DIY Home Security

Your Guide To Securing Your Home Yourself

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How To Conceal A Camera Inside A Birdhouse: What You Must Know


Birdhouse with Spycam Security Camera

Although having a visible outdoor security system is a good way to deter criminals, cameras that can be seen are open to all types of damage – vandalism, theft, and weather damage. So, you might decide that you’d rather not have your outdoor security cameras easily visible to people walking by.

Some burglars can scout out a potential robbery site for days before they intend to strike. If they know where the cameras are they will be able to either avoid them or disable them.

 

Many people decide to use both hidden and observable cameras. The cameras that are in plain view act as a deterrent and the hidden “spy” cameras are still able to capture the crime even when the obvious cameras are discovered and disabled.

 

There are a number of ways to conceal outdoor security cameras, but an all-time favorite is a camera in the birdhouse trick. A birdhouse is a great place to conceal an outdoor security camera.  The design makes concealment easy. It also provides great protection from the elements. You can mount a birdhouse on a tree, on a post, or against a wall. If you have a wireless camera system, you can place them nearly anywhere which means that the coverage of your property is greatly extended.

 

Hiding a camera in something like a birdhouse also keeps your property looking natural and aesthetically pleasing. And guests arriving at your house don’t need to feel intimidated by being “watched”!

 

Before you decide to hide your security camera inside a birdhouse there are a few things you need to know.

 

Pre-Made or DIY?

This is entirely up to you. There are many different designs of birdhouses, and you could go out and find one that suits your requirements. You might need to do a bit of modification, but the basic structure will be right there for you. There are even birdhouses made specifically to house security cameras.

If you are feeling more like a project, the DIY route is for you. It’s a cheaper option and seeing as a birdhouse doesn’t need much wood, you are likely to find enough materials lying around the shed or workshop. So instead of cheaper, it’s even better, it free!

 

What Size and Type of Camera Should You Buy?

·         Size

The smaller the camera, the easier it is to hide. Buy a small spy security camera if you are wishing to conceal it.

 

·         Budget

If you are satisfied with a standard definition image and you’re not looking for anything particularly fancy, the cheap cameras will be fine for you. They don’t come with great HD and the images are black and white. Paying a bit more will get you a camera with better image quality as well as the ability to connect to your Smartphone.

 

·         Watch

Where do you want to be able to watch the recordings from your security camera? Most basic setups will allow you to watch the live images on your television. If you add a capture device, you will be able to record and watch the images on your PC. The more advanced cameras let you watch on your Smartphone or tablet.

 

·         Wireless?

Small spy cameras are generally wireless, so they are easy to place and easy to move if necessary. They also have built-in audio recording and night vision capabilities so any activity at night will not be missed. Analog wireless security cameras have a range of up to about 30 meters. Be aware that there can be interference from other devices which might affect the images or recordings.

 

·         Wired?

Wired cameras are generally more reliable and usually have better image quality. They often cost a bit less too. There is the inconvenience of the cabling, however with cables, you get can increase the distance of the camera from the power source. The cables will also need to be concealed. Your birdhouse might need a bit of modification in order to run the cabling through it.

 

·         Wi-Fi?

Wi-Fi security cameras are able to provide high-definition digital images with no risk of interference. You simply connect the security camera to your wi-fi network. You can watch the images on your Smarphone, PC, or tablet. With an app, you can watch wherever there is a wi-fi connection.

 

 

 

Other Considerations

A birdhouse, as opposed to a birdfeeder, is an enclosed space with only a small hole in the front. The whole of the camera’s body can be covered while the lens peeps through the hole.  There is no loss of sight lines – the security camera has an unimpeded view of the surroundings you wish to survey.

 

If you are mounting the birdhouse on a tree or near bushes, you might need to do a bit of a garden trim back to make sure that no leaves or branches are in the way of the lens.

 

Another thing you might want to keep in mind is where the bird nesting sites are in your garden. If you set up a birdhouse camera housing during the breeding season you can cause adults to abandon their babies. Make sure you install the camera birdhouse when you’re sure no prospecting birds are likely to visit it.

 

Make sure that you set up the birdhouse in a fairly sheltered spot preferably not facing the direction of oncoming storms.

 

Take note of how far away from the house you wish to set up the camera housing. Remember that wireless cameras only have a certain range. Wireless or not wireless your camera will need a power source – you will need to make sure that you have enough cabling to run to your television, PC, or network router.

 

What Type of Birdhouse to Choose?

You will need to have access to your security camera. Make sure that the roof of your birdhouse is easy to remove. This makes installation much easier too.

 

The size of the box will be determined by the size of the camera you have bought. Make sure there is enough room to house the camera with a little room on each side so that you can fit your hand in and around the camera to remove, clean, or replace it as needs arise.

 

There are so many designs of birdhouses that you might find it difficult to choose between them. This is where you can be as whimsical or practical as you wish to be – a plain and simple wooden box or an elaborately decorated little abode. If you prefer not to draw attention to the birdhouse, keep it ordinary looking. If you want to camouflage it, find one that is either painted like foliage or in camo. Otherwise, you can paint it yourself according to where you mount it. If you are mounting it in a tree, you can paint it brown to match the bark or green to match the leaves. If you are mounting it against a house or wall, you can disguise it by painting it the same color as the surface against which it will lie.

 

The most important consideration is the size of the hole in the front of the birdhouse.  This needs to be big enough for the camera lens to fit comfortably through but not too big that there is room around the lens for bugs, spiders, or small rodents – or birds – to enter into the house.

 

Power Cables

All security cameras need a source of power. There is the option to run them from batteries, but this is not recommended. Battery life can be a bit low, and they will require changing regularly. The most reliable way of powering your securing camera will be by the mains power supply.

Extension cables are not too expensive, and they can be buried underground and run from the mains to the birdhouse thus keeping the aesthetics of the yard intact as well as protecting them from theft.

 

Another workable solution is to buy a camera that can be powered over Ethernet. This means that the camera gets its power from a network data cable. This requires a bit of know-how to set up but if you are not too technologically challenged, this option could work well for you.

 

Wi-Fi Signal

If you have a security camera that requires Wi-Fi you will need to make sure that you have enough signal strength to reach the camera way out in the garden. There are ways to extend the range of your Wi-Fi network. If your router is at the front of your house and you wish the Wi-Fi to extend to the backyard, plug a Wi-Fi extender into a plug point that is closest to the backyard. It will amplify and boost the Wi-Fi signal into the yard to cover the whole area. A few of the best Wi-Fi extenders are:

  • The DrayTek VigorAP 920R
  • Mikrotik NetMetal ac2 Outdoor Extender
  • The TP-Link CPE510

 

Can I Build My Own Birdhouse?

Of course! If you are handy and feeling a bit brave, go ahead and make the camera housing yourself. It will be a fun project and give you bragging rights afterward.

 

It is not an easy thing to build a security camera birdhouse and if you are going to do it yourself, don’t skimp! Remember, the better looking the birdhouse, the less likely it will be for burglars to spot that it is, in fact, a camera housing. Make sure you have all the tools and materials you will need right at the start so that you aren’t left in the middle of the project, having to go out and purchase odds and ends. This just makes the whole process frustrating, and it takes a longer time to complete.

 

How to Build Your Own Birdhouse Security Camera Housing

 

Gather your materials

Wood is the best material to use when constructing a birdhouse. Make sure that you purchase the correct amount of wood for your project. If you don’t have the tools to cut the pieces at home, ask the hardware shop if they have the facilities to do it for you. If you want to save a bit of money – and who doesn’t – you could probably find the pieces of wood you need lying around in your shed. Maybe a neighbor has some scrap pieces of wood he wouldn’t mind giving you – it’s worth asking.

 

You will need nails and wood glue to secure the pieces of wood together. Other materials that you will need to gather together are a tape measure, drill with hole saw bits, clamps, a saw, a speed square, paint, and a paintbrush. You might also need a bracket to attach the camera to the lid of the birdhouse.

 

Building the Birdhouse

It’s rather like fitting Lego together except now you are gluing or nailing the pieces together. Drill the hole for the lens in the front section. Make sure the hole is big enough for the camera but not too big that actual birds (or small rodents) can come in and nest there. You might need to place a bit of sealant around the hole if you want a tight seal against insects – especially wasps, who are always looking for a quiet safe place to set up house.

If your camera is not wireless, make sure that you drill a hole through which you can feed the cables.

Make sure the roof fits securely and is waterproof. If you wish, you can place hinges onto the lid for easy flip-up action.

 

Installing the Camera

Before you start the whole installation process, check that the camera is working. It is easier to sort out any teething problems before the camera is secure in its housing. First, check that the camera is working inside the house before taking it outside into the yard and checking it there.

 

If you buy a birdbox that is made for a camera it will have brackets in the box for you to use to attach the camera to the roof of the birdhouse. You will need a few small screws to attach it to the lid. First, attach the bracket and then secure the security camera.

 

If you are worried that the light levels inside the box during the day might not be good enough, and you wish to enhance the images, you can install an LED lamp.

 

Mounting the Birdhouse

Secure your birdhouse to the surface you have chosen using screws. If you are placing the birdhouse on a pole, make sure the house is centered on the pole and secure it using both glue and nails to make sure it is strong enough to endure winds and storms.

 

Conclusion

We hope that you will have great success in finding or building a birdhouse that can house your security camera – a fun, effective way to make sure your equipment is safe so that it can do its job of keeping you safe!

 

 

 

4 Mil Vs 8 Mil Window Security Film: Which Should You Choose


House Window with 8 mil window film

Glass has been used for windows for thousands of years. The Romans are likely to have been the ones who first used glass for windows in Egypt around 100 AD. Before that glass, cloth, wood or paper was used to cover window openings. In this day and age paper would be utterly useless – besides not being transparent it would provide zero security for your home!  But even glass must be protected from burglars to prevent break-ins.

There are many ways to help secure your windows and window security film is one of them. Security film is produced by laminating together various layers of polyester film using special adhesives. Glass that is covered with security film is far harder to break. While the outer glass will crack (the film holds the pieces of glass together thus preventing it from shattering), the inner glass is more resilient against damage.

But as you may know, security film comes in different thicknesses. How do you choose which thickness will suit your requirements the best? How do you know which thickness provides sufficient protection for the size of the window so that you don’t spend more than you need to?

In this article we will explore two of the most common thicknesses used for residential installations – 4mil and 8 mil – and weigh in the pros and cons of both.

What’s the Difference?

The recommendation is to select the security film according to the size of your window. If you have a small window, you can apply a thinner film while a large window will require a thicker one.

In general, the thicker films are more hard-wearing with far less likelihood of being torn or punctured. Thinner films are more often used for protection against the sun.

Of course, the thicker the security film, the higher the cost. Nanotechnology has been used by manufacturers to make thinner films even stronger than the thicker ones, but again, these come at a price.

 

4 Mil – 100 microns

4 mil Clear Window Film

Pros

  • 4 mil (100 micron) film has enough strength to appreciably reduce the risk of being cut by the glass should the window be broken.
  • Your window will comply with the human impact safety standard (AS1288) once you apply a 4 mil security film to it.
  • It will provide protection against graffiti and minor vandalism.
  • It is easy to remove and replace if needs be.
  • 4 mil window security film provides excellent protection against the sun, protecting furniture from damaging UV rays.
  • A 4 mil film is fairly easy to apply yourself.

Cons

  • Only useful in a low threat environment.
  • They do not stop your house from getting hot.
  • Not rated for “Large Missile Impact” – i.e. will not stop catastrophic failure of the glass if a large object is thrown through the window

 

8 Mil – 224 microns

Pros

  • For a window with an area of 1.8m2 (2.15 ft2) or less, you can use 8 mil film which can stand up to 35kg / m2 (77lb / 10.8 ft2)of force. This is strong enough for medium-sized windows that are on the first floor of offices or residences.
  • Certified for “Large Missile Impact”. No, this does not mean that it will stop an actual missile, but it will stop a large rock or other similar objects from penetrating the window.
  • The installation of 8 mil security film will almost certainly deter criminals from breaking in as gaining entry through the broken window is much harder to do.
  • This thickness of film helps to control glare from the sun as well as control the heat in your house.
  • Some films can aid daytime privacy.
  • This film will protect your furniture against harmful UV rays.
  • An 8 mil film will provide protection against graffiti – if it is vandalized, simply peel it off and replace it. Or alternatively, you can lay down two layers and when one is damaged, simply peel off that layer and the underlying layer is ready to go.

Cons

  • For windows larger than 1.8m2 (2.15 ft2) it is recommended that 12 mil film be applied.
  • 8 mil film will probably require professional installation.
  • 8 mil security glass film is not bulletproof!

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I install security film on the interior or exterior of the glass?
It is usual to apply the security film to the exterior of the window, but it can be applied to the interior where context allows – for example, on a hard-to-reach window like a skylight or dormer window.

Is it a noisy installation process?
If old film must be removed first it might be a little loud, but in general, the installation process is not noisy.

Is it okay to install security film on top of existing window film?
It is not recommended. If two layers of window film are put on top of each other, the warranty could be voided.

Can I use security window film on my car window?
Yes, most security films can be installed on car windows. Check the product description first as there are exceptions.

What is the cost of security film?
Prices will vary depending on the manufacturer. Tinting and the type of film will also affect the price. Have a look at Amazon to get an idea of pricing.

Does security film come with a warranty?
Each manufacturer offers a different warranty. They are generally based on the type of film installed. Solar films used for residential purposes usually come with a lifetime limited warranty. Commercial installations usually come with a 10 to 15-year limited warranty. Exterior installations usually have a 5 to 7-year warranty.

Will my new security film bubble?
Water bubbles may be in evidence during the drying process. This is usually just residual moisture that is trapped under the film, and it will evaporate as the film dries. This can take up to 2 months. Don’t press on the bubbles as this could damage the film.

Can I remove the security window film?
Yes, you can. Security film is removable. However, it is not so easy to remove that you need to worry about intruders removing it. It is best to get a professional company to remove the film for you.

Can I get different shades of window security film?
Yes. You can choose from a clean film, a neutral film, or a reflective film that looks like a one-way mirror.  The neutral film will have a tint.

What are the uses of security window film?
Security film strengthens glass up to 2-3 times. It will keep your glass intact when someone, or something, hits it. It will prolong the time it takes for a burglar to get through the window. It prevents the glass from shattering thus increasing safety. Security films block 99% of UVA and UVB rays.

Can I clean security window film?

Yes. Clean it with a non-abrasive material like a micro-fiber cloth. Use ammonia-free cleaning liquids. Don’t clean your windows until the drying period is over.

How long does security film last?
It can last quite a few years depending on the surface it is applied to and the location of the windows. Interior film will last longer than that applied externally.

Is it worth it?
Security glass film does not give a 100% guarantee of protection. However, it certainly adds a layer of security that can give you a bit more peace of mind.

 Does installing window security film affect the value of my house?
While you can’t really set a particular dollar amount to it, buyers will certainly appreciate the extra security offered by window film as well as the other benefits of UV protection and temperature control.

How To Make A DIY Panic Room In Your House: A Quick Guide


Safe rooms have become all the rage recently. If you cannot afford a security system for your whole house a good option is to create a panic room. A panic room creates a challenging barricade between yourself and an intruder in your house. It is a safe place for your family to hide out until external help arrives.

A panic, or safe, room can be just a closet or even a bathroom. However, you can go as big and as fancy as your budget allows. Some panic rooms have bathrooms attached, generators and televisions. There are even panic rooms that have nuclear filters to protect the occupants from radioactive fallout. There are professional companies that come out and construct these types of expensive panic rooms, but what is involved if you do it yourself? Can you create a DIY panic room? Let’s take a look and see.

 

First Things First

 

Choose a Room

Obviously the first thing you need to do is decide which room in your house you are going to change into a safe room. You need to plan your panic room to coincide with your lifestyle and the routines of your family. The room should have only one doorway and only one window or, preferably, no windows. Keep in mind that easy access is imperative. The panic room should be located on the same floor as the rooms where your family spend most of their time.  It should have walk-in access – i.e., no stairs to climb to gain entry.

Experts agree that a panic room built for the purpose of protection against intruders, should be built to hold for at least 30 minutes to a few hours – long enough for the police to arrive.

You might choose to build your panic room in the basement. Keep in mind that if you do this you will need to place an air purifier in your basement. This will ensure proper ventilation.

The purpose of the panic room will help determine where to put it. Placement is very important in panic rooms built for protection from weather disasters. For safety against tornados, build your panic room in the basement or on the ground floor. For protection against flood, a first or second floor is better.

 

What Are The Possible Threats?

What Are The Possible Threats?

Are you wanting protection for your family or for valuables? Do you expect home invaders to be armed with hammers, pipes, axes or guns

and rifles? Are you looking for protection against weather events? The answers to these questions will determine how you build your DIY panic room and what you put into it. In this article we will concentrate mainly on what you will need for home invasion protection.

 

 

The Door

This is the most important thing to secure in your safe room. It is the first place that intruders will try to gain access through.

Most interior door have a hollow core. A door meant for security will need to be a solid core door.  The best material to use for a safe room door is iron or steel. These materials can withstand a lot of abuse and provide excellent protection against battering or kicking.

Ensure that hinges, strike plate, and the hardware of your door are all secure. Hinges and strike plates can be improved using 3-inch set screws.

Make sure the door frame is secured properly into the surrounding wall and that the door itself fits tightly against the door frame to hinder any attempts at prying open with crow bars and similar tools.

 

The Lock

There are a few things that will determine the door locking mechanism you choose.

If you are using the room to secure valuables, then the door needs to be able to lock from the outside. The unlocking mechanism must be of such a quality that it is extremely difficult for the intruders to break it.

If you are securing people in the room, the door need only have a lock on the inside.

If the panic room is being used for both reasons you will need to look for a lock that is easy to use on a day-to-day basis while also being robust enough to protect your valuable when you are away from home for any extended period of time. You can consider putting more than one lock on the door.

Make sure the lock you choose has a high metal content. One of the best locks to consider for a panic room is a double-sided deadbolt.

 

Reinforcing Walls

If an intruder can’t come through the door or window they could attempt to come straight through the walls. There are a few ways you can make your wall stronger. You could replace your current walls with brick or concrete walls but, as a DIY project, this could prove a bit much especially as you are then messing with the structure of your home and will possibly need permits. An easier option are ballistic panels fabricated from fiberglass or Kevlar. Kevlar is the stuff they line bullet proof vests with – it is a manufactured plastic made of poly-para-phenylene terephthalamide.

Cheaper options for reinforcing your walls are to line them with plywood over the drywall and secure the plywood by attaching it with screws directly to the studs. You could also add chicken wire to your walls for added protection.

Some people decide to camouflage their panic room. This can be done with decorating ideas or concealing the doorway in a creative way.

 

Windows

Check that your window locks are working properly. Make sure the lock cannot be bypassed on the outside of the house.

Windows can be reinforced using security film or security bars.

Security film will prevent the glass from shattering completely. Good quality film can prove enough of a deterrent to a burglar when they see that their first attempt at breaking in through the window failed.

Metal security bars are a good solution for window security, but they do give away the fact that that particular room is being used to house something of value.

If you want to up the ante a bit, you can replace your window with a ballistic or blast window.

 

Security Cameras

Although this might be a bit of an added expense, if you are wanting to be able to see what is going on outside your panic room while you are safely inside, you can install security cameras outside the room. Being able to see what is going on outside could help you anticipate further possible dangers. Security cameras can be linked to your Smartphone which means you don’t need to set up a monitor inside the panic room – just keep your phone with you. Being able to see what is going on outside can also mean that you are able to inform the authorities of the dangers thus assisting with containing the threat efficiently.

 

 

What to Put Inside a Panic Room?

Now that your room is selected and made optimized for security it’s time to choose items to place inside the safe room.

 

  • Phones

It is essential to have a phone in your panic room. Once you are secure inside the room you will need a way to contact the authorities. Landlines should not necessarily be your first choice as they are affected by power outages and the lines can be cut. It is better to use a cell phone. In the USA cell phones can make emergency calls even if you don’t have an active account. Make sure there is a phone charger in the room and that you have strong signal.

 

  • Wi-Fi

Having good internet connection can also prove essential. Make sure that you have a strong Wi-Fi signal in the panic room.

 

  • Alarm

It might take time for emergency response to arrive. Find a way to make lots of noise to attract the attention of people walking by or of neighbors. You can install an alarm that isn’t connected to a security system. The switch can be placed in the panic room and activated once you are safely inside. If you have not soundproofed your room, keep some earplugs handy! Noise not only attracts attention, but it can deter intruders from staying in your house too long.

 

  • Weapons

If the panic room is breached, you need to have means available to you to fight back. Pepper spray or a Taser might be items to keep in your safe room. If you are trained to use a firearm you could keep one in a safe and secure place inside the panic room.

 

 

 

  • Food and Water

While a panic room is not meant for use over very long periods it is a good idea to keep a small stock of food and water in the room.  Utensils and a microwave can also be placed in the room. You could possibly be there for a couple hours and having some food available will not only calm the nerves but while away the time until help arrives.

 

  • Medical Kit

Keep a small first aid kit in the safe room. Minor cuts or scrapes could have been suffered as people rushed to the safety of the room. Medication that could be needed over a 12-hour period should also be stocked in the panic room.

 

  • Emergency Items

Consider keeping a flashlight in the room in case of a power outage. Other emergency items like a battery powered radio, blankets and towels and a spare set of clothes might come in handy. A portable toilet might also be useful if your room doesn’t have an attached bathroom.

 

Emergency Plan

 

Now that your room is built and kitted out it is important to create a plan for what happens in an emergency. Make sure each member of the family knows the plan.

The plan should include:

  • When to go to the panic room – If strange noises are heard at night should your family go to the room immediately or go to the head of the family first for instructions?
  • What gets taken into the room – Each member of the family can be given the job of taking something of value – jewellery, important papers etc. – into the room in an emergency.
  • How will you alert the authorities – Make sure everyone knows to always keep a cell phone inside the panic room.
  • All clear – How will you communicate this to those inside the room? What will the signal be?

 

Equity

 

Tornado safe rooms can increase the sale price of your house by approximately 3.5 percent. A true panic room however can cost a bit more to construct and kit out than a tornado safe room. Check with your local realtor to see if the cost of adding a panic room to your home will add to the equity of your house.

 

 

Lastly

With a bit of thought, planning and budgeting you can make your own panic room. What you are planning to use it for will determine how secure you need it to be and what you need to stock it with. It is not something that is likely to be used very often – hopefully! – so a good idea is to keep the room multifunctional; a flex space within your home that serves the purpose of a panic room when needed.

If you are in an area susceptible to wildfires, you can construct your panic room with materials that are fireproof thus saving lives as well as important documents, family photographs and other items of value.

A panic room can provide you with peace of mind knowing that you have done the best you can to take care of your family in an emergency situation. If you are truly security conscious, a safe room is an ideal solution to many security needs.

Can Security Camera Footage Be Tampered With


We’ve all seen those movies where vital security camera footage has been tampered with. The criminal gets off scot-free because somehow, they were able to alter the images or freeze the recording or even change the time stamp. But is this actually possible or is it just another of Hollywood’s shenanigans?

 

Unfortunately, the short answer is yes, the footage on your security camera can be tampered with! But how can this happen and are you able to see if your footage has been changed? Let’s take a look at these questions… and a few others too… in more detail.

 

What is Camera Tampering?

This is when a perpetrator tries to damage, access, vandalize or steal a security device. CCTV cameras can be vulnerable to vandalism as they are often mounted on outside walls. It is important to mount your cameras in places that are difficult see or difficult to get to – high up on walls or in places that are slightly concealed or in shadow. This might not stop tampering entirely but it will dissuade those who are simply out to randomly cause damage to property or acting opportunistically.

 

How Can Someone Change My Camera Footage?

Cameras form the basis of any video surveillance security system. You need to know that the footage recorded is safe and accurate. Unfortunately, with the advanced technology and software of today, anything can be changed. The physical safety of your surveillance system as well as the data security must be made a priority.

 

Physical Safety of Your Equipment

Strategies like Tamper Detection and Vandal Resistance can help in preventing vandalism especially if your cameras are located outside.

The most basic way that your cameras can tampered with is by simply disconnecting them. An unplugged camera cannot record. Make it a priority to check all your power cables to ensure none have been pulled out or cut.

A camera that has been disconnected produces an alarm. So instead of pulling out power cables, the perpetrators can simply move the cameras – either taking them off the walls or changing the viewing angles. Lenses can also be blocked. Check your cameras regularly to make sure nothing has been changed.

Some CCTV cameras use a key switch or a timer that arms or disarms the system. This is a greater risk when the system is remotely monitored. Check that the RVRC (Remote Video Response Centre) is working correctly and sending through alarms at the times it is supposed to.

Damaged or disconnected alarm sensors will not send alarm triggers at the central monitoring station. If your site is connected to a central monitoring station it could be days before they realise that the alarms are not working. Check that the RVRC is receiving the right number of alarms.

 

Data Security

To protect your data there are methods like Firmware Signing and Solid-State Storage. Securing your data correctly means that your video footage is secure too. Securing access to the data will also prevent tampering.

The time or date can be adjusted on the DVR (Digital Video Recorder) and this could be used to cover up a criminal act. Make sure that the date and time is correct. It is a cause for concern if even a time discrepancy of only a few minutes is found.

Many systems use a watermark on their footage. If the footage is tampered with this watermark gets broken. A line running through the footage will appear when the camera footage is replayed. This makes it easy to see if the footage has been tampered with.

 

How To Prevent Tampering

In order to come up with an effective solution to prevent tampering, you need to ask yourself the following type of questions: “How durable is the device”, “How is the camera mounted”, “Where is the best place to mount my security cameras” and “Who has access to the cameras and to the footage”.

We previously touched on some of the answers to these questions. Mount your cameras in high places and places that are not easily visible while still having a clear viewing range. Make sure your cables are protected and checked regularly. If your camera is mounted outside, make sure that it is durable and weatherproof.

Only allow a few people access to the camera footage.  Make sure they are people you can trust.  However, even if you do trust them, check up on them regularly.

Make sure that you keep backups of all your footage and store the backups securely.

 

Is It a Lot of Hard Work to See if My System Has Been Tampered With?

Yes, it can be!  Sadly, it can take a large amount of resource to do these tests.  However, there is software out there that can help you.

CheckMyCCTV is one such software solution. It monitors your security system all day, every day, from your smartphone.  CheckMyCCTV performs remote maintenance checks.  It will provide you with a list of the faults it finds, allowing you to decide if and when you want to fix the issue.

This software can pick up connection problems, camera failure, integrity of the images, hard drive failure, problems with recordings and the accuracy of the date and time stamps.

You can purchase this software on various sites online.

 

Image Forensics

There is no easy way to find out whether a video has been tampered with or not. Especially if the editing has been done well. However, there are subtle things that might give an edit away.

  • Technical giveaways

These are artifacts of the editing technique. For instance, mathematical formulae are used by editing software to blur images so that they do not match reality. By analysing the blurred edge, you could possibly determine whether the blur is natural or a created one. You would need mathematical analysis to assist you with this. Blurring can also be done on still images. Video editing is harder to detect than that done to still images.

Another giveaway on video editing is fake motion. It not an easy thing to fake motion. There is great difficulty in matching the motion so closely that it is hard to detect. Keep an eye our for anything that looks like a glitch in terms of movement on your video footage.

  • Visual Analysis

This is simply looking closely at the footage to see that there is nothing inconsistent in the recording. For instance, objects casting the correct shadow, or the angle of shadow, might show that something has been edited.

To be good at forensic image analysis one must study and practice considerably so that you become competent.  Even analysts that are highly skilled have difficulty in determining with absolute certainty that videos have been edited.  Such are the skills of the perpetrators!

There are plugins to aid you with your forensic analysis, but they are not always conclusive. One such plugin is called InVid. You can find it online on the InVid website.

 

So, your security camera footage be tampered with, but it is preventable.  You need to have the correct equipment and software installed and you need to make sure you are vigilant with checking up both on the hardware of the system as well as the footage recorded. Limit access to the footage and make regular backups.

Just as an added peace-of-mind, if you are using security cameras at your home, chances are the average thief out there will not have the skills to tamper with your camera footage and will only tamper with your physical camera. Providing you follow our tips as pertains to the placement of your cameras and visually inspect them regularly, you should be perfectly fine.

What Are The Best Lorex Motion Detection Settings Available


 

If you’ve heard of the Lorex brand but aren’t quite sure what the company is all about, let me give you a quick rundown. Lorex is a highly respected security systems company operating for the last 30 years in the Unites States of America. They have created quite a number of award-winning products. They were the first company to market 4K resolution security cameras.  Recently they have released a solution for both wired and wireless cameras called the Fusion Collection. They are able to kit out your office or your home with the latest in security cameras ranging from video doorbells to smart home systems and 2K wire-free systems.

 

Why do you need a Lorex Motion Detection System?

If you are needing to keep an eye on pets at home while you are at work, or to make sure that an elderly relative is safe while they are on their own, or if you simply need to make sure that your home or business is secure, a motion detection system is a good way to go.

Lorex is a particularly good brand offering systems that have recorders with large hard drives built for continuous use and that can be upgraded easily. They provide systems that have the smartest motion detection and the highest quality night vision. Their systems are also weatherproof and will work year-round offering excellent performance for many years. Lorex offer super reliable security systems and to top it all, they come with a warranty.

So, back to the main question – What are the best Lorex Motion Detection settings available?

 

Table of Contents

Why do you need a Lorex Motion Detection System?

Standard Motion Detection

PIR Motion Detection

Advanced Motion Detection

Smart Motion Detection

Smart Motion Detection Plus

Person Detection

What are the most popular Lorex motion detection systems?

What are some of the Pro’s and Con’s of Motion Detection Systems?

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

There are a few different types of motion detection systems. All Lorex security cameras have motion detection but some of the systems also feature things like:

  • Advanced motion detection
  • Smart motion detection
  • Person detection

Let’s take a look at the different types of systems.

 

Standard Motion Detection

These systems will pick up all kinds of movement – it can be a person, a car, an animal, or an object, like a tree branch moving in the wind. The sensitivity of the motion detection can be customized and specific motion zones set. This is done through the recorder or sometimes through a corresponding app.

PIR Motion Detection

This type of system – Passive Infrared Motion Detection – detects

moving heat signatures. Cars, people, and animals will be detected easily by such a system due to the fact that they give off heat.

 

 

Advanced Motion Detection

These motion detection systems generally only detect people or vehicles. This can be advantageous is that it reduces the number of unwanted alerts. So, if a suspicious person is lurking around your home, the advanced motion detection will be triggered but the sensors will ignore Fido chasing his ball in the back yard.

 

Smart Motion Detection

So smart in fact, that it can determine if movement is caused by people or motor vehicles and give you separate alerts for each.

 

Smart Motion Detection Plus

Even smarter than smart this system allows you to choose between Smart Motion Detection and Face Detection. With Face Detection alerts will only be sent if a face has been seen coming towards the camera. This again cuts down on unwanted alerts from people walking by or vehicles passing in front of the system.

 

Person Detection

As the name suggests, this system only detects motion caused by a person. The Lorex App will send a notification to you via your smart phone immediately the sensor is triggered.

 

What are the most popular Lorex motion detection systems?

 

First on the lists seems to be the 4K 8-Channel Network Video Recorder with Smart Motion Detection, Voice Control and Fusion Capabilities, 2TB HDD. This system will cost you around $300. Lorex does offer various payment plans to assist you.

This system comes with a 4K resolution recording, Smart Home compatibility and a security-grade hard drive. It supports Smart Motion Detection Plus. It can accommodate two Wi-Fi cameras to open channels thus allowing you to expand your coverage.

 

Next up is the 4K Ultra HD Smart Deterrence IP Dome Camera with Smart Motion Detection Plus. This system comes with 4K resolution recording, SMD Plus, Smart LED light and a siren. It’s a great upgrade to the NVR security system.

 

 

 

Third on the list is the 4K Ultra HD 8 Channel Digital Video Recorder with Smart Motion Detection and Smart Home Voice Control. This system offers you great recording capabilities, security camera support and limits notification to people and motor vehicles. The security grade hard drive ensures that your data stays private and there are no data storage fees. It can be paired well with the Lorex Home App which allows you remote viewing. There is also the additional feature of voice control.

 

The next most popular system is a bit pricier. It is the 8-Channel 4K Security System with 8 Outdoor Cameras featuring Smart Motion Detection and Color Night Vision. The 4K DVR supports up to 8 ultra-HD 8MP security cameras and offers a maximum night vision range of 120 feet. It comes with a 2-terabyte hard drive. Other features include smart motion detection as well as Color Night VisionTM. It also has local video storage and is Smart Home compatible.

 

 

The 4K 16-Channel Fusion Network Video Recorder with Smart Motion Detection and 3TB Hard Drive is our next most popular choice. This system forms the center of your security system. It has a 16 channel 4K Fusion NVR, Smart Home compatibility and supports SMD Plus as well as Safeguard features. This is probably the best NVR currently on the market. It can accommodate two Wi-Fi cameras to open channels.

 

The last system I will take a look at today is quite expensive but worth it if you are looking for the ultimate in motion detection – the 4K Ultra HD 8-Channel IP Security System with 8 Smart Deterrence 4K (8MP) Cameras, Smart Motion Detection and Smart Home Voice Control. With 8 channels supporting 8 4K Smart Deterrence Cameras and 150 feet of night vision this is a professional grade security system that will provide top grade motion detection at your home or place of business.

 

 

 

What are some of the Pro’s and Con’s of Motion Detection Systems?

 

Pro’s

Better Home Security

Criminals tend to target properties when the residents are asleep or when the property is empty. Houses / businesses with access points that are not visible from the street are also vulnerable. Motion detection systems can be great deterrents when it comes to opportunistic thieves. Lights that automatically go on when motion is detected and cameras that record the events can prove very valuable in these situations. Alerts are immediately sent to the owner’s phone, and they are then in turn able to alert the authorities.

 

Better Safety

Motion detection systems can help with more than just burglars.  In some parts of the country wildlife can pose a threat too – be it racoons in the garbage or bears in search of food, motion detection systems allow you to see what is happening from the safety of your home allowing you to come up with a plan of action.  Motion detection systems that trigger security lights also help you see where you are going if you are leaving your house in the dark meaning that you are less likely to trip over things and are better able to navigate slick, icy surface in the winter. More light, less injuries, more safety.

 

Better Convenience

How much better to arrive home in the dark with arms full of groceries and kids running around and have a light come on instantly to help you get safely to your front door. Dark icy mornings and evenings become safer as you can see the hazards in front of you. And if someone approaches the front door in the dark, the lights will be triggered, and you can easily see who is at the door from the safety of the inside of your home.

 

Better Saving

Instead of having exterior lights that stay on all night, a motion detection system allows you to save on your electricity bill by simply having lights that come on when needed and then switch off again.

 

Con’s

Too Irritating

Automatic security lights are great but can also be irritating if they are triggered by any and every movement be it from a waving tree branch to a dog running by. If a light keeps going on unnecessarily it loses its effectiveness.

 

Too Costly

The initial outlay for a motion detection system can be off-putting. Although there are cheaper options, the better systems are usually quite pricey.

 

Too Bright

The quality of the light and how often the light is triggered will determine how soon the luminaires will burn out.  This is an added and ongoing expense – especially if they don’t last as long as you thought they would. Getting better quality lights will eradicate this issue but will also add to the startup costs.

 

Too Hot

Heat sensors are set to sense temperature change within their coverage area. Possible problems can occur when the sensor is installed near an air conditioner or a heater. This will reduce the effectiveness of the system. Heat sensors often battle to work where temperatures are over 95 degrees Fahrenheit. This could cause problems in places with warm climates.

 

Too Slow

If a person or object moves very slowly directly towards the motion sensor, the sensor is less likely to pick up the movement. If a burglar is aware of the motion detection system, there is the possibility that by moving slowly they will not trigger the system.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What are motion detectors?

Motion detectors are electrical devices that use sensors to detect the movement of people or objects nearby. They form an important part of a security system and are able to send alerts straight to your mobile phone when the sensor is triggered.

 

Is there any difference between a DVR and an NVR?

DVR’s are analog and NVR’s are digital. They both provide you with the same basic functions – recording, storage, motion detection and remote connectivity. However, there are a few differences. For example, they differ in how the security cameras are connected and how the incoming video is received.

 

Do I need to update the Firmware?

Yes, you will need to update the Firmware. You will need to update on system start-up in order to enable remote viewing. You will also be required to upgrade your mobile apps or your client’s software.

 

Can my Lorex system be connected to my TV or computer?

All Lorex DVR’s and NVR’s come with VGA and HDMI video outputs. This enable connection with your HD TV as well as with nearly any other type of monitor.

 

Can the Lorex cameras withstand the weather?

Most of the Lorex cameras come with an IP66 or IP67 weatherproof rating. This Ingress Protection rating indicates how resistant equipment is to both dust and liquids using a 2-digit code. Lorex cameras with this rating can be used safely outdoors in nearly all climates.

 

What about Vandals?

Some of the Lorex cameras come with heavy duty metal exterior and have an IK10 vandal proof rating. This means that they are ideal for easier to reach areas and can withstand aggressive impacts. Most of the Lorex cameras do not come with an IK10 vandal proof rating. They are however still durable, and they are designed with cable protection in mind.

 

What are the audio capabilities of a Lorex system?

Some of the Lorex models do come with a built-in microphone that can capture sounds made around the camera. You need to check on your local privacy laws before doing any audio monitoring.  Audio recording is not always legal.

 

Wireless and wire free – is there a difference?

Wireless cameras still need a power source. This means they need to be plugged in somewhere. So wireless is not really completely wireless. Where the wireless part comes in is between the receiver attached to the DVR and the actual camera.  Wire-free cameras run on batteries. They don’t need plugging in to a power source. The wire-free cameras usually turn on only if any motion is detected.  These cameras won’t provide surveillance 24 hours a day 7 days a week and they tend to have trouble in high traffic area because the constant motion drains the batteries very quickly.

 

What is the best location for a wireless system?

In places where it might be difficult to run cables to it might be a good idea to install a wireless system – detached buildings, high up installations or where the camera needs to be placed in a remote area.

 

Why should I choose Lorex?

Lorex is the top of the range in terms of motion detection equipment. They use cutting-edge technology and can ensure the highest quality in video recordings. Along with being weatherproof and resistant to vandalism, they also have great features – 4K image sensors, noise reduction, Wide Dynamic Range Imaging and much more. They also have a wide range of motion detection products that suit just about all your security needs.

 

What is video motion detection?

Lorex DVR’s and IP cameras come with VMD abilities. Every pixel that is recorded is analysed so that the DVR / IP camera will immediately know if there are any changes in a group of pixels. The sensitivity settings can be changed to that only larger movements trigger the system. Recorders and mobile apps keep track of every movement event.

 

For how long are recording stored?

This depends on the system that you have purchased and on your personal settings. The size of the hard drive is the most important factor in storage. The oldest footage is constantly replaced with the latest footage thus the hard drive size determines how long recordings are stored.

 

Are the recorded videos compressed?

The answer to this is yes. The security footage is automatically compressed. This saves you a large amount of data and also extends your recording times. No quality is lost in the footage. In the analog systems, the video is compressed in the DVR. In IP cameras the data is compressed by the camera itself and then the data is sent to the NVR.

 

How do I download my videos?

A portable USB drive or an external USB hard drive can be used to download your footage.

  • Insert the USB media into the DVR or NVR’s USB port,
  • Bring up the main menu by right clicking on the live view,
  • Log in,
  • Click the “backup” option,
  • Select the channel and the start and end times
  • Click the files that you want to backup
  • Click start

 

Why is the night vision in black and white?

Infrared light is invisible to the human eye because is has a longer wavelength and thus falls outside of the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum. In situations where the light is dim, the cameras can’t pick up the visible light wavelength. It can pick up the infrared wavelength however and thus the image is black and white. In order to produce color images at night or in the dark, color vision cameras need ambient light. CNV cameras have extremely powerful image sensors. These are far more sensitive to light than normal sensors. These image sensors can absorb a greater amount of light and are thus able to see color at night. However, if there is no ambient light, the footage will be black and white.

 

Where can I buy the Lorex Motion Detection Systems?

You can purchase all the Lorex products directly from Lorex or you can visit Amazon.com. Some of the major retailers like Costco, BestBuy and Sam’s Club also stock Lorex products.

 

Where are the best places to install motion detectors?

Before we look at where is the best place to put motion detectors, let’s quickly list where not to put them! Don’t place the behind large pieces of furniture – this will completely block their view of the room. Don’t place them near a heat source or in rooms that might get too hot like attics or sunrooms. Don’t put them on stairs – the kids running up and down will cause far too many false positive triggers. And don’t put them across from doors – again, a lot of false positive triggers will be caused by people going in and out.

The best places to install the smaller types of motion detectors are:

Corners – place them in the corner of a room facing toward the entry way.  Anyone coming in the room will set off the alarm.

Valuables – place a sensor looking directly at your valuables.  Anyone approaching those items will trigger the system.

Patios – a sensor on an outside patio or near a back door is a great place to install a motion detector.

Upstairs Bedrooms – even if you think it unlikely that a burglar will try to break in upstairs, it might still be a good idea to install a sensor near your bedrooms. This way you know you will be alerted in anyone tries to break in at night.

Basements – if you place motion detectors in the basement make sure they are not clocked by clutter. A good place to install one is near the basement staircase.

Ceilings – try to place the sensors where a burglar won’t see them. A ceiling is a great place for this and because sensors will work at any angle your system won’t be compromised in any way.

Inside Decorations – hide sensors inside your home décor. This will keep them from being easily spotted by intruders.

 

Finally…………

Motion detectors provide an extra set of eyes that can watch over your home or business when you can’t. They provide an extra layer of security allowing you peace of mind.

From all of the above I think it’s safe to say that when you buy a Lorex product you are buying a very good brand. Are there going to be problems? Possibly. But that’s going to happen with any product you buy. If you come armed with the correct information, such as, where are you needing to install cameras, is it accessible to a power source, what am I needing the cameras to capture etc. then you will be able to make an informed choice and find the best Lorex motion detection product to suit your needs. There is such a wide range to choose from that the best system can really only be determined by which one suits your requirements the most.

There are a variety of reviews available on these products on Amazon. Most people appear to be really happy with their purchase. The systems are easy to install and easy to use. Tech support is available – but only during business hours.

So, whether you are looking to install a very basic system of automatic motion triggered security lights or a full-blown security system with all the bells and whistles, Lorex has a product for you.

Tips To Securing Your Sliding Door From Burglars


Your sliding door can be the most vulnerable door of your house. It is essential to make sure that these doors are secure and can withstand attempted break ins. How to secure them is another issue – and quite a daunting one at that. Being much larger than a standard door means that securing a sliding or patio door can be tricky. And you don’t want something that is bulky and unaesthetic.

Let’s look at some of the options that are available for securing sliding doors and you can decide which one is best for your home.

 

What Makes Sliding Doors So Unsafe?

First let’s see what makes a sliding door so vulnerable to burglary. These types of doors most often use latches rather than locks. Burglars can easily get the better of these latches simply by grabbing them and giving them a good strong jiggle or two, or they can merely remove the glass door from its track – a job that doesn’t even necessarily require any special tools except maybe a crowbar! And of course, there is the good ol’ brick through the window trick! A tried and trusted method of many an opportunistic thief.

Another reason glass patio doors can be unsafe is that they are often not in plain sight. Most often they are around the back of the house where they provide entry into the back yard. And because they are at the back of the house, they are often left unlocked.

Sliding doors are made of tempered glass. This type of glass, while making glass stronger and more resistant to being broken, can still be broken using enough force. The glass however does not shatter into sharp shards but breaks into blunt pebbles – thus the burglar can enter your home without causing any injury to himself!

 

How Do I Make My Sliding Door Secure?

Here are a few tips and tricks that can assist in making your sliding glass door secure.

 

  1. Curtains or Coverings

While this will not stop a burglar breaking in through your patio door, it can help to deter burglary simply by hiding the contents of your

home that a glass door puts so openly on display. Use blinds or curtains to cover your door when you are out of the house and especially at night.

 

  1. Security Bars (Blocking Bars)

Security bars, also known as blocking bars or door jammers, are adjustable metal bars that can be inserted along the bottom track or set at waist height, running along the full length of the door. This effectively jams the door shut, so even if a burglar manages to break the lock, he is still unable to move the door out of place. Amazon has a wide range of security bars available with prices generally ranging between $20 and $40. Alternatively, you could make your own DIY blocking bar by cutting a wooden broomstick or metal bar just slightly shorter than the length of the door track (when the door is closed) and laying it in the door track.

  1. A Security Pin

When your sliding door is closed and secured, drill a small hole through the door frame that slides and into the stationary door frame. Insert a steel security pin. This will hold the two doors together preventing an intruder from sliding the door open.  These are a cheaper option to security bars and can be purchased on Amazon for about $11.

  1. Window Security Film
    A shatterproof window film will add extra security to your glass door while still allowing you to see clearly through the glass. These films can be clear or tinted according to your preference. If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, these films will even help to repel debris that is blown against your door. Window film also helps to reduce glare, protects your furniture from fading in the sun, blocks 99% UV rays, and by obscuring direct visibility, they offer a greater level of privacy. While not making the glass impenetrable, a window security film does keep the window from shattering on impact.  It will take quite some effort for a burglar to break through a sliding door protected in this way. You can purchase security film from many different online stores or by doing a quick web search you should be able to find a supplier near you. They come in a wide range of sizes, colors and patterns. While some of these films can be quite expensive, there are more budget friendly options.
  2. Alarm System
    An excellent way of securing any entry point to your house is to install an alarm systemand have it monitored by a local security company. These types of alarm systems should come with glass break sensors that are a great way to secure sliding doors.

 

  1. Impact-Resistant Doors
    These types of glass doors are also known as hurricane sliding doors and they are built to withstand the impact of debris and other objects being flung against them. They are thus harder for a criminal to break.

 

  1. Track Maintenance
    Keep an eye on the door track and make sure that it is clean, and that the door can open and close easily and without impediment. If your track is broken it will mean that the security of the sliding door is compromised, and it will be easier for burglars to remove it from its track.

 

  1. Good Quality Locks
    A good idea would be to remove the original latches and / or locks and replace them with high quality locks. You can find many of these on Amazon. Take a browse around and see which one suits your needs the best. Prices usually start from around $10. A really good quality lock is a multi-point lock mechanism which allows you to lock the door at multiple points with one turn of the key.

 

  1. Two-Bolt Door Locks
    These locks are easy to install, and you can install them at any height. They work by sliding a steel bolt directly in the door frame when the door is closed. A key is required to open the door both from the exterior and the interior. This is a great improvement on the usual latch mechanism that comes standard with a sliding door. A two-bold lock is quite an inexpensive option and you can easily purchase them on Amazon.

 

  1. Smart Locks
    These locks are a relatively new technology that is transforming how we secure our houses. There are only a few models on the marketat the moment that are suitable for glass sliding doors. These types of locks are strong and more resistant to tampering with than your normal sliding door lock. In case of an emergency, these locks are easier to open that the usual key operated locks. Take a look at some of these locks on Amazon. They are obviously a pricier option but well worth it for those who are serious about their safety.

 

  1. Security Gates
    Security gates are an easy and obvious choice when wanting to secure your home’s sliding doors. They can be a little bulky and not particularly pretty, but by providing an additional layer of hardened security, they get the job done! These gates can either be fixed or expandable. The expandable ones save space and when folded up can easily be hidden behind a curtain or window dressing.

And Finally…

Sliding doors are a wonderful entrance option for your home. They allow tons of natural light to flood into your home creating a warm and inviting environment for your family and friends. They provide easy access to your outdoor entertainment areas and when closed they still offer a feeling of space and openness.

Don’t let the worries of security stop you from installing these attractive and useful doors. As you can see, there are many options available to make your glass sliding doors more secure. And you don’t have to spend a fortune doing it! Most of the security options are both easily affordable and easily installed.

So go for it! Install that patio door in your new house or add it to the plans for your renovation. If you already have a sliding door, check that it’s in good nick and then take your pick from the list of security options above and decide which is best for your home and budget.

Your security is worth it!