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Keep an (electronic) eye on your home
Security system lets clients monitor their property via Internet
The security system sends signals to a control panel whenever it detects activity. The user can monitor any activity from a computer. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

A Northeast Georgia security firm has introduced a surveillance camera that allows home or business owners secure video access to their property.

EMC Security, a company owned, in part, by Jackson EMC, has already installed the camera technology in a number of homes and businesses in Northeast Georgia.

"Until now, the available solution was a pricey commercial grade system or a low quality webcam" said Michael Morton, sales manager at EMC Security.

The new system is an inexpensive yet high quality camera system that uses the customer's broadband connection to transmit a live video feed to a secure Web site.

The camera can also be used as a motion detector and can notify the customer's e-mail or mobile device if there is unexpected activity.

"The ability to set triggers and manage the cameras is what makes this impressive," Morton said. "This is much more proactive and actually pushes the video to you, rather than having a webcam up and going."

Depending on how much the customer wants to spend, the camera can either be a fixed position or can have remotely controlled pan and tilt functions.

For a nominal monthly subscription, the system transmits and records specific events to an off-site video server that allows the customer to view and save recorded clips without the expense of purchasing a digital video recorder.

The camera allows parents to see if their children have arrived safely at home or if pets left alone are safe.

Recently, a Florida woman used her security camera to discover a home invasion under way. She called 911 and police arrived before the thieves were able to leave with pricey electronics, including a flat-screen TV.

Morton said the system can be integrated with an existing security system. For example, if the security system goes off, it can trigger the video system into action.

"It can also be a stand-alone system, as well and costs about the same amount as a security system," Morton said. "The monthly cost is between $18 and $30, depending on how much video storage you need."

The cameras range in price from $275 to $580, depending on the features. Each account can support up to eight cameras, which do not have to be at a single location. Customers can place cameras at their primary residence and a vacation home, provided both are equipped with broadband.

Morton said as more homes are equipped with traditional security systems, the response time for police agencies will be slower.

"Gwinnett County has already moved to permitting residents with security system and if there is a false alarm they are beginning to fine them," he said.

"Video monitoring and verification is going to be a big deal."

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