Security Systems

Choosing the Best Security Camera Housing

Security camera housings have become a critical part of preventing the rapid deterioration and premature replacement of security cameras and lenses, especially in outdoor applications. Proper protection is vital to ensure that your security cameras perform effectively and last a long time. The right housing provides reliable weatherproof and vandal-proof protection for your cameras.

CCTV enclosures offer a variety of features that make it easy for you to make the best out of your surveillance technology. Whether you want to protect your indoor or outdoor security cameras, knowing how to choose the right type of housing is vital. Here’s what to look out for:

Rugged Construction

When choosing a security camera housing, you’ll want to choose heavy-duty housing that’s constructed entirely from industrial stainless steel or aluminum housing. Look out for a high level of quality and refined design that allows for easy installation and maintenance of security cameras. The right housing should provide a high internal useful area and access to the camera and lens from a working position. Rugged construction ensures reliability in all conditions.

Weatherproof and Vandal-Proof Rating

Depending on your surveillance applications, it’s important to ensure that you get the best weatherproof and vandal-proof rating for your CCTV enclosure. For outdoor cameras that are constantly exposed to external elements like rain, snow, ice, windy conditions, dirt and dust, acids, debris, salt sprays, condensing humidity, and industrial chemicals, opt for security camera housings with IP66/IP67 weatherproof rating to ensure maximum protection.

Heating and Blowing Features

When selecting the right housing for your cameras that operate in extreme temperatures, you should consider having heating and blowing features. Having internal heating, blowing, or cooling features makes camera operation a breeze even in the hottest and harshest environments, where standard aluminum and plastic enclosures would be quickly damaged by corrosive and heat agents, especially in commercial indoor and outdoor installations.

Such security camera housing comes equipped with:

  • A cooling tube on the back of the camera that blows cold air inside the security camera housing 
  • Multiple exhausting valves on the front housing cover 
  • Air nozzle to cool down and keep clean the housing glass from dust and dirt

Movable Mounting Options

CCTV enclosures cannot be effective if they can’t be mounted easily. When choosing a camera housing for your professional box cameras, bullet cameras, or dome cameras, you should consider the type of mounting equipment provided. Look for housings that are fitted with strong brackets with a swivel, both constructed of heavy-duty material like stainless steel to ensure durability. For pan-tilt-zoom cameras, you should opt for movable mounting brackets.

Buy Security Camera Housings

Security camera enclosures protect your investments by deterring tampering, weather-related damage, or vandalism. If you’re looking for indoor or outdoor security camera housings for your surveillance cameras, call CCTV Installation and we’ll help you choose the right CCTV enclosure. Shop standard professional security camera housings and brackets or enclosures with heating and blowing features today.

Security Systems

FAQ – Security Systems Installations

Which CCTV camera is best for home?

Best CCTV/Security Cameras Reviews in India 2019
Hikvision DS-2CE1AD0T-IRP Night Vision Outdoor CCTV/Security Camera.
D3D D8810 WiFi CCTV/Security Camera.
YI 87001 Wireless CCTV/Security Camera.
Secure Vision Dual Antenna WiFi IP Smart Security Camera.
FINICKY-WORLD V380 Wireless IP Security Camera.

How many types of CCTV cameras are there?

Here Are The 8 CCTV Camera Types You Should Know About:
Dome CCTV Camera.
Bullet CCTV Camera.
C-Mount CCTV Camera.
Day/Night CCTV Camera.
Infrared/Night Vision CCTV Camera.
Network/IP CCTV Camera.
Wireless CCTV Camera.
High-Definition HD CCTV Camera.

Which is better CCTV or IP camera?

CCTV uses coax and a power cable while an IP camera uses standard network (Cat 5e or Cat 6) cabling. IP cameras today have a much higher resolution than CCTV cameras. The higher resolution of IP cameras results in a much larger field of view when compared to analog cameras.

How can you detect a hidden camera?

hidden camera detector will make it easier to detect pinhole cameras hidden in walls or objects. Place an empty toilet paper tube over one eye and hold a flashlight in front of the other. Turn off the lights, turn on the flashlight, and look around the room slowly for small glimmers of light.

How can you tell if there is a camera in your room?

Method 2 Using Your Smartphone’s Front Camera
Open your smartphone’s Camera app.
Switch to the front-facing camera.
Verify that your smartphone can see infrared light.
Turn off the lights in the room you want to scan.
Use your smartphone’s camera to look for flashing lights.

Security Systems

Advantages of Professional Video Surveillance Monitors

Thinking about upgrading your security system? Installing a wireless video surveillance system within your home can be an excellent start! After all, your home is where you should feel the safest and no security measure should be overlooked. A home video surveillance system serves as a great way to monitor what occurs inside your home and does a lot more than just protect what’s dear to you from criminals.

Following are 10 reasons why every home should be equipped with a Wireless Home Surveillance System:

1. Systems are Wire-free

Wireless mesh communication networks and applications are the future of the alarm industry! Fleenor Security uses a secure cellular connection that notifies their locally owned UL central station in a matter of seconds. Not only does this ensure the safety of your home but it eliminates the fear of criminals cutting your phone line, which would render a traditional security system useless. On top of keeping your home safe and secure, wireless home video systems allow for a quick installation and gives you the option to move and/or add on to your surveillance system later!

2. Interactive Monitoring

Home surveillance systems give you a wide variety of options to help take your monitoring to the next level. This system will allow you to monitor multiple camera views to ensure the utmost safety and security of your home. Simply download Fleenor Security’s Total Connect app and view all camera angles from your smartphone no matter where you are!

3. Instant Alerts

Using the latest technology, Fleenor Security Systems keeps you and your family safe and secure. In addition, Fleenor gives you peace of mind while keeping you connected even when you’re away from home. Wherever you are, you will receive instant alerts when the monitor is triggered, keeping you in the know constantly. You even have the option to have a 10 second video clip sent to your email every time a sensor is triggered!

4. Crime Deterrent

Contrary to popular belief most burglars are actually quite intelligent and will spend days scouting out your property and developing a plan. One of the most effective ways to prevent a potential break-in is to not only have a sign indicating you have a monitored security system in place but to also have visible cameras placed in and around the home. A burglar’s intent is to break-in with as little effort and risk as possible. If you have a video surveillance system in place, odds are they will skip over your home and move on to an easier target.

5. Check in on the “Fur Babies”

Time away from your furry friends can cause stress not only for your pets but for you as well. Installing a camera system inside your home gives you the option to check in on them from a computer, tablet, or smartphone and view live stream footage. Whether you are away on vacation or just spending time at work, a video surveillance system can come in handy. It will bring you peace of mind and ensure the safety and needs of your pets are met.

6. The Safety of your Children

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could always keep an eye on your children? Keeping your kids safe is a parent’s number one priority but due to other responsibilities you can’t always be right there with them. Fortunately, installing a video surveillance system within your home can be the next best thing. Whether it is checking to see if your child got off the bus safely or monitoring your newborn from within their nursery, a camera within the home can be proven useful when ensuring the safety and security of your children.

7. Save Money on Home Insurance

Most major insurance companies will lower premiums if you protect your property against potential break-ins, fires, or water damage. In fact, on average installing monitored security devices in your home can reduce your homeowner’s insurance by up to 20 percent.

8. Keep Helpers in Check

Whether it is making sure your pets are feed while your out of town or keeping an eye on the babysitter, a video surveillance system can help bring you peace of mind and ensure your home and loved ones are well cared for. If you are a person who tends to worry, having a camera within your home will help ease your mind and allow you to enjoy your time away!

9. Automatically Alert Authorities

One of the greatest assets of a home surveillance system is the fact that you won’t have to worry about trying to get in touch with the authorities. A Fleenor Security system will immediately contact the appropriate authorities should the need arise.

10. Evidence for Authorities

Burglars very rarely leave evidence behind that could link them to their crime, leaving authorities with little information to go off of and all items stolen given up on. The traditional monitored burglar system will alert authorities but if they arrive after the burglar is gone, there is not much else that can be done. Installing a home video surveillance system will ensure that video footage is taken of the burglar and will be vital in making sure they are caught.

Juggling all of life’s responsibilities can be daunting. A video surveillance system installed by the professionals at Fleenor Security can help put you back in control and bring you peace of mind. Contact Fleenor Security for a free system evaluation today!

Security Systems

9 Tips For Protecting Your Home While On Vacation

The joy of summer vacations stems from experiencing new places or visiting an old favorite. However, being away from your home for any length of time leaves your house and property vulnerable to break-ins and theft.

We’ve compiled our top tips for protecting your home while you are on vacation.

1. Install a Video Security System

Installing a high-quality security camera system in your home provides a first-line-of-defense against break-ins and theft. Choosing a video security system with the right amount of cameras needed to cover your property, inside and out is essential. Make sure key areas such as your front and back doors, yard, rooms with valuables, and entryways inside of your home have ample surveillance coverage.

It is also important to choose the best security cameras for your application needs. Infrared security cameras (IR cameras) will provide enhanced low light and nighttime surveillance capabilities. An IK10 vandal-resistant dome camera can offer protection against physical impact from vandals.

Hidden cameras provide an additional layer of security, when paired with a video security system. Hidden cameras are disguised inside of enclosures that look like common, everyday objects such as an AC adapter, smoke detector, or flood light, and can be placed around key areas of your home. Hidden cameras are virtually undetectable—so criminals won’t know they are being watched, or be able disconnected or vandalize the cameras to avoid being caught on video.

Your video security system’s camera and recording resolution is also important. You’ll want to choose a video surveillance system with high-resolution cameras and DVR or NVR that records high-resolution video. Detailed video is critical for facial recognition, making a positive identification, and providing indisputable, court-admissible video evidence.

Additionally, a home security system that can be viewed and managed remotely via your cell phone or mobile device can provide additional peace-of-mind while you are away from home.

2. Keep Your Home and Property Well-Lit

Thieves often target homes that are not well-lit. They use the lack of light to their advantage to break into your home, while going unnoticed.

Therefore, it’s critical to keep your home adequately lit. You can accomplish this by installing timers to turn on indoor lights at various intervals, and at various times while you are away.

You can also install motion detection flood lights that turn on whenever motion is detected in your yard. At the very least, install motion activated flood lights in your front and back yard.

3. Hide Your Valuables

Before you embark on your vacation, you’ll want to take a look around your home and make sure your valuables are hidden from view. Remove any expensive electronics such as laptops or tablets away from a clear view from a window. Place valuables such as jewelry, credit cards, rare coins, money, and other assets in a safe, or a safety deposit box while you are away from home.

Other items such as outdoor grills, lawn equipment, and recreational toys (such as dirt bikes and ATVs) should also be hidden from view and locked up.

Place valuables such as jewelry, credit cards, rare coins, money, and other assets in a safe, or a safety deposit box while you are away from home.

4. Lock All Doors and Windows

Locking all doors and windows before you leave is also very important. Many thieves break into your home by entering through an unlocked door or window. Double check all windows and side, back, and front doors are locked securely before you depart for your vacation.

For added security, you can reinforce your patio door by placing a wooden or steel rod in the door track. This will prevent thieves from being able to open the sliding glass patio door if they manage to pry open or unlock the door.

Additionally, you need to make sure your garage door is locked. If you have an automatic garage door, you can unplug the power to it for added protection, because cunning thieves can use a universal remote to open your garage door, if it’s receiving power.

Also, if you leave your car parked in the driveway, make sure the automatic garage door opener isn’t in the car. A thief can break into your car, and use the remote to open your garage door.

5. Hold Your Mail

If you are going to be on vacation for more than a couple of days, you’ll want to let the post office know to hold your mail, or have a trusted neighbor or friend pick up your mail. That way, you won’t have mail piling up in your mailbox, which can tip off thieves that you are not at home.

Also, if you have a daily or weekly newspaper delivery, have a friend or neighbor pick up the newspapers.

6. Unplug Electronics

In order to protect your electronics such as computers, TV’s, gaming systems, and other valuable items while you are away from home, simply unplug them. Unplugging these devices, will prevent any damage occurred while you are away by a potential power surge, power outage, brownout, or rolling blackout.

7. Check Heating and Cooling Systems

Before you leave on vacation, it’s a good idea to check your heating and cooling systems, and hot water heaters to make sure they are functioning optimally, and are not in need of repair. The last thing you need to do is to come home to a flooded home from a hot water heater that gave out, pipes that froze, or an air conditioner that stopped working.

8. Don’t Advertise Your Vacation on Social Media

If you are going on vacation, don’t advertise to the world on social media. Posting that you are on vacation, can alert thieves that you are away, and provide an open invitation for breaking into your home. Also, don’t post vacation photos on your social media page while you are away. Posting your vacation photos on Facebook or Instagram provides another tip-off for criminals that you aren’t at home.

9. Maintain Landscaping

Before you leave on vacation, trim bushes, trees, shrubs, and any other type of landscaping that is near doors and windows, or near any security cameras that you may have installed at your home. This will prevent thieves being able to hide behind overgrown landscaping and enter your home undetected.

Additionally, if you are going to be gone for a while, it’s a good idea to make sure that someone maintains your lawn. An unkempt, overgrown lawn is another tip off for thieves that you are away from home.

Security Systems

The Best Security Cameras for Protecting Your Business

Are you looking to find the best security camera for monitoring and protecting your business? Choosing the right camera form factor and capabilities best-suited for your application will ensure you get an effective video security solution that produces optimal results.

Below you’ll find different camera types, along with some of the features and benefits of each type of camera.

Dome Cameras

Dome security cameras are ideal for monitoring lobbies and reception areas, hallways, open office spaces, warehouses, parking lots, and driveways.

Dome cameras have an unobtrusive design. The smoky dome obscures the camera lens, making it difficult for criminals to see which direction the camera lens is pointing at, so they are less likely to avoid being caught on camera.

Many dome cameras feature an IK10 impact rating that offers protection against vandalism and physical impact.

Dome cameras are easy-to-install and most can either be wall or ceiling mounted to provide the viewing angle needed for your location and application.

Bullet Cameras

Bullet Cameras are also referred to as lipstick cameras, because of their slim, tubular form factor.

Due to their small form factor, bullet security cameras are widely used for monitoring banks and other financial institutions. A bullet camera can be positioned discreetly in various indoor and outdoor locations—and are less conspicuous than traditional box cameras, and other types of video security cameras for monitoring a building.

Outdoor bullet security cameras are popular choices for monitoring the perimeter of a building to deter vandalism, property damage and theft.

Many outdoor bullet cameras offer an IP66 (or higher) weather-rated enclosure that provides protection from particles such as dust and sand, and harsh weather conditions, including rain and snow.

Additionally, some bullet cameras feature a 3-axis or 5-axis bracket that is adjustable from three, or five different access points—providing flexible mounting and better positioning of the cameras.

IR Cameras

Infrared cameras (IR cameras), enable business owners to capture video in low light and at night, for around-the-clock surveillance.

Infrared security cameras are available in a variety of IR ranges, to capture images at the distances needed for your security application. Some IR cameras can capture images in low light and at night—200′ and greater.

Some IR cameras feature advanced infrared technology, such as Smart IR and Full Frame Illumination for enhanced low light performance.

Smart IR (smart infrared( automatically adjusts the amount of infrared light used to illuminate a scene as the subject moves closer to or further away from the camera, resulting in optimal exposure, and a sharp, clear image that’s neither washed out or too dark.

Full Frame Illumination (FFI) delivers a wider IR illumination spread and produces a brighter, clearer picture in low light and at night – without hot spots. FFI reduces video noise for a clearer image, along with reducing bandwidth consumption and video storage requirements.

Hidden Cameras

When combined with a video security system, hidden cameras provide an additional layer of security for businesses. Hidden cameras are disguised inside of everyday objects such as a smoke detector, flood light, thermostat, or an AC adapter, and are virtually undetectable to the human eye.

A hidden camera can be placed to monitor known business trouble spots, including cash registers and cash offices, warehouses, lobbies, supply rooms, loading docks, and shipping and receiving areas.

Individuals are more apt to commit a crime when they don’t know they are being watched. Hidden cameras or spy cameras give business owners the covert advantage of protecting their businesses, because thieves and dishonest employees will be caught on camera—without knowing they are being monitored.

Furthermore, if a criminal cannot see the camera, he/she will be unable to vandalize or block the camera, or spray paint the lens to avoid being caught committing their crime.

Hidden cameras help you reduce external and internal theft (including employee theft), along with vandalism, property damage, and false claims and liabilities.

Varifocal Cameras

Varifocal security cameras offer business owners the advantage of easy installation and greater flexibility (than fixed lens cameras).

Varifocal cameras offer a range of focal lengths and provide the flexibility to easily adjust the focal length of the security camera, in order to alter the field-of-view.

If you installed a fixed lens camera and wanted to change the field-of-view, you would have to un-install the camera, and re-install it to get the desired focal length, which could damage your walls and the camera itself.

Varifocal security cameras are also equipped with an auto-iris lens, which makes the cameras better-suited for capturing outdoor scenes during changing lighting conditions.

PTZ Cameras

PTZ cameras (Pan-tilt-zoom cameras) are ideal for monitoring wide open spaces such as parking lots, business and school campuses, airports, and gaming casinos.

Modern PTZ cameras are all-in-one surveillance packages featuring high-resolution video capture, powerful motorized zoom lenses, and high speed motors that can quickly reposition the camera up to 360° in seconds. It’s this powerful combination of features that enables a PTZ camera to replace up to four standard (non-PTZ) cameras for monitoring the same location.

A PTZ camera is often referred to as a “speed dome” because of the ability to quickly pan/tilt in a different direction in less than a second. In addition to speed, PTZs are easy to control and can move very precisely when focusing on objects that are far off in the distance.

PTZ cameras also offer powerful zoom capabilities, far greater than traditional fixed security cameras. Many PTZs or speed domes offer 10x (or more) optical zoom, and 36x (or more) digital zoom, with the ability to hone in on an image—and view in greater detail for facial recognition and license plate identification.

Choosing The Best Security Cameras for Monitoring Your Business

Regardless of the type of security camera you choose to monitor your business, resolution, distance, and field of view matters. Why? If you don’t have the right field of view, or high-resolution video, you won’t be able to capture the level of detail required for facial recognition, license plate identification, and court-admissible video evidence needed to try and convict criminals.

Are you Interested in a Video Security Camera For Monitoring Your Business?

Call us today to speak with one of our security experts who can help you find the best security cameras for your location and application.

Security Systems

The Best Security Cameras for Protecting Your Home

Protecting your home, loved ones, and your property begins with choosing the best security cameras and video security system that enables you to keep watch over your home 24/7.

How do you choose the best security cameras for your home? In this blog post, we highlight the various types of security cameras, along with the features and benefits most advantageous to providing effective home security.

Bullet Cameras

Bullet security cameras are also referred to as lipstick cameras or bullets, due to their slim, tubular shape. Bullet cameras are available in analog CCTV, HD-TVI (HD analog) and IP technologies, as well as various megapixel options – ranging from 1.3 megapixels, to 5.0 megapixels and higher.

Bullet cameras are popular choices for monitoring the perimeter of a home. An outdoor bullet camera can be mounted under the eaves of a roof to gain a clear view of a front yard, back yard, driveway, or other outdoor area.

A vandal-resistant bullet security camera typically features an impact rating that provides protection against physical impact from vandals at various strike distances.

Advantages of Bullet Security Cameras

  • Cost-effective cameras for monitoring your home
  • Available in indoor and outdoor models
  • Easy-to-install
  • Many feature multi-axis brackets that allow you to easy adjust the camera angle

Dome Cameras

Is a dome camera the best security camera for protecting your home? Dome security cameras are self-contained cameras that feature a rugged dome enclosure that covers the camera lens. Dome cameras are easy to install, and look good in nearly any type of home environment—indoors and indoors. Dome cameras are available in multi megapixel, high-resolution options—as well as the latest analog, IP, and HD-TVI security technologies.

Dome cameras equipped with wide angle lenses enable you to better monitor large areas, such as driveways, front yards, backyards, and open areas. The camera lens’ wide field-of-view covers a larger area than a standard lens, and provides greater depth of field, along with better low light performance.

A dome camera with Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) is beneficial for monitoring hallways, doorways, and other areas that are subject to diverse lighting conditions. WDR balances the contrast of light and shadow, enabling the camera to produce perfectly exposed, clear video in bright, dark, or backlit areas within a scene.

Many outdoor dome cameras feature an IP66 (or higher) weather-rated enclosure that provides protection from particles such as sand and dust, as well as from inclement weather conditions—including rain and snow.

Advantages of Dome Security Cameras

  • Form factor is aesthetically pleasing and blends well in nearly any home environment
  • Easy-to-install
  • The camera lens angle is obscured, making it difficult for thieves to avoid being caught on camera
  • Most can be wall or ceiling mounted to meet your application needs

Infrared Cameras

Infrared security cameras, also known as IR cameras, provide day-to-nighttime surveillance capabilities, for around-the-clock security.

An IR camera features built-in IR LEDs that enable it to see in the dark. IR security cameras are available in a variety of IR ranges, from 65′ to 100′, and 300′ (and higher), to meet various security application and location needs.

Some IR cameras that operate on 940 nm wavelengths are considered “no-glow” and are virtually undetectable to the human eye. These infrared security cameras are well-suited for covert surveillance, because the traditional red-glow of the IR LEDs is not visible.

Some infrared cameras feature the latest infrared technology, including Smart IR and Full Frame Illumination, which provides enhanced low light performance.

Advantages of IR Cameras

  • Day-to-nighttime surveillance
  • Clear, crisp images in low light and at night
  • Available in 940 nm IR LEDs for no-glow covert surveillance
  • Many of the latest IR cameras offer advanced IR illumination capabilities for better low light performance

Hidden Cameras

Hidden cameras or spy cameras placed throughout the home can provide home owners with enhanced home security.

Installing a hidden camera, in addition to traditional video security cameras connected to a video security system, provides the covert surveillance advantage, and an additional layer of protection.

Hidden cameras are available in a variety of form factors and are hidden inside of common household objects such as thermostats, smoke detectors, flood lights, picture frames, clocks, and AC adapters. Hidden cameras blend in well in nearly any home environment and are virtually undetectable.

Hidden cameras are ideal for catching criminals and thieves whom are unaware that they are being watched. And, because the criminals cannot see a hidden camera, they are less likely to be able to vandalize or tamper with the camera to disable it, and avoid being captured on video.

Home owners also install covert cameras to monitor nannies, caregivers, and service providers—and protect loved ones.

Hidden security cameras are available in wired and wireless options and resolutions to meet a range of application needs.

Advantages of Covert Cameras

  • Provide the covert surveillance advantage because criminals don’t know they are being watched
  • Provide tampering protection since criminals cannot see the camera to obscure or disable it
  • Provide an additional layer of protection for your property and loved ones
  • Wireless hidden cameras are portable, don’t require hard-wiring and can be easily moved to a different location in the home

Keeping Your Home and Loved Ones Safe

When it comes to protecting your home, your property, and your loved ones, it’s important to choose the best security cameras that enable you to monitor activity around-the-clock.

Our security experts can help you choose the right security cameras for your home, determine the best locations for camera placement, and recommend local professional security installers who can help you install and optimize your home security system.

If you are interested in finding the best home security cameras for your home, call today to speak with one of our security experts.

Security Systems

6 Ways to Improve School Security and Safety

School security is top-of-mind for school administrators nationwide, and today’s schools face many challenges when it comes to school security and student safety.

Taking a layered approach to school security by combining video surveillance with access control and emergency preparedness is essential for enhancing school safety at preschools, K-12, and college and universities—of every size.

1. Install Security Cameras at Vulnerable Areas

It’s essential to do a walk-through of your school and determine how many locations you need to install security cameras. While school budgets may be tight, it’s critical to make sure all main entrances and exits, common areas, and building perimeters are covered—and there are no coverage gaps.

Where are the Top Locations for Security Cameras in Schools?

  • All main entrances and exits
  • Hallways
  • Building perimeters
  • Cafeterias
  • Libraries
  • Computer labs
  • Auditoriums
  • Playgrounds and recess areas
  • Athletic fields
  • Parking lots

Installing video security cameras in high-traffic and high-risk locations can help enhance student and staff safety, reduce liabilities—and deter theft, vandalism, and property damage.

2. Install a Video Security System

A video surveillance system can be a powerful crime deterrent, and is your first line-of-defense for enhancing safety and security at your school, university, or educational facility.

High-resolution security cameras and multi-channel video recorders enable you to capture and view activity at high-traffic and the most vulnerable areas of your school, and keep an eye on the interior and exterior of your school and campus 24/7.

Video security camera systems record activity and provide the court-admissible video evidence required to successfully identify and convict criminals.

3. Remember That Not All Video Security Systems are Created Equally

Many schools bid out to various vendors to purchase and install a video security system in their schools—and due to budget constraints, choose the vendor with lowest price. However, choosing a system and security installer based on price alone—may not provide the best security solution for your school, or even meet your needs.

Why is choosing a video security system and installer based on price alone such a gamble? Some vendors bid low in order to get the job, but end up installing a video security system that falls short of a school’s security needs. The low bid solution may not function properly, provide the video resolution and detail needed to identify individuals recorded on video, or may not be scalable for future expansion.

This can cost you greatly in the long run, because you then have to choose another vendor to “fix” the problem, which oftentimes requires purchasing and installing an entirely new video security system or security solution.

4. Implement a Door Access Control System

Door access control solutions enable you to monitor and prevent unauthorized access to critical areas of your school. Electronic access control systems provide an additional layer of protection, along with centralized monitoring and management of multiple locations and thousands of staff members.

IP-based access control solutions are well-suited for installations of any size, providing convenient and cost-effective access management, along with a safer environment for your school, students, and staff.

IP-based access control also offers flexibility, enabling you to add more doors to your network as your needs grow and your budget allows. Additionally, it offers convenient access management of weekly schedules and holidays, and delivers simplified administration and access management.

5. Add Mobile Surveillance

Mobile DVRs provide schools with an extra set of eyes to monitor buses, drivers, and students—and tackle challenging issues like bullying, unsafe driving, vandalism, and reckless behavior.

Adding a mobile DVR to your school bus fleet will enable you to see what’s going on while the bus is on the road, at the bus stop, and parked. Many mobile DVRs provide the ability to track the buses’ location in real-time via GPS.

Mobile DVRs help improve student safety, along with driver accountability, while also reducing overall transportation and staffing costs.

6. Implement an Emergency Preparedness Plan

Emergency preparedness is part of an effective security plan.

Emergency preparation involves training school administrators and teachers—as well as supporting staff such as security guards, custodians, and bus drivers. School administrators can also work with local law enforcement, fire departments, and EMS to help perform emergency drills and training.

A school staff that is well-prepared for assessing potential threats and preventing violence on school campus, along with being fully-trained on school emergency best practices—is instrumental for improving overall school security and safety.

Are You Interested in School and Campus Security Solutions?

Our security experts can provide a security needs assessment and help you find the ideal school security solution that’s right for your application.

Whether you are a small private school, a daycare center, a large school district with multiple schools, or a college or university with a sprawling campus—we have the ideal security solution to meet your needs and location requirements. Call now to speak with one of our security experts.

Security Systems

6 Tips for Protecting Your Home Automation System from Hackers

CCTV Camera Dealers

Home automation systems provide homeowners with the convenience of accessing, monitoring, and changing the settings of home devices remotely, from a mobile app or Web portal.

Your home automation system enables you to control your heating and cooling systems, lighting, door locks, security cameras, alarm systems and other devices. However, it can also make it easy for hackers to gain access to your devices and information—unless you employ the proper security measures.

When securing your home automation system, it’s important to ascertain that all connected devices and your home network hardware are secure.

We’ve compiled 6 tips to help your protect your home automation system from getting hacked.

1. Secure Your Home Network

Securing your home automation system begins with having a secure home network. And, effective home network security includes having a strong firewall, strong passwords, and a secure router.

Some firewalls allow you to deny access to unrecognized devices by creating a rule to limit MAC addresses. Having this security measure in place allows you to control which new devices that are requesting access, have your permission to join and access to your home network.

Unsecured Wi-Fi networks make it easy for hackers to access Wi-Fi cameras and baby monitors, allowing them to see into your home. Therefore, it’s critical to secure your Wi-Fi network.

Wondering where to start with securing your wireless network? You can begin with ensuring that your home security device supports WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2) security protocols and encryption.

Router security is also very important for securing your home and Wi-Fi network—along with your home automation system. Change your router password to a secure password that uses a combination string of letters, numbers, and symbols, to enhance security.

Many home owners forget to change the password of their home router, and choose to use the default admin password. Failing to change the default password makes it very easy for a hacker to “hack” into the router and access your system and personal information.

2. Create Strong Passwords and Change Them Often

Passwords to your home network, router, and devices provide a layer of protection from getting hacked, especially if they are strong passwords. Create a formidable password by using a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.

If you need help choosing a secure password, you can find a number of online password generating tools that can help you create and test the strength of the password you entered.

For your home devices, never use easy to guess passwords such as “Password” or “1234” as your chosen password. Also, avoid using personal information such as your birthdate or address as part of your password.

Additionally, you need to frequently change the password of your home router, home automation application, and your smartphone. And, also make sure that your home network password is unique and not the same password that you chose for your home automation devices.

3. Safeguard Your Mobile Devices and Mobile Apps

Mobile phone security is also critical for having a secure home automation system. An unsecure smartphone or mobile device makes it very easy for hackers to gain access to your personal information and your home automation system.

It’s important to ensure that your smartphone is password protected, especially if you use your phone as a remote control for your home automation system. Always choose a strong, security password for your mobile devices.

Also, keep your mobile apps up to date with the latest secure version. Many mobile apps have security patches and updates that you can access and execute from your smartphone when available and as needed.

4. Frequently Check Your IP Camera Logs

Safe and effective home security automation also includes checking your IP camera logs. IP cameras have camera viewable logs that enable you to see if anyone has logged into your security camera. Checking your security camera’s log enables you to easily review the log history to see if and when other IP addresses have accessed your IP camera feed.

Frequent monitoring of your IP camera surveillance logs will make you aware if someone has gained unauthorized access to your IP cameras and provide a documented record of the event.

5. Keep Your Device Firmware Updated

If any of your home automation security devices have firmware, make sure you always have the latest version installed and updated. Many device manufacturers provide easy access and instructions for updating device firmware. Check with the specific device manufacturer for details on how to update your device’s firmware.

6. Don’t Use Public Wi-Fi to Check Your Home Automation System

Secure Wi-Fi is important for home automation system security, and public Wi-Fi networks are not very secure. That’s why you should avoid checking your home automation system and devices while you are on public Wi-Fi.

Checking your smart home or home automation system while on public Wi-Fi makes it very easy for hackers to gain access to your home automation system and your personal information.

Whenever possible, only log into your home automation system when you know you are on a secure network. When logging into your home automation system from your mobile device, make sure you switch to a secure network or mobile data service. Always ensure the network you are using is secure—before using any mobile apps for your home automation system.

Maintaining a Safe, Secure Home Automation System

Following the above tips will help you protect your home automation system, devices, and your home against being attacked by hackers—and provide peace of mind security.

Security Systems

Crime Prevention Tips for Seniors

The Bureau of Justice finds that the “elderly appear to be particularly susceptible to crimes motivated by economic gain.” Seniors are more vulnerable because criminals use generational differences and social grooming to take advantage of them. The following crime prevention tips for senior citizens will help seniors protect themselves, their savings and their property.

  1. Identity theft, fraud and financial crime

Sweepstakes, phone calls, mail scams, even household help stealing identifying documents are some examples of this serious crime. Fraud from identity theft has reached alarming levels among the elderly. The Justice Department and law enforcement partners recently announced the largest coordinated sweep of elder fraud cases in history to stop elder identity theft and financial fraud.

Seniors and their loved ones should follow these steps to protect their identity – and savings:

  • Do not believe any callers who claim to be from any governmental agency like the IRS, Social Security or Medicare. Government agencies do not conduct business over the phone.
  • Do not provide money or personal information to charities or strangers over the phone. If you want to make a donation, send a check in the mail so it can be traced if there are any issues.
  • Know when the postman comes and take in your mail quickly. Give your postman any outgoing mail or drop it into a USPS mailbox.
  • Keep financial and personal documents in a locked safe.
  • Decide who will handle your financial matters and care should you become unable to do it yourself.
  • Sign up for identity theft protection and credit monitoring services to get alerts about inquiries or changes to your credit report.
  • Use a paper shredder to destroy documents you don’t need.

Chelsea Brown, CEO of Digital Mom Talk and a Certified Cyber Security Consultant suggests: “Senior citizens can protect themselves online by investing in their online privacy.” In her experience, many of her clients became victims of identity theft scams through their Facebook public information. “The easiest way to prevent this is to pay for a company like DeleteMe to remove all personal data from the internet,” she says. “Senior citizens can also learn how to turn of their geotagging and what to share and not share on social media and coupon sites.”

2. General property crime (theft, vandalism, break-ins)

Seniors spend a lot of time at home. Being vigilant and adding layers of protection make it harder for a perpetrator to act. Preparation and awareness are key to reduce a senior’s chances of being the victim of a break-in or theft. Here are crime prevention tips for senior citizens to protect themselves and their property:

  • Keep up the lawn and outdoor appearance of your home – unkempt landscaping gives thieves a place to hide and signals that someone might not be home.
  • Have a professional or family member help you install security lights on the outside of your home.
  • Put interior lights on timers to turn lights on in the living room or near the front door for a lived in look, especially if you go to bed early.
  • Consider a home security system or a medical alert system, which can often be used to contact authorities in any type of emergency.

3. Elder abuse/neglect

It isn’t normally a problem for active, independent seniors, but can become an issue later in life. To minimize the possibility of elder abuse or neglect:

  • Decide who will be in charge of your care in the event you are unable to care for yourself.
  • Make arrangements in advance of where you would like to live if you’re unable to live alone any longer.
  • Choose a licensed and accredited center or a reputable caregiver agency to find you a professional who will care for you with compassion and patience.

4. Purse snatching/robbery

Robberies and purse snatching are traumatic for anyone. But for the elderly, there’s added danger since they’re “more likely than younger victims to experience a serious injury.” It’s not common in all areas but might be something you’re concerned about and should always be prepared for by:

  • Minimizing the number of things you carry with you at a time – can you carry a few essential items that fit in your pockets instead of carrying a purse?
  • Concealing cash or cards when out and about.
  • Walking with a friend or family member when possible.

Former Marine and nationally certified law enforcement trainer Morgan Ballis of explains: “Avoidance is the key – and if you can’t avoid risks, increase your level of awareness and begin formulating plans through when/then scenarios.” For example, WHEN you need to make a cash withdrawal at the bank, THEN use the ATM machine inside during business hours and conceal the cash before you exit.

Ballis says, “Trust your gut, your life experience has given you the baseline necessary to know when something isn’t right.” Be sure to listen to it and be alert when out and about.


The Value of CCTV Surveillance Cameras as an Investigative Tool

There has been extensive research on the value of closed-circuit television (CCTV) for preventing crime, but little on its value as an investigative tool. This study sought to establish how often CCTV provides useful evidence and how this is affected by circumstances, analysing 251,195 crimes recorded by British Transport Police that occurred on the British railway network between 2011 and 2015. CCTV was available to investigators in 45% of cases and judged to be useful in 29% (65% of cases in which it was available). Useful CCTV was associated with significantly increased chances of crimes being solved for all crime types except drugs/weapons possession and fraud. Images were more likely to be available for more-serious crimes, and less likely to be available for cases occurring at unknown times or in certain types of locations. Although this research was limited to offences on railways, it appears that CCTV is a powerful investigative tool for many types of crime. The usefulness of CCTV is limited by several factors, most notably the number of public areas not covered. Several recommendations for increasing the usefulness of CCTV are discussed.


Closed-circuit television Surveillance camera Criminal investigation Policing


Closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance cameras are widely used in policing, but that use is controversial. The United Kingdom (UK) government has described CCTV as “vital” for detecting offenders (Porter 2016), while the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Police Department (2007, p 2) argued that it is often “invaluable to police investigations”. On the other side of the debate, the campaign group (Liberty 2016) argued that extensive use of CCTV “poses a threat to our way of life” and that “widespread visual surveillance may well have a chilling effect on free speech and activity”. Similarly, the American Civil Liberties Union claimed that public CCTV surveillance creates “an almost Orwellian potential for surveillance and virtually invite[s] abuse” (Steinhardt 1999).

In the academic literature, there has been discussion of how CCTV fits into broader conceptions of surveillance (Hier 2004; Koskela 2003) and the extent to which it increases or changes the nature of state or corporate power over citizens (Fyfe and Bannister 1996; Norris and Armstrong 1998). Concerns have been raised that CCTV surveillance may restrict the diversity and vibrancy of life in public spaces (Bannister et al. 1998), or contribute to the exclusion of some groups in society (Reeve 1998). There has also been political debate about the proper balance between ensuring the effectiveness of CCTV and protecting the privacy of citizens (Sheldon 2011).

Although the debate about CCTV has been both long lasting and wide ranging, empirical evidence on the topic has so-far not covered all of its aspects. This article will attempt to provide evidence to inform one area of this debate about which evidence is currently limited: the extent to which CCTV is valuable for criminal investigations. The next section contains a review of the existing literature, followed by an explanation of the mechanisms that may influence the effectiveness of surveillance cameras in investigations. The following section will describe the data used in this study, derived from police reports of crimes on the railway network of Great Britain. The results section will describe how often CCTV has been useful in crime investigations, and in what circumstances. Finally, the implications of these results for policy makers and practitioners will be discussed.

Existing Literature
Given the controversial nature of CCTV, surprisingly little is known about how it is used and how effective it is in achieving many stated aims. CCTV has several potential applications for public safety, and has been deployed with the intention variously of preventing crime, detecting offences, improving the response to emergencies, assisting in the management of places and reducing public fear of crime (Ratcliffe 2011, p 15). CCTV can also be used for purposes not related to public safety, such as monitoring transport-passenger flows and investigating complaints against facility staff (National Rail CCTV Steering Group 2010, p 7).

Of these potential applications, almost all research attention to date has concentrated on the use of CCTV to prevent crime (Honovich 2008). Early studies by Mayhew et al. (1979) and Webb and Laycock (1992) suggested that CCTV was effective at reducing robberies at London Underground stations, although the evaluation methods used had some limitations. Since then, the subject has received substantial research attention with mixed empirical results. For example, several evaluations have found CCTV to be effective at reducing thefts in car parks (Poyner and Webb 1987; Tilley 1993) but others have shown it to have little or no impact on crime in residential areas (Gill and Spriggs 2005). A systematic review by Welsh and Farrington (2008) of 41 studies concluded that CCTV is effective at preventing some types of crime in some circumstances, but that the evidence suggests it has a more-limited impact than its widespread deployment may suggest.

In contrast to the extensive literature on the value of CCTV for crime prevention, there is little research on how useful cameras are for other purposes. Ditton and Short (1998) found that in the 2 years after the installation of a CCTV scheme in a Scottish town, the proportion of crimes that were solved by police increased from 50 to 58%, with some offences showing larger increases than others. However, no information was given about whether these changes were statistically significant, and rates were only provided for some types of crime (the primary focus of the study was on crime prevention). In Australia, Wells et al. (2006) found that monitored CCTV in two suburbs led to the early arrest of a small number of offenders at the scenes of crimes, but did not look at whether recordings were useful in the subsequent investigations.

Limited evidence can be found in research on solvability factors: the features of an offence that determine the likelihood of the case being solved. Paine (2012) found CCTV to not be associated with higher detection rates for residential burglary. For non-residential burglary, Coupe and Kaur (2005) found that CCTV being installed in a building was associated with double the rate of detections compared to other buildings, driven by the increased availability of suspect descriptions. Since this study used data from the year 2000, it is possible that subsequent developments in technology may have influenced the effectiveness of CCTV in solving this type of crime. For example, modern cameras are likely to provide higher-resolution images, and digital (as compared to tape-based) storage allows images to be retained for longer (Taylor and Gill 2014). Existing research on solvability factors is limited because it is largely focused on the investigation of a single crime type (burglary).

In the context of this limited academic evidence, several organisations have produced reports on the topic of the value of CCTV for investigation, some of dubious quality. For example, Davenport (2007) summarised an unpublished report by the Liberal Democrat political party which concluded that CCTV cameras were ineffective simply because London boroughs with more cameras did not have a higher all-crime detection rate. The group appeared to have made no attempt to control for confounding variables or for different types of crime. Despite the poor quality of the analysis, this report has subsequently been cited in the media (e.g. by Bates 2008) as proof that CCTV is ineffective in investigations.

Journalists have also carried out their own analyses. Staff from The Scotsman (2008) newspaper reported that in a 4-year period CCTV cameras in Scotland had observed more than 200,000 incidents, with responding police officers making arrests in 14% of cases. However, no details were given on whether those arrests led to charges, whether further suspects were identified later or how the headline statistic varied in different circumstances or for different types of crime. In San Francisco, journalists found that cameras had given detectives new avenues of investigation in seven of 33 violent felonies committed in a crime hotspot over a 2-year period (Bulwa and Stannard 2007). Meanwhile the London Borough of Hackney (2016) reported that over a 12-year period the use of CCTV had been associated with more than 27,000 arrests, although it gave no further details. Edwards (2009) reported that CCTV evidence was gathered in 86 of 90 murder investigations and was judged by senior police officers to have been valuable in 65 of those cases.

There appears to be some disagreement within the police service as to how effective CCTV cameras are in criminal investigations. Several news outlets summarised a report from the London Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) that appeared to be highly critical of its usefulness. Bowcott (2008) reported that “only 3% of street robberies in London were solved using CCTV images”, although other articles reported that the 3% statistic applied to all crime (e.g. Johnson 2008). In another article based on the same report, Edwards (2008) wrote that “up to 80 per cent of CCTV footage seized by police is of such poor quality that it is almost worthless for detecting crimes”. Hickley (2009) quoted a police spokesperson as saying that “in 2008 less than 1,000 crimes were solved using CCTV despite there being in excess of one million cameras in London”. However, to the present author’s knowledge, the report itself remains unpublished and no information is available on the methods used, nor any more details of the conclusions.

In contrast, the majority of British officers surveyed by Levesley and Martin (2005) believed that CCTV was a useful investigative tool. A report on the value of CCTV commissioned by Dyfed-Powys Police in Wales argued that cameras were valuable in the detection of crime, citing the opinions of police investigators and local prosecutors. However, the report also recommended that live-monitoring of CCTV cease because it was ineffective at preventing crime or improving the initial response to incidents (Instrom Security Consultants 2014). Several municipalities in Britain have decreased their investment in CCTV in response to recent budget cuts (Merrick and Duggan 2013).

Overall, little appears to be known about how the usefulness of CCTV for investigation varies across crime types or circumstances, which is likely to be important in any attempts to make CCTV more useful. The present exploratory study attempted to provide some evidence in these areas.

How Might CCTV Help Crime Investigations?
Before turning to the research questions addressed in this study, it is necessary to consider exactly how CCTV might provide useful evidence in a criminal investigation.

A criminal investigation can be thought of as a series of questions: who was involved in an incident, where did it happen, what happened, when did it happen, why did it happen and how were any offences committed, known as the ‘5WH’ investigation model (Cook et al. 2016; Stelfox 2009). CCTV may be useful in answering at least two of these questions: what happened and who was involved (La Vigne et al. 2011).

A good-quality recording could potentially allow investigators to watch an entire incident unfold in detail, providing information about the sequence of events, the methods used and the entry and exit routes taken by the offender. Even if this is not possible, CCTV may be useful in corroborating or refuting other evidence of what happened, such as witness testimony (College of Policing 2014). Recordings may also provide information that investigators can use to contextualise other evidence (Levesley and Martin 2005).

CCTV may assist in identifying who was involved in a crime either directly, as when a suspect is recognised by someone viewing the recording, or indirectly, such as when the recording shows a suspect touching a surface from which police are then able to recover forensic evidence (Association of Chief Police Officers 2011). Images can also be used to identify potential witnesses (La Vigne et al. 2011, p 27). CCTV may be less useful in answering some of the other 5WH questions. For example, even a good-quality recording may shed little light on why a crime was committed.

In order for CCTV to be useful in answering investigative questions, certain circumstances are required. There are few legal restrictions on the ability of police officers to use CCTV recordings of public places during investigations. In the UK, for example, operators of camera systems can provide recordings to the police without a warrant (Information Commissioner’s Office 2015). In the United States (US) a similar system operates, as long as the recording is of a place in which people do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy (Chace 2001). As such, the limiting factors on the use of CCTV are likely to take other forms.

Figure 1 summarises the process by which these circumstances may come about, broken down into three stages. In the first stage, CCTV evidence is not available, either because the police have not taken steps to obtain it or because no recording exists for technical reasons. In the second stage, a CCTV recording is available but—perhaps because of the recording quality—is not useful to the investigation. In the final stage, a recording is both available and useful to the investigation.