We recently received a phone call from a lovely lady who lives in a retirement village. We’ll call her Mary-ann. She was referred to us by one of the electrical retailers in Brisbane who sell security camera systems. Her issue was that people were coming into her unit when she was out and taking things. She didn’t know who, but they had keys to her unit, and she wanted to get video footage so that she could take appropriate action. Mary-ann had already tried various DIY cameras and gadgets but they just didn’t give her usable quality images, nor were they reliable. She called us in to see what we could do to help her. I went out and inspected her unit, asked her about the problem, what her normal activities were, lifestyle and how a professional camera system would fit into her routine. Finances were tight for her, so I spent a few days researching various options and ideas on how to solve her problem. I then called Mary-ann back and discussed the pro’s and con’s and prices of the various system options.
It was agreed together that one good camera would be sufficient for her needs, along with a network video recorder with a small hard drive to store and manage the video footage. She was happy with my recommendations, price I quoted and my ideas on how it would work for her.
Now, just like any typical rental property, living in a rented retirement unit she was not permitted to drill holes in walls or screw cameras or hardware to the any part of the building structure.
So how did I handle this for Mary-ann? She had a grandfather clock in one corner of the room with carved wood curly bits on top. I suggested that a camera be mounted on a piece of timber, separate to the clock, and sat on the top of the clock looking through one of the curly wood parts. It could easily be moved for a different view by Mary-ann if needed. The recorder would be located about 5 metres away behind the TV unit, and the recorder connected to her Smart TV HDMI input. So no need to have a separate viewing monitor to watch the playback, which would have screamed, “I have video camera system!” The cable from the camera to the recorder is hidden in very small white plastic duct which is fitted to the skirting board with a few pieces of double sided tape, so not visible and not infringing body corporate rules.
So her system is very discrete and covert, and connects through her internet so that her family can login on their phones to view the live video and check up on Mum.
I recommended professional grade equipment with 3 year warranty, with very easy to use functions so that It was as easy as possible for Mary-ann who is for not very tech savvy.
I was pleasantly surprised at the speed which Mary-ann grasped the operation of the new system. Even though she took lots of notes on the day, she has only called me twice now with a couple of questions that were easily answered.
As is my normal practice, I will be calling her in 2 -3 weeks to check that all is well.