On The Lighter Side of Security Camera
Do people ever ask you to put camera in weird or illegal places?
Sometimes being in this line of work can be quite comical. When you think about security cameras it is natural to expect that it might bring out a few odd characters along the way. I always get people that are going through a divorce or having major domestic issues and they want to install hidden cameras to catch someone cheating. The funny part is that they want to install the cameras in the other person’s home, car, etc. (Usually I just give them a card to an Attorney I know.) I also get business owners that want to use hidden devices to catch employees. Personally I think they have too much time on their hands or they are just emotionally hyped up at the time.
Are hidden cameras better for catching people?
To be honest, most people don’t notice regular cameras once they have been in place for a while. People are just not that observant. So, hidden cameras much less. Besides, if they do notice the security cameras, it usually deters them from doing something shady in the first place. I personally believe in the age old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Think about it. When was the last time you paid any attention to your smoke detector?
What are some weird things that come with the security business?
One thing that I receive on a regular basis in this security camera business, are crazy phone calls and messages. Many of them come from car washes where we have installed cameras. Usually it is someone that lost their quarters in a machine and decided to call the phone number on signs. Sometimes, however, they are very amusing.
I had a message two days ago from a man complaining the car wash sprayer didn’t work. He rambled on for two minutes about how he was not going to be late for his curfew, violate his probation, and probably get locked up. I have had others that have called from storage facilities when they have forgotten their code and have been locked inside the gate after hours. The parking lots that start giving tickets for illegal parking usually trigger a few calls as well. It is not uncommon to have a message from someone screaming about a parking ticket, a tow, or their car being broken into.
Do Security Cameras Create a liability?
Security cameras and liability is a touchy subject. I have had multiple people tell me that having security cameras creates a liability for the apartment or condo association. This is a subject that will probably be debated by different people. Are there lawsuits where people have had problems? Yes. Does it mean that installing cameras leaves you open to lawsuit? Not any more than not having them in my opinion.
You do however, need to be careful that you are not saying something that isn’t true. (Many don’t understand cameras so they don’t know how they work.) Many people buy signs off the internet that say the area is monitored by security cameras or under 24 hour surveillance. Both of these imply that someone is actively watching and monitoring the cameras. There are services our there that do this for a hefty price, but most camera systems are passive and people look at them after the fact.
I believe if you put up a sign stating that something is happening and it isn’t, you could be open to liability. However, if you have signs that say cameras in use or smile for the camera, etc, you should be fine. Remember, someone can sue you over anything but it doesn’t mean they will win.
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