpose in installing the devices, will affect your budget, too. For example, if you want to keep an eye on the living room only, then a single full-featured camera should suffice. If you want to monitor several indoor areas or you want to monitor both indoor and outdoor areas, then several cameras are necessary.
• What are the laws pertaining to home security systems particularly cameras in your areas? Ask your local authorities and your security service provider about the applicable laws so that you will not be sued for breaking privacy rights, among others. In most states in the United States, any individual or group recording the activities either on video or on audio – or both – without informing the persons being taped is in violation of the law.
The latter will obviously affect your choice in the cameras. For example, you may be constrained to install a non-audio camera so that you can monitor the activities of your live-in nanny; recordings on audio may be considered illegal unless these are performed for surveillance purposes.
Two basic types of cameras are available, namely:
• Wired cameras usually have higher resolutions than wireless cameras but these can be trickier to install and to conceal.
• Wireless cameras are more flexible in terms of installation but these also have drawbacks. The broadcasts from devices like cordless phones, baby monitors and computers linked to the Internet can interrupt their signals, thus, compromising the integrity of the feeds. In many instances, hacking into the wireless camera system is also possible.
You can also choose from large and small cameras. Usually, the large cameras are placed on discreet areas on the ceiling, wall or floor while the small cameras are hidden in everyday objects like clocks and figurines.
Installing Security Cameras
Security experts strongly recommend professional installation of the security cameras. This is because inappropriate installation can adversely affect the quality of the video feed to the monitor, which can be a laptop or a smartphone.
The bottom line: Yes, you will ultimately decide on the types, number and placement of the security cameras but it pays to have a professional on hand to assist in your decision-making process.