Technology gives homeowners an extra eye to help keep their children and property safe

Keeping an eye on your children, your property and your valuables around the home can be a lot easier today if you have another set of eyes.

The eyes of security cameras.

Mention the words “security camera” and most people think of banks, stores and office buildings. And until the last few years, only estate-size homes tended to be outfitted with cameras.

But a number of factors societal, financial and technological have changed that.

Home security cameras don’t just check on intruders anymore. They’re used as much to keep an eye on children. That’s where the “secure” in security comes in. Busy parents who have to do something around the house while the kids are in another room can feel secure if they can check in through a camera. New parents could use a security camera to keep an eye on a sleeping baby.

Cameras often are used at the front door or a front gate.

Residential security cameras have become increasingly popular in two states California and Florida because of an increasing number of gate entries.
Price is one of the most important factors in the growing popularity of security cameras. A basic system, with one camera near the front door and a monitor, costs from $900 to $1,000. A more complex system can run from $2,000 to $5,000 and up.

Those prices might seem high, but in a survey by Builder magazine  the official publication of the National Association of Home Builders trade group  more than half the shoppers queried said they would pay $1,500 or more for a home-security system.

Technological improvements in residential security cameras also have made them more popular.

They’ve gotten smaller. They don’t have to be the big, old clunky things you used to see. They can be very subtle, blending in with a home.

Picture clarity has certainly been improved, and what makes that much better sometimes is the ability of some cameras to move. It’s now possible with some systems to sit in front of a monitor and operate a control which moves the camera. Instead of having someone or something on the edge of the picture  perhaps out of focus  you can move the camera to have what you want to see in the middle of the picture.

The video systems are most easily installed when a home is being built. Problems can arise if the camera and monitor wiring is too close to a home’s electrical wiring. In existing homes, that problem is compounded by existing walls.

In homes under construction, it’s a lot easier to cope with problems such as these. But even the installer has to know what he’s doing.

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