Designing a Surveillance Deterrent on a Budget

If you’re financially restricted and need to try and put together some form of a surveillance deterrent on a budget, then this article will give you a series of steps to do just that. From surveillance signs to low cost security systems, we will cover a number of ways to provide adequate and cost effective security solutions.

Before we begin I would like to note that each of the following sections will be a series of steps that can build upon each other. Depending on your budget you can follow all of the steps, or you can stop whenever you think the protection will be sufficient enough and will stay within your means.

Step 1 – Surveillance Signs

This is the first and foremost deterrent to burglars and intruders in the surveillance world. This one piece of cctv equipment can help deter and stop a vast majority of would be interlopers. When using surveillance signs you provide a very visual warning to people that there’s surveillance on the premises and it would be in their best interest to leave it alone. Even if you don’t have a surveillance system, most criminals aren’t going to know this, and aren’t likely to try and ascertain as to whether it’s true.

When using surveillance signs there are several key areas you will want to post them. Firstly you will want to make sure to have one located at each point of entry into your home or business. This way the criminal is sure to see them no matter where they try to break in at. Secondly if you have any form of property, then it is a good idea to place signs on the perimeter of your land. By doing this you may deter a criminal before they even set foot on your property. Lastly if you have a main floor window that is on a side of the building without any form of conventional entryway, it is a good idea to place a sign in this window as well; just in case the intruder tries to break in through the window.

As far as price goes when purchasing surveillance signs, it can be the most inexpensive aspect of surveillance deterrents. Generally surveillance signs will come in packs of 2 and cost between 10 to 25 dollars in price. So depending on how many areas you need to cover, you can generally cover them all for under a 100 dollars.

Step 2 – Dummy Cameras

After procuring your surveillance signs you’re ready to take your visual deterrents to the next level and install a few dummy cameras. Dummy cameras are simply the shells of actual security cameras made to be used as a visual deterrent to intruders. By having a few of these placed around your home or business you are providing a second piece of visual evidence that will make a trespasser think twice about what they’re doing.

Dummy cameras are most affective when placed near your main entry points so as to build upon the surveillance sign deterrents. This way not only will the criminal see your surveillance sign, but they will also see the dummy camera backing up what your sign is proclaiming. So if the criminal wasn’t convinced beforehand, they most likely will be at this point.

When it comes to pricing, dummy cameras are usually between 20 and 30 dollars, so if you get one for both the front and back of your building this will cost just under 60 dollars. Additionally sites such as or maybe even your local surveillance installers offer dead security cameras for around 5 to 15 dollars. These may no longer function as a normal security cameras, but they can easily serve as a dummy camera.

Step 3 – Add A Single Camera System

After you’ve set yourself up with these visual deterrents you may now want the ability to record and monitor at least one area, just in case the visual deterrents aren’t enough. In this circumstance I would recommend a single channel system with the ability to upgrade in the future. This way you can cover your most sensitive area and then expand your monitoring capabilities should the need arise.

This single camera system should be used to monitor your main entryway or any problem area you may have had in the past. As far as cost is concerned, it can vary from around 100 to 200 dollars, but a good recommendation is the DigiairWatch by Securityman. That system is a single channel system that has the capability of adding up to 3 more cameras for a 4 camera system.

Step 4 – When The Budget Expands

The first 3 steps are good ways to provide protection on your property against most criminal elements, and to do so within a budget. In the future however if you still feel the need for more protection, I would suggest either upgrading your single channel system into a 4 channel system, or I would suggest contacting a professional surveillance installer to help you with designing a system that will fully monitor and protect your facilities. This will be a bit more costly, but it may be what you need in heavier crime invested areas.

A decent surveillance system for a small business or home will generally cost around $300 to $600, but depending on how large of a system you want it can drastically increase from there.

In the end if you are very budget consciences and just want to help prevent something before it happens, then for around 100 to 150 dollars you can get a good number of surveillance signs, dummy cameras, and for a little extra a single channel surveillance kit.