Everyone wants their home to be secure. The front and back doors have locks on them and window locks are a good idea too. If you have a lot of valuables in the house then fitting an alarm will be a good way of deterring intruders. Since this is the 21st century, what was hi-tech and expensive is now much more affordable. Video cameras are no longer big bulky things and home security is a lot easier than you thought.
Nowadays you don’t need a security guard sitting in a room with multiple screens to keep an eye on your big screen TV. You can install infra-red night vision cameras in the garden. Put motion sensors in the house that can detect intruders. Install doorbell cameras to avoid salesmen or just to see if the postman’s been. You can also get cameras that use thermal capabilities to give you a better idea of what’s outside your house. You can even get cameras with sirens and flood lights or strobes. So most bases are covered and you can get anything just short of automated machine gun posts and armed drones! All these features don’t have to come at a premium price either.
Installing a Ring video doorbell
If you want to start off small, installing a simple video doorbell system is a good plan. With just a screwdriver you can set-up something like a ring video doorbell 3 quite simply. Lets get started:
- Get your screwdriver and open up the box.
- Before you start, disconnect the fuses or the power for that part of the house.
- You will need to place the doorbell with the camera at about 1.2 meters high. This is the right height to catch movements in front of your door.
- The doorbell camera will need charging at certain intervals so it should be easily accessible.
- Disconnect the wires from your old doorbell, and wire your new doorbell in a similar way.
- Consult your manual at this point as it will inform you correctly about diodes and such if you need one.
- After the doorbell is snuggly in place on the wall, install the app to see any visitors on your phone. The app will also have information as to how you can enable it to work with your alexa.
Home Security for a Larger house
If you have a larger house you might need more robust home security. CCTV systems nowadays consist of about 4 to 8 cameras and a DVR (digital video recorder). The cameras all plug into the DVR and will record all of their footage to the harddrive. The cameras can be set to record all the time, at set intervals or only when motion is detected. It’s a good idea to pick a package that has water resistant cameras and are IP66 rated. Also choose one that is compatible with your other hardware if you have it eg. smartphone, smart assistant.
A typical example of a home security system might be a 4 camera setup with a DVR (Digital Video Recorder). For you to use it you must have an HD television with an HDMI cable insert. You’ll need a broadband router, and a smartphone to use the app with.
Installing a Swann DVR
We’ll use a Swann DVR-4980 as an example:
The manufacturer recommends that you unpack everything and connect it all up first. This is to make sure everything’s working as it should, and it wasn’t damaged in transit. So first familiarise yourself with the DVR and know where everything needs to be plugged in. There is no power button as DVRs are designed to be always on . So if you haven’t already thought about it, now’s the time to think about where the DVR will live; it will need ventilation and the wires will be coming in from all over the house. Maybe on top of a cupboard or fridge in the kitchen?
Set up your cameras around the outside of your house. Make sure they’re in places that will catch potential burglars. Try and cover as much of the house as possible and cover the most common entry points for burglars which are: the front door, back door and first floor windows. If you haven’t already done so make sure you have a camera above the front door so you can see who’s calling or if there’s a package waiting for you. Place the cameras just above the door or window to get a clear view and make sure the camera is in focus. The Swann camera package comes with a bullet camera which is controllable via remote control, so point it somewhere that has a good view.
Run the cables
Run the cables to your DVR after the cameras are set up. Each camera will have two cables, one for video and one for power. There is a main power splitter that plugs into one power adapter and provides power to multiple cameras. Cables run from the power splitter to each camera’s power input. Now run each video cable to the DVR and twist them into the correct sockets. Good cable management is a must as you don’t want to trip up members of your household. This is supposed to be protecting them after all! Get some cable tidies and nail them into the wall or skirting boards to make the cable blend into the room.
The next important step is to connect the DVR to your home network. Attach the supplied Ethernet cable to the Ethernet port on your DVR (marked LAN in this case) to a spare port on your Internet router. Connecting the DVR to the router enables functionality such as email alerts, and remotely viewing your cameras on the app. Swann’s DVR needs a mouse to be connected up to it so you can perform some tasks such as dragging and dropping files. Install the supplied mouse by attaching it to one of the USB ports at the front. Position it on top to keep it out of the way.
The last step is to connect it up to your HD TV. Connect the supplied HDMI cable between the HDMI ports on the DVR and your TV, and plug in the DVR into the mains. You can also use a monitor instead of a TV, where the VGA port is used instead of the HDMI port.
So there you have two different steps to having a far more secure home. If you just want a bit more piece of mind a security camera or a video doorbell is certainly the way forward, and there are so many different options out there you’ll be able to find something that suits your budget. Placement is key for the best home security, however do make sure that your cameras can see what’s going on so you can catch that burglar red handed.