Wednesday, November 27, 2013


There was a disturbing incident in my neighborhood recently. Shortly after dinnertime, a masked man simply walked into a neighbor’s home and robbed the couple at gunpoint. Fortunately, no one was hurt but it sure opened a lot of eyes. We don’t allow that kind of activity in my neighborhood! In fact, the only criminals we allow are ones that already live here.

The incident re-kindled an idea I’ve had floating around in my head for a long time: Our neighborhood only has two entrances. You could probably say the same for yours. Why not place a high-definition, night-vision-equipped wireless camera at the entrances? Every car that comes and goes is recorded. Images are stored on a generous neighbor’s computer. If there are any incidents in the area, those neighbors can share the video footage with local law enforcement. Another idea is one of those deer cameras hidden beside the road.

Another idea is to purchase your own home security camera system. Point one of the cameras towards your street or mount an outdoor camera on your street side lamp post. If an incident occurs, the image you capture could be the one that breaks the case. Some neighborhoods around the country are even conducting block parties where neighbors can purchase a camera and have it mounted so that it surveys the front of their house, including the street. Installation is provided free of charge by tech-savvy neighbors. There are many reports that such programs even enhance the value of homes in the neighborhood.

If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, one of the coolest home surveillance systems is one offered by Netgear

called “Vuezone.” There are no wires to run. No power cords needed. The ultra-lightweight camera (about the size of a pack of cigarettes)  has a battery that lasts about 6 months. The starter kit includes one wireless camera and one “base station” receiver for $129.00. More cameras cost more money. You can mount the tiny camera in seconds. It will capture movement and send a photo directly to your cell phone or computer. You can also sign up for a web-based service to view your images from any internet-connected device such as a tablet.
May share a bit of unsolicited advice? If you’re reading this and live in a neighborhood, don’t assume that someone else is going to do this. If you don’t have a neighborhood watch, start one. Start by making a Neighborhood Watch page on Facebook and/or Twitter and invite your neighbors to share tips. The fact is that the po-po can’t be everywhere so you are personally going to have to take charge of your security.
By now it should be clear that I’m no expert at this but we all need to be thinking about security. If you have a better idea, please let me know and I’ll highlight your expertise in this column!.

1 comment:

cindy said...

Good article and some good ideas!