Keeping a Watch on Remote Locations and Vacant Properties


Last Updated on 23 November 2023

When you think of security cameras, you typically think of in-store closed-circuit cameras or wireless webcams to monitor your home. Perhaps you have a video doorbell to keep an eye on deliveries and watch your front door while you are away. But how do you monitor vacant properties? How do you keep an eye on an empty lot, an empty building, or remote locations?

There are many reasons that you may want to set up security systems for remote locations. For example, contractors will want to keep an eye on construction sites to prevent theft and vandalism after hours. Storage yards that house expensive equipment might need additional security. Farmers may want to set up security cameras for vacant land or to monitor livestock. You may even want to secure a campground or monitor wildlife with a portable trail camera.

You may want indoor security cameras for vacant properties. You can use remote indoor security cameras to monitor vacation homes—even when you turn off the power. You can also use remote indoor security cameras to watch barns and outbuildings, or to surveil parking kiosks and ticket booths that may lack power or wiring.

There are several applications for remote video monitoring. The challenge is deciding how to set up security systems for remote locations easily and cost-effectively.

How Do You Monitor Vacant Property?

Security systems for remote locations have unique requirements. There are specific factors that you need to understand in order to choose the right camera system:

Power – Any electronic device needs a power source. With home or business security systems you have power readily available. When you install a remote security camera system in a location like an empty building or a field, you need a reliable, self-contained power source. You have two basic options:

1) You can choose a security system with a long-life battery. You will need a system that can continue to operate between site visits, so the battery may need to last for months. 

2) You can use a solar-powered system like the CoreCam™, or you can add a separate solar power system such as the SWIFI-SOLAR2 solar panel with an outdoor stand. Solar power is more reliable since the energy is renewable, and most solar systems have sufficient battery storage to run year round, including during overcast and rainy days.

Connectivity – Having a remote security system is only valuable if you can access the camera images. If you plan to use web monitoring, using a Wi-Fi connection is your most cost-effective option. If you can’t place a Wi-Fi router near the security camera, consider other Wi-Fi alternatives. Many municipalities have started offering free Wi-Fi to residents. Some cellular and cable service providers also provide free, regional Wi-Fi coverage for customers. In addition to internet access, you should consider recording security footage. You can set up a DVR or NVR to capture webcam footage from your home or office, or you might consider using cloud data storage.

Lighting and visibility – If you are installing a security system for a remote location then you will want a camera that has lights built-in or that can operate at low light levels. Installing a high-resolution camera with built-in floodlights like the Slimline Floodlight Security Camera (SWIFI-SLMFLCW) delivers a clear image and the motion-activated lights can be a great deterrent to thieves and vandals. You can also install standalone floodlights, like the battery-powered Alpha-Series 1200 floodlight (SWALPH-B1200HRB) with built-in motion sensor.

Image resolution – Be sure to check the camera specifications to ensure you have sufficient resolution for the size of the area you need to cover. A low-resolution camera may not give you sufficient resolution to cover a field or a storage yard, especially at night. Learn more about what video resolution is right for you.

Alerts and notifications – Since the security system is remote, alerts and notifications are essential. The system should alert you via text message to an intruder or some other emergency. Consider a passive infrared (PIR) motion sensors detector system like Swann’s True Detect™ motion and heat camera. Be sure the system sensitivity is sufficient to spot intruders, but not so sensitive that it sends an alert with every bug or raindrop that passes by. Read our guide on PIR-based security monitoring here.

Vandalism and tampering – Any security camera can be a target for vandalism, especially when it’s installed in a remote area. You have options to prevent vandalism. You can try a tamper-proof, clear enclosure, but a determined vandal could make short work of a plastic case. A better option is to install the camera where it is inaccessible, such as on a high pole or rooftop. It’s important to remember not to mount the security camera(s) too high as then their PIR (approximately 30 feet or 8 meters) and night vision operating range may be exceeded.

Weatherproof – Of course, a remote security camera mounted outdoors needs to be weatherproof. Choose a security system designed to withstand the elements, including high wind, driving rain, and extreme temperatures. A weatherproof system will give you longer, more reliable service.

Swann Delivers Remote Property Security Solutions

Swann offers a wide variety of security systems that are capable of monitoring all types offor remote or vacant locations. For example, the Swann Outdoor Wi-Fi Spotlight Security Camera (SWIFI-2KOCAM) is fully weatherproof and solar-compatible. This camera is high fidelity with 1080p resolution for greater detail. It includes True Detect™ motion sensors that activate a light and siren, and features two-way audio so you can listen to and deter intruders. Night2Day™ color night vision gives vision to 100 feet (30m) and color video up to 65 feet (20m). The system also saves clip recordings to the cloud 24 hours a day for 60 days.

If you need to cover a wider area, Swann’s AllSecure600™ (SONVK-600SD3S3) is a three-camera wireless security system either with or without solar panels included. The AllSecure600 can record up to two months on a 64GB micro card. It also features talk and listen capabilities and color night vision for up to 32 feet (10m) with the spotlight.

Of course, Swann also offers individual components so you can create your own remote security system.

If you are looking for the right security systems for remote locations, you don’t have to look any further than Swann.