Security Signs for the New Year!

With the new year approaching fast, you should make a New Year’s resolution that for once you keep. What is it? To get serious about security and don’t be a victim in 2011!

With the economy the way that it is, it is no surprise that crime is on the rise. While violent crimes have remained mostly in check, it’s theft statistics that are out of control. Particularly homes and businesses are being robbed in epic numbers. Unless you want to be a victim, you must get serious about security.

If you have the budget to install a proper CCTV Camera System you should. And as we’ve discussed in previous posts, even if you install such a system, it is still a very good idea to install Security Signs in conjunction with it. But even if like the rest of the country, you are watching every penny, there is no reason that you shouldn’t install well placed surveillance signs around your home and business to deter potential problems. It is the most inexpensive and easiest step you can take to prevent crime!

Like most other projects in life, not taking action is a sure way to have no results. You must commit to the goal and make it happen. Order the signs today and as soon as they come in, make it a point to install them. You will be happy you did. Aside from the obvious financial impact, not much feels worse then being a victim of a crime. Especially when you could have avoided it.


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Surveillance Signs or Dummy Cameras?

For people interested in security, but without the budget for a proper CCTV Camera System, Dummy Cameras are often the solution of choice. They are cheap, easy to install and give quick satisfaction that you are doing something. The problem with these Fake Cams is well… they usually look fake. Especially to the trained eye of a professional criminal. This can be completely counterproductive to your security goal. Once a potential wrong-doer sees fake cameras, their immediate thought is – there is no security here and to have no concern of getting caught. This often makes them even more brazen.

A great solution to this problem is to use a campaign of well placed Surveillance Signs rather then Dummy Cameras. Camera Warning Signs offer the deterrence of a security system without the knowledge of whether real cameras exist or not. Often when criminals see CCTV Signage or Decals, not only do they assume a real security system exists, but since they can not locate the actual cameras, they think it must be a real high-tech system with hidden spy cams all over the place. Usually this intimidates the criminal and they decide to move on looking for an easier target.

In addition to the obvious look of fake cameras, one of the biggest tell tale signs of a dummy system is how it is installed. Where do the wires go? Is that how a properly installed camera would look? Is it possible that a real camera could be installed there? You should give this point careful consideration if this is something you are considering.

If you can make sure that the Dummy or Fake Cameras you are installing look real, then using them in conjunction with Camera in Use Warning Signs and Stickers may make sense and be helpful. But, if your system looks fake, you are sending a big message of ‘No Security Here’. This is basically inviting problems.

Give careful though to the message your security sends out. Victims of crime are often in such a hurry to just get something in place, that they think anything is better then nothing. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

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Remote Video Monitoring

So you’ve installed a CCTV Camera System to protect your business. You’ve even installed surveillance signs and placed them all around your property. But have you done all that you can do?

One of the growing trends in property security is Remote Video Monitoring. This is an invaluable service where you have a live person monitoring your camera system from a central surveillance station that can be hundreds even thousands of miles away. The benefits of this type of add-on service to a traditional CCTV system is immeasurable. One of the main flaws of a camera system is that they are typically only useful after the fact. After a crime was committed. After you incurred damage. After you have expenses.

By adding Remote Video Monitoring, you now made a reactive system PROACTIVE. With a live person watching your cameras and having the ability to communicate via 2-way audio directly to the location, your system will now prevent problems from happening rather then just deal with it after it already happened. Imagine the power of a live person seeing a problem about to happen and immediately speaking over a loud speaker.

“Gentleman in the black hat and blue shirt; what is your business here?” or “You have entered private property, leave immediately or the police will be called.”

You will never see criminals run so fast! People are much more likely to commit a crime if they think they are alone. As soon as they realize they are not anonymous and are being watched, they will stop immediately!

If you are tired of your property being the victim of crime and you already have a CCTV Camera System installed, consider adding Remote Video Monitoring.

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Covert Audio Disclosure

Many CCTV Systems installed today have the ability to record audio in addition to video. In fact, many of the cameras sold today even have built-in microphones. Audio recording seems like a great feature to offer to your customers, but you have to be careful. In most situations, the covert recording of audio is ILLEGAL!.

Dating back to the early wire tap laws, the Federal Government has take serious steps to protect people from having their conversations secretly recorded. This is why an answering machine beeps; to warn you that you are about to be recorded. Even in places where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy, like in the middle of a public store or office, it is usually against the law to record someones conversation without them knowing.

This is why we strongly recommend that in any situation that audio being is recorded, you include Audio Warning Signage that is placed in clear obvious locations. We use specially phrased signs just for this purpose. They warn everyone: Your voice is being recorded! To be safe, you need to make sure that there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Audio is being recorded in addition to video.

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A Sign of the Times

With the growing trend in the security industry being the use of miniaturized covert ‘spy cams’, users should ask themselves a very important question before they implement their system; “What is the goal of my security system?” If the answer to this question is to punish people after a crime was committed, then a high-tech multi-camera security system might be the best choice. But, if the goal is to prevent crimes and stop them from happening in the first place, then the use of security warning signs may be all that’s needed. 

The use of CCTV Security Camera Signs and Decals can help protect any property simply and effectively. These warning signs are looked for and quickly recognized by potential criminals and alerts these wrongdoers that you are serious about the prevention of crime. They proactively prevent crimes rather then just helping punish after the fact.  

Security warning signs are traditionally used in conjunction with a CCTV camera system. They primarily give the legal notice that is required in different areas about video and audio being recorded. They also usually point out the location of each camera by drawing attention to them. 

Interestingly though, when signs and decals are used without a camera system, the results are just as effective. One recent memory is from a few months ago when the night we installed signs by the pool house of a townhouse association that was repeatedly vandalized. They didn’t have the budget for a complete camera system, and needed results because they had noting left in the emergency fund from the constant repairs. We decided on an aggressive campaign of well placed camera warning signs. 

We completed the install and spent 45 minutes chatting with the association president at his house until it was getting dark, so we went to leave the complex. As we headed to our cars, we happened to see the events unfold right in front of us. 

Sure enough we noticed five young teenage boys walking up the street and heading towards the pool area. We were careful to stay out of sight and not get noticed. We watched as they jumped the fence and started to reorganize the patio furniture for the evening’s party. In less then 2 minutes one of them noticed a sign by the vending machine and immediately began to look for the cameras with eyes darting around in a panic. He yelled out ‘We’re bugged” and ran to the group to point out what he saw. They huddled for a few seconds and then like a shot they all started running.  

We followed closely behind and found out where one of them lived. It only took a short meeting with the child, his mother and the police to get a complete confession and start making plans to repay his portion of the damages. As the police were questioning him, an officer asked him why they ran the way they did. He responded that cameras don’t usually bother them since “you can just put a shirt or something in front of it”. But when they saw the signs and couldn’t find the cameras they assumed there were hidden spy cams all over the place and they were busted.  

So even as the trend in security gravitates towards hidden cameras and elaborate CCTV systems costing thousands of dollars, sometimes the best solution is the most simple.

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