Making informed choices for purchases is always a good idea, especially when you are ready to invest in a security system. There are a lot of choices on the market and making informed decisions will help make sure you end up with the right system to suit your needs. Remember, Security Camera Systems are an investment. Asking the right questions will give you confidence that you are making a sound investment that will serve you well for years.
Security cannot be taken lightly. Your purpose for getting a security camera system – safety for your home and family. Don’t compromise on this matter, your property and loved ones are at stake.Doing a little research and knowing the basics about security camera systems is essential.
Below is a guide with important questions that you should ask yourself and your supplier before purchasing a system.
1.Why am I buying a security camera system
Is it for home or office use? Do you intend to place it indoors or outdoors? Of course your purpose for buying a system is for security but you need to dig deeper on how you want the system to work for you. Here are some typical reasons for adding a system:
- Deterrent – the simple appearance of security cameras is a great deterrent to thieves and vandals.
- To Catch a Criminal – for those who may be currently experiencing theft or crime within their area.
- For Personal Security – you want to add security and peace of mind for yourself or your family.
- Monitoring – you want to see or monitor what’s happening in a certain area even when you are not there.
After understanding your reason for adding a security camera system, you are better equipped to inquire with suppliers. Here are the most common questions to ask your provider before making a purchase
2.What type of camera should I buy?
There are many types of security cameras on the market and each type resolves a particular need of the end user. Here are the most common types of security cameras and their corresponding features and functions:
- Dome wth pan/tilt/zoom Camera – Indoor/ outdoor surveillance with panning ability, best for monitoring wide areas
- Bullet Camera – Commonly used outdoors for viewing long distances
- Day/Night Infrared Camera – Outdoor surveillance, can provide good quality videos even in varying light conditions, ideal for 24/7 surveillance
- Network/IP Camera – Sends videos/images over the internet, perfect for those who want to monitor a location while they are away.
- Wireless IP Camera – Easy installation, no wiring
- High Definition Camera – For locations that need utmost security, provides high-quality videos/images, has a zoom feature to improve details in the video/picture.
3. How much will my system cost?
After knowing which type of camera system is best, have your supplier provide a range of costs and feature sets to compare. Depending on the application, size of the system, type of cameras and level of installation required, prices will vary. It’s important to get the best system for your intended price range so compare features carefully.
4. How will the system operate during a power outage?
Most systems operate at low voltage but will still require power during an outage. Ask if an Uninterruptible Power Supply battery backup is available. Two items that require power during an outage are the DVR (recorder) and your camera power supply. With a backup, if you have a power outage your security cameras will still be recording.
5. Can my location and intended surveillance setup use wireless cameras?
Wireless systems are great, especially for DIY’ers. They are easy to install, require no wiring and can be flexible systems that you may add onto later. However, most wireless security cameras are made for outdoor use and require line of sight. Meaning the transmitter antenna and receiver antenna must be able to physically see each other in a direct line. Also, some interference may occur when other electronics are nearby. Ask your provider about details.
Some suppliers may provide a Security Risk Assessment. A Security Risk Assessment is an activity where the supplier checks the area in which you intend to place the system. This will help them further understand your needs and recommend the best system and setup for your area.
6. Does the provider offer free installation and training on how to operate the security camera system and after sales support?
Some providers offer free installation and training on how to operate your preferred security system. This is important to fully understand and independently operate the security system that you purchase. If you are taking advantage of the cost savings of buying a DIY system from an online supplier, make sure that they are an experienced and reputable supplier with good online support for their products and services.
7. Do the products come with a warranty?
Ask about a warranty. This guarantees that they offer quality products and they will be responsible for any factory defects or malfunctions after installation. It’s important that you feel your provider would cover any problem and that dealing with them on a service issue will be handled in a fast and professional manner.
Knowing what you want in a security camera system is important before you shop. Do a little research, check several suppliers and use these key questions to help you get the best system for your particular needs.