Throughout time, home and business invasion have always been a serious and dangerous problem for home-owners and businesses alike, even in antiquity. In this article, we`ll look at different home security camera systems and what they offer or how to choose one.
It is a persistent problem that isn’t going to go away anytime soon.
For those in earlier centuries, on up to the beginning of the 19th century, security measures included strong doors, lock and key, barring and bolting doors, bars on doors and windows, and of course guards.
Whilst these things were the mainstay of security in those days, they are today as well.
However, for the vast majority today, this kind of quality has gone down and methods of entry in cases of invasion have increased.
It has become far easier over the last two centuries to overcome the lower-quality traditional security devices through forceful entry.
As in the days gone by, a home invasion has, and still poses dangers ranging from theft to loss of life in the various invasion related crimes.
In the modern age, none of this has changed and in fact, in most countries, poses a serious threat for homes and businesses alike and can affect anyone.
Some of the earliest contraptions included mechanical devices that sounded bells and whistles and even more silent but equally effective trigger devices in wealthier homes and businesses.
Though the afore-mentioned techniques (strong doors, walls, locks, bolts and barred windows, etc) still serve their purposes in discouraging break-ins, it still occurs.
Especially in buildings that lack modern electronic security systems. These stand highly vulnerable to invasions and almost always involve forced entry, especially sliding glass doors that can be shattered.
As well as regular doors that can be jimmied, kicked in or lock-picked, and unprotected windows that can be broken and opened from the outside.
Fortunately, in our modern-day, we have highly effective systems that, not only alert occupants of homes and businesses but come with many other features that outshine any previously-invented systems.
This article will discuss the dangers of making do without the best-designed security systems for modern times.
It will give a very short history of security systems that worked well in their time but are now obsolete.
Some compelling statistics on burglary in the worst countries for this type of crime, a quick review of the type of systems that are still available in stores – and why you should avoid them, finally the best type of system you can get today…
The Value of the Home Security Camera System
Camera-based systems offer some of the best protection money can buy, especially since the cost of electronic surveillance technology has dropped significantly.
They offered (and still do) an added measure of security. Some are more effective than others but most work on the same principles.
They provide alarm systems, sometimes silent alarms that are meant to go off alerting local law enforcement, alerting occupants, and video the invasion in progress, providing valuable evidence.
This is the beauty in modern systems that we have available in all shapes and sizes and for any application needed by users.
A Short History of Modern Security Systems
The earliest security systems that were invented were intended for homes. Businesses began using and installing them because of the success rate in provided an added layer of security.
Our modern security systems began with the inventor, Marie Van Brittan Brown, who came up with the earliest patented model (1969) in the United States.
She and her husband saw the need for a device, living in Queens, a borough in New York City where at the time, the police response was slow in conditions of very high crime rates. Their work began in 1966.
The invention became the fore-runner of today’s systems, and it is reported that many of these systems (or ones like this are still in use today!
The system came equipped with peepholes, a camera, and a microphone that allowed video and audio of the visitor.
This featured the ability to connect the device to a television set in a different room as well as a push-button that would alert law enforcement should the occupants find the visitor to be an intruder.
The system also featured the ability to latch/unlatch the point of entry at the push of a button. This feature allowed unlatching the door from a remote location in the house for expected guests.
These features were radio-controlled and quite effective. By the end of the 1970s, these devices and similar ones were very common.
This also resulted in the similar remote answering systems found in doorbell grids in apartment buildings as well where communication.
At least at the audio level, was possible without physically needing to go out of the home, to the entrance, often that which opened into the building’s hallways, stairways, and elevators, to answer the door.
These simple answering systems offered protection to keep unwanted guests out of the apartment building altogether.
Usually, these earlier devices were electrically-wired rather than radio-controlled and are still in use in buildings since they were installed in the 1970s.
A Quick Look at Statistics
Let’s take a look at some countries with the highest burglary rates. These particulars, taken from Wikipedia, feature reports during 2010-2012.
The reports here include all types of burglaries. The instances do not always involve theft but do involve illegal motives for entering a building, compound, vessel, automobile, and any other secured enclosure.
The rates of breaking and entering (housebreaking) vary according to each country.
Other statistical reports show wildly contradicting figures but are virtually the same insofar as trends go (i.e. highs and lows over the course of time.) The two worst scenarios will be given in detail to help explain the figures.
The countries on the first list suffered 500 or more burglaries per every 100,000 residents within a calendar year whilst the second show those in the 400s.
Variations between total cases and per 100K reported cases are mostly due to the size of the population in each country. Many other details that affect this data are beyond the scope of this Article.
Statistically Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, an island country in the Lesser Antilles:
With an estimated 2011 population of 110,000, this country took the lead for the highest number of burglaries. Of 1,175 reported burglaries, statistically, for every 100,000 residents, the figure was at 1074.
This is an overall representation of about 1 person out of 98 having had a burglary. The burglary rate there is reported to be on the rise over the last few years.
In 2010, the burglary rate for Saint Kitts and Nevis, a small island country, also part of the Lesser Antilles:
With a small population of 53,000 (relatively the same as it was in 2010,) the reported burglaries for that year was 520.
The standard rate per 10,000 residents (note that this figure is nearly double that of the current population) brings the rate to 970.4.
The actual rate of actual reported cases shows that was 1 burglary for every 102nd resident. The burglary rate increase is very similar to that of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
- New Zealand (2012) 39,532 cases (886 per 100K residents,) lowest since the 1990s. A 2016 reports an increase of 12% over 2015. Rising emigration and inadequate police force are blamed.
- Bahamas (2011) 3,242 cases (885 per 100K residents,) a steady drop from previous years. The Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) reports a continued drop in 2019. This is refuted by the US State Department.
- Belgium (2012) 80,708 cases (730 per 100K residents.) Another source indicates 102,000 cases for the same year. The latter report indicates a steady drop to 61,000 cases for 2019.
- Netherlands (2012) 112,105 cases (670 per 100K residents.) Other reports show lower values though the trends are similar. From 2012 to 2017 show a dramatic drop to under 50,000 cases, then an increase.
- Australia (2012) 151,919 cases (659 per 100K residents.) Other reports vary. Trends, where available, are similar. 2012 is part of a decline to the lowest in 2015. 2019 shows an increase to 2012 levels.
- Barbados (2012) 1,548 cases (546.6 per 100K residents.) Though much less in values than those of Saint Vincent and Saint Kitts, the trends are very similar being in close proximity to these countries.
The following countries have rates in the 400s per 100K residents. The figures are all from 2012 except for Luxembourg, 2011. These will be accompanied by the trends up to recent times:
- United States of America (493.) Reaching its all-time high of 3,795,200 cases in 1980, the number has fluctuated in a downward trend to 1,117,696 cases in 2019 – its lowest level since 1963.
- Switzerland (448.) Reached its all-time high in 2012 then dropped sharply to a very low, unconfirmed rate in 2015, and since then, has been at a much slower, but a steady downward trend.
- Luxembourg (417.) Since 2000, the trend has been erratic but rising gradually over a period of nearly 20 years. The figure for 2019 is close to that of 2011.
- Sweden (416.) Two separate graphs show that trends, over a 10-year period up to 2019 has remained almost constant with slight ups and downs. The final figure is slightly higher than the first.
- Chile (412.) Aside from this figure, pertinent information about Chilian crime through the years is evasive therefore, this item is incomplete.
In the United Kingdom (England & Wales only: 405.) There was a sharp incline up through the 1980s to 1993 when it drops off again to similar levels in the early 1980s. This follows the general crime profile.
The Benefits of a Modern Security System
Looking at the statistics offered above, it should be apparent that a security system.
A modern camera type would help discourage home and business invasions which can lead to losses due to theft, vandalism, arson (in some cases,) assault, injury, and death.
These devices are smarter than ever before though they are based in design on those earlier prototypes.
The statistical examples above show, for the most part, that this type of crime has dropped since the 1970s, though during the 1990s in several countries intensified, to drop once again.
For many of the listed countries, burglary is on the rise again, in most cases within the last three years.
In some cases, the crimes have steadily decreased and in a couple of others, have increased over the years.
The main issue is that a home or business not protected by a security system, especially in urban areas, are more likely to be burglarized than those that are not protected.
Security systems are extremely effective in reducing these types of crimes by warding off offenders and collecting valuable evidence without incident to property or inhabitants.
The danger of going without a security system is paramount! Your life may be on the line without this essential equipment!
In fact, countless lives already lost could have been prevented if the home or business were so equipped.
This also holds true for any damages caused by would-be burglars. The high popularity of equipping one’s home and business with the devices cannot be ignored.
The systems work. They prevent unwelcome visitors and help keep homes business and their occupants out of harm’s way.
Do not underestimate the practical advantage of added security these devices provide.
More importantly, it is poor logic to assume your home or business would never become a crime scene. It can! Though the systems are not 100% foolproof, they do help tremendously.
Even a cheap, inferior model is better than none at all though it is highly recommended not to settle for this!
Various Types of Security Systems
Let’s examine what’s available today for home security systems.
We will take a look at systems in the order of quality and practicality.
The following list includes types of systems that are typically used by consumers. Some of them work fairly well for what they are intended for but there is a more effective camera type.
This shortlist is, by no means a representation of all security systems, but are a good representation of the most popular types found in homes today.
These are very basic systems that use low-voltage electrical currents.
Used on windows and doors, they are designed with paired contacts, one on the door or window frame, and the other on the window or door itself becomes separated.
When the window or door is closed, the contacts face each other without actually touching but close enough for the electric current to flow.
If the door or window is opened, this breaks the current which in turn, trips a switch. This completes a secondary circuit that activates the alarm. When the alarm sounds, it scares the bandit(s) away.
This type of alarm system is not recommended for occupied homes and is usually not used in businesses because all they are designed to do is sound a local alarm which may not be heard by anyone except the fleeing offender.
They, however, can be useful at construction sites and other non-occupied structures so long as there is a security guard present.
The thief gets away and could return to strike again later to break out a window or in some other way bypass the system.
These work fairly well. They support monitoring systems and other in-home surveillance devices.
The problem with these systems is that quick-thinking burglars can notice the wiring and cut them, rendering the system useless.
It is especially important that all wiring for the system is well concealed.
This type of system eliminates the wiring that can be destroyed because they are radio-controlled instead.
When triggered by the burglar, the resulting radio signal is sent to a control panel that has been set by the user to trigger alarms, turn on lights and call the user on his/her smartphone.
The system can also activate surveillance systems like video recording.
You must have your smartphone on to receive intrusion information. These typically have cameras but lack the kind of resolution needed to bring out important details in videos and images.
Of all the systems shown in this list, this is probably the better choice than any of the rest.
The Unmonitored Home Alarm System
These are similar to the wireless home alarm system except you sacrifice the ability to connect with a monitor service.
The danger, on top of those inherent with the wireless systems, is the fact that you do not have automatic service-oriented surveillance.
This type of system is not recommended though if push came to shove, it is better than nothing!
The Monitored Home Alarm System
This will be covered below because it is the most practical and desired system to consider.
Security systems designed for homes have been briefly considered above. All of these systems are available today but you will get what you pay for. The pros and cons have been considered.
There are certainly other types of security and alarm systems for the home but careful consideration should be its design, what it can do, and more importantly the quality.
Many of the above systems are readily available through retail, others can be had that are in used condition.
A word of advice is if, at all possible, the above systems should be passed by. The best system in design, what it can do and for the most part, quality is yet to be discussed…
Most businesses (except any of those that do not make the wisest choices) do not rely on any of the types listed above.
No less than the above is not recommended, small businesses housed in small buildings should not be tempted to use them.
Larger, more corporate businesses typically rely on high-quality complex camera-based systems that are operated by computer software.
These systems are often equipped with backup systems in case the main system fails. Likewise, homeowners should rely on these types of systems as well. It is true that these can be very expensive.
The good news is that there are home versions as well that come in simple-to-install and operate and are reasonably-priced. In other words – consumer-based systems that are well-made. Let’s take a look…
The Camera-Based Security System
What’s typically in the box and what is available for accessories? Are replacements for components that go out from use available?
Systems Out of the Box Usually Come in a Kit
The most popular home security camera systems (designed for home and small business use) come in kits.
These generally consist of a basic kit of battery-operated cameras that feature high resolution, motion detection, even specific regions where motion detection matters the most.
Cameras also feature dewarping which is a functionality that allows images without the fish-eye effect, even in ranges as wide as 180 degrees.
Other required hardware required long-life, rechargeable batteries plus spare, mounting hardware, control center with easy-to-use push-button consoles that are usually hidden in a closet or other inconspicuous place, all the hardware needed to mount cameras and accessories.
Modern camera systems typically can communicate with your smartphone and an Internet connection.
Note that some newer systems do not use the control pad interface and are instead equipped with a base station that connects to the Internet allowing you to control the system via settings on the Internet.
They also transfer information to cloud storage by default. They, of course, work with popular online systems, such as Apple Home Kit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant.
The systems also come with ear-piercing alarms that neighbors will notice and will frighten trespassers.
Better systems come with a wide range of accessories such as indoor and outdoor cameras.
Even camouflaged camera skins, baby monitoring hardware, presence detectors (operates lights and sound systems in the home to deter unwelcome guests). Of course, there are other accessories such as floodlights.
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Things that you have to consider when purchasing your security camera.
Get the Kit that Applies Best to Your Circumstances
The better security camera system providers often have several kits to choose from. The kits usually come with a specified number of cameras.
Extra accessories and range from a basic set to supreme sets that come with all the bells and whistles.
The better offerings also supply plenty of accessories and replacement parts should anything in the system fails, such as batteries, battery charging stations, cables, mounting hardware, etc. Finally, look for quality.
Places like China also produce these types of security systems at much lower pricing however be aware that you will get what you pay for!
It is better to pay a little more, even considerably more, and not have to buy again soon because the equipment you get isn’t weather-proof or is simply manufactured poorly with inferior materials!
Final Thoughts On Home Security Camera Systems
I hope you, the reader, find this Article useful and educational. The objective of this article has been to show you that, though systems, from simple door locksets, standard window latches, barred doors, simple alarm systems, as well as wireless, wired, monitored and unmonitored security systems are not enough and simply do not provide the kind of security you need for your home.
You need a home security camera system that will stop unwanted guests in their tracks from forcing their way into your home or small business.
Top-of-the-line kitted camera-based security, is the way to go because they offer many ways to foil the burglar in ways older systems cannot and they age well, holding up, even in winter weather conditions if installed correctly.
It is down to you to take advantage of the best modern-day technology offers at competitive prices!
Thank you for taking the time to consider what was discussed here. You will be glad you did!