June 26, 2012

Are Dummy Security Cameras a Good Idea?

As security integrators, we often get asked about dummy security cameras as a solution to our customers’ security issues in lieu of an actual video surveillance system.

Pictured above is a "dummy" security camera

These issues can include such things as car break-ins in employee lots, employee theft, home security and more.

While they may prevent some crime from happening, many savvy thieves may know they’re not real and will then have free reign to burglarize your facility.

There are some questions you need to ask yourself if you are considering installing dummy security cameras.

What happens if you actually need footage? If an incident occurs on your property, you may wish you had an actual security camera installed to record it when you had the chance.

These incidents can include such things as an employee being assaulted in the parking lot, for instance. They may think these cameras were real and will be coming to you hoping you as the business owner can help.

Same with fake slip and falls. You will be liable to lawsuits if someone stages one of these. Having a real security camera to record the person’s actions can protect you and provide you with valuable video footage showing the real story.

What if a disgruntled ex-employee returned angrily to your workplace and he knew the cameras weren’t real? They certainly wouldn’t be of any help in this case and in fact they may cause more harm than good.

And if you were installing them to prevent employee theft, all it would take is one employee to discover that they’re fake, and they’d be rendered ineffective.

Of course one could say that dummy security cameras have done some good in terms of preventing crime. Having a deterrent is always a recommended measure, and they can certainly be classified as a deterrent. Although, as mentioned earlier, savvy thieves can typically know that they are fakes.

One feature that some dummy cameras have may actually help to give them away to these thieves. Some motion detection dummy cameras will move left and right when a person walks by (powered by AA batteries). They are mimicking pan, tilt and zoom cameras in this case, but do the dummies actually follow the person, or just move left and right?

So if you are intent on purchasing dummy security cameras, just know that some issues may arise where you may wish you had actual security cameras.


Contact our commercial security systems firm