More and more people are adding surveillance cameras to their home and businesses. They have always been good for security but people are now catching on that they are a great management tool as well. Prices today are surprisingly affordable and the types of systems and features vary greatly.

First let’s talk about the two basic types of cameras available. Analog and IP. Analog cameras are the older technology and require a monitor or TV to view them and are recorded on a digital video recorder (DVR). They are also limited to the same standard resolution you see on your TV set. In order to remotely view analog cameras, your DVR would have to be connected to the internet and you would log into the DVR and see the cameras through it.  You could also see what the DVR recorded.

IP Cameras transmit their signal in the same manner that computers do and their resolution is not limited like analog cameras are. That said there are IP cameras that transmit the signal via IP but are standard resolution cameras. IP cameras go up to 10 megapixel and can give a superb High Definition picture. IP cameras do not need a recorder to be viewed. You can log into each camera directly and if you do not want recording capability, that is all you need. Taking that a step further is cloud recording. Whenever the camera detects motion in front of it, the scene is recorded in the cloud for viewing at a later time. You can also receive text messages and/or emails informing you that the camera detected motion and you can even receive via email the video clip that was recorded. For cloud recording there is a monthly charge, starting around $10 per month depending on how many cameras and how much storage space you will require.

IP cameras can also be recorded locally, on a Network Video Recorder.  This device can be reached remotely from anywhere in the world and you can watch your cameras live or see what they recorded.

Having recording capabilities on site is a plus because if your internet is down, the cameras can’t transmit to the cloud recorder. To solve this problem, many people install a network recording appliance that will record all the video from the cameras for later access while still giving you the convenience of cloud service.

All these camera types come in indoor and outdoor models. IP cameras can even come in 360, where one camera mounted on the ceiling will cover the entire room.

With video surveillance today, you can watch your home or business from anywhere in the world on your computer, smart phone, or tablet. All you need is an internet connection.

If you live in Central or Northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, please call 800-369-3962 or simply click the link below.

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Smoke Detectors vs. Smoke Alarms

Very often  smoke detectors and smoke alarms are thought to be the same. They are not.

They are two different products that can detect smoke. Smoke alarms are what you can buy at any hardware store and electrical supply. They are typically 110V and battery or simply battery powered. Most are ionization type detectors. They have sounders built into them to make noise when they detect smoke. In new construction, it is required that when using smoke alarms, they must be interconnected, so if one detects smoke, they all go off.

Smoke detectors that are part of a system, are usually low voltage, 12 – 24 volts, and may or may not have a sounder built in. Most residential and standard commercial smoke detectors work on the photoelectric detection principle. The big advantage of smoke detectors tied into a monitored alarm system is that the fire department will show up in the case of an emergency even if you are not home.

In commercial properties in NJ, commercial smoke detectors must be part of a fire alarm system, while residential smoke detectors can be connected to a residential burglar alarm system. Smoke detectors installed by an alarm company can either be primary (detection that meets code) or supplementary protection.

Here is a very important difference for homeowners and building owners to know. Smoke Alarms have a 10 year life expectancy and are required to be replaced by code at the expiration of that time. Smoke Detectors do not have that same limit, though should be inspected to make sure they work properly.

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