It seems that the surveillance market, despite research companies like IHS seeing the potential for an average growth rate of 20% until 2019, is looking for new markets. Almost every camera manufacturer is making products designed for the home market; you can see a brief review of two on the Hi-Tech Security Solutions website from Flir and Ingram Micro at www.securitysa.com/7366r.
However, the illusion, or perhaps the delusion still remains about what they can get out of a surveillance solution. Many people think that simply having a camera or two up will automatically make you more secure. Additionally, too many people think that a camera is a camera and as long as you have something stuck on the wall then everything is fine. This is one of the reasons why so many people still opt for cheap cameras that are basically useless.
The fact is, even visible camera placements are not a deterrent. The more intelligent criminals who plan their escapades carefully will know where the cameras are and often make a point of stealing the DVR or NVR while they are committing their other crimes. In other instances, they simply wear a cap, making even the highest resolution cameras high on a wall or on the ceiling useless.
On the other hand, the opportunistic criminals simply don’t care. This applies to South Africa and anywhere else. They seem to know that half of the cameras people rely on to get a decrease in insurance premiums (if that actually ever happens), won’t deliver the quality images that would assist in a prosecution. Moreover, they also know that the eventuality of their being caught and put through the system is pretty low.
In the home environment, cameras can be very useful. The problem is we would automatically rely on our ‘usual’ security service provider to do the recommendation and installation. And they would simply do a vanilla installation not designed specifically for your needs.
In the end, it all comes down to the old adage of giving your camera a job description. As lame as this may sound, it makes sense. You first need to know what you want to achieve from a security system – any security system – which includes the potential threats you will face, before you can decide what ‘stuff’ you need.
If you simply want a camera that shows you who’s knocking on the front door, a cheap-and-nasty is all you need. If you want something that alerts you to motion, allows you to monitor your entire house whether you are at home or somewhere else, something that will help keep you and your family safe, you need to be prepared to spend a bit of money and ideally get professional advice.
The concept of professional advice is also one to debate. Will a salesperson from a service provider give you the best advice to secure you and your family, or the best advice to ensure his/her commission? There again, who can afford an independent consultant?
Look out for the CCTV Handbook 2016, to be released with the May issue of Hi-Tech Security Solutions. For the first time we will focus on home security among the many other sections.
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