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Safety Tips

Secure Your Home

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.

Doors
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.

Windows
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.

Garage
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.

Wi-Fi Network
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.

Security System
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.

Security Camera: What NOT To Do

When it comes to security cameras, there are many mistakes that can compromise the effectiveness of your surveillance system. Don’t make these mistakes when installing your security cameras.

  • Don’t use indoor security cameras outdoors.

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.

  • Don’t mount security cameras in or near direct sunlight.

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.

  • Don’t place your camera in an area where it will be completely exposed to the weather.

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.

  • Don’t install surveillance cameras in areas that are not well lit at night.

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.

  • Don’t install cameras without informing employees, neighbors, the public, or loved ones.

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.

  • Don’t use substandard or weak mounting equipment.

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.

  • Don’t place cameras where there may be obstructions.

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.

  • Don’t leave wires exposed.

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.

  • Don’t place your camera where it will be easily accessible or within reach.

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.

  • Don’t merely place your camera viewing your front door.

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).

If you have any other security camera tips to share, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Need help finding the right security system for you? Choose SecurityCamExpert.com! We can guide you through the process of choosing the security cameras that will best suit your needs. If you are in Southern California, we can even install the system for you. Visit us online or call 888-203-6294 to learn more.

Hiding Security Cameras

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.

  • Plants
    Whether real or fake, hiding a camera in a potted plant is a great idea. Plants are a great way to liven up a room and not many would suspect to find a camera hiding there. Just be sure that the view is not obstructed by leaves or other parts of the plant.
  • Bookshelf
    Not many burglars dart to the bookshelf when breaking and entering. You can place a small camera in a section that is rarely accessed, or even toward the top shelf for a better viewing angle.
  • Birdhouse
    For outdoor security, you can hide a security camera in a birdhouse. Because there is often a restricted view with this, be sure to aim the birdhouse at the area you wish to monitor.
  • Box Of Tissues
    Many of us keep tissue boxes around the house so why not hide cameras in there? You can make necessary holes in the box to hide the camera, and position as many as necessary around the home.
  • Plush Toy
    This is a popular choice for nanny cams as you often find plush toys in the child’s bedroom or play rooms. Some hidden cameras are sold as plush toys, or you can do-it-yourself at home. Simply cut a small hole in the back of the toy, position the camera inside the head with the lens aligned with one of the eyes, support the camera with the stuffing and sew up the hole.

Do you have any other hidden camera locations to share? Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

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!

Video Surveillance For Businesses

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.

  • Reduce & Prevent Theft
    Strategically placed security cameras can prevent vandalism and theft. Year after year, companies lose thousands due to theft, whether internal or external. By installing surveillance videos, you can deter bad behavior or collect evidence when needed.
  • Real-Time Monitoring
    Most modern cameras allow for remote video monitoring. This can be extremely helpful for business owners who are not always on site. In addition, approved employees can monitor critical areas of the property, enabling continuous surveillance. If you have multiple locations, you can connect all the cameras to the same network, allowing you to keep an eye on every location remotely.
  • Improve Productivity
    The presence of security cameras can influence employees to be efficient and on their best behavior. The cameras can also improve communication between different locations and departments, which can boost productivity overall.
  • Resolve Business Disputes
    Much like cameras can provide evidence for thefts or vandalism, video footage can prove valuable when a dispute arises as well. Managers can reference video footage along with firsthand accounts to find out what happened in order to come to a fair resolution. Security cameras can also play a role in reducing workplace violence.
  • Provide Evidence For Investigations
    As mentioned, video surveillance footage can provide evidence when an incident occurs. By reviewing the footage when criminal or suspicious activity occurs, you can potentially identify the persons involved. And you may submit footage to authorities as needed.
  • Make Digital Storage
    In relation to reviewing footage, digital storage makes it much easier to search and find footage when needed. IP camera systems store all recorded footage digitally using a hard drive, network served or an NVR (network video recorder).
  • Improve Customer Experience
    With the use of data analytics with your surveillance, businesses can optimize store traffic patterns and improve product placement. They can also offer a better shopping experience as customers may perceive the presence of security cameras as the business caring for the safety and security of their customers and employees.
  • Save Money
    Video surveillance systems can be more affordable than hiring full-time security officers for the grounds. And thanks to advanced night vision features, most security cameras can give you peace of mind even when your business is unoccupied overnight.

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.

Choosing The Best Nanny Cam

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.

  • High Definition (HD)
    This is a video format which delivers a high pixel rate for improved clarity. While this is a great feature to have, it does increase the price and requires more storage. Think about your storage requirements, budget, and individual needs before making a decision.
  • Audio
    Nanny cams with audio let you speak to the persons in the room remotely. Before choosing a camera with two-way audio features, please look into legalities and follow the audio recording laws when you need to record audio.
  • Wireless
    Wireless security cameras allow you to watch live video feeds rather than recording for later review. You may want to opt for wireless cameras if you will be using them for a baby monitoring system.
  • Compatibility
    For remote monitoring, you want to be sure that your nanny cams are compatible with your smartphone or devices. That way, you can easily check in on your kid or parent and caregivers while you’re away.
  • Motion Activation
    Because monitoring our surveillance feed 24/7 is not feasible, motion-activated alerts are a great asset. Motion activation immediately sends you alerts when motion is detected in the range of view.
  • Recording
    While most nanny cams allow video recording on a SD card, this limits your storage capacity. For improved storage and reliability, choose a nanny cam with a network video recorder (NVR) or cloud storage.
  • Viewing Angle
    Choosing a wide-angle nanny camera will depend on the size of the room or area you would like to cover. If you do have a large space to monitor, be sure that your security camera has a pan-tilt function.
  • Power Source
    Typically, you can choose between battery-powered or AC power nanny cams. Battery-powered nanny cams use rechargeable battery packs, while AC powered cameras are powered directly from the outlet. Your decision may be dependent upon where you plan on placing your nanny cam. If no outlet is available in the area, you may need to use a battery-powered nanny cam. Be sure to look into battery life and invest in a backup battery should you go that route. If you need ongoing monitoring and recording, you may want to consider AC powered nanny cams.

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.

Why You Should Install A Dash Cam

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.

  • Accidents
    When accidents occur, drivers recollections can vary. Normally, police would gather reports from those involved in the accident along with any eye witnesses. However, with dash cam footage, you have hard evidence of the incident which can help determine who was at fault and potentially save you from increased insurance rates. In addition, the video footage can possibly expedite your claim by avoiding numerous discussions with insurance companies to determine who was at fault.
  • Tickets
    Your dash cam may save you from a wrongfully issued ticket. Since moving traffic violations typically give you points on your state driving record, which usually result in higher car insurance rates, it may be worth it to install a dash cam. If you feel you were wrongfully stopped, you can supply the officer with your dash cam footage. If the officer refuses to watch it, you can bring it to court to contest your ticket.
  • Insurance Fraud
    Unfortunately, insurance fraud is more common than you would think. If you feel you may have been involved in or witnessed a staged accident, your dash cam footage can be turned into the insurance companies involved or the state insurance fraud unit for investigation.
  • Improve Driving
    If you feel so inclined, you can review your daily driving videos to become a better driver. You can watch your videos to identify driving mistakes and ways to prevent them, such as braking too hard or switching lanes abruptly.
  • Teenage Drivers
    If you have teenage drivers in the family, you can review their driving skills and habits so you can help them avoid accidents or tickets. For these cases, a two-way dash cam can help you see what’s going on both on the road and inside the vehicle. Not only can this help keep your child safe, but a clean driving record can keep your insurance rates low as well.
  • Security
    Some dash cams provide a standby mode which allows the camera to turn on when motion in or around the car is detected. If someone tries to break into your car or hits your parked car, you get video footage to identify what happened and the persons responsible. You can submit this as evidence to the police as well as your insurance company to prove how the damage was done.
  • Unexpected Events
    You’ve seen those viral dash cam videos that capture incredible events like meteors or other celestial events in the sky. While these are interesting and often once in a lifetime occurrences, you can also capture things like a deer running into the road causing an accident or a rockslide that caused damage to your car. In these instances, you can provide your insurance company with evidence to prevent rate hikes.

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!

Safeguard Your Property

Spring is almost here! With warmer weather on the horizon, many of us may have vacations or weekend getaways planned. Before you leave your house unattended, make sure you’re doing your best to keep your home secure. Here are some helpful home security tips to safeguard your home and property.

Maintain Landscape
Your landscape can be an asset or a weakness to your home security, depending on how you utilize it. To protect your property, you want to limit the potential hiding places that your shrubbery can provide. Consider planting thorny bushes under your windows and be sure to keep them trimmed. You may also want to install motion-activated lights along your landscape to further discourage intruders.

Deter Porch Pirates
While online shopping is convenient, it leaves you susceptible to porch pirates. If you’re having packages delivered to your doorstep, work with the delivery companies to improve security. You can request a text when a delivery is made, require a signature upon delivery, or ask for packages to be left in a less prominent location. Another way to deter package theft is to install security cameras at your front door and around your home to monitor activity.

Hide Valuables
You don’t want anyone passing by your street to be able to see all of your valuables. Instead, arrange your furnishings in a way that they are less visible from the street-side window. Also, keep your garage openers and car keys out of sight from any window. Store these in a cabinet or drawer to keep them hidden.

Reinforce Entry Points
You want to be sure that any point of entry, whether window or door, has the proper protection. Exterior doors should be metal or solid wood and at least 1 ¾ inches thick. Protect your windows with locks or burglar-resistant glass, and reinforce sliding doors with a metal bar. A security alarm can also be beneficial by alerting you when a door or window opens as well as alerting authorities when your system is breached.

Practice Safe Behaviors
Personal habits can play an important role in your home security. Make it a habit to lock your doors and windows and arm the security alarm system whenever you leave. If you’ll be gone for more than a few days or on an extended vacation, you should make it look as if your home is occupied. Leave blinds as they would be usually, plan to defer your mail and other deliveries, and use light timers and smart home devices in different areas of your home. Bonus tip: If you are leaving your keys with a parking attendant, remove your house keys – tech-savvy thieves can duplicate your house keys by simply taking a picture of it.

Share your own home security tips with us and your peers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Browse our wide selection of CCTV security cameras, video surveillance systems and more at SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294 today!

Restaurant Security: Night Vision Cameras

Night vision cameras offer a bit more than standard security cameras. The ability to see in low light to near darkness enables surveillance around the clock. While you may understand how this can help you feel safer at home, many businesses can also take advantage of these benefits. Here are some of the ways night vision cameras can be a great asset for restaurants.

  • Vision In Darkness
    Aside from keeping an eye on the premises overnight, night vision cameras can do their duty during late night business hours. If customers are staying late, it can help make the closing staff feel safer.
  • Easy To Install & Use
    Most night vision cameras are fairly straightforward with their design, some being plug-and-play, making them easy to install and use.
  • Central Monitoring
    Depending on your system, you should have access to any camera feed at any location at all times. If your system permits, this may even be accessible remotely via your smart device or a laptop.
  • Transferrable Feed
    Your recordings can immediately transferred to disk for long term storage. This backup allows you to review past video or share footage promptly should authorities require video evidence of an incident.
  • Prevent Theft
    The simple presence of a security camera can deter burglars from acting. However, in a restaurant setting, these things can easily be overlooked. With surveillance cameras, you may be able to improve inventory control and prevent employee theft.
  • Prevent Over-Pouring
    Along the same lines, if you have a bar in your restaurant, you can keep an eye on your bartenders. Over-pouring is way to lure customers to leave larger tips, but can leave you at a loss. If you come across this issue, you can refer to your footage and correct the problem.
  • Reduce Violence
    Whether among customer, employees, or both, security cameras can help to reduce violence or provide helpful evidence when a problem arises.Night vision cameras can also make your employees feel safe, as mentioned. Employees are happier with employers who show that they care about their safety and well-being.
  • Boost Productivity
    Security cameras in the workplace can alleviate management from the task of security as well as motivate employees and keep everyone on task.

For a wide selection of night vision cameras, surveillance system packages, and more, please visit SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Security Cameras: Do’s & Don’ts

Security cameras help to protect homes, businesses and various properties from burglaries, vandalism and more. Unfortunately, if they are not installed properly, they can do more harm than good. Before you invest and install a video surveillance system on your property, review these security camera do’s and don’ts.

DO:

  • Place the camera where the roof or ceiling meets the wall.
    This spot naturally shields the camera from the elements, and it can usually give you the widest angle of viewing.
  • Protect your cameras from weather, tampering, and vandalism.
    Depending on your security cameras location, you may need to invest in a weatherproof casing to shield it from environmental conditions. Also, be sure to mount your cameras out of reach and with a protective plate to prevent criminals from tampering, disabling, or damaging your equipment.
  • Securely mount your surveillance cameras.
    Be sure that your cameras don’t shake or wiggle if walking or other movement sends vibrations to the wall. This instability could distort the images that your camera is transmitting and could potentially cause damage to your cameras. You may need additional mounting brackets or equipment to ensure your cameras are securely mounted.
  • Place cameras in heavily-trafficked or shrub-heavy locations.
    Because bushes provide cover for intruders, having a camera monitor these potential hiding spots will improve your surveillance. You also want to have eyes on areas with heavy traffic such as walkways or gates.
  • Set your base unit in your attic.
    This is often the most convenient spot for all of your cameras’ wiring to originate from. It also minimizes the need to string cables up and down walls if they can be run on the insides of your eaves under your roofline.

DON’T:

  • Just install a camera in an area that won’t be well-lit at night.
    If you want surveillance around the clock, be sure that your security cameras have night vision or an infrared setting or lens that works in low light. For outdoor cameras, pair your cameras with exterior lighting with motions sensors if possible.
  • Attach a camera to a gutter.
    This is always a bad idea. Despite being high up and out of reach, the camera is completely exposed to the weather and its weight will put undue stress on your guttering system.
  • Limit your cameras to just your front door.
    You should be monitoring all areas where criminals can potentially gain access. Install surveillance cameras near your back doors, side entrances, and sliding glass entryways. You may want to consider a security camera at the top of your basement stairs in case someone gains access to your basement.
  • Place a camera right above a basement window.
    This location leaves your camera within reach to be disabled or vandalized. Instead, mount a camera under the eaves or even a second-story roofline and direct the lens toward the basement window.
  • Assume wireless meanscompletely wireless.”
    This is not always the case. Even if your surveillance system operates using wireless signals, each camera and your base unit will still need to be plugged into a power source.

Share your own tips with us and your peers on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Your security is our priority! If you need help choosing the best security cameras for you, feel free to browse our selection online at SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294 to speak with a representative directly.

Mounting Outdoor Security Cameras

Outdoor security cameras aid in your first line of defense against criminals. The presence of outdoor security cameras can deter burglars from targeting you, or they can provide key evidence should an incident occur. Thus, the installation and mounting of your outdoor security cameras play an important role in the success of your surveillance system overall.

Height
Whether for home or business use, the height of your camera will determine what you can capture and the quality of the images. In a business setting, the camera should be able to view the surrounding area while still adequately capturing the faces of incoming customers and those around the front door. Thus, a security camera mounted at least 10 feet high should properly capture the faces and body types of individuals. For homes, you should mount a camera at least 3 feet above your front door and another at least 10-20 feet up to capture vehicles that enter and exit your driveway.

Location
If your cameras are not in the right location, they won’t be able to record crucial footage. You want your security cameras to cover all the main entrances to your business or home, as well as any potential weak spots (ex. first floor windows). For businesses, you also want to monitor your parking lot. Surveillance cameras in parking lots should be in a location that allows them a clear view of customers’ vehicles. And as mentioned, you should have a home security camera devoted to monitoring your driveway.

Visibility
Surveillance camera laws can vary from state-to-state, however, hidden cameras in private places, such as bathrooms, changing rooms, or locker rooms, are forbidden in all states. Since outdoor security cameras are not located in private places, they can be hidden to some extent. But again, the visibility of security cameras alone can play a role in discouraging potential burglars from striking. If you decide on hiding your outdoor cameras, be sure to place a sign on your property informing guests and visitors that they are under surveillance.

How have outdoor security cameras helped keep you safe? Want to share your own tips? Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Browse our selection of outdoor and indoor security cameras, along with PTZ cameras, network IP cameras, surveillance system packages, and much more at SecurityCamExpert.com.

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