Security cameras are everywhere you look: banks, stores, homes.. everyone’s got one! Actually, it’s typically more than just one camera. Ever since I got into the security line of work I’ve kept noticing cameras everywhere.
So are they all it’s cracked up to be? Are security cameras a worthy investment for a home owner like yourself? I’ll let you decide. Here are the main benefits of having security cameras at home:
1. Criminal deterrence
Criminals avoid getting caught on camera like a plague. If you have cameras placed on strategic positions, monitoring entrances to your home you can deter many would-be intruders.
A 2012 study of 422 burglars found that security cameras are the greatest deterrent. A whooping 60% of burglars said they would choose a different target if they knew that a home or business was secured with a camera. So just having a camera on the premise shows that you’ve thought about security and won’t be an easy target.
Furthermore, there are fake security cameras and warning stickers from Amazon that you can use as a pure deterrent if you’re not all that interested in other benefits or have a tight budget.
Or even better, combine fake cameras with real ones. Place the fake cameras in easy to spot locations but use real ones to actually record. Because criminals will sometimes try to block or remove a security camera, so it’s good to have a backup to record all that happens.
2. Real-time alerts and visual check
Most modern security cameras have a motion alert system and WiFi connectivity. If the camera catches any excessive movement in the area it will send a notification on your electronic device via an app. Then you can access the camera and see what’s happening in real time and watch the recording of previous events. Or if you’ve hired a security company they can do it for you.
This is one of the advantages of security cameras when compared with regular alarm systems. An alarm system doesn’t provide the visuals, so you can’t be sure if it’s a fake alert or not. But with a camera you can immediately check if there’s real danger or not.
3. Identifying criminals helps with catching them
Catching the criminal on the camera in the act can help the police immensely. Facial recognition, bodily mannerisms, height, the number of criminals involved, license plate… any such information can bring the investigation to a successful close and much faster than if the police had to rely only on guesswork and intuition.
4. Checking up on kids, the elderly and pets
If you’re forced to leave small kids alone at home it can be a bit scary. You never know what can happen without the adult supervision. A camera can remove these worries, as you can check up on them at any time.
The same is true for elderly people or individuals with mental disabilities. While we all wish we could afford the best nursing home or at-home care sometimes it’s simply not viable. And if you have to go to work and leave the needy person at home, a camera can really help in making these lonely affairs less risky. Especially a camera that has two way communication feature.
Let’s not forget pets either. Dogs can get lonely and grouchy, and if you have a new pet it will require more care than usual. This way you can check up on your pets and not have to worry needlessly. If they’re super-aggravated and barking all the time, two-way communication can relieve some of the stress on both ends and it might signal that you should get back home or have a reliable person come over to spend some time until you get back.
The Geeni wireless security camera from Amazon is a great (and affordable) choice for indoor use as it provides two-way audio, night vision, motion detection alerts and WiFi connectivity.
5. Insurance benefits
Home security devices such as cameras, security alarms or advanced locks can all reduce home insurance costs. But even more so, having recorded footage of a theft can help immensely with insurance claims because it relieves any doubt the insurer might have about the event.
6. Protect the yard
Protecting the backyard is more difficult than securing indoor areas. Unless you have a really tall fence with spikes on top and a strong gate a burglar could be able to climb and steal anything that’s left outside.
That could be outdoor patio furniture, a fancy bike, power generator etc. Install an outdoor security camera to monitor your yard since it’s also your first line of defense separating the outside world from your house.
7. Securing a vacant home
Going on a vacation or have a vacation house that you rarely visit? Vacant homes are more likely to get broken into because they pose a smaller risk for getting caught. Install a camera to check up on your vacant home every once in a while and to receive alerts in case things go south.
Where to install security cameras?
I hope these benefits have convinced you to get a security camera for your home. These are the most important places to monitor:
- Front gate
- Front door
- Back door
- Ground floor windows and easy-to-reach windows on upper floors
- Basement window
- Shed (if you keep anything of value inside)
Of course, these suggestions will vary from one home to the next, depending on the layout and technical possibilities. I’m also not suggesting that you cover your entire home with cameras (although it certainly wouldn’t hurt from a security angle).
Focus on the weakest entrance points to your home and go from there. Also take into consideration that there are outdoor and indoor security cameras. Outdoor are more resistant to harsh weather and provide greater distance, while indoor have a wider lens but cover a smaller distance.
What about video doorbells?
Video doorbells are a great-looking security solution for front door and gates. I have nothing against this device, except for the fact that they’re less versatile. It’s a door-exclusive, and installing it anywhere else would look silly, while a regular security camera can be installed pretty much anywhere.