When we create a security plan for our customers, we do so with several goals in mind. For example, we always recommend installing monitored burglar alarm in any home. Doing so creates a siren response to a security breach, in addition to a police dispatch if necessary. We also regularly install monitored fire detection to help save your house — and perhaps even human life — in the case of a fire emergency. Installing quality lock hardware on your property also deserves special attention, as doors represent the first line of defense against crime. However, none of these measures adds the ability to solve a crime the way image-based security does. Adding this type of security has long remained at the very top of our security “checklist.” In this post, we look at several ways we can make this happen.

First, we’ll look at a couple ways we can add video surveillance to your home. These include both traditional, stand-alone camera systems as well as a couple smart camera options as well. From there, we’ll look at a couple alarm-related items that generate images. Specifically, we’ll look at both a motion detector and an alarm panel that can capture important video and pictures of your home during a potential break-in. Now, let’s get started with a look at a couple security camera options for your home.

Adding Video to Your Home Security Plan

As we mentioned above, when it comes to solving a crime, nothing beats having an image. Specifically, adding cameras can add multiple layers of security. For starters, they provide both live and recorded video footage of your home. Additionally, cameras also provide a visible security deterrent. In fact, the mere presence of cameras often inspires burglars to choose a new target. In this section, we’ll look at both traditional, hardwired camera systems, in addition to a couple options for adding smart cameras.

A sign reading "Warning, CCTV in Operation"

Adding surveillance to any property provides a valuable way to track anything that happens at your home both after the fact and in real time.

Standalone Surveillance

When we install cameras, we generally run wiring from a centrally-located recorder to each camera location. This wiring both provides power to each camera and allows cameras to transmit video back to the recorder. This type of camera system provides a couple of benefits. For starters, we can install high-quality, high-resolution cameras on modern network cabling. Furthermore, hardwired cameras record video at all times. The combination of constant recording, impressive picture quality, and overall camera quality make hardwired cameras our preferred image-based security solution. However, this does represent the most expensive and difficult-to-install surveillance option. Let’s take a look at how smart cameras can help solve these two issues.

Smart Camera Options

Unlike their hardwired counterparts, smart cameras do not require running wiring to a recorder. Instead, these cameras send video to customers’ smartphones via wifi. This cuts down on cost tremendously. While the video quality of these cameras does not match that of hardwired surveillance equipment, this can still provide a good solution for customers looking for image-based security on a budget. Many smart cameras come with unique options as well. For example, our preferred Alarm.com smart camera line also offers a video doorbell camera. This camera allowsyou to receive live video alerts when people approach your home’s exterior doors. At that point, you can start a conversation with your visitor using your smartphone! Both standard smart cameras and video doorbells make great security additions to any home. Next up, we’ll check out a couple alarm-related options to add images to your home security.

A Picture Says a Thousand Words

When it comes to determining the threat level behind an alarm at your home, having an image of your home’s interior goes a long way. It surprises many of our customers to learn that we offer equipment other than secuity 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 sensor 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!

Motion Detectors that Capture Images

A few years 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 within a section of your home. These sensors allow customers to secure large areas of their home with a single alarm component. 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 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.

An Alarm Panel with a Built-in Camera

Over the last few years, we’ve adopted the QOLSYS IQ Panel 4 as our alarm of choice. This security system combines our standard home security features with all the bells and whistles provided 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.

A photo of someone disarming a QOLSYS alarm system

Storing photos of users disarming the alarm system is one of the QOLSYS IQ Panel 4’s most unique security features.

The IQ Panel 4 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. While security systems do a great job deterring crime for those without an alarm code, most alarms do very little to help if someone with a code commits a crime. This unique security feature offered by the QOLSYS panel helps alleviate the risk of someone with a code breaking into your home undetected!

Putting it All Together and Creating Image-Based Security

We hope that this post helps you add some effective image-based security to your own home security plan. In addition, we encourage you to contact us with any questions you may have about the material presented here. Moreover, we also invite you to take advantage of our free site survey program. We provide complimentary security audits and equipment quotes to both new and existing customers alike. While on site, we can address any security concerns you may have. Furthermore, we can also make our own suggestions based on what we observe during our visit.

Perhaps you have some of the equipment discussed here, but would atill like to beef up your security measures. Or, maybe reading this has given you the motivation to begin adding this security to your own home! Either way, we are here to help. Together, we can create a complete security plan to keep you, your home, and your family as safe and secure as possible.