Home security has been a primary concern for homeowners in the US for decades. Even in ostensibly safer suburban communities, crime can be commonplace – though, thankfully, statistics suggest that the burglary rate in the US is in steady decline. This decline, though, can be attributed in large part to the increased prevalence of home security systems like CCTV. If you’re thinking of installing such a system in your home, what should you consider first?

Legal Factors

The biggest factor to take into consideration regarding the installation of a CCTV system in or around your room, ahead even of budget or logistics, is that of legality. Security camera systems enter difficult legal territory in a number of ways – specifically, with regard to privacy and consent laws, which can differ from state to state.

Privacy

As far as privacy laws are concerned, US citizens across the nation have a right to privacy – which can preclude the installation of cameras in areas considered to be private spaces. Restrooms are the most obvious contender for private spaces, but you could also find yourself in legal trouble if someone is filmed in a private bedroom.

Consent

Though consent may seem to be a near-equivalent concern to the above, it is in fact an entirely separate field of legislation. Consent laws vary by state, with some requiring two-party consent for filming or recording to take place; that is, the person recording must have the consent of all being recorded before doing so. Nationally, the law is one-party consent – so, in states where two-party consent is not directly stipulated, you can record without permission. But how does this impact CCTV?
Two-party consent laws may impact the installation of CCTV indoors, but outdoor cameras are largely protected from those laws. You may encounter difficulties if your external cameras have a clear view into a neighbor’s property. As a rule, though, public recording is legal across the country.

Cost and Budget

After ensuring that your CCTV plans are legally sound, your next concern should be budgetary. How much are you willing to put towards your system, and will you be able to afford its maintenance? Many lower-income households are putting Amazon’s Ring video doorbell to good use, dissuading would-be felons from attempting a break-in. For more valuable homes in more affluent neighborhoods, a more complex system may be necessary – not only to protect the home, but also to bring down high home insurance costs.

Installation

Lastly, you will need to figure out the logistics of your CCTV install. If you are putting your system together yourself, you will need to invest in coaxial cables of the right type, and of enough lengths to reach your preferred spots around your home and perimeter. You will also need to be mindful of your home’s existing infrastructure before you begin drilling for cable runs, lest you inadvertently hit existing cables during your install.

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