Saturday, October 20, 2012

Security in a Creative Space

Over the past couple of years, I have had an issue with people of all ages trespassing through my yard at all hours of the night. The reason they do it is because I live in a cul-de-sac with an express way behind me. People will cut through my yard and hop my back fence because it is more convenient then having to go the long way around.

No, I wouldn't be such an ogre about it, except this has also lead to minor vandalism and my garage being broken into. Not to mention that I have two younger children who play back there. I don't need strangers appearing out of nowhere. In order to cut through my yard, you have to pass both doors into my house, both of my vehicles and my garage. Anything is possible if the wrong person comes through.

I have put up motion activated flood lights, fake cameras that blink when they see movement and even signs warning of cameras. Some people still ignore that. So, I decided that if I can't completely stop them other than to get a dog, I can at least keep an eye on my yard in case something does happen by putting in a REAL camera! The only problem with that is the outdoor units can be very costly. Especially the wireless style.

So, having a budget for a cheaper indoor wireless camera (works on your home wifi), I needed a way to protect it from the elements if I wanted to put it outside. I looked at plenty of options but couldn't really find anything related to my problem. While searching through my garage for anything that might work, I found a birdhouse that my youngest boy had given me for Father's Day sitting on the work bench waiting to be mounted somewhere. I decided that this is where I would put my camera.

I cut the front hole a little bigger, put an old flash-light 'clear' lens over the hole for weatherproofing, mounted the camera inside and hung it up on the garage. I know how a fantastic view of my driveway which also gives me a clear line-of-sight to the most vulnerable areas of my garage. I have a computer server that is always on, so I installed a free camera recording program and now, I can check the recordings later in the day to see what's been going on around the house.

Incidentally, the birdhouse was painted by my 7 year old.

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