Unfortunately, burglary is one of the most common crimes in Australia. In 2010, Australian homeowners reported more than 217,000 burglaries, and, more worryingly, 20 per cent of these households suffered more than one burglary. As well as securing your home with good locks, a security camera system can deter potential thieves or give you useful evidence if you suffer a break-in. If you're thinking of installing a security camera system, make sure you avoid the five following common mistakes that could hamper undermine your home's security.
It's relatively easy to set up a security camera system, but you need to carefully consider how you will connect the units around your home. Many homeowners now choose wireless systems, but if you select a wired system, think carefully about how to keep the network secure.
Ideally, wires should enter the house from the base of the camera. If a long wire trails the length of a wall, you could simply make it easy for a burglar to cut the wire and disconnect the signal. Consider how easily you can wire up the network according to the type of house you live in. For example, a large wooden Queenslander is relatively easy to wire up, but a period Melbourne townhouse could become more complicated.
Missing key security weaknesses
Your security camera system is pointless if you don't protect each potential weakness in your home. Most homeowners consider obvious security weaknesses like the front and back doors, but thieves can get into your home in plenty of other ways.
The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors warns consumers that 9 per cent of thieves gain access through the garage, while 4 per cent get in through the basement. Make sure your camera system covers these parts of the house, or you may still end up with unwanted visitors.
Failing to consider lighting
Burglars prefer to work in darkness because it's harder for any unexpected witnesses to catch them in the act. As such, it's vital that your security camera system can record footage at night. Ideally, you should pair your system with outdoor lighting that illuminates the area around the camera. You can save energy (and boost security) by installing motion detection lights that only come on if somebody (or something) triggers a sensor.
Failing to make use of software
Many security camera systems come with the latest software for you to install on your computer, so you can stream and store images in real-time. If you've got multiple cameras around your property, it's important to use the software to name or label each camera. Without a naming convention, it's sometimes difficult to quickly and easily recognise what you are looking at.
It's also useful to take advantage of software you can use on a mobile phone, so you can keep an eye on things while you are away. A lot of people don't realise these features are available and don't even install the software on their handsets.
There's no point installing cameras if you don't position the units so they give you a precise view, but they should also stay relatively covert. Choose places where you can use a relatively wide coverage angle, without placing the camera directly in everyone's line of sight. It's often worth consulting a security camera specialist, who can help you put the units in perfect spots around the property.
It's important to keep checking the cameras' visibility, too. Birds and animals can easily knock the units out of place, obscuring the view. Trees and shrubs can also grow in the way. If you leave it until somebody breaks into your house to check what the cameras can see, you may realise too late that you haven't got a great view.
What's more, think carefully about other people's privacy. While it's important to get the right visibility, your neighbours may not take appreciate a series of cameras pointing at and recording every movement in their back garden.
A security camera system can help you protect your home, but it's important to use this technology effectively. Think carefully about how you install your system, and make sure you make the best use of the available features to maximise your home security.
Also, for your other security needs, don't be afraid to reach out to a local, professional locksmith.