A modern video intercom system allows homeowners and business managers to monitor and control who enters their property, all this at the touch of a button. But aside from convenience, these high-tech solutions also offer a multitude of tangible security benefits.
From rapid identification to record-keeping and burglary deterrence, video intercoms help keep homes and businesses safe. In this post, we cover the top five security benefits a video intercom system entails.
1. Identifying Guests
A video intercom system lets you take the guesswork out of identifying guests. Rather than relying entirely on voice, as you would with a traditional audio intercom, a video-enabled system lets you view the visitor on a high-resolution screen. That way, you can instantly see who they are and determine whether or not it’s safe to let them inside.
Many intruders gain entry into a premises by pretending to be someone else—be it a mailman, a maintenance worker, or a charity collection agent. A video intercom system lets you visually verify an unknown visitor’s identity by examining their ID card or uniform. If you can’t quite make out the finer details, you can use the two-way audio feature to request they hold their identification card up closer to the screen.
2. Deterring Burglars
On average, around 400,000 Australian homes get burgled or suffer an attempted break-in each year—that equates to a bit over 4% of all Aussie households. Therefore, even if you live in a low-crime area, you’ll eventually fall victim to yourself.
Both residential and commercial break-ins can result in significant inconvenience and crippling financial loss. While insurance may cover some of the costs, most victims still find themselves out of pocket—not to mention the whole ordeal is a major headache.
With that in mind, it’s worth taking preventative measures to avoid being burgled in the first place. Research suggests surveillance cameras provide the most potent deterrents, as would-be robbers won’t want to risk being recorded on film. Studies have found at least 60% of burglars will move on to a softer target upon spotting a camera.
While a video intercom system isn’t quite as visible as a dedicated CCTV setup, it does include one clearly identifiable camera by the door. As burglars typically try the front door first, they’ll likely spot it straight away and abort the attempt.
3. Monitor Others
Although the video intercom system is primarily designed to identify guests entering via a door, you can also configure these versatile units for internal monitoring. And by keeping a keen eye on what’s happening inside, a manager or homeowner can safeguard against hazards.
At home, for example, a parent could use the intercom to supervise their children periodically. Upmarket units come with top-of-the-line cameras and high-resolution displays, letting the parent view a high-definition image of the entire front or back yard. That functionality allows an anxious mum or dad to check in on their children as they play.
Another handy home application is using a video intercom system in lieu of a baby monitor. Parents can see how their baby is doing in real-time, and could even sing them a soothing lullaby through their phone.
In the workplace, a manager could expand a video intercom system to add extra cameras in key areas. Installing a camera above merchandise could reduce shoplifting while putting one in a hazard-prone workspace would aid OH&S compliance.
Many video intercoms integrate with existing security systems, especially those of the same brand. Therefore, it’s not too much hassle to add an extra pair of eyes and ears where needed.
4. Maintain Records
Unlike CCTV systems, video intercoms weren’t designed to record 24/7. Instead, the units are typically intended to allow users to monitor and respond to guests in real-time.
However, nowadays, the more advanced models come with in-built localized hard drives or cloud storage connectivity. These high-tech extras allow the system to store images, either as an ongoing video stream or a photo capture of each button press. As a result, the user (or the police) can review the footage at a later time and quickly identify the unwanted guest.
Whether you should opt for localized or cloud storage depends on your budget and requirements.
Localized storage is cheaper, but you’ll have a limited amount of disk space to work with. As the hard drive gets full, it overrides older recordings to make room for the new. Cloud storage, on the other hand, automatically uploads images onto an external server, letting you record and store them indefinitely. The downside, however, is that the service requires an ongoing monthly subscription.
Whichever option you choose, video recording provides valuable evidence to aid the police or your internal investigations.
5. Remote Functionality
As we know, a video intercom system lets you monitor and record people inside and outside your property in real-time. However, not everyone is aware of a relatively recent innovation that enhances the technology: remote monitoring.
Nowadays, you can monitor a high-end video intercom system on your smartphone from anywhere in the world. Real-time alerts pop up to let you know when someone presses the doorbell, at which point you can activate a live stream to see who it is. Two-way audio functionality then enables you to converse with that person if need be—perfect for warning suspicious guests they’re being monitored.
If you’ve got a smart lock installed, you can unlock and lock the door remotely. The function is fantastic for letting trusted householders or employees into the premises at unexpected hours, especially those who don’t have their own keys.
Choosing the Right Video Intercom System for You
You’ll find a plethora of video intercom systems on the market, from small, simple devices to high-tech solutions with cutting-edge features.
At the very least, look for a unit with sleek contemporary aesthetics, expandable intercoms, call transfer functionality, integrated access control, and a wide-angle lens. If you’re happy to spend a little more, get one that offers remote viewing and image storage functionality as well.
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