The Top Seven Reasons Why You Need a Home Surveillance System

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With recent advances in video and audio technology, it’s easier now more than ever for homeowners to install surveillance in and around their property. Installing security cameras in your home can help you to avoid being one of the 2.5 million U.S. homes burglarized each year.

What’s more, indoor surveillance systems can help you to keep tabs on your loved ones and give you peace of mind throughout the day. Most cameras are easy to install, monitor, and maintain, making home surveillance systems an ideal “set-it-and-forget-it” method of security.

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1. Deter Thieves and Other Criminals

Many thieves will case a home before robbing it. This means a criminal will watch a home, learn the comings and goings of the homeowners, and locate any potential weak spots around the perimeter. Casing a place can include metropolitan areas, apartment complexes, and even suburban dwellings.

The mere presence of a camera can deter a criminal who is casing your house. According to a study done by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 83% of burglars said they would attempt to determine if an alarm was present before attempting to steal from a house. Over half said that if they see a security setup, they’ll choose a different property to target.

When criminals see a camera, they know that there’s a chance that their actions will be recorded on video and risk revealing their identity or getting caught. Some businesses even install fake “dummy cameras” for the sole purpose of deterring shoplifters and other criminals. Though fake cameras aren’t necessarily recommended for personal property, they can serve as an effective deterrent. Just remember that if a criminal does choose to enter your home, a faux camera won’t record anything that can be used in court.

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Advertising the presence of a surveillance system around the outside of your property is one of the best ways to discourage thieves and other criminals from breaking in. Many security companies will provide easily recognizable signs that you can place in your front yard. By making your cameras visible and your security system well-known, you can work to make your property less appealing to potential thieves.

Just remember that you may have to protect your security system from being stolen!

Cameras are a valuable item – and can be prone to theft if you don’t follow best practices.

2. Record Videographic Evidence

If you and your family do become a victim, evidence is the key to seeking justice. Cameras can give you a clear record of what happened during a given incident without having to rely on the sometimes shaky testimony of witnesses.

A surveillance setup can help you to maintain and chronicle events accurately if there’s ever an issue by offering an accurate account of what really happened. You can record everything that happens on your property, even in areas that you can’t easily monitor yourself, and catch thefts, property damage, assault, and countless other crimes on film.

You can hand video evidence over to law enforcement officials to help them successfully prosecute a criminal and make the streets safer for your entire neighborhood. Video evidence tends to hold up well in court as indisputable. Having a video can also help cops to clearly identify a suspect and, in the case of a burglary, any goods that may have been stolen.

It’s a good idea to opt for security cameras that offer audio as well as video evidence. This can help to prosecute criminals in incidents of harassment or verbal threats and can help to strengthen cases against burglary, assault, and other crimes.

Having surveillance set up around your home may also reduce your liability in certain cases. Some con artists and criminals fake injuries on a property and exploit homeowners by suing. With a camera in place, you can help your insurance company to prove a claim is false by providing video evidence.

It’s crucial that you keep in mind blurred or grainy video evidence may be dismissed in court. It’s best to opt for HD cameras that are able to capture an accurate image of a victim’s face. Placement is also vital–it’s best to place cameras close to vulnerable points in your property such as windows, doors, and around the perimeter.

To record the most vivid detail of a potential criminal, we recommend the Arlo Ultra line of cameras – their high resolution ability and ease of installation means you can cover all critical areas.

3. Keep an Eye on Members of Your Home

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Home surveillance doesn’t necessarily have to be about security. Many people install cameras in and around their property to keep an eye on vulnerable family members such as pets, children, and aging loved ones left home alone. Most video can be streamed directly to your mobile device so that you can keep tabs on your loved ones at all times.

Working parents, for example, can check to ensure that their child made it home safe from school. Family caregivers can also use home surveillance to monitor their charge, even when they’re not present at home. You can catch emergencies early on and deal with them accordingly, giving you peace of mind as you go about your day.

Pet owners can keep an eye on their furry friends to make sure that they don’t get up to any mischief during the day. Some home security systems even come equipped with a PA system so that you can speak to, interact with, and scold your four-legged friend whenever necessary. If you have older pets who need special attention, a camera setup ensures that you can keep tabs on their health at all times.

4. Save Money on Your Homeowners Insurance

When you own a home, insurance is a necessity. It protects you financially in the event of a catastrophe. One such incident that insurers often consider is theft and burglary. When evaluating your property, one of the things that insurance agents are looking for is the security of your house. A surveillance system makes a home safer and decreases the likelihood of a property being vandalized or burglarized, which in turn reduces the likelihood of you having to make an insurance claim. Not only do cameras deter theft but also offer solid evidence should a case go to court.

Most insurance companies provide a discount on premiums for families that are proactive in protecting their property against break-ins. Major providers often offer reduced costs for homeowners that have a home security system in place.

When evaluating your insurance policy, the security of your property plays a huge impact on the amount of money you will pay. By taking steps to make your property more secure and reduce the likelihood of your property being damaged or vandalized, you are in turn reducing the likelihood of you making a claim, allowing your insurance provider to reduce your policy costs. According to a survey by the Electronic Security Association (ESA), you can save as much as 20% on your home insurance simply by installing a security system.

5. Monitor Your Property from Anywhere

These days, most electronics boast wireless capabilities. Security cameras are no different, with many models able to access and connect to the Internet. This allows you to keep an eye on your property anytime, anywhere. Even when at work or on vacation, you can check up on things using your smartphone, tablet, or another mobile device.

Cameras also give you the ability to monitor your entire property from the comfort and safety of your house. You can keep an eye on suspicious activity, even in blind spots. You don’t have to risk setting foot outside if you suspect a criminal is in the area. Not only is this a safer approach to surveillance but also less stressful.

Many wireless surveillance setups include a feature that takes a screenshot or video of people approaching the front door. You can use this like a peephole, identifying suspicious and late-night visitors without having to open your door. Many setups will even send front door images and videos straight to your smartphone, allowing you to keep an eye on who’s knocking at any time.

And many of these cameras support night vision – so you get an excellent view, even in the dark.

6. Watch Whoever Enters Your Home

Even if you have a working alarm system, it may not be enough to stop your home from getting robbed. Not all burglars pick locks on doors and break in through windows–many operate in plain sight. In around 65% of domestic robberies, the victim knows the offender. Sometimes, this can include household staff such as maids, nannies, and housekeepers, or utility workers posing under both legitimate and fake guises.

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You can keep an eye on your belongings when strangers are present in your home with an indoor surveillance system. Cameras allow you to monitor whoever enters your house, even when you’re out, and can help you to detect suspicious activity before it’s too late. Hidden cameras can be especially handy for catching this type of thief. Many people use what are referred to as “nanny cams” hidden in furniture, electronics, or even stuffed animals.

The presence of cameras not only deters theft within the home but can also help to improve the productivity of household staff and utility workers. Cameras hold people accountable for their actions, as workers are more likely to avoid shirking responsibilities when they know they’re being watched. If there’s ever a dispute about work done in or on your property, having video evidence can help you and your household workers to resolve the issue fairly and amicably.

7. Alert the Authorities When You’re in Danger

Not all home camera setups function solely as a surveillance system. Some more advanced camera models include other features thanks to wireless capabilities. In some instances, security companies are able to alert the authorities when a crime is in progress. Many even offer 24/7 monitoring so that you can have peace of mind even when asleep.

Whether there’s a robbery, a fire, or a medical emergency, a camera system can help your security provider to contact the appropriate emergency services. This can be particularly helpful in instances where you aren’t home, when a phone isn’t readily available, or when you’re being threatened. In almost half of all robberies, the perpetrators carry a weapon.

For older adults living home alone, a home surveillance setup can serve as a medical alert system in the event of a fall or other accident. According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), falls are the leading cause for senior Americans. One in four adults over the age of 65 has a catastrophic fall each year, resulting in more than 2.8 million injuries and over 27,000 deaths each year.

If an older adult is unable to reach the phone or get up and find help, their home security company may be able to call emergency medical services on their behalf to get you the attention you need in time. Whether you’re aging in place or caring for elderly loved ones, it’s always a good idea to install cameras in the home.

Keeping Your Home and Your Family Safe With a Surveillance System

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With a burglary occurring an average of once every thirteen seconds, it’s crucial that homeowners take steps to avoid becoming victims. Installing video cameras around the home is one of the easiest ways to keep your property safe and secure. Advances in video cameras, recording systems, and smart home capabilities have all made it easier and more affordable to set up a high-tech surveillance network around your home.

You can add video surveillance to complement an existing security network, or you can use cameras as the foundation of a new setup. Many cameras allow you to monitor your property anytime, anywhere using an Internet-capable device such as a laptop or smartphone. Some even alert the authorities when they detect unusual activity.

Installing a home surveillance system can not only save you money but also help you to seek justice in the event of a crime. Security cameras record evidence that tends to hold up in court against criminals. You can even monitor your property remotely in many cases, whether you’re sitting inside or miles away on vacation. If you have loved ones that you’re worried about, installing cameras can give you both the security and peace of mind that you need.

When you plan to install a home surveillance system, take a moment to consider where you should mount the cameras. That will help you determine how many cameras you need, and what capabilities to look for.

Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash

About the author


I'm an all around computer junkie, interested in many aspects of programming, operating systems, and enterprise IT technologies. I love Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows and more!

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