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Dummy Cameras

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Most retail businesses you enter appear to have some type of video camera pointing at you from multiple locations. Since I work in the industry, I have noticed very few stores do not have any video surveillance systems watching the store. Either can be a candidate for a dummy video camera, as well as home video surveillance systems.

What is a dummy video camera or fake surveillance camera? 


They are an actual video camera looking device that does not contain any internal parts to record, it is only a shell that appears to be a video camera. The internal parts that do all the recording have been removed, and the empty shell can be used whether you have a video surveillance system in place or not.

There are two types of dummy cameras we know of; dome and box cameras. Dome are the ones you usually see in the store on the ceiling, the black bubbles. The others are box cameras that are mounted on brackets, and usually used in warehouses, banks, and other professional applications where you need a high quality camera.

These two types of cameras come with a couple variations; one of these is a red light, and the other is motion. Most of the dome cameras in the store don't actually have a red light. The dummy box cameras can also come with a motion sensor that will move it at the direction of the movement, which could help to make the thief that he is being monitored.

A dummy camera will allow an existing video surveillance system to appear larger than it is. If you only have 4 or 8 cameras, and it's not enough to cover all your vital spots, a dummy video camera could be an answer. By placing 2-4 additional dummy cameras in-between your current video cameras, you now beefed up your video surveillance system for about $100. The cost is much less than buying new cameras.

However, they won't record any video, so if a crime is committed, they won't capture any of it. We suggest you put them up between areas that you are overlapping in coverage, or in out of the way places that you normally don't need to film. Most people will notice the cameras, deterring possible crime because they have no reason to believe they are not real, and they cannot inspect them since they are on the ceiling. If a person does steal something, there is no record of it, so we only suggest this if you just don't have the funds to set up a real surveillance system. Another downside of dummy video cameras is they can be discovered. Usually it won't happen with dome cameras on the ceiling, as the person can't get up to the camera. A box cameras can be discovered if someone climbs a ladder or stands on a counter. This could lead to more crime, as the thief knows he can get away with anything in front of that camera. They can also lull a store or home owner into a false sense of security since they start believing the cameras are real, only to discover they are not after the fact. You can never forget they are not real and don't record anything.

So will a dummy camera stop a criminal?

If you have a current system, dummy cameras should reduce criminal activity, because additional video cameras can help to keep honest people honest. If you have the funds, invest in real cameras to protect your property, otherwise use the dummy to either augment a current video surveillance system, or to put up something until you can afford such a system if you currently do not have anything.
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