Do home alarm systems prevent break-ins?
In a word, yes. Basic home alarm systems are designed to detect unauthorized entry and evidence of fire and report itÖthatís it. Itís the fear of detection and reporting that prevents burglaries. Reporting consists of a loud bell or siren that sends most burglars running or the option of having the signal monitored by an external alarm company that will notify whomever you request. To keep burglars out, you need to warn them first of the existence of your alarm system by using a lawn sign and window decals of the alarm company. Of course, for all this to work the homeowner needs to incorporate the use of the alarm system into their everyday routine and actually use it.
What kind of alarm system should I get to protect my home?
The brand name doesnít matter as long as it's good quality. Alarm systems use basic electronic components and wiring and works using a series of open and closed electonic switches. A hard-wired system is the most reliable for a newly constructed single family home. Each door and window alarm contact is supported by its own pair of wires back to the alarm panel and can be isolated as the exact point of entry. Hard-wired system wiring and door and window contacts are imbedded into the door and window frames and thereby protected from tampering.
A more-expensive solution will use wireless technology to transmit a radio-frequency signal back to the alarm panel instead of by wire. The wireless devices are battery operated and therefore are larger and mounted externally on the door or window point of entry. They are easier to install, but suffer from issues of tampering, battery failure, and radio frequency (RF) signal interference. Budget usually dictates what system is appropriate for your home.
What features should I look for in a home alarm system?
Alarms systems vary dramatically with add-on options much like buying a new car. For most people the basic alarm package is good enough. The basic system provides door and window alarm contacts on all openings, one or more infra-red motion sensor inside, an audible horn or siren, and a control panel with a digital dialer and keypad. Beyond the basic alarm system you can add hard-wired smoke and heat detectors, glass break detectors, ultra-sonic and infra-red motion sensors, temperature sensors, shock sensors, control panel tamper sensors, battery back-up, and cell phone signal reporting technology. Iíve seen upscale homes with sensors monitoring the temperature in wine cellars and caviar refrigerators.
Must I have my burglar alarm monitored by a security company to be effective?
No, the local horn or siren works well enough to dissuade most burglars. Program the siren to reset after 120 seconds. However, if you want the police or fire department to be called in your absence then a monitored system is the only way to go. Be advised that most insurance companies require a monitored alarm system for discounted insurance rates.
Do iron grills or bars on windows stop burglars?
Besides being ugly and a radical security measure, window grills definitely work to prevent entry through accessible windows. To be effective, the grills need to be made of substantial material and fastened with non-removable screws that cut deeply into the window frame. Be aware that the Canada Fire Code prohibits putting bars on windows in sleeping rooms unless there is a proper release mechanism inside or two points of escape.
Will metal security screen doors prevent forced entry into my home?
Metal screen doors with a deadbolt lock definitely add another layer of protection to the home. They are installed on top of the door frame and swing outward making it more difficult to force entry. These screen doors are good for homeowners who routinely leave their front door open for ventilation. These doors should not be relied upon for high security because the screen can be easily compromised and expose the deadbolt latch.
Can automatic garage door opener signals be read by criminals with scanners?
This is largely an urban myth, although it is technically possible. Automatic garage door openers use remote controls that send out radio frequencies (RF) to activate the garage door opener. It is possible for a burglar to read this RF code as you enter your driveway and push the transmitter button. The crook would have to be in very close proximity (right behind you) to capture this signal with the right equipment and knowledge how to use it to open your garage door in your absence. A criminal with this much talent could probably find a real job somewhere. Fortunately, most quality garage door openers now have a RF signal scrambler feature that uses a random RF signal for each opening and thereby defeats the risk of code copying and use.
What is a Security DVR?
DVR stands for Digital Video Recorder. A Security DVR is capable
of taking the video from digital or analog cameras and recording
it into a digital format on a hard drive. It can record high quality
video, maintenance free, for weeks or even months.
What is a video capture card?
A video capture card or DVR card is a graphic card inside the PC Based
DVR system which captures the signal from the cameras and stores the
video on the hard drive.
How many hours of video can the Security DVR store?
The length of archive depends on number of cameras, frames per second
(FPS) and amount of available hard disk space. Our preconfigured
systems usually provide 30 to 90 days of archive on motion detect mode.
How does motion detection work? Through the camera or software?
Motion detection works through the software in the DVR system
by recording video when pixels in the image change. Most Security
DVRs offer a sensitivity scale so the user can set the sensitivity
of the motion detection.
Can I view live and recorded video locally?
Can I view live and recorded video remotely?
Yes, all of our Security DVR systems are Internet enabled.
You can view live and recorded video from anywhere through
the Internet. Some systems support off-site viewing via mobile phone.
What kind of broadband do I need? How much bandwidth?
Basic DSL or cable will suffice in most cases.
Can several users view one site at once?
Most Internet-enabled Security DVR systems allow multiple users
to view the same site simultaneously. However, as more people
look at the same cameras/DVR at the same time, the bandwidth
will be shared between them.
Can I record audio?
Yes, if the Security DVR system comes with an audio option
you can record audio. Most analog cameras do not come with
built in audio, so you will probably need a separate microphone.
Can I listen to live and recorded audio remotely?
Yes, some of our Security DVR systems have that option. With
an optional audio module, you can listen to live and recorded
audio from anywhere through the Internet.
How many cameras do I need?
This will depend on the size and layout of the area you wish
to survey. On average, we recommend one camera per 1000 Sq. Ft.
Can I use my existing cameras?
Yes, you can use your existing CCTV cameras. Simply plug them
into the back of the Security DVR.
What camera lens size is the best for my application?
Viewtech Security carries a large selection of security camera
lenses, but the lens you will need depends on where you plan to
What is an Auto-Iris Lens?
An auto iris lens provides consistent video signal in areas
where light levels vary.
What is Lux?
Illumination is measured in units called Lux.
Can I zoom in with a camera?
Yes, but you need a special camera called a Pan-Tilt-Zoom or
What type of Operating System (OS) does the Security DVR use?
Most PC-based Security DVR Systems use Windows XP or Windows 7,
and Standalone Security DVRs are Linux based.
What kind of cable should I use?
Coaxial cable, which is an RG59 and a pair of 18 gauge wire or station Z
What happens if there is power outage?
Most Security DVRs will come back on as soon as power is restored.
Can I use my cash register with your POS interface?
Our GeoVision and AverMedia systems work with most PC-based
and electronic cash registers. Contact us with the make and
model of your register, and we can tell you if your system
Can the Security DVR report an alarm?
Yes, some Security DVRs have that option.
Will the camera be used indoors or outdoors? Typically all
outdoor cameras can also be used indoors, but not all indoor
cameras can be used outdoors. Most cameras that are built with
exterior metal casings are considered weatherproof. A camera
that is classified as “weatherproof” is one that
can withstand freezing temperatures, rain, and heat. The
typical operating temperature of a weatherproof camera is
-20° C to 80° C. Vandal-proof or tamper-proof cameras
are also usually considered weatherproof. If the camera will
be installed in an area where it is a potential target to be
damaged, a Vandal-proof (tamper resistant) camera will offer
extra security to help prevent secure the premises against