Well here is a huge problem. You need a deterrent at your home or work and cannot afford a full blown security camera system due to economic conditions. Join the crowd! Crime is up and money is down and the bad guys are eying your place as a target. There are plenty of low cost video security systems available as well as some really cheap options that may scare away the bad guys.
Dummy cameras are a good option as long as you follow a few rules. First of all, some of our customers have heard a rumor that dummy cameras are illegal. I am not sure how that rumor started, but I do know there have been law suits pertaining to companies setting up dummy cameras where the plaintiff claimed a false sense of security. This has happened in situations where a person thinks they are being monitored while being a victim of a crime -not often but this can happen. You can also get sued for giving a person a dirty look but that’s another story for a frivolous lawsuit lawyer to explain.
While we cannot offer legal advise, I can assure you that the police will not arrest you or issue a citation for a dummy camera. Unless of course you are in a municipality that requires a permit to hang something on your house or building. So check village code before doing anything that may require a permit. After all, the government is hungry for your money and pretty soon you may be taxed for breathing.
So let’s focus on the cameras now. In most cases, dummy cameras look like real cameras except they don’t work. They look like either box cameras, bullet cameras or dome cameras in most cases. Don’t hang a box camera outside without a housing thinking it will fool anyone. Box cameras are indoor cameras requiring an outdoor housing to be used outside. An average crook will know this and the camera will look fake after the first rain or snow starts. So don’t be cheap and buy a dummy camera that looks like it belongs outside. A bullet camera, outdoor dome or outdoor housing should be used.
Also, many dummy camera manufacturers install a flashing light into the camera. I don’t know the genius who decided to do this but when I find out, I plan on writing him a stern complaint letter. I sell hundreds of different real cameras and none of them have a flashing light built in. So save your batteries and the trouble of changing them and forget the light. Flashing lights scream dummy camera and unless that’s your intention, don’t use the light.
The quality of a dummy camera is also important. Make sure the camera is rust proof if installed outdoors. Most are today, but I have seen some older ones hanging that have some beautiful patina, although a camera aging like a copper roof is usually not what the owner intended.
Video warning stickers and signs are another deterrent that can be effective. They are cheap and easy to install. Metal signs usually last longer than plastic although they cost more. Plastic will not rust like metal but the ink usually lasts longer on a metal sign. If you live in an area where there are languages other than English spoken, it may not be a bad idea to get a sign to match the culture of the neighborhood.
If you have any questions about different types of cameras, the best choice for your situation, etc., our staff at the U-Spy Store will be happy to answer your questions either by phone or in person. We have our cameras on display or you can visit the U-Spy website at http://www.uspystore.com/. You can find our “dummy cameras” listed under the “Video Surveillance” tab.