Enhancing Outdoor Home SecurityBy Home Security Source Jun 29, 2009 | 5:40:00 pmPosted in: Burglary & Loss Prevention, Home, House, Security Lights
So, you have successfully installed a sophisticated home security system that monitors all entry points and interior of your house. Now what do you do about the outside? The addition of key outdoor home security equipment can complement your indoor alarm system and enhance the safety of your home and family. There are many effective options on the market to meet any sized budget. Here we’ll outline some of the best ways to monitor and protect the perimeter of your home.
Strategic Outdoor Lighting
Most security experts will tell you that outdoor security lights are a great investment and should be one of the first options you consider. Studies have shown that outdoor lighting is incredibly effective in the prevention of home break-ins. Strategic outdoor lighting will deter potential intruders because it forces them to work in the light, showcasing their crimes to any passerby. A well lit property will most often cause a burglar to pass by your home in search of a more vulnerable target.
There are 3 basic ways you can illuminate the exterior of your house, each with its own advantages and disadvantages:
• All-Night Lighting—Lighting can be set, using a light-sensitive photocell, to turn on at dusk and off at dawn. This is a popular option because it covers your property with constant lighting, making it nearly impossible for an intruder to enter without being seen. However, the obvious drawback is that this method uses the most electricity which can really add to your utility bill. One way to keep energy consumption down is to use lighting powered by solar energy. The lights will charge up during the day and be able to stay lit all night long without adding to your electric bill.
• Motion-Activated Lighting—These lights turn on when someone passes by a motion sensor. It can be quite frightening for a trespasser when lights suddenly turn on, which is why this type of light is so effective and popular. Additionally, this method saves quite a lot of electricity, as the lights are only activated when needed.
• Hi/Low Combination Lighting—This approach uses a low intensity light throughout the night ,and when someone passes by, the motion sensor causes the lights to get brighter and brighter. This method saves some money on electricity while providing complete illumination when needed.
Outdoor Surveillance Cameras
Although not for a very low budget, security cameras have become very affordable in recent years. Additionally, installation can be painless using wireless surveillance cameras. Similar to your wireless alarm system, these cameras require no wiring and send the video signals to the location of your choice, whether it be a DVD recorder or computer. Some factors to consider when shopping around for cameras are color vs. black and white picture, and lens type.
Color output is effective for recording details (such as the color of a car, clothing, hair etc.) but doesn’t function well in low light conditions, while a black and white picture is effective even in very low light conditions. For especially dark areas, one may want to consider a camera with infrared capabilities. This feature allows video to be recorded even in absolute darkness. In addition, there are 3 main types of lenses:
• Wide-angle lenses are most common and allow the most amount of space to be monitored; however, as objects move further from the camera , they can become hard to see.
• Mid-range lenses allow the user to make out details such as faces from farther away than a wide angle lens, but employ a narrower field of vision.
• Long-range lenses are the most effective for catching the smallest of details (such as license plate numbers) from far away, but also have a more restricted field of vision.
Interestingly, landscaping plays a major role in outdoor home security and can either increase or decrease the safety of your exterior. For example, strategically placed shrubbery (such as a thorny rose bush) can be planted under windows and other vulnerable points to deter intruders from these entryways. Care must be taken, however, to ensure that the landscaping does not become overgrown and provide concealment for the very criminals you are trying to deter. Similarly, trees and large plants shouldn’t be placed right next to doors or paths—the last thing you want to do is give the trespasser an opportunity to surprise you.
Last but not least…
The easiest thing to do to improve your perimeter security is to walk around and survey your property. Think like a criminal, locate vulnerable spots, and make them less susceptible to unauthorized entry. Lastly, be sure to make it clear that you are heavily protected. Even a small detail such as a sticker with your security provider’s logo on it, or a “beware of dog” sign can greatly reduce the chance of someone targeting your home. Criminals do not want to get caught - put these stickers and signs in highly visible places like on windows and doors and they won’t dare try entering your home!
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