Any camera systems purchased needs to be able to provide “actionable information” that police and lawyers can use in court. “Actionable Information” is considered to be video and/or pictures that identify, without a doubt, the individual accused of committing the crime. To achieve this, it is recommended that the camera system have a minimum resolution of 720p and support night-vision.
It is important to check if the cameras you are getting store information locally, remotely, or both. While it is not required that the data be stored locally it is recommended. This is to prevent data loss should the internet or power go out. It is also recommended that any system you get be put on a battery backup device (UPS) which you can get online or at a local electronics store. Also check local electronic stores for pricing since there are often deals that can save you substantially.
Once you have set up your security system please register it with Baltimore City’s CitiWatch – https://citiwatch.baltimorecity.gov . This will help police locate cameras in the event of criminal activity in your area.
All cameras should have:
- Have a minimum resolution of 720p
- Have a minimum night vision range of 60ft
- Motion Activation
In addition to the guidelines for indoor cameras, any camera that is mounted outdoors should be:
- Made of solid construction, preferably metal.
- Positioned approximately 9 or 10 feet off the ground to prevent tampering/damage
- Preferably located away from items that can be easily broken such as windows, lights, etc.
Installation of security cameras can be done personally or professionally. Most indoor camera systems, especially wireless, are simple to install using either peel-and-stick method or just one or two screws. Wired camera systems are more complicated since it is necessary to run the wires, drill through walls, etc. The installation can be anywhere from free to a few hundred dollars depending on complexity.
Posting on our Community Safety Group is a great way to find out more information and recommendations about installation.