A Case for Doorbell Cameras

doorbell cameras help to prevent crimes (image)
Doorbell cameras help to prevent crimes.

A Case for Doorbell Cameras | #ESC_LLC #DoorbellCamera #CrimePrevention #Security | Whether it’s someone stealing mail from a mailbox or packages dropped off by one of many common carriers, doorbell cameras have made a big hit with victimized homeowners over the past few years. Police are so impressed with them that some jurisdictions are busy putting together a list of home and business owners who have them.

The idea is that when a crime is committed and the neighbor across the street is known to have a doorbell camera, police investigators will approach them concerning the video they have stored in their doorbell camera system. This is a common practice among police departments even now with respect to businesses and institutions that have a traditional outdoor video surveillance system.

For example, one news article headline in December of last year read, ‘Doorbell Camera Helps Nab Suspects.’ According to this news story, “Flagler County deputies say they were able to track down a stolen truck quickly thanks to an alert citizen and their Ring security camera” (http://ow.ly/rRuB30mRT5o).

Here’s another case where ‘A doorbell camera caught a man assaulting his ex-girlfriend,’  (http://ow.ly/DDXQ30pEMsT). Here, an unknown woman under assault by someone she was with, ran up to the door of a nearby house, pressing the button on the homeowner’s doorbell camera system. In the process, a full video clip was saved to an SD chip contained inside the camera system as well as in a Cloud-based data storage center that clearly shows the male assailant dragging the woman away by the hair.

In the following video (http://bit.ly/2OKHJGe), the first burglar approaches the front door, knocking on it. He eventually looks in to see if anyone is at home. According to the homeowner, “At approximately 1:35 PM while at work, I received a motion alert on my phone from my Ring Video Doorbell. I activated the Live View feature on the app as it was unusual for someone to stop by my house in the middle of the day.” A second man then approaches, and that’s when they begin to pry the front door open using a prybar. The homeowner then frightens both of them away by verbally ordering them away from the front door.

“It’s good to see stories like this where the culprits of a crime are caught in the act. In some cases, a video like this will actually be instrumental in a conviction,” says John Larkin, Senior Partner with ESC of Columbus, Ohio.

And then there are those times when a doorbell camera can catch a laugh or two, as in this case where a UPS driver is caught dancing on a homeowner’s door step. “Every now and again, a news item comes along that makes you smile,” says Larkin. (http://ow.ly/mugZ30n4DWb)

Doorbell Camera Basics

Doorbell cameras are, for the most part, standalone video surveillance systems with a doorbell connection. In essence, these  systems are designed to replace the client’s doorbell button. By so doing, they also use the same doorbell as well as existing power transformer. Some makes/models allow the operator to silence the doorbell, activating the mobile App only when someone rings the doorbell.

The fact is, there’s a growing number of makes and models of doorbell cameras emerging onto the market today. According to David Turner, member of the Low-Voltage Business Forum on Facebook (http://bit.ly/2PP3S5F), Alarm.com uses the Skybell product, marketing it under their own name. Rumor has it that Alarm.com is, or will soon have, their own design.

“We have a couple we work with. We sell the Alula and the Napco iBridge video doorbell,” says Mike Steffancin, sales engineering specialist with Security Source of Parma, Ohio. When asked why so many homeowners buy the Ring offering, he replied, “I think the big thing is [consumers] don’t want to pay for the service where Ring offers a down-and-dirty no-fee arrangement.”

Steffancin’s point is well taken. Ring offers a free video Cloud storage option where there is a minimal amount of storage room for video clips. However, Ring also offers the client another option for $10  or so a month that includes more storage space for more video data. Unfortunately this arrangement cuts the Locksmith out of the RMR picture. However, there are other makes and models where the manufacturer will work through the installing dealer. This is the direction in which you should go.

Some of the professional-oriented doorbell camera offerings on the market also provide an option where their doorbell camera can be included in a larger CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) system. This allows video from the door camera to be recorded full time or on demand. This usually is accomplished using a typical IP-based NVR (Network Video Recorder) or a DVR (Digital Video Recorder). There’s something to be said for having a live, recorded video from a porch camera.

“Since Dahua is coming out with an inexpensive model next week, I’ll be able to sell it and integrated it with any NVR/DVR and it will function the same as Ring — only without a monthly fee,” says Hermin Sanchezk, owner of Skyeye Technologies of Naugatuck, CT. “I just saw it yesterday at the ISC EAST show. It’s not 1MP. Instead, they have two models: a 1080p and a 5MP. The bottom screen (see photo) will be able to display the doorbell camera, and also the view from the NVR/DVR, as long as it’s a Dahua.”

contact info for Al Colombo, ESC media director (image)

If  you have questions about doorbell cameras, contact ESC’s Al Colombo for details. Call 614-754-1393 or email ESC@tpromo.com. Or use the convenient contact form below.  (This story was taken from an article in Locksmith Ledger Magazine: https://bit.ly/3dIVLE1)