Should Video Surveillance Include Sound

Should Your Video Surveillance Include Sound?

Our technology is always increasing. So, when it comes to video surveillance, there is no doubt that it is able to provide you with clear audible sound as well as recorded images. Though, many homeowners and business owners wonder whether or not these cameras with audio could provide additional benefits and security.

Anywhere you go today, you should have in the back of your mind that there is a good chance you are being recorded on some camera, whether at a home, business, community park, or on the street. Cameras are everywhere. But, how would you feel if you knew that these cameras that catch glimpses of you running errands were also able to record your conversations?

Including sound on video surveillance raises a lot of questions, especially in reference to privacy. But, does that mean they are a no-go all the way around? Believe it or not, there are a few benefits to this technology, also.


Enhanced Security and Increased Alertness

Whether at your home or office, installing security cameras with audio can be a bonus. In fact, it is almost as if it takes your security system to a new level. Now, not only will you be able to view what is going on in your secured space, but you will be able to hear, as well.

The audio enhancement creates a system using eyes and ears. For instance, someone trying to gain entrance into your home or office is going to try to do so in a sneaky manner. So, while you may not be able to physically see someone hiding on the outskirts of the vision of your camera, you will be able to hear them – and that may be all it takes to alert you.


Intercom Capabilities  

Perhaps one of the best benefits that comes with having security cameras with audio is the intercom capabilities. Take a moment to consider how this could help enhance your current surveillance system. What if you could talk to the person on the other side of your door – without opening it? Or what if you could alert someone that law enforcement has been notified?

Being able to take advantage of an intercom-like surveillance system means you can:

  • Speak to an intruder and issue a warning. This can be a live warning that you give or you could, perhaps, install software that will allow you to have a pre-recorded warning when the cameras are triggered by the motion settings.
  • Take advantage of the cameras by using them for verification purposes. For instance, the camera outside of your front door can be used to talk to the individual outside to verify who they are or what their purpose is for being there. This can be used both at home or at the office.
  • If you don’t see an intruder, but you hear someone, simply speaking through the camera can alarm the intruder and deter a crime from happening in the first place.

This will vary greatly on your surveillance system, but if it allows remote viewing, there is a good chance you can use any intercom-like features remotely, as well. This means you can stop an intruder based on the motion – and not even be home! Of course, the intruder doesn’t have to know that.


Emergency Situations

Emergency situations of all types happen every single day. You never know when you may be next. Whether at home or in the workplace, it can bring a sense of comfort knowing that someone else may be on the other end of the camera lens, hearing what is going on.

This audio allows law enforcement to be notified. If necessary, such as in a home invasion or workplace hostage situation, negotiators and law enforcement can communicate with those inside. This can aid greatly in rectifying the situation in a safe manner.


Areas to Install Audio Capable Cameras

If you are convinced that having a surveillance system with audio-capable cameras is what you need, then you may want to consider where you should install them. These cameras require a bit more thought than simply adding non-audio cameras. Why? Because you are taking the privacy intrusion to another level. And, quite honestly, there may be legal concerns, too.

If you intend to use these cameras as an intercom, installing at your front door and other areas outdoors within your property’s perimeter may be a good suggestion.


But, Is It Legal to Record Audio?

Keep in mind that recording audio with your surveillance system may interfere with privacy laws in your area – and federally. Individuals in public places have a right to assume that they are receiving a reasonable expectation of privacy. So, if you have your audio recording surveillance cameras installed in public places – and you are recording conversations – is that legal? Is that allowing for a reasonable expectation of privacy?


So, the question – is it legal to record audio – is, by far, the biggest and most important question when it comes to considering whether or not your video surveillance should include audible sound as well as recorded images. Of course, you never want to do this without some sort of warning, whether it is a written notice in the workplace or posted notices in the secured area.

Violating privacy laws can land you in a lot of legal hot water. After all, did you know that recording audio illegally using wireless cameras can even list you as a cybercriminal? To be safe and protect your own rights, be sure that you look into the privacy laws regarding both surveillance cameras and surveillance cameras that record. Check local, state, and federal laws and adjust your cameras accordingly. To be sure that you thoroughly have an understanding, it may be best to seek the advice of an attorney who practices in this field.


Surveillance cameras can bring such a wonderful means of security for both businesses and homes. But, it is important to remember that these cameras can be seen as an invasion of privacy – especially if they record audio. So, as you invest in this technology, be smart about it and educate yourself on the do’s and don’ts. You’ll be thankful you did.

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