Constructing Dreams: Security and Home Monitoring Systems



Whether you plan to build or buy a home, remodel a room or seek ideas to expand your “green” footprint, we are all in the beginning stages of constructing our dreams. Each month, this column will invite you to look beyond the usual ideas and consider alternative cost-effective and eco-friendly options. With so many topics to explore from top to bottom, room to room, inside and out, the goal of a vision is to take a firm step forward and begin living the dream.

Validating home security begins by assessing a homeowner’s needs, the level of coverage, and the potential monthly expense.  Whether you are a single parent or living alone with health problems, continuously out of town on business, or have children who are home for hours without supervision, these reasons alone may offer insight as to what you need.

Where Do I Begin?   

Home surveillance can be a costly endeavor; however, there are levels of protection based on out of pocket costs.

What is the lowest level of home surveillance?  One tangible option to eliminate the commitment of a contract and a monthly fee is to purchase a home system.  Be selective in the quality of the camera, and ensure your system will include a network video recorder (NVR) which stores seven days of video footage. Additionally, if it is Internet capable, it may provide real-time images, as well as the option to review footage through an app on your phone.  While not all cameras are of equal quality, it is critical to determine if the camera provides bright and clear night vision, 228-bit encryption, and the ability to set a password.  By having an NVR, your sensitive data is secured rather than kept on an iCloud.  In looking towards the future, determine if your preferred system can include additional cameras and whether it can be linked to the NVR or viewed only through the phone app.

With a home system, cameras can be installed within the home, perhaps located in a basement or providing an aerial view of the living room and front door.

What type of camera has the most advanced surveillance technology? 

IP cameras, also termed network cameras, are a type of digital video camera that can encode and process recorded footage directly on the camera. Signals are then directly sent to the primary server or screen through a fast Ethernet connection.  There are numerous advantages, from the ease of installation to digital zoom features and quality images, especially for moving targets.

Investing in a Company

It must be more than a sales pitch of protection and coverage. Agreeing to a company is investing in its product and prompt service.  While specific names may come to mind, you’ll discover every company offers something different.   It is important to consider your needs first.  An alarm system may come with additional benefits such as video surveillance, remote access to lights, locks, and thermostat, or a medical alert system. By calling several companies without scheduling an appointment, consider the additional fees and the best package. Some companies may begin with a two or three-year contract.  It is essential to read the contract terms, which will include equipment warranties, cancellation clauses, and service call fees. If equipment and activation fees are waived, the price will reflect higher monthly costs. Homeowners can expect a monthly cost ranging between $20 and $60.  While home monitoring systems can decrease your home insurance rates, fees are often associated with emergency calls. Some cities may charge a yearly permit fee, while others will issue the homeowner a bill with every false visit.

Locks are not impenetrable. Burglars find ingenious ways to steal valuable possessions without entering the home. These frightful situations occur more frequently during the day when fewer eyes are watching.   As a deterrent, more substantial than two German shepherds guarding the house, homeowners are investing in home security. While the endeavor is expensive, the peace of mind to know loved ones are safe is worth the time to begin researching your options!

Arriving in March 2019: Constructing Outdoor Dreams

 


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