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Home surveillance systems: help or hindrance?

Updated on November 21, 2012

The increasing popularity of home surveillance systems

Home surveillance systems have been in use for a long time and are proving to be an excellent way in protecting businesses as well as homes. Unfortunately, no matter where you live crime is always a possibility, therefore it is important for you and your family to have home security equipment in place which can help maintain security and provide peace of mind. Statistics have shown that for many people, surveillance cameras are becoming an absolute necessity, not just for businesses but for householders too so that home surveillance can keep intruders away.

Home surveillance can take many forms, from a CCTV camera to a fully fledged security system. Cameras with night vision and audio capabilities are now readily available, in addition to wireless cameras which makes the installation process a lot easier. For those of you thinking of investing in a home surveillance system, I've included an overview of the kinds of security systems available, given some ideas of what's available on Amazon, plus links to other lenses reviewing products in more detail.

There has recently been increasing controversy over the use of home surveillance systems for parents to keep an eye on their children. Is such extensive monitoring necessary? Do the benefits of child safety outweigh the costs? You can find out about all this and more below.

An introduction to home security systems

What's available?

Buying property security systems and having them installed has become much cheaper in the last few years, making it possible for more people to protect their assets. You have the opportunity of buying:

Indoor and outdoor cameras

Spy cameras

Complete business and property surveillance equipment to protect all areas that may be of concern

As with all types of surveillance items they come in an assortment of shapes and sizes, coming with a variety of features depending on a particular make and model, so do consider this before making a purchase for home surveillance equipment. They can be bought either online or from a specialist retail outlet - (see the Amazon module below for some ideas on home security systems).

Talking to a security expert can help to pinpoint the right kind of home surveillance for your property, tailored to your specific requirements and the vulnerabilities of your house. You may want to have night vision cameras installed, a full-blown security system, or just a CCTV camera to keep an eye on the car. Whatever your needs, there is a huge variety of home surveillance systems available for everyone.

Home surveillance systems on Amazon - The best of home security

I've included a few ideas if you're thinking about investing in a home surveillance system. As you can see, prices vary widely, so it's best to do some research first and have a think about what you want out of your home surveillance system before buying.

Security Camera System Buying Guide - CCTV Surveillance For Home & Business
Security Camera System Buying Guide - CCTV Surveillance For Home & Business

If you're thinking about investing in a home surveillance system, but are unsure what to get, then this guide is perfect.

Essential Home Security: A Layman's Guide
Essential Home Security: A Layman's Guide

Everything you need to know about home security, from the basics of padlocks and alarms to full-on home surveillance systems


Installing a home surveillance system

Some people prefer to install home security systems themselves - but don't worry if your DIY technical skills do not stretch to installing surveillance equipment. There are plenty of experts available online, in the phone book or even in local newspapers who can provide professional installation services at a cost-effective price as well as offering invaluable information regarding the safety of your property. When employing someone to install a business or home surveillance system, try and make sure you point out what you may consider to be vulnerable areas or blind spots where intruders could make an entry point, therefore it is important to have home surveillance correctly installed. Also listen to their advice about vulnerable areas, as they may spot something you have overlooked.

For outside installation it is necessary that home security cameras are visible and are not obstructed by trees, other buildings, telegraph poles or lamp-posts; after all, it is important that security devices can be seen by everyone. One such device which is gaining in popularity throughout the US as well as the UK, is a panic alarm. If an intruder invades your property the panic alarm can be pressed in order to set off the surveillance system which will provide automatic notification to the police that something is wrong in your premises, making panic alarms another great option of home surveillance.

What do you think about home surveillance systems?

Do you have a home surveillance system installed?

See results

Is home surveillance absolutely necessary?

Home surveillance and child safety

This is a question that is much up for debate. When it comes to protecting our homes and possessions, home surveillance is appearing to become increasingly vital as an effective way to deter thieves and intruders. More businesses and homes have decided to purchase night vision cameras which allow owners to monitor their premises even in poor light conditions. They also have sensors which can detect movement that can trigger an alarm as well as record the incident. This is certainly an investment worth considering to protect your property which for many people is their main asset. Capturing an intruder on camera can also lead to incriminating evidence concerning a crime which can in many cases leads to the ultimate deterrent.

The debate gets more controversial, however, when home surveillance is considered in relation to child safety. Increasing numbers of parents are also installing home surveillance systems so that they can keep an eye on their children. As an extension of a baby monitor system, many parents are installing home surveillance in their garden so that they can keep an eye on their children playing whilst they can get on with other tasks indoors. This kind of home surveillance, it is argued, has the double benefit of acting as both a child safety device and also a security measure: the surveillance is also useful for deterring thieves and intruders. With this kind of home surveillance, you may not need to have it on all the time, but it can be a useful device to have, particularly in the summer when children tend to play outside more.

How far should we take watching over our children?
How far should we take watching over our children?

To what extent should parents be watching their children?

Is it right though to put children under surveillance all of the time? Parents of course need to watch out for their children's safety, but it is debatable as to how far this extends to recording their every move on a security camera. Some parents argue that this is the best way of keeping their children safe, not only at home but in other circumstances. Today, it is not uncommon for playgroups, nurseries and preschools to have live webcams that broadcast images of the children in their care over a private network so that parents can watch from a distance and monitor their children, in addition to making sure that the carers are doing their job properly. Similarly, schools today often make use of CCTV on the premises - many parents have argued that if their child has an accident at school, the use of CCTV footage is critical in determining who was at fault in the accident, crucial for parents who are pursuing child compensation. It can also be used as a useful anti-bullying measure: again, if children know they are being watched, will this make them less likely to misbehave?

On the other side of the fence, other parents argue that putting children under constant surveillance, both at home and at school, is extremely damaging and undermining the chance for children to really 'be children' and run around freely. Anti-surveillance watchdogs have called the implementation of home surveillance for such purposes 'perversive' and claim that it is another step towards a 1984-style society. And whilst installing home surveillance may help to prevent children from getting themselves into dangerous situations, isn't part of the point of childhood to be able to take risks? I'm sure that many of us when we were young did things that we weren't supposed to do - would we have been happy to have these actions recorded?

Big Brother is watching you... too much, or not enough? - Is home surveillance a good idea, or just a bit too Orwellian?

Do you think home surveillance systems are necessary for child safety?

All comments and thoughts are welcome! Do you have a home surveillance system installed? Are you thinking of getting one and came here for some advice? Do you think using home surveillance is a good way to promote child safety? Let me know what you think here!

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