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Security Cameras vs. Dummy Cameras

Mar 21, 2008
It's true; the presence of security cameras can ward off thieves and burglars, greatly increasing your home or business security. But, with a market that's flooded with different types of cameras and security products, how can you know which security camera is right for you -real or fake? First, you need to assess your needs - what will you be using the camera for? Take this quick quiz to see if a security camera system or dummy camera system is best for you.

1. I have specific concerns, such as violent crime or major property damage, about the security in my home, business, or neighborhood.

A.Yes
B.No

2. I am financially limited and prefer an affordable security system.

A.No
B.Yes

3. My home or business has been burglarized in the past.

A.Yes
B.No

4. I am mainly concerned with deterring petty crime and vandalism around my property.

A.No
B.Yes

5. I live or own a business in a high-crime area.

A.Yes
B.No

6. I keep large amounts of cash or very expensive valuable items in my home or business.

A.Yes
B.No

Security Camera Systems

If you got mostly A's, a real security camera system is probably your best option. You're already worried about crime in your neighborhood or have been a recent victim of a burglary. If you keep cash or valuable items on the premises, a security camera system will help you sleep better at night.

A security camera system will monitor the interior or exterior of your home or business, operating as your own personal watchdog while you're away. Security camera systems can be tailored to your needs, monitoring the entry points or especially sensitive areas of your home or business. Invest in a digital video recorder (DVR), a device that will record, store, and playback hours of footage. While these systems can be pricey (often several hundred dollars or more), their worth is invaluable if they help catch someone in the act or provide the missing link in solving a crime on your property. Consider an all-in-one DVR kit, like the VC-4CH-15AV. This system comes complete with indoor/outdoor video cameras, cabling, and a four channel DVR, ultimately saving you money over the purchase price of buying each piece of equipment individually.

Dummy Cameras

Mostly B's on the quiz above means that a dummy camera would better fit your needs - these cameras aren't for people who are already experiencing crime in their homes or businesses. Dummy cameras play on the psychology of the thief, giving the appearance of an expensive security system. Usually that's enough to deter petty criminals.

Dummy cameras are also much less expensive than a hardwire or wireless security system (typically ranging from $15 to $90), so if your bank account is a concern, this is a good bet. Remember, these cameras are only effective at deterring crimes, not solving them. Therefore they do not offer the same security as real cameras - if a crime does occur, you won't have any record of it. If you do invest in a dummy camera, be sure that it looks real. Thieves can easily recognize a fake camera if it has an opaque lens or only one cable connected to the wall. A camera with a blinking LED light or a motor that simulates a pan-tilt motion is a good option when purchasing dummy cameras, making them look more like the real thing.
About the Author
Ralph Winn. 35 years in the Home Security industry. Home Security Systems and Alarm Monitoring tips.
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