It goes without saying that no one wishes to have their homestead broken-into. In addition to home alarm systems (covered in one of our previous articles), it behooves homeowners to consider the array of self-defense mechanisms on the market, including video surveillance systems. A Closed-Circuit Video-Recording System (CCVR) is a keen deterrent and a fair warning for would-be burglars to heed.

Additionally, in the absence of wisdom on behalf of a bad guy, a CCVR system captures evidence which is instrumental in aiding police in their investigation (serving you, the victim). Often, capturing the intruder is a direct result of what has been recorded by a video surveillance system. That same CCVR-captured evidence is admissible in a Court of Law, via police officers who facilitate electronic chain-of-custody dynamics (process/secure it for potential criminal prosecution).

Implicitly, this protective measure aims to record all activity around your homestead. Similar to what accompanies audible and silent alarm systems, lawn-staked signage announces that all activity in and around the house is being recorded via CCVR equipment.

As well, homeowners (and merchants) know police can do a whole lot more with recorded evidence which not only depicts the crime but often helps identify perpetrator(s). Watch any evening news and you will invariably be exposed to video-recorded imagery of a suspect committing a crime. Some may call it “Shaming” while others assert it was the criminal’s decision to commit crime and, therefore, invited Karma along.

Either way, exercise your self-defense rights by whatever legal means at your disposal.

The gist of CCVR equipment at businesses is to defend products and profits by foiling interests of a shoplifter, armed robber or burglar. Signs indicating “These premises are under 24-hour surveillance!” or something similar are purposely posted in locations to make them obvious.

It is easy to see the value of a video-recording system in your arsenal of self-defense and security. Unlike years ago when surveillance systems were rather clunky and obvious to the naked eye, nowadays…cameras are as tiny and as lightweight as a 5-cent coin or equivalent to the size of a coffee mug. There are many video surveillance system choices on the market, and the range of pricing can suit most budgets.

Analog Surveillance Camera Systems

receives/conveys imagery data via coax cable, and sends the footage to a central base keeping record. By design, analog reception comes with “noise and distortion” (frequency) which, as it is processed, engenders other steps and generations which may diminish the quality (resolution) of the imagery. 

Wireless Surveillance Camera Systems

As the title implies, this system is completely wireless and conducts the same effects as other varieties; its benefit rests in wireless connectivity. Signals do the trick. One consideration, though, is to evaluate how far the wireless signal capacity reaches. Don’t sabotage yourself by severing the wireless signals by extending the pieces too far apart. Manufacturer specs are always available. Make an educated, conscious choice.

Digital Surveillance Camera Systems

digital camera system engineering involves fiber optic technology in which signals are equated in the form of 0s and 1s. Digital concepts employ compression of analog signals to processed and packaged digital imagery. Essentially, digital design retains picture integrity (less noise and distortion, more-crisp resolution) via fewer steps than those required in analog technology.

As with home alarm systems (we covered in a prior article), surveillance camera systems are also marketed by companies who have contracts including installation, maintenance and service.

Disclaimer: Although we do not make any particular company or product endorsements, here is a 2016 list of top-rated wireless camera system marketers and their surveillance products, features, and services. Per a review of models posted on Amazon.com, prices start at $25.00 and up.

Legalese: video surveillance systems are viable as long as it is used in accordance with local, state and federal statutes. Since they often vary, it is always advisable to be in-tune with your state’s laws pertaining to privacy rights and surveillance efforts. Interestingly, most state laws exceed those statutes outlined by federal legislation.

The FBI has distributed guidelines for commercial establishments’ use of CCVR equipment. Obviously, places where expectation of privacy—restrooms and dressing rooms—are off-limits. Conversely, general sales floor spaces are fair game atmospheres to monitor consumers’ activities, mainly targeting and thwarting shoplifters.

As for residential set-ups, where there is generally “no expectation of privacy,” your private property and its curtilage is just that, yours, thus anyone trespassing and caught on-tape via legally-implemented video-recording devices will be hard-pressed to argue their uninvited presence. Some state laws pertaining to surveillance permissions tend to be iffy—and laws change from time to time—so it is wise to verify what is allowed by state statutes.

Generally speaking, your camera system focused on your domain only (cameras not aimed at a neighbor’s patio or driveway across the street) is considered permissible. Again, check your state laws before you set-up your system defenses.

If you are planning to buy a system and a DIY installation, follow specs! In the event you opt to hire/pay a security camera company for the whole kit and kaboodle, technicians are responsible for being abreast of laws governing surveillance cameras. However, always do your own homework; it will provide you a sound foundation in all-things-surveillance.

Playing the game smartly takes the bad guy out of the game. You can win in the self-defense arena by implementing a video surveillance system.