For those concerned with personal security of your home and business security cameras are just as vital as a security system. Both these methods provide a measure of preventative care against being burglarized. However, a security system will inform when your home or business has been breached, cameras provide evidence. This evidence can help for later prosecution, or at least give you a better idea of what has been taken and where the intruder went while perusing your belongings.
Installation of a camera system is one of the easiest aspects of personal security that you can do yourself.
Select Camera Placement
This part is easy but necessary as camera placement is very important. Intruders have tendency to enter from predictable areas. 34% enter through the front door, 22% enter through a back door. The remaining 44% use a variety of methods including (but not limited to) off street windows, the side gate, backyard, and basement stairs.
Ideally cameras are placed in corners and high up, under protective mesh if outside or carefully disguised (outside or inside). Corners often provide some of the best angles for a clear view of the area you wish to have (or need) observed. The model and quality of the cameras used will help in determining where exactly the camera is placed. Higher resolution cameras can be placed further away; smaller cameras can be hidden very easily.
There is CCTV design software available on the internet (in some cases free) that can assist in camera placement for optimum coverage.
Wiring your camera system is just as important as setting up the cameras. RG59 Siamese cable is considered one of the best cables, and as a consequence is the most popular. This cable type can be purchased on Amazon in variety of lengths, expect to spend around $50 for 500 feet. Siamese cables contain a video cable and a power cable. The power cable will have negative and positive wires inside. Buying in long bulk lengths will also require you to purchase connectors.
It is possible to purchase RG59-cable3 with connectors already attached, but that requires purchasing cable in smaller runs or cutting cable and having to purchase connectors anyway. This method can cost more money.
If this cable runs to cameras placed outside you will need to select a place for the cable to reenter our home or business. Preferably some place high up that cannot be easily tampered with or damaged. Home owners typically use the attic.
As you run all the different lines back into your building you will need to decide where the monitor, DVR, and other video stream collection devices will be located. The placing of this is important because as you run the lines back inside you will need to gather them all together and run them to your monitor/DVR set up.
Connecting the cables to a power source will vary depending greatly on your comfort level. You can run each power line into an AC adapter and an outlet using pigtails, or connect all the power cables to a power supply and connect the power supply to an outlet. The power supply option may require a bit more know-how and a bit more expense.
With your lines, DVR, Monitor, and whatever else you are using are powered you are almost set.
Hiding the wires is just as important as camera placement. An intruder will not hesitate to pull down or cut the wires to disconnect/turn off your cameras, or even follow the wires to the cameras, and possibly even your recording devices.
The first and easiest option is to paint the cables. Staple the cables close to the walls and snug against a corner and then proceed to paint them the same color as the walls. It’s the easiest method, and while not fool-proof, it will prevent most intruders from seeing the cables at first glance.
The second option is behind wall baseboards. Baseboards are those little decorative pieces that run along the bottom of the wall near the floor. Peel those baseboards back and run the cables in the gap that will be revealed. Afterwords put the baseboards back, or replace them. The major flaw with this is that if there is any issue with the cables you will have to go through the entire process of taking off the baseboards again.
The third option, and perhaps the most professional in appearance, is to run the cable through some sort of pseudo-conduit and through a wall. A clear plastic tube is the most common form of piping. This lets you protect the cable indoors and out from the elements and from any critters. However this involves actually opening up walls, dealing with studs, possibly pipes. If you need to call a contractor for help with this method costs can quickly get out of control. Businesses usually opt for this method, but usually pay for it using fund set aside specifically for upgrades and maintenance.
Wireless is the fourth option. Newer technology has decreased the cost of wireless cameras, and wireless cameras can be as easy to install as wired cameras. In the case of wireless the security of your camera connection is based solely on the security of your wireless network.
If you have the confidence, the equipment, and a little bit of know-how setting up your own CCTV system can be done in a weekend with minimal expense.