Installing a surveillance system is an important measure for parents to take to ensure their kids’ safety. Such a system will allow parents to monitor the inside and outside of their homes, keeping an eye not only on their kids’ activities, but also on any suspicious activity by strangers. Current technology even enables parents to keep watch when they are not at home, providing extra assurance at the times when parents feel that they need it most.

This guide will provide advice to parents about how to keep their kids safe with surveillance equipment. It covers some common and critical situations in which surveillance equipment can help to ensure children’s safety, and it details some basic types of equipment to give parents a good idea of what to look for when putting together a surveillance system for their home.

 

Why Use Surveillance Equipment to Keep Kids Safe?

Surveillance equipment can be very useful in keeping kids safe. Threats to the well-being of children come in many different forms, whether it is malevolent people or hazardous objects within the home. Surveillance equipment lets parents keep an eye on their children both outside the home and inside of it, helping them to rest assured that no harm is being done to their loved ones. This section highlights a few situations where surveillance equipment on both the exterior and on the interior of the home can keep kids safe.

Exterior

The level of a person’s security drops immediately when they leave the confines of a home. This is especially true for kids. There are all manners of trouble that children can get themselves into when they are outside of the home. Most of it is of their own doing, often stemming from playing wildly with other children. That is just a natural part of childhood though, and the risks from such activities are not that large in the grand scheme of things. However, there are other threats to kids that are outside of their control.

There are unscrupulous characters that prey on children, and the outdoor environment presents opportunities for them to conduct their nefarious activities. Surveillance equipment on the exterior of a home can help to secure a home’s perimeter against such people. Parents have the opportunity to monitor suspicious activity around their homes, helping them to protect their children while they are playing outside. Exterior surveillance equipment can also be an effective deterrent to home invasion robbery, an event that can cause not just loss of property, but lifelong emotional trauma as well. Using surveillance equipment to secure the exterior of a home is therefore a very important element in creating a more secure environment for kids.

Interior

Although more threats to kids’ safety exist outside the home than inside of it, surveillance equipment can also help to guard against the perils that are present within a home’s interior. While parents generally have control over who is able to enter their home and have access to their children there, there are many ways that children can do harm to themselves from inside the home.

Sharp objects and hazardous materials abound in most homes, presenting numerous opportunities for curious kids to accidentally hurt themselves. Surveillance equipment can help parents to keep an eye on their kids, allowing them to make sure that their kids are not putting themselves in precarious situations and that if they do, the parents can respond quickly. Having a baby camera, for example, is practically essential to ensure that a baby is safe in their own room. Surveillance equipment also helps parents monitor young children who are exploring a house or who are roughhousing with one another. It is also useful for keeping an eye on babysitters to make sure that they are treating the kids properly. Although a home is generally a secure environment, surveillance equipment can fill in the gaps in security where they exist.

Surveillance Equipment Options

There are a couple of different options for surveillance equipment that is meant to keep kids safe. A complete surveillance system with separate cameras and monitors is called closed-circuit television (CCTV). Parents may also want to explore the possibility of using spy cameras that store their own footage or dummy cameras that do not record anything, but can make an effective deterrent outside a home.

Closed Circuit TV (CCTV)

Closed circuit TV (CCTV) provides parents with televised monitoring of their kids. It is called closed-circuit because the signal is only viewable on monitors that are attached to the system, rather than openly broadcast. Before the Internet and networking came into use, CCTV systemsused analog cameras that broadcast a television signal to a receiver. Since the rise of closed Internet networks, a CCTV system can use Internet protocol (IP) cameras that send a signal to an Internet router, allowing for video to be viewed on computers that are connected to the same router and recorded onto a separate digital video recorder (DVR). CCTV systems may also be wired or wireless. The following sections describe IP camera systems, DVRs, and wired versus wireless systems, along with a section on camera shapes.

IP Cameras

IP cameras send and receive data via an Internet connection. These devices can cover an area that is six times wider than analog cameras, meaning that a broader area can be put under surveillance with one IP camera than with one analog camera. IP cameras tend to present sharper images and smoother moving video than analog cameras do, and it is also relatively easy to connect them to a router for viewing on computers. Furthermore, parents can view IP-based CCTV systems while at a computer that is away from home by logging into their home network.

Digital Video Recorders

CCTV cameras are connected to a DVR, which uses a DVR card to convert video from the cameras into a digital signal that it compresses and stores on a hard drive. A DVR can have 4, 8, 16, or 32 inputs for cameras. Parents can access live or stored video footage, control the cameras, or perform other administrative tasks via the DVR. It is also possible to add additional cameras later by installing an extra DVR card into the DVR.

Network video recorders (NVRs) perform a similar recording function as DVRs, but they do not process video like DVRs do. They are not connected directly to the cameras, but instead are auxiliary devices that are connected to the same network as the cameras are.

Wired Versus Wireless Systems

CCTV systems can be either wired or wireless systems. Wired systems tend to provide sharper and more consistent video, since they are not subject to airwave interference. Wireless systems will clearly have less wires, though they still must have a wired connected to a power source.

Camera Shapes

Security cameras come in a variety of shapes, and the one that parents choose will often come down to aesthetics. Dome cameras provide a sleek look that can blend in well with a variety of surroundings. Sometimes though, camera prominence is preferable, like when a camera is supposed to be a deterrent. Bullet cameras stand out more than dome cameras do, making unwelcome persons aware that an area that they are targeting is under surveillance.

Spy Cameras

Spy cameras generally have their own storage capabilities and are not hooked up to a CCTV system. They are disguised as low-profile objects, such as a pen, a watch, or a coat hook, in order to avoid detection as a camera. These cameras are ideal for parents who want to monitor how hired service workers, such as babysitters and household repair professionals, behave around kids in the house.

Dummy Cameras

Dummy cameras do not actually have any filming and recording capabilities. They are intended solely to give the impression that an area is under surveillance in an attempt to discourage anyone from thinking about engaging in criminal activity in that area. For parents who are concerned about criminal activity around their homes, but who are not inclined to install functioning cameras, dummy cameras can be a good solution to secure home exteriors.