How Home Surveillance Keeps You Safe

By July 16, 2013Surveillance

home surveillance

Erin Colbert (not her real name) was sitting in her home with her three-year-old daughter, watching cartoons, when her world turned upside down. With no warning, a robber kicked in her front door and instantly attacked the young mother.

The robber’s physical assault was cold and vicious, causing Erin to pass out for a few minutes. During the assault, the robber stole her ring, jewelry, and purse. The attack, which occurred in broad daylight at around 10 a.m. on a Friday, has left her New Jersey community in shock. As one resident observed, an attack of its kind has not occurred for over two decades.

Erin’s attack drew even more attention because the violent event was recorded on her nanny cam. The police have since released footage of the attack in the hope that viewers may be able to identify the intruder.

Working with Home Surveillance

Erin Colbert’s attack was captured with a nanny cam, but it is unlikely that the robber would have broken into the home if there had been visible signs of a home surveillance system. Home invasions occur at an alarming rate. According to the FBI, a home is burgled in the U.S. every 16 seconds. However, 90-percent of such homes are empty.

Most robbers will try to avoid homes that have people in them or an effective home surveillance system installed. That is because they know it will be more difficult for them to break in without drawing any notice.

However, as well as being a deterrent to robbers, a home surveillance system also improves your security. Some home surveillance systems come with a panic alarm that you can use in the event of a break-in. You will be able to monitor who approaches your property or comes to your door.

This is useful because burglaries are rarely spontaneous. Burglars take time to scout out a property before they invade. It also gives you an effective way to collect evidence, which you can use to track down burglars.

In addition to installing surveillance cameras, the following are some of the other ways that you can improve your home security.

Effective Ways to Improve Your Home Security

Strengthen Your Doors

Contrary to what movies may suggest, very few burglars actually know how to pick locks. Erin’s door was kicked in. That is not strange. Law enforcement statistics show that 65-percent of home invasions involve forced entries. And in most cases, the doors had fragile locks. Do not make the same mistake.

You can reinforce your door’s kick-in resistance in different ways. One option is to install several dead bolts. Make sure your doors are constructed of strong materials such as solid wood, metal, or fiberglass. You should also build your door so that it swings outwards, not inside. Finally, make sure your doorframes are fortified.

Install an Alarm System

Another effective way to protect your home and improve your home surveillance is to install an alarm system. It is estimated that roughly 1.5-million electronic alarm systems are installed in homes across the country each year. Studies show that homes without a security system are three times more likely to be targeted by burglars.

An added benefit of choosing this option is that alarms are relatively affordable. For less than $500, you can get a decent security system installed. Of course, the more advanced options cost a little more.

Protect Your Entry Points

According to police records, most break-ins occur through the front door, backdoor or ground floor windows. These primary entry points are the best places for you to set up a home surveillance system. It can increase your chances of catching criminals as they break in or leave. You should also reinforce the doors and windows for added protection.

Don’t Leave Spare Keys around Your Home

Leaving your spare key beneath a flowerpot may seem like a good idea. It’s close, secure, and hidden—until someone else finds it. The problem with leaving your key outside is that it is very easy for people to spot you retrieving the key. And if a burglar can see your hiding spot, then your home is fair game.

A safer alternative is to give your key to a neighbor or close friend. Sure, it may take longer for you to retrieve your key if you’re ever locked out, but at least you can guarantee that it is safe from outsiders.

Don’t Draw Attention

Do not leave items around your front yard that may draw attention. Keep your windows covered to prevent outsiders from looking in. You do not want burglars noticing that you have a new flat screen TV hanging in your living room.

Evaluate your home security by walking around your home at night and checking to see if you can see into any of your rooms. You can protect your home by hanging thick curtains or planting hedges or fencing bushes around your home.

Get a Guard Dog

Chihuahuas are lovely, but if you are looking for a guard dog, then you want a pet that can actually protect you. In this regard, think of getting a Rottweiler, Doberman, or German Shepherd. They are fiercely loyal to family and friends but will fly at any attacker if you give the command. They also respond well to discipline. If you are worried about training the dog, consider buying one from a trainer.

The Bottom Line

Most thieves avoid homes where it appears there are people around. That is why many burglaries occur while people are at work or away on vacation. In Erin’s case, police reports suggest that the burglar may have been attracted to her home because, with the curtains drawn and the windows shut, it appeared no one was home.

A home surveillance system serves as strong deterrent. It improves your home security and helps you sleep a little better at night. And in the event of a break-in, just as with Colbert’s case, it makes it easier for the cops to track the criminals.