Memorial Day weekend is upon us, and thus, the unofficial start of the summer. Many people like to go on fun summer trips and vacations to relax and unwind from the daily stresses of life. Unfortunately, thieves know summertime is prime vacation time, meaning unoccupied homes ripe for invasion. However, if you prepare and enlist the proper security measures, you can put your mind at ease. Here are some things you should do to ensure your property (and you) are safe and secure.
Before You Leave
Preparations should begin before you even leave for your trip.
At The Airport
Airports are often busy and filled with people rushing to get around. You must keep a close eye on your luggage at all times, even once you board the plane.
While On Vacation
Once you’ve arrived at your destination safely, don’t put your guards down just yet.
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If you’re looking for surveillance around-the-clock, infrared night vision cameras are a smart choice. These security cameras enable you to monitor your business or property overnight, when light sources are minimal. Night vision cameras have infrared (IR) LEDs which emit their own source of light, but of course, nothing is perfect. When using infrared cameras, you may come across some of these common IR issues.
Keep in mind that not every camera will have one, but most of them do. The foam ring helps to eliminate the reflection of the IR light on the glass. When the IR light reflects off the glass and back into the lens, it will wash out your footage, essentially rendering your camera useless. If your camera seems to be missing a foam ring, first make sure that your camera should in fact have one. If so, to eliminate the issue, replace the foam ring.
While the aforementioned situation is rather unlikely, having an improperly placed foam ring is far more common. If the foam ring is not flush with the IR board, or the base of the lens, it will produce a similar effect as a missing foam ring. To correct this, you will need to open your camera and reposition the foam ring accordingly.
Most security cameras come with a thin plastic protective film over the glass on the camera. It is in place to protect the camera, however, it should not be left on when the camera is in use. Once your camera is installed and you are satisfied with the placement and viewing angle, remember to remove and discard the film covering.
Another common issue with the glass is obstructions. Dirt, dust, and fingerprints on the glass can create infrared glare which interferes with the quality of your footage. Be sure to clean the glass routinely to ensure that your cameras are obstruction-free.
As mentioned, debris on the camera or glass reflection can cause IR glare, but there are other common causes. With outdoor cameras, you want to avoid aiming your camera at reflective services (ex. bodies of water, large lightly colored surfaces). For indoor cameras, be wary of the items or furniture around your camera as they may be close enough to reflect the IR LEDs. Despite all this, the most common cause of IR glare is improper installation. Cameras should be carefully mounted and tested in both day and low light conditions before the job is completed.
Here are some of the common things that cause IR reflection:
As mentioned, when an object is too close to your IR camera, IR light will cause overexposure. In turn, to compensate, your camera will automatically dim the picture, reducing the IR intensity of your camera. Again, proper placement, installation, and testing will minimize these issues.
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Some may argue that video surveillance in the workplace can be an invasion of privacy. However, as long as employee privacy is respected and existing surveillance laws are abided by, it can actually benefit both the employer and employees. Aside from decreasing misconduct and increasing safety, workplace surveillance has its advantages.
Employee theft, also known as “shrinkage,” is a growing problem for businesses. It is a bigger threat than identity theft and cyber fraud according to the FBI. In addition, fraud by employees is still a major issue, mainly for businesses in the financial and retail sector.
Video surveillance systems work to combat these issues, providing a way to keep a watchful eye over employees while producing video evidence when necessary.
Businesses thrive on success and profits, therefore, anything that can increase productivity and improve operations is good thing. Installing security cameras in the workplace influences employees to stay on task, thus, plays a role in productivity and efficiency.
Security cameras not only safeguard the business, but work to keep employees safe and protected. An effective surveillance system will help deter intruders and provide video evidence should a break-in or other incident occur. Security cameras can also monitor the different visitors your business has throughout the day.
Workplace safety is expected and non-negotiable. All employees should feel safe in the workplace and security cameras can enhance that feeling. When safety measures are blatantly disregarded, management can review these instances and deal with them accordingly to prevent any unnecessary accidents in the future.
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When was the last time you evaluated your home security? With summer, and likely a vacation or two, around the corner, now is a great to time reassess your home security measures and upgrade or improve them as needed.
A surprising amount of burglars enter homes through the front door, so be sure that all of your doors (especially the front door) are strong and secure. Inspect the door frame, ensure the hinges are protected, and if your door has a mail slot, make sure someone can’t reach through and unlock the door.
To further safeguard your doors and entryways, you can install a deadbolt and/or add a strike plate. You can even upgrade to smart locks or install a doorbell camera. And if you have any sliding glass doors, remember to reinforce them by using a window bar or dowel in the track. Or you can invest in a door sensor or glass break sensor, which will alert you if the door is opened or tampered with.
Another common entry point for burglars is windows. And unfortunately, window latches and locks can be flimsy and rather ineffective. To better secure your windows, install improved locks or key-operated levers, or implement window bars. You can even reinforce the glass with window security film and install window or glass break sensors. In addition, you can plant prickly bushes under first-floor windows, but be sure to keep them trimmed.
Lighting & Landscape
Intruders want to be as inconspicuous as possible, so why not shine a light on them? Outdoor lighting can help to keep burglars at bay. Light up your yard (front and back) and pathways and place lights near the garage or other outdoor structures. Motion-activated lighting, solar-powered lights and timers can be helpful as well.
While the lights help to prevent burglars from hiding in the darkness, maintaining your landscape plays an important role, too. Be sure that trees and shrubs are trimmed down to eliminate any hiding spots. If there are trees near windows, remove them or add extra security to those windows. And remember to put away stools, ladders, and other tools and lock your gates and sheds.
An attached garage offers another way to access your house. But even if it is detached, burglars know there’s likely good stuff stored in there. You should always lock all doors to the garage, both interior and exterior. Consider keeping your garage door opener in the house. That way, a burglar can’t steal it from your car. You may even consider upgrading to a smart garage door opener, which alerts you when the door is opened or closed and enables you to control it remotely.
Securing your home wireless network is also an important part of your overall home security. To keep hackers off your home network, be sure to secure your wireless router and enable WPA (Wi-Fi protected Access) or WPA2 encryption. You should also rename and hide your network, use a firewall, install antivirus and anti-malware protection, and always create strong passwords and change them periodically.
These days, you can find a home security system that suits your needs and budget. Depending on your unique situation, you may consider DIY versus professional installation, along with the upfront and monthly costs, and the different features offered.
If they are not part of your security system, you may want to install security cameras outdoors, indoors, or both. Some features to look for include remote access, motion detection, night vision, and Wi-Fi capability. If you need assistance, you can visit SecurityCamExpert.com or call us at 888-203-6294.
Your security is our priority. Contact us to learn more about our products and installation services, site surveys, or to request a FREE quote! You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
It’s about time to upgrade your analog cameras to HD-CVI or IP security cameras. By upgrading, you are equipping your home or business with more advanced surveillance solutions. These advanced cameras deliver top quality, with 720p or 1.3 Megapixel and up to 4K resolution. Worried about the compatibility with your current system and the new cameras? Luckily, there are products out there to aid in a smooth transition. And if you have any questions, you can always call SecurityCamExpert.com at 888-203-6294.
Here are some tips to help you ease into a better quality surveillance camera system.
If you are only upgrading a few cameras, hybrid and tribrid DVRs allow you to use new HD cameras with your existing equipment. However, higher resolution cameras will use more disk space.
If you want to maximize your storage space, you may want to consider is decreasing the frames per second at which you are currently recording. For example, if you are recording at 30 frames per second, you may scale that back to 15 frames per second. You will save storage space while still producing quality images.
In addition, if you are currently recording around the clock, you may want to switch it to motion-only. This setting allows your camera to remain in standby mode and only record when motion is detected.
A wireless bridge is used when you want to install a camera in an area where it is impossible to run cables. It can be set up as a transmitter or a receiver. Each camera needs one transmitter, but the receiver can receive signals from multiple transmitters.
But remember, this will only work with network or IP cameras. And for most cameras, you will still need a power source.
You may be hesitant to upgrade because wiring your system can be a costly hassle, however, baluns could be the easy and convenient answer.
Your existing cables depend on the type of security camera system you have. Most IP camera systems use CAT5 or CAT6, while traditional analog systems and HD-CVI systems run on cables more commonly known as Siamese cable (which is coaxial cable along with and 18/2 power wire).
A balun is a type of converter that you put on each end of your existing cable. Depending on the type, it will either allow you to convert CAT5 to an analog signal or use your analog cables with IP cameras.
DDNS (Dynamic Domain Name Service)
For remote access and viewing of your surveillance footage, you need to connect your system to your home or business IP address. Unfortunately, these are usually provided by your internet service provider (ISP) and they will often change this IP address, making it difficult for you to connect to your system.
The DDNS is a personal domain name (ex. “YourLastName.DDNS-service.com”) which will always resolve back to your home IP address regardless of what the IP address is, even after it has changed. Thankfully, a DDNS configuration is built-in most new security recorders, so when your home IP address changes it will contact the DDNS service and update it so that your domain name will always resolve back to your home or business.
If you need helping choosing a new security camera system for your home or business, please feel free to contact us! You can browse our stock online or give us a call to speak with one of our representatives directly. You may also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Your security is our priority and we are always happy to help.
Sounds like common sense, right? Indoor security cameras are tailored to indoor conditions, so using them outside would produce poor quality videos and images. And the same goes for outdoor cameras being used indoors – just don’t do it.
Direct sunlight can damage your camera overtime, decreasing its overall lifespan. In addition, it can wash out images, deeming your footage useless. Consider investing in outdoor housing that can protect your cameras and adjusting the angle of your camera so that the sunlight does not interfere with your images.
You want to be wary of weather conditions when installing outdoor cameras. Be sure to check the IP ratings of the cameras and any additional housing you may invest in. And, if possible, install your outdoor cameras under the eaves for added protection.
That is, unless you have a night vision camera. Cameras without night vision or a comparable feature will not produce any usable images in the dark.
When recording, you must inform others that they are under surveillance. The easiest way is to install a well-designed sign in a high traffic area so that it is seen by everyone. Be sure to check with local laws and ensure you are in compliance with all laws before implementing your surveillance system.
If your mounting equipment is not as sturdy, you decrease performance and safety and leave your equipment vulnerable to tampering or theft. Also, it should go without saying, but please do NOT attach your cameras to the gutter.
Again, this may sound like common sense but it must be said. While it may seem like there are no obstructions when you first install your cameras, sometimes natural elements can change that. For example, on a particularly windy day, a branch from a nearby tree may block your camera’s view. Be sure to consider all potential obstructions before settling on a location.
By doing so, you may invite others to hack, damage, or disable your camera system. In addition, exposed wires can pose a safety hazards for young children and adults.
Again, this makes it easier for intruders to hack, disable, or even steal your cameras. It helps to install your cameras high and out of reach, not only to prevent theft or vandalism, but to also get a better view of the area.
Of course the front door is an important place to monitor, but really, you should be watching all potential points of entry (ex. sliding doors, basement doors, windows).
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Despite the presence of security cameras being a visual deterrent for potential burglars, some home owners would rather conceal their surveillance system. When security cameras are present, intruders may often attempt to damage or disable them, so hiding them may help to keep them safe. Visible security cameras can also be an eyesore, and may make it a bit awkward when you have guests over.
However, if you’re going to conceal your security cameras, be sure to abide by the laws in your country and state. To be safe, you may want to consult with an attorney about legalities and the specific ways you plan to use your hidden cameras.
Here are some clever ways you can hide your security cameras.
For the best selection of indoor and outdoor security cameras and surveillance equipment, please visit SecurityCamExpert.com. Aside from our surveillance systems, we also offer installations services, site surveys, and free quotes – call 888-203-6294 to speak with one of our experts today!
Installing a video surveillance system for your business protects your employees, customers, inventory, and your business itself. Understandably, such an important asset can take a considerable amount of time and money when it comes to shopping, deciding, installing and implementing a comprehensive security solution. If you’re on the fence on whether or not to purchase and install a video surveillance system for your business, review some of these priceless benefits you can enjoy.
Whether for your business or home, shopping for a security camera system can be overwhelming. If budget is a concern, or you are unsure of what you need, we can help. Call 888-203-6294 and we can guide you to the cameras and equipment that would best suit your needs and budget. We offer a wide variety of affordable security cameras and surveillance systems – browse our stock online at SecurityCamExpert.com. You may also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Nanny cams help worried parents keep an eye on their kids or their own elderly parents. They allow individuals to check in at home for peace of mind. Whether you will be installing them in hidden areas or in plain sight, here are a few things you should consider when purchasing a nanny cam.
If you need assistance choosing a nanny cam or home security cameras, please do not hesitate to call 888-203-6294 to speak with us. You may also browse our stock online at SecurityCamExpert.com or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Dash cams are growing in popularity as more and more drivers are finding value in installing them. Whether you install a simple, front-facing dash cam or invest in a more comprehensive monitoring system for your vehicle, there are many ways these devices can benefit you. Here are a few reasons why you may want to consider installing a dash cam in your car.
If you have a dash cam in stalled in your car, how have you benefited from it? What made you decide to install a dash cam? Share your experiences with your peers and us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Visit SecurityCamExpert.com to browse our selection of security cameras, CCTV surveillance packages and more. You can call 888-203-6294 to schedule a site survey or request a FREE quote today!