If you’ve followed our blogs over the last couple years, you know how capturing images of your property increases home security. Of course, home security systems do a great job scaring away intruders. Furthermore, monitored alarms even create a police dispatch if necessary. However, burglar alarm systems rarely lead to the capture of criminals. After all, thieves usually flee the scene of their crimes upon activating an alarm. Therefore, we recommend taking measures to capture pictures or videos as part of your security plan. In this post, we share some tips to help you add images to your home security.

We will begin by showing you a couple ways you can accomplish this with home surveillance systems. These measures capture video of your property that increase your odds of solving a crime. In this section, we will begin with a look at self-contained home surveillance. From there, we will explain how we can integrate surveillance cameras into your burglar alarm system. Additionally, we will look at how you can add images to your home security using unique alarm system equipment. This includes both alarm contacts and security panels that capture an image of anyone disarming your security system. Now, let’s get started with a close look at adding home surveillance.

Video Surveillance Options for Your Home

Over the past decade or so, it’s gotten more popular to install residential security cameras than ever before. We’ve recognized a couple reasons for this. For starters, the evolving technology of the industry has made cameras more effective and user-friendly than ever. High-definition picture and simple operating procedures have combined to form a powerful, convenient security experience. Furthermore, these same technological advances have made cameras more affordable than ever. In turn, cameras no longer represent the “exclusive” security product they did in years past. In this section, we’ll look at a couple ways that we add this security. Let’s get started with a look at dedicated home surveillance systems.

A sign reading "Warning, CCTV in Operation"

We can add home surveillance to your security plan using a variety of approaches.

Standalone Surveillance Systems

When we refer to a surveillance “system,” we generally have traditional “standalone” surveillance systems in mind. By this, we mean that these video systems do not rely on any other equipment to operate. These systems generally involve installing a recorder that captures and records video at all times. Therefore, even when your cameras do not sense any motion or action, the tape is still rolling. We then run wires from the recorder to your various camera locations. If desired, we can also connect the recorder to your home network. Doing so allows you to view your cameras on your smartphone or on any internet-connected device.

These systems come with a couple unique benefits. For starters, you receive video footage captured 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Additionally, these recorders have their own powerful, dedicated video server to capture and store camera footage. This allows us to connect your recorder to the most robust cameras on the market. We can install cameras with a picture that far exceeds the image quality seen even on a high-definition television! We recommend checking out our post on Choosing IP vs Analog Cameras for a detailed description of how we measure and describe video resolution for more information on this topic.

Integrated Video Equipment

Of course, getting the most robust security equipment on the market involves paying for the best as well. Therefore, we also offer “integrated” video equipment that works with your existing alarm system. Unlike their standalone counterparts, these cameras only record clips based on sensing motion rather than recording video constantly.  Integrated smart cameras allow you to add images to your home security at the most aggressive price point possible. Furthermore, these cameras come with some unique video analytics features. For example, our smart cameras powered by Alarm.com can let you know what type of motion event triggered a recording. Therefore, you can sort between clips created by people, by vehicles, or even by animals!

Additionally, you can also install a smart doorbell to add images to your home security. These doorbells allow you to receive live video alerts when someone approaches your door. From there, you can have a two-way conversation with your visitor. Moreover, if you suspect someone stole a package from your porch, you can watch the recorded video clip to see what happened. For these reasons, we’ve had many customers install our Alarm.com smart doorbell camera over the past few years. Next, let’s look at how we can add unique image-capturing capability to your security equipment!

A Honeywell video-capturing motion detector

Motion detectors that capture video, such as this model by Honeywell, create a unique level of security.

A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

It surprises many of our customers to learn that we offer equipment other than cameras to capture images of their property. In this section, we show you exactly how we accomplish this feat. We’ll begin with a look at a unique type of security contact that sends video of break-ins to both you and to our central station. Then, we’ll explain how our latest and greatest security system uses images to help customers identify alarm users. Let’s get started by focusing on motion detectors that both detect and capture motion events in your home!

Security System Components that Capture Images

A few months back, we created a Guide to How Alarm Systems Work. As part of that post, we discussed how motion detectors communicate with your alarm upon detecting motion. This allows customers to secure large areas of their home with a single detector. Upon detecting motion, these sensors create an alarm activation, sounding your sirens and potentially creating a police response.

Additionally, some motion detectors provide you the chance to add images to your home security system! Video motion detectors, such as the one pictured, have both infrared motion-detecting and video-capturing capabilities. If these detectors catch motion after you arm your system, they will send a video to our central station to help verify the alarm. Furthermore, you will also receive the video alert for both live and future viewing. This can help you determine how to handle the alarm event in real time. In this manner, video motion detectors combine the security of an alarm contact and a camera in one device. Next, let’s check out how the keypad you use to disarm your alarm can add image-based security.

A photo of someone disarming a QOLSYS alarm system

Storing photos of users disarming the alarm system is one of the QOLSYS IQ Panel 2’s most unique security features.

A Modern Alarm Panel with a Built-in Camera

Over the last couple years, we’ve adopted the QOLSYS IQ Panel 2 as our alarm of choice. This security system combines our standard home security features with all the bells and whistles provides by the latest and greatest advances in alarm technology. The panel features a modern touchscreen interface for a convenient and intuitive user experience. Furthermore, it combines the panel, keypad, and siren into one tablet-sized all-in-one system for incredibly simple installation. Last but not least, this alarm system includes a unique way to add images to your home security. The IQ Panel 2 holds a camera that captures images upon disarming of the alarm. This can help you see who disarms your security system, and when. Therefore, if a contractor or house sitter that you trusted with an alarm code comes back uninvited down the road, they won’t get away with their crime.

Putting it All Together

We hope that this post helps give you some ideas to add images to your home security. The ability to view images creates a huge security advantage, even if you already have some security measures in place. We encourage you to contact us with any questions you may have about the material presented here. Furthermore, feel free to take advantage of our free home site surveys, which we offer to both new and existing customers alike. While on site, we can create concrete plans to help you watch over the areas of your property that you find most important. Furthermore, we can make our own recommendations based on what we find during our visit. Together, we can create a plan to give you “eyes” on your property at all times, day or night, whether you are home or away!