One of the most effective methods for controlling and maintaining home security involves the use of outdoor security cameras. The presence of a security system including a video camera may be just enough of a deterrent to prevent an incident from happening. No potential thief wants to be caught in the act and will avoid targeting places that record his or her actions. Instead, they’ll move toward an unprotected home where they may be able to easily slip in and out without being caught. Outdoor wireless security cameras provide an inexpensive way to protect against crime and vandalism near a home or business.
Who Needs a Security Camera?
Homeowners: Many people may think that their home is too small or unpretentious to attract a thief. On the contrary, any residence that appears unprotected or without any security could be a potential target. With the downturn of the economy, crime in many regions of the U.S. continues to rise and affects all income levels. A Gallup poll conducted in October of 2009 indicates that 74% or Americans perceive an increase in crime. Homeowners in all sectors receive added protection from an outdoor security camera that operates on a 24-hour period.
Business Property Owners: Property owners who purchase investment properties for rental purposes also benefit from installing a camera for outdoor security. If tenants feel protected, they will be willing to pay higher rent to cover the costs. A surveillance system also protects against vandalism and graffiti. Property in small industrial zones is also at risk and may harbor a potential target for stealing valuable electronic equipment or inventory held in the building.
Types of Security Cameras
Fixed or wired outdoor cameras: This traditional style of security camera continues to be one of the most popular and least expensive choices.
- Bullet style: A sleek appearance characterizes these cameras that are hard mounted to an outdoor surface and are usually visible to the intruder. Price ranges for bullet style cameras start at $50 – $100 for night vision capability. Outdoor cameras in the $150 – $350 price range typically include day and night vision, better resolution and picture quality and longer range capabilities.
- Dome style: This compact style of camera often is adaptable to both indoor and outdoor use. The small profile is easily concealed making it a good choice for applications that require hidden scrutiny. Dome styles range from inexpensive to top of the line depending on the range of motion and resolution qualities. These cameras typically include anti-vandalism features. Price ranges for dome outdoor cameras are between $100 for the smallest fixed range versions to over $800 for a progressive scan model.
Wireless outdoor cameras: The latest wireless technology is now available with surveillance systems. The wireless CCTV camera is mounted at any outdoor location where it receives microwave radio signals. The image may be transmitted to a DVR, PC, laptop or radio receiver for viewing. The advantage to this style of camera is the mobility and convenience of moving the device to various locations. Most of the units have sufficient signal capabilities to transmit images to any computer with virtually unlimited distance. Some wireless systems experience interference with other devices such as cordless phones and wireless internet routers. Price ranges for wireless cameras are between $100 to $800 depending on size, monitoring capabilities and scanning range.
Features to Look For in an Outdoor Security Camera
Video quality and picture resolution: Higher end models will provide a better picture to the viewer. If a camera needs to capture specific details such as facial features, a higher resolution may be necessary. Graininess may be a problem with lower end models. Some outdoor home security cameras compensate for light interference. Mid price range models may include color reproduction features; other styles project a black and white image. Cameras with specifications in the range of 480 – 520 TVL will produce adequate imaging.
Range of distance: If multiple cameras are used, a limited range of distance may be acceptable. Single models with progressive scan features add to the cost but incorporate a larger viewing range. Several security camera manufacturers offer dynamic range of motion and adjustable zoom capability.
Transmitter frequency and Power Consumption: The lower the frequency the greater penetration quality of the transmission. A 5.8 GHz model will have greater distance but may be obstructed from exterior walls or other objects. Newer models are designed to reduce power consumption.
Infrared Technology and Day Vision: Models that feature infrared capabilities capture scenes at night. Some styles include 24-hour protection and are suitable for both day and night surveillance.
Motion sensor features: A cost effective way to protect an area is by recording only when movement is detected. Some video surveillance cameras include motion sensor devices similar to light fixtures.
Exterior features: An outdoor device needs to be able to withstand weather conditions if used in extreme weather zones. Anti-vandalism features are also desirable and prevent replacement of the unit.
Benefits of Installing a Security Camera
Installing an outdoor security camera provides many benefits:
- Peace of mind. The greatest benefit that a security system provides includes the knowledge that your home or business is being continually monitored.
- Prevent financial loss. By creating a deterrent for potential thieves, a camera helps prevent loss of property and unnecessary expense.
- Reduce insurance costs. Many homeowner or rental insurance policies offer a discount to policy holders who install an active security system and monitoring device.
- Prevent vandalism. Gang related incidents, vandalism and crime that could create bodily harm may be prevented.
- Bring justice to criminals. If an incident does occur, the camera could bring justice to the guilty parties and prevent further crime.
The latest alarming crime statistics indicate that a burglary occurs approximately every 15 seconds in the U.S. Unfortunately, this trend continues to be on the rise because of troubled economic times. The minimum expense involved in purchasing and installing an outdoor security system results in a sound investment that could save hundreds of dollars.