You see them everywhere – video surveillance cameras keeping watch over intersections, shopping malls, banks and parking garages. Sometimes they catch the bad guys in the act, from running a red light to stealing a car. More often, the mere presence of a CCTV – closed circuit television -prevents a criminal act from being committed. The fear of getting caught on camera is a powerful, proven deterrent.
As the economy suffers and burglaries and home invasions rise, many homeowners are installing CCTV surveillance systems. It can provide you with the ultimate defense, whether you’re in your home or thousands of miles away. If the cost of a sophisticated video system is prohibitive, however, there is an alternative. Fake it!
Dummy cameras are a smart security option and can go a long way towards protecting your home, possessions and family. Remember, most burglars aren’t rocket scientists but they’re smart enough to avoid the risk of getting caught on video. And sure, they know about fake cameras, but most won’t just hope that yours is one of them. A good deterrent is one that keeps the burglar moving on past your home.
If you choose a dummy camera carefully and install it properly, it’s nearly impossible to tell whether it’s fake or is actually connected to a video recorder. In fact, a good dummy camera can be more effective, and certainly less costly, than a cheap CCTV package. When shopping for a system, look for a camera with these attributes:
- It should have a flashing red light to indicate a power source
- There should be a video cable that “connects” the camera to the house
- The lens and housing should look authentic and substantial
- There should be abundant decals claiming your property is protected by video surveillance
Once you’ve decided on the camera, take a walk around your property to determine optimum placement. Where are the vulnerable spots? Where could a burglar gain access or hide? Remember that the cameras must be in plain sight – you want the burglar to see them – and they must be mounted high enough that actual inspection is not possible. Cameras for entryways or other confined areas can just “sit there” while larger areas, such as a patio or pool area, might be best protected with a moving or motion-activated camera that moves from side to side, giving the impression of surveying a larger area. Choose your installation locations well, install the cameras properly, and remember to put the ladder away when you’re done!
If it fits your budget, you can take a lesson from smart business owners by installing a basic home video system to protect your most vulnerable locations, then enhance your protection by installing dummy cameras everywhere else. It’s maximum security for a minimum investment. And finally, don’t be a dummy and tell anyone, other than people who absolutely must know, that your surveillance cameras are fake.