We’re all spending way more time at home than we have over the past few years. We like to think we’re safe here – but did you know that one in four break-ins occur when the residents are at home? Plus, most burglaries happen in the middle of broad daylight rather than the middle of the night. So, investing in a video surveillance system for your home is certainly a wise move.
But a video surveillance system for your home can do much more than deter burglars. Residential video surveillance systems can also protect your property from any unwanted intruders.
For instance, mail and package theft has become a rising issue across the United States. A recent survey found that half of the respondents were extremely concerned about this issue and 24% had a package stolen from their home recently. Video surveillance can also be used as evidence if a crime occurs and shared with the police or your insurance company to file a claim.
If you’ve taken a look, you probably know there are countless residential video surveillance systems and devices on the market. Here are 5 key factors to keep in mind before buying one:
1. Consider Your Surveillance Coverage Goals
First off, you need to determine the scope of surveillance that is necessary for your property.
Do you want cameras to cover large areas (entire yard, long driveway, etc.) or just around entrance points? This will affect the types of cameras you purchase and setup.
You should also consider the lighting and camera footage. For instance, will you need night-time vision or will lights be installed? Do you want the cameras to film constantly or kick on when movement is detected?
2. What Type of Power Source Will You Need?
Today, virtually all video surveillance systems can operate wirelessly using Wi-Fi. This makes it quite easy to set up and monitor through a computer or mobile phone. However, you may want to consider opting for hardwire setups, depending on your preferences.
There are pros and cons to each to keep in mind:
Wireless Security System
- Uses sensors to connect to control panel with a cellular or wi-fi connection
- If wi-fi goes down due to electrical issues or network problems, you will lose the surveillance
- Equipment is battery operated that will need to be changed or replaced
- Easier to set up, but can have technical issues and technology will need updates
Hardwired Security System
- Connects to control panel with hidden wires for more secure connection
- Uses telephone or Ethernet cable lines
- Can be plugged directly into outlets or electrical system
- If the electricity goes out, cameras will shut off
- More difficult to set up, but longer-lasting and more permanent installation
Most video surveillance systems for homes operate with Wi-Fi – but you can opt for wired or wireless cameras if it’s a better fit for your property.
3. Pick Out Your Necessary Features
Residential surveillance systems can come with a lot of high-tech features to make you feel more secure. Many security systems have integrated the latest technology for added convenience and control.
Your home video surveillance system can also be an extension of your “smart home”, with added features like smart lighting controls and remote access to lock/unlock doors while you’re away. High-tech cameras also come with some pretty impressive features, like:
- Thermal imaging and heat mapping
- False-alarm reduction
- Facial recognition
- Intruder verification
- Quick target search
4. DIY vs Professional Installation
Some home surveillance systems are designed for DIY setups that are fairly easy to install. While these are convenient, they may not be as protective or beneficial as a professional setup. You want to be sure that your cameras are properly secured and positioned for a clear view.
Installing a residential video surveillance system on your own might not only result in frustration, but it could minimize surveillance coverage. Typically, it is best to go with a professional service to install cameras, show you how to operate and provide maintenance if any issues arise.
5. Consider Storage Options
Finally, you’ll want to weigh your options with recording access and storage. Wireless cameras can transmit footage over an internet connection to a phone or computer – but IoT devices are not always the most secure.
Make sure that your residential video surveillance system comes with built-in encryption and/or with authentication requirements. This will help to keep your cameras protected from hackers.
Your home is designed to be a safe place where you can relax and unwind. Having a video surveillance system can give you lots of peace of mind, both when you’re there and when you’re far away.
But before you head to the store to buy cameras or sign up for a surveillance package, consider all five of these important factors. This will help you narrow down the options and find the video surveillance solution that meets your home’s needs best.
Author Bio: Brian Kozlovsky, President/Founder of 2 Krew Security and Surveillance – headquartered in Kittanning, PA. With a Bachelor of Science from Slippery Rock University, I have 15+ years of experience operating a successful security and surveillance company. You can get in touch with me on LinkedIn.