Security cameras have become a common sight in public places like shopping malls, banks, schools, hospitals, airports, casinos and road intersections. And they’re just as visible in residential settings. Like they help to curb crime and increase personal safety in public venues, surveillance cameras are important tools to protect you, your family and your possessions.
Here are eight smart ideas on how to use security cameras as part of your home safety plan:
1. MONITOR THE PERIMETER OF YOUR PROPERTY.
A great way to deter trespassers is to mount outdoor security cameras to the exterior of your home. Keep your cameras aimed at the perimeter of your property. Combining several cameras can give you a nearly 360° view of your property line. They are an excellent way to keep an eye out for unwanted visitors in real time. These cameras provide you with playback surveillance footage in the event of a robbery.
2. SEE WHO’S AT THE FRONT DOOR.
Whether you don’t have the type of front door that’s right for a peephole, or just want to be extra sure before opening your home to someone, a small surveillance camera can let you answer a knock at the door with confidence. Save on data storage by using a motion-activated camera that only films when movement is detected on your front step. You can also keep a small CCTV monitor handy in the kitchen or your home office so you can easily see who’s there.
3. NANNY CAMS FOR CHILD PROTECTION.
Nothing is more valuable than your children, so it can be tough to rest easy about their care when you leave them at home with outside babysitters and nannies. One way to find peace of mind — and get a firsthand look at how your kids are treated when you’re not there — is to invest in a “nanny cam.” This small, concealed camera is disguised to look like an ordinary household object. These hidden cameras are ideal for capturing child/caretaker interactions and let you view in real time or play back later.
4. KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR GARAGE.
Home garages are often security deficient, although they’re generally far easier to break into than other buildings; and typically house expensive vehicles and equipment. Not to mention that they’re often left wide open with their contents in full view of passersby. Cars, trucks, motorcycles, ATVs and high-end power tools can become extremely tempting to potential thieves, so protect them with more than a rolling garage door or lock and key. Installing a visible but out of reach remote-access security camera lets unauthorized visitors know that they’re being watched. This enables you to check up on your valuables even when you’re on the road.
5. MONITOR POINTS OF ENTRY TO PREVENT THEFT.
Bad guys don't always use the front door when trying to get into your home, so be sure not to ignore potential entry points like windows, French doors and basement doors. While it’s by no means necessary to mount a surveillance camera near every single access point, it's not a bad idea to have an extra pair of eyes watching windows and doors that aren't visible to neighbors, can't be seen from the street, or are hidden by trees, tall hedges or other visual obstructions.
6. MAKE YOUR OWN VIDEO BABY MONITOR.
Standard audio baby monitors are great, but if you need to work or relax in another room — and don't want to get up to investigate every time your sleeping baby makes a peep — it's time to set up a video baby monitor that transmits both sounds and images. They're simple to put together: just install a CCTV video camera next to or above your baby's crib and have it broadcast audio and video to a monitor in the room(s) of your choosing. That way, when you hear a baby-related noise, you can just glance at the monitor to decide whether you need to check in person.
7. PROTECT YOUR HOME BUSINESS.
If you run a business out of your home, chances are you have work equipment, money and inventory on premises. A security camera can not only help prevent the theft of work-related valuables, but can also multitask by monitoring employees, clients and vendors who come in and out of your home throughout the business day.
8. WATCH THE POOL AND PLAY AREAS FROM INDOORS.
Even though they're more independent and can show better judgement than very young children, older kids still need outdoor supervision, especially if there's a swimming pool or large playground equipment nearby. Even if you need to step indoors for a few minutes, you can keep a protective eye on your children by installing closed-circuit cameras near your swimming pool or outdoor play area, to alert you to any falls, fall-ins, or other playtime mishaps.