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Is it a good idea to install “Dummy” Security Cameras?

Can I just install some pretend cameras and have all the security I need to ward off criminals?


You can. Why wouldn’t you want to install some cameras around your home or business just to make people think you have cameras? On the surface this seems logical and as a professional installer, I have to admit we have done this before. There is, on occasion, an area where it is absolutely impossible to get a power and/or video cable to certain locations. An additional reason is simply budget concerns.

To be clear this option should only be a last resort. There is only one reason to have a “dummy” cam. If you truly believe that only making people think cameras exist is enough to stop crime or negate activity around a certain area you may be mistaken. Granted, we have some of the highest quality cameras in the business and they don’t always stop crime, but what they do provide is an accurate piece of evidence. Preventing crime is not what cameras are designed for and not the best way to utilize them to their full potential.

If you are looking into security cameras to help prevent crime around your house then you may be skipping a step. The first start is securing your perimeter. Start by ensuring your doors and windows are locked, not only when you leave but also when you are home. Simply installing fences and locking gate access to your backyard will discourage a vast majority of normal criminals. Motion activate lights will can also help a tremendous amount at night.

Adding a fake camera into this mix will not provide more than a false sense of security and a bad piece of decorating. If things are secured properly you can’t really do more to actually stop a crime other than install a security system. This is a two part system, beginning with a high quality camera system to monitor the outside of your house as well as the inside. We have additional information in our CCTV forums regarding how to decide what cameras to use and where the ideal place to locate them so I won’t get into that now. My main point is just to enforce the need for the cameras and what to expect out of your system.

The camera layout outside should be focused on all points of entry and anything outside you want to view. Cars, boats, air conditioners, tool sheds, pool heaters and places your kids may play are items to think about outside. We also suggest cameras inside where possible. This is not to intrude on privacy but to capture some footage if someone does make it inside. This is where the second part of the equation comes in.

If someone gets into your house or is able to steal or damage property outside, a security camera system should only be able to have video footage of who they were and what they did. We also would like to point out that this is exactly what alarm systems with remote monitoring or remote notification is designed for. Actual notification that a door has been opened or a window has been broken is a huge tool in being able to notify law enforcement and have a response in a timely manner.

Alarm notification is a big part of security camera software also. We can set up our DVR or NVR to notify you when a camera detects motion. This can also be given certain days or times for this function to be active. We also have one of the most under-utilized tools in our software that allows for alarms to trigger certain actions in the DVR. We can optimize the settings so if a door sensor or window sensor on your alarm system is activated it will set off the alarm built in to the DVR. This can do a few tasks for you. It can be set so the DVR will send you an e-mail with a snapshot picture of where the door was opened. It can also trigger all cameras to record full time for an extended period of time.

The capability to link camera systems with alarm systems is a huge leap in securing and monitoring any activity around your house. However, as great as all this sounds, it may still not prevent all criminals, just slow them down. It’s a huge step away from just putting some fake cameras around your house but is the next logical step to actually preventing crime. If you and all of your neighbors start putting systems around your neighborhood I can guarantee most criminals will think twice before even trying one house in your area.

Hopefully this helps keep your eyes directed in the proper direction in regards to what you really need to protect your house. This is also the same logic in protecting your business. A few items of interest may change but the overall scope of what needs to be done remains the same. We need to protect all entry points and sensitive items in conjunction with good coverage inside of the business. Integrating this with a good security alarm system will protect your business.

There are a lot of additional ways to use a security alarm system such as remote monitoring and such just as there are numerous other ways to fully utilize a camera system. We have only seen the tip of the iceberg solely to point out what is actually capable and what is needed to have any effect on security. If you still feel like installing fake security cameras is all you need, we can help. Our sales department can assist you with that – 866-573-8878. I still suggest real cameras and real recording device and real alarms.

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