Video surveillance cameras are often seen at banks and convenience stores, but more often now, surveillance cameras are showing up in people’s homes.
They are cheaper and more effective than ever and also offer many uses.
CrimeTracker 10’s Jeff Hogan talked to a family with teenage daughters who just opted for video surveillance to keep an eye on their daughters’ comings and goings.
Alisha Saffold wanted cameras for a different reason than keeping criminals out; she wanted to keep her girls in.
Saffold recently upgraded her security system to include cameras, even landing a less expensive monthly monitoring fee.
Experts say it is part of a steady trend in home video surveillance.
“Depending on what you want to add, you could be looking at $500, up to maybe a couple of thousand dollars,” said Eamon Burgess, SuretyCam.
Some companies can even retro-fit your home with new equipment at no change. They make their money on the monthly fees, which generally range between $40 and $70.
Or, you can also do it yourself, like Ted Raver.
Raver forked out about $700 on eBay for eleven cameras that cover all sides of his house. It records to a DVR inside.
Police warn that if someone breaks-in and steals a computer or recording device that your evidence could be gone. Unlike alarms, video does not detect or prevent break-ins; it just allows you to see them happen.
“What it does is, if something happens, at least you have a course of action to follow up with hopefully capturing that person,” said homeowner Joe Evans.
Evans has a high-end system that cost about $1,500.
It not only secures, but it also automates his home from his smartphone.
He can open and close his garage door, adjust his thermostat from anywhere that he has internet access.
Evans can even remotely unlock a door to let a service worker onto the property after positive ID is made with a high definition camera, another upgrade.
Bugress says, “You’re sometimes looking at maybe double the cost of a camera, but you’re gonna get six times the resolution, six times better a picture”.
The quality and number of cameras adds to the cost and storing your video in cyberspace is part of the monthly fee.
Assembling a package yourself is easy and relatively inexpensive at stores. You can get multiple cameras with viewing and recording capabilities for a few hundred dollars.
Monitoring is not provided, so you’ll have to check the camera activity on your own hard drive.
The first time the Saffolds had a reason to look at their video, they couldn’t believe what they saw. Just days after the Saffolds got their new system with video, someone tried to break in though the backdoor.
Saffold and her husband woke to the sound of the alarm.
“They were unscrewing the back of it to open it,” said Alisha Saffold.
The vibration of the door triggered the alarm, which started the video recording. She says that “he was looking around and then he took off running.”
The alarm system was the difference between an attempted burglary and a burglary.
“It’s well worth it to have to pay that monthly fee, or replace everything in the house,” said Saffold.
If a home security system is not in your budget, experts say there are ways to make your home a hard target for criminals.
You can put rose bushes in front of low-lying windows and keep dark areas well-lit. An ounce of prevention is worth hours of looking through video.
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