What you need to know:
- A security camera will not only help you deal with insecurity, but also monitor activities in your home.
- According to Mukiri, a standard four camera security system costs around Shs2m while one that comes with remote view (connected to your mobile phone, laptop or tablet) costs around Shs2.5m if installed in Kampala.
In 2014, a video of a housemaid assaulting a toddler, was released, causing national outrage. Without the maid Jolly Tumuhiirwe’s knowledge, Eric Kamanzi, the child’s father, had installed a camera in the home after noticing that his one-and-a half year-old child always had inexplicable bruises. On the fateful day, the camera filmed Tumuhiirwe beating, kicking and stomping on the toddler’s back. She was later arrested and sentenced to four years in jail.
For a long time, Ugandans considered security cameras to be a preserve of business establishments or of homes of the rich and powerful. However, if the Kamanzi incident has taught us anything, it is that every home can benefit from security surveillance.
Necessity not luxury
Andrew Mukiri from Security Concepts Uganda Ltd, urges homeowners to consider a security system as any other basic necessity.
“People spend on luxuries without much thought. The last thing they think about for their homes filled with so much treasure is a security system, which actually should be prioritised. Just as they help to curb crime and increase personal safety in public venues, surveillance cameras can also help to protect you, your family and your possessions right at home,” he says.
Mukiri notes that due to advance in technology, cameras now come in a variety of sizes and have a variety of functions.
“Depending on your security needs, you can have a full-colour, full-motion and high-resolution video cameras designed to deliver indoor or outdoor views, in well-lit conditions or when night vision is needed, and even remote monitoring from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop,” Mukiri shares.
Motion detector cameras
Louise Kawuma from Kulambiro installed a security camera two years ago following a spate of insecurity in the village. “I was forced to add a security camera after burglars climbed over the fence and tried to break into the guesthouse. My husband heard the noise and switched on the guesthouse security light which scared the burglars who jumped over the fence and fled,” Kawuma relates.
Following the incident, the family brought guard dogs but they were poisoned and they died within a week. Scared and frustrated, the family installed a motion detector camera at the home. “The beauty of a motion detector camera is that it waits for activity before it begins transmitting or recording. So you have just the necessary footage and adds an additional level of protection by alerting you when it senses suspicious activity,” Kawuma explains.
Kenneth Muwaya, a salesperson at Cis Security, says cameras are categorised according to where they are mounted. There are indoor cameras which can either give a wider field of view or just permanent focus on a very specific area. Dome cameras are the most popular indoor cameras because they are more resilient towards tampering and vandalism, have a unique shape and are discreet.
Outdoor cameras are usually designed to capture wider exterior views and accommodate the full range of outdoor lighting conditions. They should be weather resistant and waterproof.
He recommends bullet cameras as ideal for outdoor because of the enclosure at the tip of the barrel which helps minimise glare. If the homeowner is not restricted by the budget, Muwaya recommends getting cameras with infrared heat technology which means they are only triggered when sensing heat from cars or people.
According to Mukiri, a standard four camera security system costs around Shs2m while one that comes with remote view (connected to your mobile phone, laptop or tablet) costs around Shs2.5m if installed in Kampala.
WHERE TO PLACE THE CAMERAS
Kenneth Muwaya, a salesperson at Cis Security, recommends mounting your outdoor security cameras at the gate aimed at the perimeter of your property. “Depending on the security company you use, they should be able to supply cameras that give you a nearly 360° view of your property and provide you with playback surveillance footage whenever needed,” he says.
One of the most popular surveillance cameras, according to Muwaya, is the “nanny cam” named so because it is used to monitor what babysitters and other household staff do when they think they are not being watched. For maximum effect, the camera is usually disguised to look like an ordinary household object. These hidden cameras can be placed in the areas where the children and their sitters spend most of their time.
For homes that have separate entertainment places such as a swimming pool or an outside home bar, a camera would come in handy. “A closed-circuit camera near your swimming pool or bar will give you a peace of mind being able to monitor your children or guests even if you trust them to show better judgment,” he notes.