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Security Cameras

Troubleshooting Infrared Security Cameras

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.

Foam Ring
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.

Glass
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.

Infrared Glare
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.

Infrared Reflection
Here are some of the common things that cause IR reflection:

  • Your camera is indoors looking through a window. Because the IR will bounce off the window, IR cameras should not be mounted behind any glass.
  • For cameras with a glass dome cover, be sure that all the IR LEDs are looking through the glass dome. If your camera is set improperly inside the glass cover, the IR light will bounce inside the camera and hit the image sensor.
  • Remember to remove the plastic cover on the outside of the glass dome
    Clean the glass dome with a damp microfiber cloth or windshield cleaner only.
  • If your camera is mounted too close to a wall, ceiling, or between two walls, the IR LEDs will be obstructed and will result in IR reflection.

Infrared Obstruction
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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Find a great selection of cost-effective infrared night vision cameras, CCTV surveillance packages and much more at SecurityCamExpert.com. Call 888-203-6294 to learn more about our products and services or to request a free quote!

Workplace Surveillance

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.

  • Reduce Risk Of Employee Theft & Fraud

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.

  • Improve Operations & Productivity

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.

  • Ward Off Illegal Visitors

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.

  • Enhance Safety

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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Whether you’re looking for a surveillance system for your home or business, let us help you! Visit SecurityCamExpert.com or call us at 888-203-6294 for more information or to request a FREE quote!

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.

Upgrading Security Camera Systems

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.

Storage
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.

Wireless Bridge
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.

Baluns
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.

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).

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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!

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