Video surveillance cameras can be a deterrent and great investigative tool to residential burglaries. There are many options and systems available out there and unfortunately, there is not a single solution that works for every household. This guide is meant to aide in your selection.
Camera placement should be given a lot of consideration. If you are setting up a video surveillance system that is being actively monitored, then having a wide field of view by mounting cameras up high will allow the system to alert you to the presence of an intruder. However, if you are a typical homeowner that will only occasionally view your surveillance live, with most review coming post event, then you want to focus your video on key points of entry or concern. This will allow you to identify any subjects that may have committed a crime.
- Front Porch Most residential burglary suspects will knock on the front door before attempting to break into the house. Mounting a camera near the front door at head-height allows for the best possible chance to identify a suspect after the fact. This location may require an outdoor rated camera and should be vandal resistant. Purchasing a camera with infrared lights built in will provide additional detail when it is dark outside.
- Rear Entrance This is one of the first places a burglar will check once they go into your backyard. A rear entrance can be monitored from an exterior camera that allows for a wider field of view of your backyard or an interior camera facing the rear door.
- Side Gate Having the gate locked is a good first step, however it may not be enough. This location is of lower importance, but is a good access control point in overall security.
- Driveway This location serves to primarily watch over your vehicles, thus the mounting location is typically higher allowing for a full view of the driveway.
- Street View This camera provides significant benefit to the neighborhood as a whole, especially when several residents are willing to do it. Street-view cameras can help obtain suspect vehicle descriptions and possibly license plates in addition to recording suspect vehicle movement throughout the neighborhood.
Features to Consider
- Remote Access Many home video surveillance systems have been designed to be compatible with smartphones and tablets. Not only does having remote access allow you to check on your home when you are away, but it allows motion and sound alerts to be sent to your device.
- Storage While there are many options available for data storage, the bare minimum should be 24 hours. The recommended length of storage would be the typical duration of your vacations or trips away from home.
- Quality As a general rule of thumb, you should start at 720p and work up from there.
Important to Remember
Personal home surveillance cameras can be mounted on your property and can face both your own property and towards a public place. Cameras should not be viewing or recording someone else's private property that is not visible to the general public. Audio recording can occur on your own property, however it should be avoided in a public place where any person a reasonable expectation of privacy.