Who’s Monitoring The Homestead While You’re Away?
There is no doubt always a part of you that wonders what could be happening in your home while you are away on vacation. If you are fortunate enough to have a trusted friend or neighbour look in on things on a daily basis, then you’re likely to rest assured that any incidental issues will be handled promptly and with care in your absence.
But even a devoted and caring neighbour can’t be on hand 24/7 to ensure the safety of your home. What if a burglar targets your house? What if a break-in occurs? What if there’s a fire or a water pipe break? How can you protect yourself from unexpected dangers such as these?
The obvious solution would be a monitored alarm system. Pay-per-month security systems have gained tremendous popularity in the last 10 years, and have become quite affordable. Generally, monitoring companies will install the hardware for free and provide you with live monitoring on a contract basis. Expect to pay anywhere from $30-$50 per month for a 3-year contract. Service features typically include reporting to authorities any suspect behaviour that the monitoring system detects, and some insurers will even provide a discount on your insurance premium for a professionally installed and monitored alarm.
Another option is to install a surveillance system capable of sending a live feed to wherever you are, empowering you to take action immediately and address the situation without delay. Here is a brief guide as to how you can set up this vacation camera and software recording while sitting in your favorite massage chair
The right software
Several versions of video capture software are available, and each has its pros and cons. It’s best to get insight and advice from satisfied users. Another option is to trawl the many online forums for information posted by users and experts on the subject. Look for software that’s easy to use and fits your specific need. Some software is activated by movement, recording and relaying footage if a physical change in the environment is sensed. Other systems operate continuously, and provide an ongoing stream of video footage. Budget may ultimately dictate which software is best for you.
Cameras should be placed so that they best capture the most critical areas of your home. These include doorways and entries, ground floor windows and areas that need to be monitored for changes such as water accumulation (basement, hot water tank).
Be careful not to place your camera facing a sunny window or the opening to a brightly lit room since the light may make it difficult to see properly.
If your goal is to be notified of any unwanted visitors to your home, then the camera should be angled to capture a good face shot. You want to be sure you can see who has entered your home so that you can take appropriate action. You’d hate to call in the authorities only to find out the so-called intruder was actually your cleaning lady, who was there for a legitimate purpose! Be sure to inform anyone who has approved access to your home that you have installed a video monitoring system. Consider also placing decals on your windows and doors that announce to all that your home is monitored by a video surveillance system. These alone often serve as powerful deterrents to would-be thieves.
If you’ve selected the right combination of cameras and software, you’ll be able to log in fully and watch the happenings in your home whether you’re across the street or on the other site of the world, and take action immediately if required.
Because of the many privacy laws and regulations in effect, it is strongly recommended that you inform all visitors to your home that you have a video surveillance system in place. If you are unsure about the regulations or laws in place where you live, get in touch with a loss-prevention or community safety league that specializes in informing homeowners how to secure their homes and reduce the risk of loss. Police departments may also be able to advise on the topic. Whatever the situation, it’s common courtesy to let visitors to your abode know that they may be filmed by your system.
Whatever software and recording equipment you use, it is better to have the facility than not, but don’t spend your entire vacation watching your home online – remember to have fun, too!