Moneyman, Matt Granite, the host of #Ways2Save, the deal driven segments that air on TV and radio across the country aired an interesting segment on "frugal" home security. While he shared some great ideas, we have our own thoughts on the topic...
For homeowners, business owners, or property managers interested in providing some degree of crime prevention and security at a minimal cost, there’s nothing wrong with being thrifty. Remember, however, what your mom used to say: “You get what you pay for.”
Let’s start our discussion by taking a look at what fake security cameras and surveillance equipment actually means...
Fake Security Cameras
Fake or “dummy” security cameras, the most obvious surveillance equipment on the market are merely inexpensive props designed to look like real, high-quality CCTV cameras. They are available in a wide range of shapes, colors, and styles (since they are designed to mimic the appearance of popular models of residential and commercial security cameras), but provide no real protection as they contain no actual CCTV camera components, nor are they connected to their owners’ security systems in any way. Some of these phony surveillance cameras even have realistic blinking lights and features that allow them to tilt, pan, or appear to zoom in on objects in your environment.
Is Fake Surveillance Equipment Effective?
So you’re probably wondering: “Do Fake Security Cameras Prevent Crime?” The short answer is: “Maybe.” Well, look at it this way: a cheap plastic owl might keep ducks out of your pool for a little while, but once they learn they’re in no real danger of being attacked by their synthetic nemesis, they’ll be back and they’ll be back en masse!
The same can be said for dummy surveillance cameras; once criminals figure out that your camera’s a fake, they’ll use your own false sense of security against you—they might even share this knowledge with their crime buddies. Pretty soon, you’ll find yourself shelling out the money you should have spent in the first place to buy the real McCoy instead of just a decoy.
Dummy Security Camera Lawsuits & Liability Issues
Let’s return to the idea of your fake security camera providing a false sense of security. This idea has many sides to it and sometimes disastrous consequences for all concerned (that is, except for the criminals).
Take for example the recent tragic story of a young woman who was raped in the stairwell of a parking garage. She assumed that, by moving to the camera-equipped stairwell, the cameras might cause her attacker to rethink his crime or at the very least, capture the event for future apprehension and prosecution. Unfortunately, she was later devastated when police informed her that the security cameras were in fact nothing more than cheap plastic shells. Needless to say, she’s now suing the property company—claiming that they were negligent in promoting a false sense of security.
Personal Injury Claims & Security Footage
Another side of the liability issue centers on your ability as a homeowner or business owner to defend yourself against a false injury claim. For instance, what if someone claims they slipped and fell in your driveway or parking lot? Without the proper security camera footage for evidence, how would you be able to contest the fraudulent claim? Also, consider the fact that there are many scammers out there who suffer injuries elsewhere (possibly while under the influence of drugs or alcohol), then at a later date try to pin these injuries on businesses or residences so that they can cash in on their own carelessness.
Dummy CCTV or Real CCTV? -The Choice is Yours
If you live or operate a business in a high crime neighborhood, you really can’t afford to bluff when it comes to alarm systems and security equipment. But of course, ultimately the choice is yours.
Want more info on how to evaluate security cameras for your home or business? Check out our Essential Guide to Security Camera eBook: