SANTA MARIA, Calif. - A recent burglary in Grover Beach that was caught on tape puts a spotlight on a growing trend of people installing security cameras in their homes.
Its easy enough now to do it yourself but you may want to consider letting a professional do the job.
Randy Hansen has been in the home security installation business for 40 years and owns Selective Security Systems in Santa Maria.
"There was a time when you had to have to know what you were doing to put an alarm system in", Hansen says, "you had to have licensing, you had to go to school, you had to be certified, now it seems that anybody that can turn a computer on or operate a cell phone thinks they are an alarm company. Now it seems that anybody that can turn a computer on or operate a cell phone thinks they are an alarm company."
Hansen shows off one his more common home security camera systems from his shop.
"This particular one is a stand alone DVR, it has a seven inch monitor on the front, it has a one terabyte hard drive in it", Hansen says pointing to the equipment, "see that where it says motion, this is detecting motion and movement so its now recording, as soon as that movement goes away it stops recording so its no recording dead space. There's no reason for it to record a parking lot, but when a person walks across this parking lot or jumps over this wall its going to start recording then its going to archive that information."
The DVR can store up to several months of video depending on the size of the hard-drive.
Not only do the security cameras provide homeowners and business owners with peace of mind they are also a very helpful tool for local law enforcement in catching criminals.
Video of burglars stealing packages from the front porch of a home in Grover Beach was captured by home security cameras and released to the local media by the Grover Beach Police Department.
As of Friday afternoon, no arrests had been made.
Randy Hansen shows how wireless technology and smartphones have brought home security security system management literally to your fingertips.
"From the typical key-lock alarm system, or the key pad system, where now you are operating your system via your smart phone", Hansen says showing off the technology on his iphone, "you pull up your smart phone, you pull up your app, and there is your system right there".
"You can arm and disarm your system from your telephone, you can watch video, you can pull up a live camera shot, there's live video of my home camera sitting in my garage right now", Hansen says, "my front door is unlocked right now, my back door is locked, so I can activate my alarm, I can send a command and I can lock the front door of my house right now all through wireless technology, all through smart phones."
"Some people don't like smart phones but you're going to have to step into the 21rst century, if you want this technology", Hansen says, "you are going to have to get it. I've done this while I was on vacation in Denmark, I ve been able to pull up my system, turn it off and on, open doors, unlock doors and send and see live video from anywhere where I have internet access."
Hansen says his price for residential, four-camera security systems start at about $2,000 and go up depending on size and sophistication.
Hansen says while its easy to buy home security camera systems online and install them yourselves, he warns about entrusting installation to unlicensed contractors that provide services without at least a one year warranty.
"Our licensing is through the State of California, Department of Consumer Affairs, as well as I'm a licensed C-10 electrician", Hansen says, "our employees are fingerprinted and run through Megan's Law and have background checks, I get a list every six weeks about people who will never be hired in the alarm industry."
"Definitely be aware of the fly by nights, what we call them are trunk-slammers", Hansen says, "they just come in and they put in the system, slam the trunk and drive away and they are gone you never see them again."
If you have any information regarding the Grover Beach burglary, the car or the suspects, call San Luis Obispo County Crimestoppers at 805-549-STOP.