Top two mistakes people make with home surveillance

File Photo - Home surveillance (WBNS-10TV)
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COLUMBUS, OH - Pixel and placement. Two words Mike Caruso says you should remember the next time you set up your home surveillance system.

“Wrong placement and resolution of cameras,” explains Caruso, owner of Surveillance Simplified, a Columbus-based surveillance camera company for homes and businesses.

“If you get a camera with a low resolution, 1-2 megapixel, and you put it wrong – too high, too far away, you’re not doing yourself any benefits,” he goes on to explain.

Caruso says the main priorities for any surveillance system is covering as many points of entries as possible: garage, first-floor windows, sliding doors, etc. Many people who live in 2-story houses often put cameras on the second floor looking down.

“You get a great overview, but you don’t get anything identifiable,” Caruso says. “Whether they’re wearing a hat, hoodie, if they’re looking down, you’re not seeing the face.”

Faces can also get distorted when it comes to enlarging photos that are taken with cameras that have low megapixels. He suggests a camera with 3 megapixels, although Caruso readily admits cost is usually a factor.

Caruso says designing your home surveillance set up is integral to designing away crime – a key component to CPTED: Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design.

“General rule of thumb is your bushes: have them down around your knees. Your trees: have them limbed up above your head,” says Office Chris Riley with the Columbus Division of Police, who is also certified in CPTED.

“People hide behind bushes so that’s something to be aware of that they don’t get too overgrown or out of control,” Riley adds.

Riley says surveillance systems have been a game changer when it comes to CPTED. But none of that technology will work if people don’t follow the basic CPTED rules of having a clear line of sight to the outside world, even as much as people try to shield their privacy.

“You just have to realize what you’re hiding from other people, you can’t see out yourself.”