Where to Place Your Home Security Cameras

Where to Place Your Home Security Cameras

Reading Time: 6 minutes

A security camera is undoubtedly a fantastic investment—though that statement only rings true if you observe a few important points. Of course, there’s the simple matter of purchasing the best available product (check) — or the best for what your budget allows (check). Naturally, doing this necessitates research and reading reviews about the best indoor and outdoor security cameras on the market.  Now, let’s assume you’ve put in your due diligence and found the most ideal security cameras to cover your property.

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And whole you may have found something suitable for the CIA, FBI, and MI6—you’re yet to assemble a formidable security system. High-tech tools turn to paperweights if you don’t use them properly. Having James Bond’s frills doesn’t mean you possess his skills, so to speak.

What we’re trying to say is that surveillance cameras are only as effective as their placement. Investing in a home security system only makes sense when you do everything in your power to extract the most value from it.

This means that you need your security cameras situated in areas where burglars could enter. Fortunately, there are only so many ways that break-ins can physically occur. Thus, there’s a blueprint for installing security cameras strategically in specific areas to keep your home criminal-proof.

Read on as we break down the nuts and bolts of where to install security cameras.

Best Locations to Place Home Security Cameras

Before getting into the specifics of placement, we’ll ask you to consider an analogy.

Imagine you turned up to Wall Street one day with zero training and were suddenly expected to make strategic decisions about the stock market. What would seem like complete gibberish to you is akin to a first language for industry professionals. They know dividends, bear/bull markets, and blue chips like the backs of their hands.Now take yourself out of the well-tailored, three-piece business suit and put yourself in the stereotypical, all-black, burglar outfit.

These are seasoned pros who know the ins and outs of breaking and entering. While you might stereotype these criminals as freeloading layabouts, they’ve finely honed their skills in the “art” of breaking in and evading authorities.

As a law-abiding citizen, keeping up with these nefarious individuals’ thought processes, instincts, and savviness is virtually impossible, especially without seeing the process through a burglar’s eyes.

For one thing, thriving criminals already know a lot about home security. For example, they’re specialized in evading your outdoor cameras and motion detection.

All the same, it’s not like burglars are unbeatable. They merely know how to capitalize on weaknesses.

The solution?

Follow the placement suggestions below for a nearly impenetrable home security setup that will leave burglars quaking in their boots.

Side And Back Doors

Ask any boxer or mixed martial arts fighter, and they’ll tell you it’s the punch you don’t see coming that knocks you out.

The same can be said for intruders trying to break into your home. More specifically, non-visible doors give unwelcome visitors straightforward access to your home. They don’t need to worry about getting noticed because there are no eyes focused on those areas.

Those wishing to track each person entering or exiting their premises should install side and back door cameras.

This notion rings doubly true if those entrances are used more frequently than your front door. Also, contemplate whether there’s an entry point that may be especially enticing to a burglar, such as a hidden basement door.

Windows

What are windows if not a transparent gateway that burglars can either finesse or shatter to breach your home’s perimeter? Almost one quarter of intruders slip in through a home’s first-floor window when doors aren’t an option. Initially, they’ll try to find an entry point that isn’t facing the street. They’re also likely to attempt sneaking in through a back window.

Therefore, these windows are places where cameras should be installed.

For some extra deterrence, consider placing a visible indoor security camera on a table at an angle. A little razzle dazzle and intimidation are excellent ways to scare off wannabe intruders.

Garage 

Wherever an entry point exists, a burglar sees an opportunity to break and enter. We’re just lucky these resourceful criminals haven’t learned how to shapeshift; otherwise, they’d slip through every conceivable crack and crevice on your home’s exterior. Instead, they are stuck with their measly human forms. As such, they’re going to leverage any chance to enter the premises.

In fact, a titch below 10% of intruders sneak in through an adjacent garage in houses that have them. That number is low for a reason—they’ve exhausted every other option and the garage is their last resort, as the doors and windows proved too much of a challenge.

Don’t let this be your one home security oversight. Point your security camera at doors adjacent to your garage, if you have them.

This section’s key takeaway is to consider even the most minute details—because skilled criminals will do just that.

What To Consider In Security Camera Placement

How Far Off The Ground Should You Install Your Camera?

Cameras should be installed 8 to 10 feet off the ground. This distance strikes the perfect balance. The camera won’t be so high that it’ll miss intricate details, but it won’t be so low that it’ll be easy for those with bad intentions to reach.

Will The Sun Affect Your Security Camera’s Performance?

 Yes, pointing your camera directly at the sun will cause a glare and high contrast in your footage. As a result, you’ll have a hard time seeing anything on tape.

The most ideal camera angle is one that accounts for the sun’s movement and leverages indirect light.

Is It Better To Keep Your Cameras Visible Or Hidden?

One strategy doesn’t necessarily trump the other when it comes to your security cameras’ visibility. It really depends on your circumstances and how you’d prefer to incorporate your home’s security.

Vandals and gadget thieves might be enticed by visible cameras (however, we point out the need to position them high enough off the ground to avoid this). Conversely, keeping this equipment visible acts as a clever deterrent to more risk-averse burglars.

It’s worth noting that some homeowners install decoy cameras to scare off burglars while placing real ones nearby that are more concealed.

Another method involves utilizing robust hardware or casing to protect the cameras from damage.

 How Can You Protect Your Security Cameras From Harsh Weather?

High-quality security cameras are weatherproof and waterproof. Still, like any pair of winter boots, they have their breaking point.

Ensure the camera you purchase is built for your climate. On top of that, install your security equipment under eaves or consider using a different protected area to offer some form of shielding.

 Common Mistakes in Installing Security Cameras  

Here’s a short list of common home security camera installment mistakes: 

  •       Installing cameras with hardware or tools that cause damage to their components.
  •       Failing to clean and maintain your cameras.
  •       Installing cameras in areas that make them impossible to clean.
  •       Forgetting to test the equipment to ensure that it’s operating correctly.
  •       Positioning cameras to face direct light.
  •       Not securing your security cameras.
  •       Using cameras without wide dynamic range.

Home Security Camera Placement Laws

The area in which you live is likely to have different privacy laws than other areas. Before installing your cameras, perform your due diligence and check your local mandates and rules. Your local homeowner’s association should also be able to offer some guidance on this matter.

Most homeowners are allowed to install outdoor security cameras to cover a broad area. Capturing your neighbour’s public-facing property in your footage’s background is usually okay.

Problems can occur if your security equipment records areas that should be private. Cameras shouldn’t see into bedrooms and bathrooms, for instance. Additionally, using recorded footage for non-security purposes is a no-no.

Some other legal red tape worth considering is the difference between audio and video surveillance. No matter what, recording sound without someone’s consent is illegal almost all the time.

We’ve already discussed bathrooms briefly in this section. However, this topic requires a bit more of a deep dive.

Homeowners often want to keep an eye on their children and elders. Unfortunately, once you cross the boundary into the bathroom, legalities come into play. Privacy comes first and foremost in these circumstances.

Provided you are concerned about your vulnerable loved ones, you can monitor them without a camera. With infants and toddlers, baby monitors keep you in the loop.

For seniors struggling with slips and falls, there are motion detectors and glass break sensors. Both of these options are components of connected home security systems. Medical alert systems are another suitable idea for the elderly.

Takeaway

You now have a blueprint for implementing a successful home security camera system. By taking the time to learn strategies for keeping your home from being burglarized, you’ll stay one step ahead of intruders. Plus, you’ll get the most value out of your equipment investment.

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