Archive for the ‘ Security Camera ’ Category

The Pros and Cons of Security Cameras

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Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

The pros and cons security cameras

The Pros and Cons of Security Cameras - Zeke RichieThere has been a debate happening in modern society for several years about the benefit of the significant increase in surveillance cameras in our country. It has been centered on the effectiveness of these cameras verse the perceived loss of privacy for the most part. It seems that everyone has an opinion on this subject and many people feel strongly about it but we’re going to try to take an objective look at the facts surrounding this issue. First we’ll take a look at some of the reasons that people who are against the proliferation of security cameras and the validity of these concerns.

Some people believe there hasn’t been enough evidence to prove that security cameras are effective at helping to reduce, prevent or solve crimes. These concerns are complicated by several studies that had varying results. The inconclusive findings are due, in part, to these studies not taking into account factors that affect crime but don’t directly relate to the security cameras. Some of these things are changes to population, lighting in public areas or police funding.

Despite the differences in the results of some of these early studies about how effective security cameras are in helping to reduce and prevent crime, several of them that have been conducted over the previous few years consistently agree on the fact that overtly installed security cameras do act to deter criminal activity in the vicinity. The idea is that when an individual who is planning criminal activity notices that surveillance cameras are monitoring an area, they either reconsider committing the crime or move on to a different area.

There has also been some debate about how useful these cameras are in helping law enforcement agencies to solve crimes. The point that is made by those people who believe that CCTV doesn’t actually helps law enforcement agencies with criminal investigations isn’t that the security cameras don’t provide evidence, but that these cameras provide too much. The idea behind this idea is that this footage will flood criminal investigators with an overwhelming amount of potential evidence, requiring too much time and resources from law enforcement to sift through. This may have been a more valid point in the past but recent advances in facial recognition technology and other video analytical software have greatly reduced the time needed to review footage of a crime. After the Boston Marathon bombing, investigators were confronted with an extremely large amount of recorded video footage and they were still able to release images to the public with in three days of the suspects. In addition to being able recognize faces, video analytical software can now identify license plates, foot traffic patterns and objects by their size, shape or color.

Another related point that is made by people who are against seeing security camera systems used more by government agencies and private citizens, is that the cost of this equipment is too high. A simple question usually ends this part of the debate fairly quickly though – How much is too much money to help ensure the safety of your property and your loved ones? This question combined with the fact that the price of security camera equipment has come down significantly, while quality has drastically increased, has really taken this part of the debate out of the equation. In New York the price tag of the surveillance camera equipment and the system to integrate publicly and privately owned security camera systems into one network, called the Lower Manhattan Security initiative, was considerably less than the hundreds of millions of dollars that has been spent on installing security camera systems across the United Kingdom over the last several years.  Several other cities in the United States have already begun similar systems or have plans to do so in the near future.

For a fairly short time it was also argued that security cameras didn’t help prosecutors get more guilty verdicts. This has become a moot point over the last few years though because the facts clearly show that there has been a greatly increased conviction rates in criminal cases where the prosecutor presented recorded surveillance camera footage of a crime in progress. There have also been several court cases where the defendant was found to be innocent when security camera footage proved it. It seems that there are two factors that make surveillance camera footage particularly effective in court. The first of these factors is that there are often more security cameras then eye witnesses in the area of a crime. The second of these factors is that the security cameras provide a more reliable account of criminal activity. The video footage provides an unbiased record of a situation as opposed to the notoriously unreliable testimonies of eye witnesses. There have many cases where multiple people have witnessed the same event and yet they provide drastically different details to law enforcement investigators.

The perceived loss of privacy for the general public is a trickier issue to examine. In part, these concerns are based around the possibility that if all of the surveillance camera systems ever get connected into the same network and combined with analytical software, then this system could be used to track a person’s movements across the country. Such a system as this doesn’t exist and it probably won’t for several years, if ever. It would take a very long time and a ridiculously large budget to tie all of the surveillance camera systems across the United States into one network.

Another thing that civil liberties activists are worried about is that the increased number security cameras could be abused and used to capture video of intimate moments or keep us under surveillance 24 hour a day, seven days a week. United States law protects the privacy of a US citizen only when the have the reasonable expectation to have it. This means that if you are outside or in a public place where anyone can see you and what you’re doing, then your privacy isn’t protected by any laws. So if a security camera system records video footage of activity on a sidewalk then there would be any expectation of privacy that’s protected by law. In the United Kingdom private citizens who are monitoring security camera footage are now considered to be security guards and are required to obtain licenses from the government, in an attempt to protect the privacy of other citizens.

Let’s revisit a question asked previously in this article – what is the worth of being a part of a society that is more safe and secure? In the case Boston marathon bombing this year, the London subway bombing in 2005 and many other cases surveillance camera systems have been an incredible help in catching and convicting criminals. There have even been cases where police misconduct was caught by security cameras and the rights of private citizens were protected. Most law enforcement agencies agree that they are very useful tool both during an investigation and in the courts.


The Benefits of Security Camera OSD Menus

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Thursday, July 11th, 2013

The Benefits of Security Camera OSD Menus

A lot of questions come up when you are searching for the perfect security camera system to protect your home or business. “What kind of cameras should I get?”, “What are the best security cameras for my home?”, “What are the differences between your cameras?” These are all questions you may have asked one time or another when choosing cameras for your new surveillance system.

There are many different kinds of cameras which are usually set apart by the many different types of features and hardware available on the market today. Some of the more popular security cameras types include fixed lens cameras, varifocal cameras, pan tilt zoom (PTZ) cameras, wireless cameras, dome and bullet cameras, hidden cameras, and 360 cameras. All of these different camera types can come with or without an OSD.

OSD stands for On-Screen Display. It is an integrated on-screen menu that can be accessed within the camera to change its functions that effect how the camera processes an image. Static cameras without an OSD is more-so a camera which is just a plug and play camera. You can install these cameras and once they’re plugged in, you’re done setting it up. However, if you’re pointing this camera at a window or in an area with lighting that causes issues with how the camera sees, this will be an issue and can render the camera useless. This is where an OSD comes in handy. It’s a group of settings that you can change within the camera’s chipsets to fix many of these types of issues. Once you access a cameras OSD menu you can change functions such as Exposure, ACG, Iris Levels, Shutter Speed, White Balance, Back Light Compensation, and many more.

Example of an OSD menu on a Security Camera:

pic 1


Nowadays, just about every security camera dealer will offer cameras which come integrated with an OSD. The DSP (Digital Signal Processor) that’s included inside of the camera will determine what type of settings you will have the ability to change. The DSP is a chip inside the camera which takes in all of the information coming from the CCD chip and puts it into video frames. The DSP will also process these functions and the type of DSP in a camera makes a huge difference in the quality of images you will see the camera producing.

Signal processing in security cameras come in multiple brands and versions. One of the better ones that we offer on our security cameras was created by Sony. The Effio series signal processor produces high resolution and color reproduction in security cameras and has pretty much turned into the standard when it comes to DSP’s which provide OSD capability.  Effio stands for “Enhanced Features and Fine Image Processor.” A few different versions of the Effio chip set include “Effio”, “Effio-P”, “Effio-S”, and Enhanced “Effio-E”. Each version of Effio will provide you with a different set of features to allow for a various range of applications which your security cameras can be installed in.

Here are some of the settings you will be able to access with the Effio chipset along with some information on what they are capable of enhancing:


ATR stands for Adaptive Tone Reproduction. This function will give you the ability to compensate and improve the contrast of items which have been lost in situations where you have a really bright area in the picture along with an
extremely dark area. What happens is that the camera will get confused trying to compensate for both areas and ATR was created to be able to handle both. With ATR enabled, the area’s which are blown out in contrast by too much light will become a bit lower in contrast and brightness so that the image is recognizable. The other area of the picture that is too dark will become a bit brighter so that you can see better detail in anything that was originally too dark to see. This can become incredibly useful in situations where you have a camera pointed at a window or a door and the sunlight coming in blocks you from being able to see anything else in the room.

Example of ATR in use:







DNR is an acronym for Digital Noise Reduction. Image noise is the grainy specks that you’ll notice in some video cameras. This is usually created by some sort of interference in the video signal. A few things that can cause this type of noise are low light, heat, power interference, and even device algorithms. Enabling DNR will remove noise from your image by applying a filter that’ll make your video appear clearer and can even reduce the size of your video file.

A 2D Noise Reduction filter will help reduce the noise found in video because of low lighting. However, sometimes this filter can be confused by motion in your video which will create blurry trails on anything moving.

A 3D filter has the advantage of being able to reduce the noise in video without too much motion as well as video that does have moving objects in the image.

Example of Digital Noise Reduction:






C. Privacy Mask

Privacy Masking is a great feature to block out certain things that you don’t want showing up in your video. There are some situations where you do not want an area to be recorded or viewed when accessing your security system and even if your Digital Video Recorder (DVR) doesn’t have the ability to add a privacy mask, the OSD in some cameras will have that feature. This can be useful when you have a camera pointed in the direction of a bathroom. With Privacy Mask enabled, you will be able to set a block over the door which will be blacked out in case someone opens the door, no one will be able to view inside of the bathroom through the masking. Another situation where privacy masking comes in handy is at a bank ATM. You will be able to set a mask over the buttons so that
the person who is viewing the surveillance cameras will not have the ability to see your pin code as you type it into the keypad. If you have a security system around your house, a neighbor may ask that you do not have video of his home on your system.

You can create a mask to block out their whole house. Of course, there are many other situations in which this feature may become useful to you. Each application is different. Some cameras have the ability to utilize polygonal privacy masking as opposed to standard masking. This advanced type of masking will allow you to create perspective masking instead of just drawing squares over an image. The polygon mask definitely allows for a bit more flexibility in what you’re blocking out.

Example of Privacy Masking:

Privacy masking



Another cool feature of the security camera OSD is the HLC feature. HLC is an acronym for Head Light Compensation. This setting is also known as “Eclipsing” and helps improve images that are effected by really strong front lighting. HLC works by painting over any part of the image that’s overexposed with black so that the other parts of the video can be seen clearly. This is mainly used for areas where cars that have their headlights or break lights pointing at the camera as they are passing through. Being able to see behind a bright light source will the camera the ability to see license plates better and even the make and model of the car. Without headlight compensation, the bright light will create such a large area of overexposure that when the camera tries to compensate for the brightness, it’ll block out the clarity of anything behind that beam of light.

Example of Headlight Compensation:

Head light Compensation


E. Exposure Control for IR Light

Exposure control for IR (Infrared) light is a pretty simple feature to explain. Many security cameras now come equipped with IR LEDs. These LEDs will light up when the light sensor realizes that it’s getting too dark for the camera to see. Infrared light isn’t visible to the human eye, but security cameras can pick it up with no problem. Sometimes cameras are installed to close to the object they are trying to capture and the IR light will be too bright and bounce off the items causing them to be overexposed. This exposure control will reduce the overexposure and make the whole image a bit gentler and easier to see its details.

Example of IR Exposure Control:

IR exposure control



WDR stands for Wide Dynamic Range. This may be one of the most widely used and asked about feature in the security camera industry when discussing OSD settings. Wide Dynamic Range will digitally adjust the exposure of an image and helps maintain the best detail in both the areas with a lot of shadows and brightly lit sections of the video. When you have an images that vary in intensity of illumination, wide dynamic rage is the perfect setting to enable for in order to enhance the image your camera is capturing. One of the major differences between WDR and ATR is that WDR will take multiple frames under different contrasts and brightness’s and then combining them to take the best part of each frame and create one frame with a detailed image that has neutral lighting.  ATR will compensate the contrasts and brightness and digitally enhance the sections of shadows and light in order to provide a better image.

Example of Wide Dynamic Range:

WDRG. White Balance

White balance is usually used to restore the original color of the scene that’s being shot with your security camera.  Using white balance will ensure that anything which looks white to the human eye will remain that way when recorded on your digital video recorder. The type of lighting and atmosphere in a location can affect the way that white looks to the surveillance camera. Incandescent light bulbs, Halogen, Florescent, and even the Sun can produce different wavelengths which will affect how the chips in the cameras see the color of white. Some cameras will even have the option for AWB which is Automatic White Balancing. It will automatically fix items which may become discolored due to different types of light wavelengths. Some cameras will also have a feature labeled as ATW, or Auto Tracing White which is similar to white balancing. It will automatically adjust color in order to always achieve which is consistent in the white areas of each frame that’s digitized by the DSP.

Example of White Balancing:




BLC, or Back Light Compensation, will increase the exposure in your video. A lot of times you’ll have an image that looks way too dim because of the way the light in the background is shining through. When you enable the BLC feature, your camera will begin to compensate for all of the bright back lighting causing your image to look a lot dimmer than it actually should. One of the downsides to BLC is when you’re shooting an object that is too small in comparison to the bright light behind it. Sometimes this can get confused and not work properly. The best use for BLC is when you have a camera pointed at a doorway. When someone walks through that door, the camera will try to compensate for the light shining through and without it, you’ll notice that the person becomes a silhouette and all of their detail is lost in the shadow. The best way to be able to identify that person is to enable this feature so it’ll properly compensate the lighting when needed.

Example of Back Light Compensation:

camera BLC

J. Slow Shutter

Slow Shutter is an option in your OSD which will allow you to adjust your cameras shutter speed to a slower than normal speed. The benefit to doing this is that in low light situations your camera will be able to pick up more light into the sensor, thus capturing a brighter image. The downside is that by slowing down the shutter you will get motion blur so this feature is not useful in an area with a lot of motion.

Example of an image taken with a slow shutter:

slow shutter


As you can see, there are many features in a security camera’s OSD menu. There are many more features which I have not listed in this article. If you’re looking for the best possible image from your surveillance system, I would recommend getting cameras which have integrated DSP’s which provide a feature-rich OSD menu. There are too many systems out there today which we refer to as “crime confirmation tools.” The reason for this is that these systems can easily capture what is occurring along with a date and time stamp, however, it is very
difficult to make out enough detail in the video to capture the person committing the crime. A lot of this can easily be solved by purchasing security cameras which provide you the ability to configure the on screen display features in order to get the best detailed image possible.



Florida’s Most Reliable Security System Retailer

Written By:
Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

FloridaWhen it comes to purchasing and installing a security camera system, it can be difficult to figure out where to purchase one from. There are a lot of different security camera systems out there, meaning that it can be very challenging to determine which system and which company is right for you. Although you can obviously purchase a security camera system from any place that you choose to, it is typically best to look for Florida’s most reliable security system retailer that you can find. If you do, you are sure to be far more pleased with your purchase in the long run.

Why Is It Important to Shop for a Security System for Your Home?

Although you might not have ever thought about purchasing a security system for your home, this is definitely something that you should consider doing sometime in the near future. If you have ever been the victim of a crime, you definitely know just how scary it can be to know that your home and belongings are at risk. Even if you haven’t been the victim of any type of crime, you never know when you could be. Waiting until it is too late is never a good idea; otherwise, you could find yourself in a bad situation. It is a far better option to shop for a security system for your home now.

If you think that purchasing a security camera system for your home will be expensive, you should know that this doesn’t have to be the case. There are affordable security camera systems out there that you can purchase, and talking to a reliable security camera retailer can help you get the best system that you can get for the money.

Once you have a security camera system in place, there are a ton of great benefits that you can enjoy. For instance, you can use your security camera system in order to deter people from committing crimes on your property, and you can even use the footage that you get from your cameras to catch and prosecute criminals who have committed crimes in and around your home. Installing a security camera system inside your home can make it easier for you to keep an eye on guests, nannies or babysitters, cleaning professionals, contractors and others who you invite into your home, and the peace of mind that you can get from one of these systems can be well worth the meager initial investment.

You can even monitor the surveillance footage that you capture from your surveillance cameras remotely if you have the right type of system installed. This means that you can watch what is going on in and around your home while you are at work or on vacation from your laptop, smartphone or other Internet-ready device. This can be great news if you do a lot of traveling or leave your older kids home alone while you are at work but still worry about them. With a surveillance camera that has been installed by one of Florida’s most reliable security system retailers, you can see what is going on in and around your home any time that you want to with ease.

Should You Shop for a Security System for Your Commercial Business?

If you haven’t already installed a security camera system in your commercial building, you are taking a serious risk. Along with enjoying all of the benefits that you can enjoy from a home security camera system, you can also enjoy protection against employee theft and other issues that you might have to deal with as a business owner.

Why Not Purchase a Security System Elsewhere?

If you are on a tight budget but would still like to invest in a surveillance camera system for your home or business, you might be wondering if you can purchase your system more affordably from a different type of business than one of Florida’s most reliable security system retailers.

Although you might be able to find affordable surveillance camera systems from other retail stores every now and then, you should probably avoid purchasing your system from a regular mass market retail store or from an electronics store that doesn’t specialize specifically in security camera systems and the equipment that goes along with them. Oftentimes, these systems are not as advanced as the ones that you will find if you shop with Florida’s most reliable security system retailer, and you also won’t be able to choose from the large selection of security-related products that you will be able to choose from if you shop at a store that specializes in this type of equipment.

Another thing to think about is the fact that the people who work at regular electronics and mass market retail stores often do not know as much about security-related systems and equipment as those who do work at industry-specific stores, so you might not be able to get the assistance that you need in finding the right surveillance camera system or the answers that you need in regards to installing and using your system.

You should also think about the fact that many security camera systems that you purchase from non-specialty stores will not come with installation or a warranty. Although some systems are pretty easy to install, you might decide that you need help with installation. If you work with Florida’s most reliable security system retailer, you can get all of the help with installation that you need.

Why Is It Important to Look for Florida’s Most Reliable Security System Retailer?

Buying your surveillance camera system from the first retailer that you find might seem like a quick and easy solution to your security-related issues, but it is truly important to find the most reliable security system retailer that you can find. If you do, you can enjoy high-quality products that you might not be able to find elsewhere, and you can also get plenty of help in choosing, installing, maintaining and using your surveillance camera system, regardless of whether you are installing it in your home or business.

What Should You Look for in a Reliable Security System Retailer?

When you are searching for a security system retailer to sell you your security system and to install it and help you with it, there are a few things that you should look for. By taking the time to look for these things, you can feel confident in knowing that you have made the right decision, and you should be able to get all of the help that you need with your system.

The first thing that you should look for when you are searching for Florida’s most reliable security system retailer is to look for a company that specializes solely in the sales of security cameras, security camera systems and other related equipment. If you do, you are sure to end up working with a company that really knows what it is doing when it comes to this type of equipment.

You should also look for a company that offers plenty of help and support. Customer service is always important, but is especially important when you are investing in something that affects the safety and security of your home or business. Therefore, you shouldn’t settle for a company that doesn’t answer your questions or that doesn’t seem helpful. Instead, look for a retailer that seems patient, even if you have a lot of questions about different systems and how to use your system.

Also, look for experience and good reviews. Not only do you want to make sure that you go with a retailer that has been in the business for a while, but you should also look for one that has good reviews from other people who have purchased their surveillance camera systems from the company. You can typically find these reviews by searching for them online. Although you shouldn’t believe everything that you read in these reviews, you can typically depend on a company that has plenty of positive and solid reviews over one that doesn’t have many reviews or that doesn’t have good reviews at all.

Lastly, pay attention to the prices that each retailer charges for its surveillance camera-related equipment. Although you should expect to pay a little bit more if you are getting high-quality equipment, you shouldn’t have to pay too much for it. The right retailer will offer high-quality products for reasonable prices.

Where Can You Find Reliable Security System Retailers?

Although there are a lot of retailers around that sell security camera systems, not all of them are created equally. Searching online can help you find reliable security system retailers, and Security Camera King should always be your number one choice if you are looking for a retailer that you can trust to have good equipment, reasonable prices and knowledgeable employees who will always help you with your security camera-related needs.

What Types of Things Can a Reliable Security System Retailer Help You With?

Now that you have found a good security system retailer, you might wonder what it is that he or she can help you with. Luckily, however, there are plenty of things that you can get assistance with.

For instance, you can talk about the concerns that you have about the safety and security of your business, and you can also ask for advice. Although you probably have your own security-related things that you are worried about, there might be some things that you haven’t thought about yet. By talking to a security-related professional, however, you can find out about spots that should be kept under close security.

A good security system retailer can also help you determine which system is best if you are trying to decide between a few different models. It can sometimes be difficult to choose between various models that are similar prices or that have similar specifications, but a retailer can talk to you about which features are most important to you and can help you decide which system is best for your needs and the price range that you have set.

Security system retailers can help you in other ways as well. For instance, you can get tips and advice about installing your system, and you can even opt for professional installation if you want. You can also ask the retailer various questions about how to use your security camera system after it is installed, which can help ensure that you get the best use out of your system and that you don’t get frustrated with it.

What Should You Talk to Your Security System Retailer About?

If you don’t talk to your security system retailer about your needs, it will be difficult for the company to provide you with the products that you need in order to keep your home or business safe. Therefore, it is important to discuss a few things before you make your purchase.

For instance, you should talk about your individual needs when it comes to security, and you should also mention what it is that you are looking for from a security camera system. For instance, you won’t need the same equipment for your business as someone might need for a small home, and your business probably won’t need the exact same equipment as another company in your area. Therefore, talk about your individual concerns and the equipment that would make you feel most safe and secure.

Also, don’t be afraid to speak up if you are on a budget. Many people think that they will have to spend a lot of money in order to talk to an expert security camera system retailer, but this truly isn’t the case. If you talk to the retailer about the budget that you are on, he or she can help you come up with a solution that fits your budget but that will still provide you with the security that you need.


Outdoor Security Systems Can Help Determine Weather Damage Insurance Liabilities

Written By:
Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

062211storm2_t607Severe weather can cause considerable damage to your home. Did you know that an outdoor security system can actually benefit you during a severe weather event? If your home is damaged and you have video footage rolling, you can easily show this to your insurance company. This will help make your insurance claims go much faster. The roof of your home is especially susceptible to damage from high winds, hail and lightning storms. Your outdoor security camera will likely stay intact. Install your security cameras in a sturdy location such as on the eaves of your home. There are a wide variety of security cameras available in many different styles, shapes and sizes. You don’t have to be a security camera expert to choose a new security system. Outdoor surveillance of your home will also improve your safety.

Many potential thieves simply will not go near a home with several surveillance cameras in sight. They will choose a much easier target without surveillance cameras. Make sure you choose a camera system that has enough cameras to cover your enter outdoor area. There are cameras that will record only when they sense motion. You will also find cameras that can record without light at all. These infrared cameras are a popular choice for many homeowners. Motion detecting cameras are a convenient way to save disk space and power since you only record when there is motion. Choose a camera system that allows you to monitor your video feeds online. IP cameras are a popular choice because they are available wired and wireless. The best part is the convenience of monitoring your home with any device that is connected to the Internet.

Shop around for your surveillance equipment to learn about your choices. A home security plan should be developed around every member of your family. Everyone should learn how to turn the system on and off. If you teach your kids how to keep the alarm system on when they are at home alone, you will have greater peace of mind. You can even find some camera systems that allow you to monitor your home from your smartphone. Advanced technology has made this a possibility for most people. You will have to find out if your area has the capability of smartphone monitoring. The best thing is to talk to a security professional who can guide you to the right security devices for your home. Experienced professionals can save you a lot of time when it comes to choosing a system. Unless you are knowledgeable about installing electronic devices, choose a security professional to install your system.

These professionals will guarantee their work and you won’t have to worry about learning how to do it on your own. If you buy your equipment at a store that specializes in security equipment, installation is usually at a very low price. Security professionals will also show you how to work your system before they leave. They will also give you lots of security tips and advice on protecting your home. Following a few simple guidelines will improve the security in your home. Determine whether you need new locks on your doors and windows. Since this is a common place for intruders to enter, it is important that you survey their condition. You will find high-tech security devices made just for your doors and windows. These devices will detect glass breakage or movement to sound an audible alert if compromised.

Instruct your family members on what to do if your alarms go off. If you don’t have your system monitored by an alarm company, then the first step is to call 911 and report your emergency. Call your insurance agent and ask about homeowners insurance discounts for installing a security system. Most insurance companies will give you a discount because you are better protected from losses. Outdoor security systems do an excellent job of monitoring outdoor activity and displaying clear images. Install enough lighting around your yard to illuminate the area when its dark outside. You can install solar lights that won’t increase your monthly utility bills. Make sure you choose solar lights that have a lot of power to light a large area. Motion detecting lights can also be installed. They will only come on if the light senses movement.

Walk through your home and look for signs of weakness that could make it easier for an intruder to break into your home. Inspect your doors and windows carefully. Look at your garage door and the door that leads into your home. The backdoor should also be inspected. Never buy a backdoor that has a window because they are much easier to break and this allows the intruder to unlock the door. Install the best quality locks on entry doors. Deadbolt locks are still the best way to prevent someone from breaking into your home. However, a deadbolt lock must be secured in such a way that it is impossible for someone to kick your door in. These locks should be installed by a professional. Preferably, a home security specialist who knows how to drill far enough into the wood to prevent the deadbolt from failing. Many people are simply not aware of this fact about deadbolt locks.

People think if they have a deadbolt they are protected. A deadbolt that is not installed correctly will fail and the door can be kicked open. Oftentimes, the wood frame surrounding the door comes apart too. That’s because the wood frame is often where people install the deadbolt. Remember, the deadbolt must be installed far enough into a stud to prevent failure. It is always best to have a professional locksmith or security specialist install your locks. The windows should be inspected carefully as well. They should not have a flimsy lock that can be pried open. Without sensors on your windows, they could be opened with a glass cutter. This is a favorite place for intruders to enter your home. Intruders prefer areas of the home where they can hide while trying to break through a window. If you have shrubs, trees or landscaping close to your windows or entry doors, then you could be at a higher risk of home invasion.

Most home invasions are done by amateurs who are not very experienced. If you combine a number of security devices to slow down an intruder, they will likely move on to another home. Doors that can’t be kicked in and windows that won’t open is often enough to keep them away. This is especially true if you have high-tech surveillance cameras staring at them. Bullet cameras are the most recognizable surveillance camera to a thief. The outdoor cameras can not be tampered with nor destroyed. If you can’t afford to buy a surveillance camera system right now, consider buying fake ones. These look just like the real thing and some have flashing lights too. You see most domed cameras in public places such as retail stores and shopping malls. These cameras are hidden inside the dome so no one can tell which way the camera is recording. The wide lenses capture a large area surrounding the camera.

Another way to deter crime is to own a dog. Dogs make a lot of noise and let you know when someone is nearby. Many amateur thieves will not break into a home with a dog. Even small dogs have a constant and loud bark that will discourage the common intruder. You can even find security devices online that make the barking sounds of a large dog when the doorbell rings. Browse through an online security store to see the latest gadgets and devices on the market. You will find everything from safes that look like canned food to sophisticated wall safes. A wall safe is a better idea than a small one that can be carried out by an intruder. Consider storing your cash and jewelry inside a safe that looks like a food can. Statistics show that most intruders never enter the kitchen area. They head straight to the master bedroom for jewelry and cash.

The next popular place is the living room where they look for electronic devices to sell on the black market. While you are walking through your home for a security check, remember that most amateur thieves are looking for items they can sell for quick cash. These include televisions, computers and laptops. Protect your expensive electronics by engraving your driver’s license number on them. This will help police locate you if the items are sold at your local pawn shop. All pawn shops must report items sold daily. They require the driver’s license of the person who sells them items. This information is given to local law enforcement. It is very possible that you could get your items back if they are stolen. You will also contribute to helping the police locate thieves. Inscribing your valuables is just one way to help reduce crime.

Personal safety steps should be taken when you are traveling alone. Try not to shop late at night at your local shopping mall. Mall parking lots are a favorite target for robberies to take place. They could want your wallet, purse or your car and hold you at gunpoint. Shop during daytime hours and always be aware of people around you. Don’t text or talk on your phone when you are walking in a parking area. Robbers are looking for people who are distracted and not paying attention to their surroundings. If you do encounter a suspicious person, you should look them straight in the eye. Eye contact will often discourage a robbery. Call 911 anytime you feel something is not right when you are walking alone. If you are in your vehicle and someone is following you, drive to the nearest police station and honk your horn.

This should discourage your stalker and make them leave the area. Never go to your home when someone is following you. Call the police and report the vehicle’s license number. Consider taking self-defense classes at your local community center. You will also find these classes by looking for martial arts classes. Nothing will protect you from the threat of a gun, but you will be more prepared to handle an average confrontation. This will also give you more self-confidence when you know you can protect yourself. Make sure your cellphone is charged at all times. If you don’t have a charger in your vehicle, then never leave home without checking your phone’s battery. Don’t leave packages inside your vehicle when you are shopping. This will make your vehicle more prone to being broken into.

Car thieves frequent shopping centers and grocery stores looking for vehicles that have navigation systems, laptops or packages inside their vehicles. A common vehicle thief can enter your car within a few seconds. Even if you have an alarm, most people will ignore them since false alarms are a common occurrence. The best thing to do is to place them in your trunk or take them inside your home. If you are inside a shopping mall and someone is harassing you, contact mall security. Mall security will come to your aid and call local authorities if needed. If you work nights, then walk to your car with other coworkers. Parking lots are the next most popular place for people to get robbed.

Arming yourself with knowledge is the best way to prevent becoming a statistic. If you are on a road trip in an unfamiliar area, don’t stop and ask for directions. Use your smartphone or maps to find where you need to go. Don’t stay in a hotel in a part of town where criminal activity is high. Research the area you are visiting before going on your road trip. Of course, never pick up strangers while driving down the road. If you experience car trouble, call the local emergency number and wait for law enforcement or city workers to arrive at your destination.

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Home Security Basics to Keep Your Children Safe

Written By:
Friday, March 29th, 2013

Home Security Basics To Keep Your Children Safe Home safety and security is a top priority for many people. If you have children, keeping them safe requires teaching them the importance of home safety and security procedures. They should understand the basic rules of safety both in the home and at school. There are basic guidelines you can teach your children to improve their safety.

Home Security Alarms

Home security alarms should be always be used, especially when you are at home. You can teach your children the importance of home security alarms and how they work. You don’t have to make your children frightful, but it is important that they learn about basic safety and security issues. Show your children the security system’s keypad and explain what the buttons are used for. For example, some keypads have a picture of a fireman, policeman and an ambulance. You can explain the fireman is for the possibility of fire, policeman is for theft and an ambulance is for medical emergencies.

If your keypad doesn’t have these pictures, you can just explain what they mean. Let your children practice arming and disarming the alarm system. This will help them retain the information. Explain why it is important for the alarm system to be on even when everyone is at home. Tell them that a thief may not know someone is at home and using a security alarm is a great way to keep your family safe.

Smoke, Heat and Carbon Dioxide Alarms

You should explain to your children how your smoke and carbon dioxide alarms work. They need to understand the dangers of fire and carbon dioxide poisoning. Explain that carbon dioxide cannot be detected except through the alarms. If you have a wood stove, gas appliances or a fireplace, you can explain how these things can produce carbon dioxide. You should also tell them what happens if someone is overcome with carbon dioxide.

This can help your children understand why you have these alarms in your home and what they are do. Explain to your children how smoke alarms detect smoke and sound the alarm. If you have fire alarm sprinklers, you can explain how they work. Sprinklers will not go off from smoke alone. If the sprinklers detect heat not smoke, then they will spray water in the area. Many children are curious and would love a frank explanation about your alarms and how they work.

Window and Door Safety

Explain to your children the importance of keeping the windows and doors locked at all times. If you have door and window sensors, you can explain how they work. Show your children how locks keep the doors and windows from opening for their safety. This is a great way to spend time with your children while teaching them basic safety rules. You can also explain why you should keep the garage door locked and secured. The garage door is a favorite target for thieves. You can explain to your children the items a common thief is looking for when they break into the garage, windows or doors of your home. If you have deadbolt locks on your doors, show your children how they work. Children will also enjoy a simple explanation of the entire security system.

Surveillance Security Cameras

If you have a surveillance system installed in your home, show your children how it works. Also, explain the advantages of having images recorded and a basic explanation of how they work as part of your overall security plan. You can demonstrate to your child how easy it is to view the images on your smartphone or a computer. Children love to learn new things and surveillance cameras are intriguing to them. You can show them how they work even in low-light conditions and how important it is that they don’t play with the camera’s equipment. If you have a surveillance camera system that works with motion detecting hardware, show them how it works by sensing heat. Children love to learn all about the world around them.

Basic Safety Rules in the Home

Teach your children basic safety rules such as not opening the door when someone knocks or rings the doorbell. Instead, they should look for an adult to answer the door. You can briefly explain the fact that a stranger at the door could be a safety issue for everyone in the home. You should also teach your children other safety rules such as not talking to strangers on the phone. Everyone in the home should know what to do during an emergency. An emergency could include fire, smoke or intrusion. If every family member knows what to do, then the fear can be reduced. Plan and practice for emergency preparedness on a regular basis. Give each family member a role to play during an emergency and they will feel like an important part of a team.

Safety Away from the Home

Children should learn important safety rules, especially when they are away from their family. Whether this is at school or a friends house, teach your children not to talk to strangers. Explain to your children that they should find an adult if a stranger approaches them. You can also teach your children to yell or scream the fact that they don’t know this person. If a stranger approaches a child and the child screams, not everyone around would know there may be a problem. Many times people witness a child having a temper tantrum in a store or out in public and people think it must be their parents that is with the child.

If you teach your child to scream the fact that they don’t know this person, then other people may take notice and call the police. Teach your children how to dial 911 for any emergency. Even very young children can learn what 911 means. You could practice with a play phone with your child and act out an emergency situation. Emergency preparedness is a great way to give your children the confidence to remain calm during an emergency. They should also be taught how to handle a medical emergency.

Home Security Basics To Keep Your Children Safe Safety at School

School officials teach children about emergencies at school such as fire, weather emergencies and tornado preparedness. You should teach your child basic safety guidelines if they walk or ride their bicycle to school. Make sure they know the safest route to school. Teach them the importance of listening to the cross guard or other adults before they walk across the street. They should understand how to look both ways before crossing safely.

Bicycle safety should be reviewed frequently. They should also learn about bullying and how to report the problem. Bullying at school has become a common problem across the nation. Talk with your children about bullying and why it needs to be reported to school officials. You can increase your children’s confidence about bullying issues just be talking about it with them. Explain that it is never their fault and it should not be tolerated.

First Aid Kits

You should have a first aid kit in your home and teach your children how to use it. Explain what each product does and what it is used for. This will help teach the concept to your children about how important it is to have a first aid kit. You can buy a ready-made kit at your local retail or grocery store. You can also make one with your children’s help. This can be a fun activity for your children while teaching them basic first aid safety. They probably know what a band-aid is and why it is used, but show them why you need dry ice packs and other items.

Home Security Basics To Keep Your Children Safe Childproofing Your Home

Most parents childproof their home when their children are babies. However, there are common household items that can bring harm to children, if they decide to play with them. Teach your children never to climb television stands or shelves to retrieve an object. Hundreds of injuries occur each year because of children climbing. A television stand that holds a television can easily topple onto a child. Shelves can break and cause injury to your child if they decide to climb them. Of course, never leave sharp items or guns where children can gain access. Children don’t always understand the dangers that are involved with these items. Safety education will inform your children about risks often found in the home.

Safety Tips for Children

Make sure your child is old enough before operating the microwave. Microwave ovens cause hundreds of injuries to children each year. Show them how important it is to cook in the microwave only when being supervised. The main problem with microwave cooking is the fact that it can get so hot that your child may not recognize this before it is too late. They should never handle hot food from the microwave. Microwave popcorn can also be a danger. Establish the rule that your children can’t cook unless an adult is home. Teach your children about the dangers of spilling liquid on top or around electronics. Explain the basic concepts of electricity and the dangers.

Children should understand that there are safety rules they need to follow on every electronic device, home appliance or security system. Show your children how to handle electronics safely. They should never eat or drink near them. Most of these tips you have probably discussed with your children. However, repeating safety rules and the reasons for them, will ensure they understand about possible dangers around the home. It is hard to stand guard and watch your children every possible minute. It is important that they understand the reasons behind safety rules.

A great way to teach your children about the dangers of fire, is to take them on a field trip to your local fire department. Many fire departments also hold child safety classes a few times a year. Call your local fire department to learn about their programs for children. You can also call your local law enforcement office, or visit their website, to find community safety programs for children. Children love to visit the firehouse, or talk to local law enforcement officers, and they really pay attention to what they have to say.

When your child is away from home, you should always know where they are and who they are with. Establish firm guidelines such as strict times when they must come home. Teach them the importance of being on time. Young children should not be allowed to go anywhere alone. Older children should take at least one friend with them. Don’t let your children go inside a public restroom alone. They also should not be allowed to play in a public park without adult supervision. You should have the names, phone numbers and addresses of your older children’s friends.

When you are out shopping as a family, teach your children what to do if they become separated from you. They should know how to find a store clerk or security guard to ask for help. This is especially important at amusement parks, large gatherings and anywhere else there is a large group of people. Younger children can hold hands with their siblings or parents. Consider renting a stroller at these places if you have younger children. If you move to a new neighborhood, take your children for a walk each evening until they get used to the area.

They should be able to identify your home and other landmarks in the area. Make sure your children know their address and phone number. They should be taught to be alert in their surroundings. Teach your children to trust their instincts. If they feel something is wrong, they should talk to you or a school counselor immediately. When older children are at home alone, they should follow basic security guidelines. Make sure they know how to respond to emergency situations. Establishing safety rules and guidelines will help your children stay safe at home, school or even away from home.