Where should I put security cameras in my home?

When installing security cameras in your home, you are looking to cover all entrances and possible exists. When an intruder or burglar gets into your property they will either leave the way they came in or find a new way out if needed.

Let’s start covering the most important entrances: your main entry door and rear entry door. Both of these entrances are your main points of getting into your home and out of your home. These areas should be mandatory on your list to cover. But, how do you direct the lens of the camera? To capture the face of the person when they are entering the home or when they are leaving? My personal suggestion would be when they are coming into the home, point the camera at the door opening. Make sure there are no obstructions and it will catch the person by surprise. Better yet a hidden camera in a device such as a fake doorbell or a smoke detector may work even better. However, be warned, some of these hidden camera devices do not have night vision capabilities. A quick way to combat this issue is to install a motion detector light switch combo. They also need frequent charging or do not have good video quality that could very well mean the difference in capturing the face of a burglar or capturing a blurry image.

Another entry point that should be covered is a window at the rear of the house or property. A larger window with no outside light will be a primary target by intruders. Larger windows will allow them to carry out larger items with little to no damage. Once again, my personal suggestion for the camera lens view would be to face the camera at an angle, inside the house or property. The reason for using an angle is that you do not want the burglar to know the camera’s location. Also, face the camera at the bottom portion of the window. No crook in the world will climb through the top portion of the window to sneak in.

Now that you’ve gotten the main entry points covered let’s discuss homes with multiple stories. A two story home should have a camera set up by the stairs or outside the main bedroom. Here are some things to think about, a perp will use the stairs to get to the master bedroom. The master bedroom is known for holding the most valuable items in the house (e.g. jewelry, money, electronics, safes, clothing…). I would not recommend installing a night vision camera or even a hidden camera. Go straight for a good quality indoor dome camera and have the lens pointed toward the bottom of the stairs so you can get their face as they walk up the stairs. No night vision, no problem! Grab a motion detector light switch at the local home improvement store for less than $40 and you are all set. These are easy to install and usual have only 3 wires to connect.

So we’ve covered all entrances and helped with multiple story homes. Obviously if someone really wants to enter you house, then they will get in regardless of what you have. Do not expect to go stop everyone from doing anything.

Outdoor Home Security Camera

An outdoor home security camera provides the most visibility, protection, and safety to you and to your property than any other device. They provide a second set of eyes when you are driving up to your house or when you are leaving your property in the middle of the night. But, how do you pick the best type of outdoor home security camera?

The bullet outdoor camera is probably your best bang from the buck. However, they come in many variations. Do you want audio, night vision, or the best quality? Obviously you can have all three variations, but you will end up paying a fortune for something that is top of the line. What I recommend is the quality and night vision rather than audio. Most of the time, audio is perfect for indoors, but depending on the distance of the camera from the area, you may not be able to hear much. Night vision is crucial as that is when most crimes occur, during the night. The more LED’s on the face of the camera, the better quality video you will be able to see at night.

There are other important factors when choosing an outdoor home security camera as well. For example, a weatherproof camera is crucial. A camera that is built to handle extreme weather is needed if you live in the northern section of the United States. Imagine a camera that dies on you anytime the temperature dips to 32 degrees. It doesn’t help and quickly becomes a piece of worthless equipment.

What about security for security? That’s right, how about some protection for that outdoor home security camera. Many suppliers now sell a housing for your camera. It doesn’t take much to do some damage to a security camera. Sometimes, even a small rock with good aim can do enough damage to put your new security investment in the trash.

Brackets anyone? How will you mount your new bullet camera? Your camera does not come any special mounting brackets. Most come with the standard bracket that exposes  the wiring. A heavy duty outdoor mount can provide a good amount of protection from the weather and will keep your wiring safe.

If you are not a fan of the bullet camera, then go for the dome outdoor home security camera. These cameras are known for being vandalism proof. These cameras are basically half of a ball, at least that is the way I look at it. They are capable of being  easily mounted on almost any flat surface and provide excellent security for the wiring and camera itself. Most have a thick layer of glass that prevents damage including damage from mother nature.

A bullet or dome outdoor home security camera but both great in their own way. It all depends on what you are looking for and your budget. My suggestion… stick with domes inside and keep the bullets outside.

Best Security System for Small Business

The best security system for small business is no longer a thing of the future, but it is here now. Typically most people think of a security system for their business to simply have an alarm system with a keypad. However, the times have change. There are much more possibilities.

For example, camera systems. As a business owner, you need to keep an eye on your business when you are not in the office as much as you would need to even if you are in the office. Employees are employees, lets face it. They are not your friend or family (some might be), but when it comes to your money, clients, and investment, you’re in it for yourself! That’s the bottom line. The best security system for small business is not the only system that lets you know of an intruder, but one that keeps an eye on employees to protect what you have sacrificed so much for.

Another example, is access control. ADT offers something like this. Do you have a lot of room that contains valuable pieces of equipment? For example, a camera shop that keeps regular stock on the floor. These are typically items that are in the $500 or less range. The items that are higher in cost, maybe a $5,000 camera will need to be locked away with only access from the people you trust or by the business owner only. Picture each employee having an access card and a swipe station at each door in the building. This will allow you to have a birds eye view of everything that’s going on and even alert you when an employee that may have been making extra trips into the high end room too much.

The last, which has advanced a lot within the last year is the remote monitoring. The remote monitoring hooks up to your smart phone via an application. This will allow you to view your cameras, control access, and even alarm and disarm your alarm system from off site.

With all these options can big alarm monitoring companies such as ADT, you give yourself better control over your office. Technically speaking, there is no best security system for small business. The best system is the one that suites your needs as a business owner.

As  a business owner, you should look at what assets are in your building, type of employees, your hours versus everyone else’s hours, and then start drafting up a game plan.

Good luck!


Security Cameras

Sad to say it, but society is changing for the worse. Even as I type this article, I live in a neighbor that has a crime rate that is one of the worst in the country. From the first time my house was burglarized, I realized that I need to have more peace of mind when I am not home. Even with an alarm system, I needed to get some way of monitoring my house. Security cameras allowed me to view my home when I am away and at least keep an eye on the property from over 20 miles away everyday.

There are different types of security cameras. You can have the simple bullet exterior camera, or you can go all out and get a high technology night vision system that will send you text messages when motion is detected in zones you specify. All these are functions are great, but it all comes down to your budget and how much you really need to keep an eye on your property. For example, a simple alarm system from a company like Slomins or ADT may be enough to keep intruders at bay when they see the sign. But a camera system really shows that you mean business.

The next step up with a camera system should be a DVR system. This will allow you to record and reply surveillance at your convenience. But understand that intruders nowadays are smart. Where there is a security camera then there is a 90% change there is a recording device. Intruders that have been eyeing you or your property for a while might be professionals and will quickly go through your house looking for the DVR that will have a shot of their face. But the odds of that actually happen are slim to none. Unless you have a diamond that is worth six million dollars sitting in a safe in the attic that you’ve been bragging about.

Security cameras have somewhat advance and you should know by now help give us peace of mind. It is a way to keep the family safe and the bad guys out. Some of the best security cameras have night vision LED’s that give you crystal clear vision at night. But with all these cameras and DVR, you are adding on expenses that you may not realize right away. Since installing my home security cameras, my electric utility bill has went up 220% on a monthly basis. Not to mention the entire system costing well over $1,400 plus an additional $500 for installation. That is a heavy expense, but since then I’ve not had any unwanted guest in my house or yard.

Avoid those quick install and cheap systems from the local stores. Those systems are horrible with night vision and the DVR’s tank after about six months. A quality system is a set up that you will build yourself and get several recommendations from others that have experience with these items. You should avoid installing the system yourself as well. Wiring that is exposed, or cameras that are too low can leave you open for an intruder that is familiar with wiring systems.