Take it from us—there’s a lot that goes into home security. From security cameras and alarms to motion detector lighting, there’s plenty of different elements that go into making keeping your home safe and secure.
Whether you’re moving into a new apartment or revising your existing home’s security measures, we’ll be your personal home security experts. We hate to brag, but it’s just what we do!
Below you’ll find a guide to all things home security, courtesy of the AlfredCamera team.
Things to Know: What New Homeowners Need to Look Out For
Moving into a new home is an exciting time. It’s an adventure that’s equal parts stressful and fun. But it’s easy to become overwhelmed by everything you need to do.
But before your mind runs wild with your craziest interior design fantasies, one thing should take priority above all else: security.
From changing the locks to listing emergency numbers, we’ve identified eight essential things you need to do when you move into a new place.
Prior to signing any leases or taking the plunge on a mortgage, you should thoroughly research the safety of the neighborhood your potential new home is in.
This can make all the difference to your personal home security, and help indicate just how much attention you need to place on your security needs.
One of the ‘symptoms’ of a bad neighborhood is frequent porch piracy. Porch pirates are 2022’s most diligent thieves, haunting residential areas in search of packages dumped on the doorsteps of absent homeowners.
However, the most dangerous type of security breach a homeowner or renter can experience is a home invasion. This can be described as when someone unlawfully enters their victim’s home (i.e. without consent).
Most home invasions are random break-ins where the criminal often had no prior knowledge of their victims or the materials they possessed, whereas a ‘targeted home invasion’ is one in which the invader is motivated by their knowledge of the victim’s personality or possessions.
Improving Home Security on a Budget
We’re firm believers in the power of taking whatever home security measures are within reason for you to improve the safety of your home, and that will differ for everyone. Not to mention, security cameras are far from being the only security product worthy of your time.
With the cost of surveillance systems more expensive than ever, it can be hard to know how to protect your home on a budget.
But what can be better than a totally free solution? With AlfredCamera, you don’t necessarily need to buy any hardware at all to have a fully functional security camera in the palm of your hand. Repurposing your old phone is not only an eco-friendly but budget friendly way to secure your home.
Staying on top of replacing locks in your home, be it those in the windows or doors, is a great way to stay on top of your home’s security as a whole. Entry points must be secured to ensure the overall safety of your house, since these are where burglaries will begin.
For homes with sliding doors, simple bolts aren’t fit for purpose. Not to worry, though; there is a wide variety of locking options designed specifically for sliding doors.
Outdoor security lighting is another important security measure besides security cameras. The real benefit of it is how they work in conjunction with other security fixtures.
Motion detector lights indoors and outdoors help to increase visibility in and around the home, so that your security camera will never miss a beat. Not to mention, a motion sensor security light serves as a reliable visual warning sign of an invasion, since the lights won’t be on all the time.
Another easy way to improve your home’s security is to rethink existing hiding places for spare keys. With porch pirates and thieves knowing every trick in the book, hiding keys under the doormat simply doesn’t cut it anymore. But there’s also little arguing with the fact that spare keys come in handy when you need them most.
From key safes to soil, there are some more out-of-the-box hiding places that allow you to keep your home more secure and minimize the risk of having break-ins facilitated through the front door.
What Home Security Solutions Do You Need?
Aside from security camera systems, two other systems are used as part of home security, known as alarm systems and security systems. The differences between the two can be confusing, especially when companies regularly use the terms interchangeably. Worry not; we’ve clarified the differences for you.
Security Cameras vs Alarm Systems
Generally, security cameras can be described as video cameras designed for the purposes of surveillance. They can look like a lot of different things, from large traditional analog CCTV you would find in public to small, Wi-Fi-enabled devices that look like webcams.
Alarm systems are a more conventional home security measure that’s been around for longer than security cameras. Alarms detect movement through doors or windows via sensors, which, when set to activate upon sensing motion, will then trigger a siren (sometimes called a bell).
Security Cameras vs Security System
A ‘security system’ refers to a packaged product combining multiple security products and services. While a quick search for ‘security cameras’ will result in standalone products, security systems are much more robust and varied, making them most useful for business, office, and larger homes.
As one might imagine, this can be expensive upfront and is usually obtained on a quote-by-quote basis. This is followed by monthly or annual fees for monitoring services.
Picking a Perfect Home Security Camera
Nowadays, home security cameras come packed with features designed to make them more useful and streamlined for a greater number of uses. Though many will combine different features, sometimes it’s more useful to look for a camera based on the specific feature you’re looking for.
Check out the most sought after features below.
Security Cameras by Feature
Security Cameras and Alarms
Alarm systems are among the oldest and most relied upon of security technologies. They consist of a network of sensors placed in a range of locations all lead back to a central monitoring system, referred to as an alarm control panel.
There’s a lot of alarms in existence that are used for different purposes. The alarms included with many security cameras are simply sirens that trigger through motion detection captured by the camera. Stand alone burglar alarms also function via motion detection, measuring the size of heat signatures.
Carbon monoxide detectors, which sound when a certain amount of carbon monoxide is detected in the air, while smoke alarms sound when smoke enters a chamber and triggers or breaks an electrical current.
Security Cameras and Doorbell
Doorbell cameras (sometimes called video doorbells) are a type of doorbell with a built-in camera that provides a video feed to a suitable monitor (such as a smartphone) when pressed.
With certain doorbell cameras, you can communicate via a speaker on the doorbell. This can be useful when advising couriers attempting to make a delivery while you’re away, as well as allowing you to identify who is ringing your doorbell and what their intentions are, which can provide an extra sense of security before opening your door.
Security Cameras with Lights
A floodlight camera, a type of security camera with built-in lights, can help shed a light even on the darkest space, maintaining detail without the need to install external lighting. The light is usually controlled by motion detection that the camera picks up, so that when movement is recorded within the range, the light will turn on. This helps illuminate the subject.
Motion detector lights are also sold separately as a standalone security measure. There is a widely held belief that lighting up your home is a deterrent for burglars, and while evidence to prove this point is scarce, they do play an important role when used in conjunction with cameras and alarms.
Night Vision Camera
If you aren’t fond of the idea of illuminating your home, there is still a way for you to capture valuable security footage even with limited light.
Actual night vision was once an expensive, inaccessible technology. Nowadays, that isn’t the case—even our phones are able to record in relatively low-light. Though there are various types of night vision, the most common is infrared (IR), which can create a visual in virtually no visible light at all.
Motion Sensor Camera
One of the most important features of modern security cameras is motion detection.
By detecting motion and notifying users, motion detector cameras can not only save a great deal of time and onboard storage, but significantly improve the actual effectiveness of having a security system in the first place. Even if you’re away from your property, you’ll know as soon as something requires your attention.
Continuous Recording Security Camera
When we think of security, we think of round-the-clock surveillance. And while it is true that this won’t be necessary for every indoor or outdoor security camera depending on its purpose, it is wise to have a camera capable of recording constantly.
Since motion-detected recording is so prevalent on most modern home security cameras, continuous recording is particularly useful as a form of backup should the connection dropout.
More and more of us can begin to confidently proclaim we have a ‘smart home’, or at least something like it. With more and more tech products totally automated through voice commands and apps, it was only a matter of time before security products followed suit.
Smart security cameras can make security even more convenient for you. Schedule your cameras and lights with a simple voice command and enjoy the ease of having your favorite playlists controlled alongside your security cameras and food orders.
Security Cameras by Purpose
Even when it comes to using surveillance cameras for security purposes, the ins-and-outs of those purposes will differ depending on the lifestyle of the person using it and where they live. Learn about security cameras based on specific uses below.
Not everyone’s reason for having a security camera is quite the same. That’s why knowing what features to look out for (and what to avoid) based on your specific purpose can help to narrow down the seemingly endless choices.
Whether you’re looking for outdoor use, indoor use, baby monitoring, or pet monitoring, find out all you need to know about the types of security cameras suited for your purposes.
Indoor Cameras for Elderly
There’s approximately 14.7 million older adults currently living alone in the US, and it’s a rate that only grows as age increases. This alarming statistic means that a large portion of the most vulnerable people are potentially unaided and unsupervised. They are also more likely to be poor.
These factors put this group at greater risk of injury and health problems. Two-way monitors for elderly care are a great way to respect the wishes of both the elderly caregiver and the person being monitored, as they allow for communication between both parties. It can allow caregivers to ensure the safety and security of the recipient, without constantly impeding their lifestyle.
Security Cameras for Cars
A massive surge in the theft of catalytic converters, which contain precious metals like platinum and palladium, has been observed recently. And if you’ve ever experienced vehicle or parts theft, you’ll be well-acquainted with not just how much of a massive violation it is, but how much of a massive nuisance it is.
Security cameras for cars, which includes dash cams and 360 car cameras, are an increasingly viable option for watching over your car, both inside and out. They also help in the event of accidents and scams.
Security Cameras for Apartments
Home is where the heart is, which is why apartment security is so important. Nothing will give you more reassurance than being able to keep a vigilant eye over your home and your possessions, but other considerations exist, like security bars and door stop alarms.
But there are plenty of different things you’ll have to consider before you can go about installing a camera in your apartment, including installation permissions, who owns the apartment, and the privacy of roommates and neighbors. Not to mention, what cameras are best?
Security Cameras by Connectivity
Among the more important defining characteristics that make one security camera different from another is how it connects to the internet. Not all homes have the same ability to connect to the internet, and therefore to save, stream, or notify the user. Not to mention, some types of connectivity are more beneficial for those on-the-go.
Bluetooth Security Camera
Bluetooth security cameras do indeed exist and can provide a reasonably good set-up for monitoring your home using your smartphone (provided that you are not too far from the camera).
Bluetooth devices work by using a radio wavelength to connect to each other. For this reason, the closer together your devices are, the stronger their connection will be.
Cellular Security Camera
Cellular security cameras differ from other forms of monitoring in that they do not rely on wi-fi. This makes it a perfect form of security for homes, businesses, and anything in between: it can go with you anywhere that has a mobile data network.
With that in mind, people who are regularly on the move will want to consider security cameras that can work on mobile data. Since their use is associated with frequent movement, you’ll find that most data-compatible cameras are powered by battery or are rechargeable, so you can easily take them with you.
Security Cameras Without Wi-Fi
Research suggests that almost 1 in 4 households in the US don’t have internet, so there is still a strong market for security cameras that do not function primarily through the internet. Internet-free security cameras may also be significantly less hackable than their wi-fi-enabled counterparts, and footage can be transferred completely uncompressed, making it higher quality.
Approaching Your Choices: Key Factors to Consider
Choosing your security products can seem like a time-consuming process, but taking a more logical approach based on your specific concerns can help make it much easier. Below, we’ll consider three key factors that will influence what types of security products you’ll want: placement, amount, and installation and cost.
Outdoor security camera placement is vital to ensuring truly robust home security, but it can be a nuisance to find somewhere appropriate to place it.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to home security camera placement. Every house is different. But there are certainly threads of logic you can follow, and places commonly associated with the most advantageous positions for camera placement both inside and outside the home.
Figuring out how many security cameras are appropriate for your space requires reflecting on the size of the space in question. As a rule of thumb, the larger the size of the property, the more cameras you will need—the smaller the size of the property, the less you’ll need.
Understanding the actual reasons for installing security cameras is also necessary because it will not only affect the number of surveillance cameras you require, but, in turn, it will give you a good idea of your budget.
Installation and Cost
Aside from the actual upfront cost of a camera and subsequent subscriptions, installation costs can vary dramatically when it comes to security system installation, due to a number of factors–namely, the state of the existing wiring in the property itself, and the area needed to be covered.
Thankfully, you can have a robust system up and running in no time, giving you peace of mind over your property and your belongings. Even where money isn’t an option, DIY home security installation isn’t something as utterly impractical as it may at first seem.