In this day and age when terrorism and crime are on the rise, it is essential for some of us to have a security system in place. Most people, however, believe that having a security system is too expensive, and hence they opt not to have one. The truth of the matter is, not having a security system can sometimes end up costing you more.
Some Reasons to Have a Security System in Place
▪ A security system will protect you from intruders
This is one of the main reasons why homeowners as well as businesses should consider having a security system. According to research, homes with a security system are 2.7 times less likely to be invaded than homes without one.
This indicates that an alarm system is more than enough to protect your home from invaders, who never have good intentions, and they may even end up harming you.
Invaders will invade a home even when it has people inside, and this may even necessitate them to become more aggressive.
When you have a security system in place, it gives you enough warning of a would-be invader and allows you to take the necessary precautions, which will involve calling for help or the police.
It warns you about home fires
The security system is not only for the home intrusion, it also protects against other disasters such as fires.
While most systems normally come with a reliable smoke alarm system, a security system’s alarm normally gives a much earlier sign of such disasters even before the smoke system goes off.
In addition to this, it will not only warn you that there is a fire in your home, but it will go a step furthur and call for help. Some security systems are connected to the local authorities’ systems in addition to the security company’s hotline. This ensures to alert anyone within your area that your home is in trouble.
It helps protect you from gas poisoning
This is caused by carbon monoxide (CO), a gas that is both odorless and colorless and which is caused by combustion fumes. Within your home, carbon monoxide can be released by your stove or burning wood and charcoal.
Since it is undetectable by the human eyes and senses, most people are often blindsided by this gas, and some end up losing their lives.
▪ It helps guard your valuables
You have worked hard for your property and the items you have acquired, and of course you want to protect them from thieves and other issues such as fires.
Statistics show that in the US alone, homeowners lose an estimated 3.1 billion to burglaries alone. If you are a homeowner, it is essential to protect your property, and other valuables present in your home by installing a security system.
Burglary Offenses 2017
Source: Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, FBI
▪ You get 'security assistants' to monitor your home
One of the most significant benefits of a security system is that it provides the added benefit of having your home constantly monitored even when you are unable to do so. When you leave your home for a business meeting out of town or even for a vacation, you need not to worry if you have a security system in place.
Most security companies offer monitoring services which ensure that someone is always there watching over your home. These are not like house sitters. They are keen on whatever happens in your home and are always ready to dispatch emergency personnel in case of anything.
▪ You get to save on homeowner's insurance
In most cases, if you want to be a homeowner, you must also take up the homeowner’s insurance. The cost varies with location and amount of coverage you wish to have.
For people who have never had to use their homeowner’s insurance, they consider it to be a waste of money. It is however extremely important because it covers your home against disasters such as fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc.
You can get a discount on the amount to be paid in total, depending on the type of security system you have installed in your home because this means that you have already covered your home against some of the disasters.
If you have kids or even pets, a good security system will ensure that they are kept safe, as the system can easily monitor their movements; and ensure the alarm goes off in case they go off the property.
A good thing this system can do is if in case your child gets lost, you can be able to track their movements by following the security camera, which may help you to save their lives.
▪ You have access to medical assistance when you need it the most
Medical conditions are a big concern to most people, and security companies are aware of this and have made your work easier.
These come in handy where there are children or the elderly who may not be in a position to call out for help as quickly as possible.
Another concern is falling for the elderly. This service also allows for the medical response unit to be alerted in case an elderly person suffers a fall.
This simple function can save a life, and you should really think about including it with your home security system.
What Does Privacy Law Say About Home Security?
There are ten times more security cameras today monitoring the streets of New York than there was a decade ago. This, however, cannot even be compared to London that has more than 500,000 cameras within its Metropolis alone.
These statistics show that people are now much more security conscious than ever before, and besides, there are many more ways of keeping track of your surrounding than just the plain old CCTV cameras. Home security now includes the following:
As a result of all these advances in technology, it is essential to know what is legal, and what is not.
Security cameras are a big benefit especially for landlords because they can see who comes in and out of their buildings for security purposes. If you especially have a large residential or office complex, it is important to keep track of the goings in and out of your building.
The surveillance of private property by the owner is completely legal. However, spying on your tenants in their apartments is illegal. You are only allowed to have surveillance on the outside of your building.
Cameras are only allowed on the outdoors, with restrictions on audio. You are not allowed to record conversations of the people you surveil. The law is obvious on eavesdropping on unwilling parties. This is an invasion of their privacy and must never be done.
If you feel the need to have audio surveillance in addition to the video, then, you must first consult your attorney. Eavesdropping is a class “E” felony, and it is liable to prosecution, so, the best thing is to avoid it at all costs.
For outdoor cameras, the rules are pretty straightforward, and you are allowed to place them where you are be able to see the sidewalks and streets. You can also install them in portions of your property where you can see the backyard.
The law, however, prohibits you from pointing your camera onto your neighbors back yard. If your neighbor ever feels uneasy, or pestered or intruded on, then, they have every right to complain, and you will be required to take down the cameras immediately or reposition them such that they do not cause them any unease.
For interior cameras, the logic behind the law is pretty much the same. DO NOT invade anyone’s privacy with the cameras. You must not angle it in such a way that it will intrude on your tenant’s or neighbor’s privacy.
Cameras are therefore not prohibited in public areas such as the lobby, mail rooms, vestibules, amenity areas, open hallways, elevators, etc., but they are not permitted in bedrooms, changing rooms, bathrooms, etc.
Even if you suspect one of your tenants or customers is involved in something illegal, you are not allowed to go snooping in his private quarters. Otherwise, any evidence you collect is not admissible in court and will end up a waste of your time and efforts.
Security Camera Installation
This has to do with how you point the security cameras. As stated above, ensure that the camera you install for surveilling your property does not point into your neighbor’s property in a way that makes them uneasy or uncomfortable.
This may, however, be overlooked if you do the following:
What is Your Tenant's Privacy If You Are a Landlord
As a landlord, you have every right to protect your property by installing a security camera. The law is, however, apparent on how you should do this.
Ensure that there aren’t any security cameras invading your tenant's privacy, such that you can monitor them in their most private, e.g., sleeping or naked.
You are also not allowed to record the audio part of your surveillance, as this is a significant invasion of their privacy.
Ensure to record the external part of your property only and not inside their homes.
The whole idea behind having a home security system is so that you are able to catch a thief and not catch your tenant or neighbor, and therefore you must strictly stick to the rules outlined by the law, so you are not caught on the wrong side.
The penalties for invasion of privacy in any way are severe.
You cannot dispute that home security cameras are a godsend, and they are essential for anyone that wants to keep their property safe and secure. The secret here is to be wise and respect everyone’s privacy.
Conflicts and lawsuits between neighbors and tenants can seriously disrupt the peace in any neighborhood, so, try and avoid them as much as you can. Plus, they can go on and on for years, which is a big waste of time and money.
Answering questions such as:
Will go a long way in ensuring that the cameras are performing the purpose for which they were intended.