When it comes to home security, it is always important to remember that the average residential burglary is a crime of opportunity. This means that the burglar has not necessarily been casing your house for months before attempting entry, but has likely had a close eye on your property for a least a couple days or hours before entering. What is he or she looking for? There is a need for good cover. Being seen is no fun, and generally results in a ‘trip downtown’ so most burglars look for a house with windows or doors hidden from the view of the street or neighbors. This also buys them lots of time to figure out a way in. There is also a need for a quick exit. This means a house with good access to a street or several streets, bus system, train, neighboring yards or other means of escape will look appealing. Finally, there is a need to be completely undetected. Any house with a home security system is likely to be skipped, since the minute an alarm goes off the would-be intruder knows it’s time to get going. However, some studies show that a house that appears to be protected by a security system may be just as unlikely to suffer a break in as one that actually is protected. One way many people are choosing to protect their properties today is by taking the “fake” security one step further with not just “home alarm” signs or stickers, but with fake video surveillance. Here are some of the pros and cons of going with fake video surveillance over the real thing.
Pro: Fake video surveillance is easy since all you have to do is set up the camera and let it discourage intruders. While real systems may require attention and maintenance, with a fake system there is little more to do than check up on the batteries powering the fake “recording light” every few months.
Con: A fake video system will obviously not do much good in the event an intruder decides to take his or her chances smashing the machine and proceeding with the break in. Discovering that the video surveillance is fake may also give them more courage, and tip them off that the signs for your home security system are fake too. For this reason, the fake camera is probably best used as an additional deterrent to a real home alarm system that is already installed.
Pro: The threat of being caught on camera is far more powerful that setting off an alarm, especially when the house is empty. The burglar still has a good 5 to 10 minutes to search for belongings, or grab exactly what he wants while the alarm is going off. The burglar knows once there is video footage he can run, but he can’t hide from law enforcement officials.
Con: The price gap between the fake video surveillance pieces and the real ones is closing in every day. Many video systems can be set up to record only once they sense motion, or can be set up to allow you remote viewing access from any computer or mobile phone. For a little more than the price of a fake camera that does nothing in the event a burglar goes through with a break in, a real camera will be there for you in an actual emergency situation.
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