Before you can determine exactly where you should be installing your home security cameras, you need to determine what purpose the camera will serve. According to David Skaritka, a Security Manager out of Illinois, cameras are usually installed to achieve one of these three goals. Generally, homeowners want to
- Prevent something from happening. This would include preventing break-ins from occurring or making sure your valuables are protected.
- Verify that something has happened. Verification involves visual confirmation that an expected event has taken place Sometimes, this involves parents checking in on their kids to make sure they have come home safely from school.
- Catch something while it’s happening. This could involve several different scenarios. Maybe, you want to catch a burglar in the act. Or, you could just be a concerned parent looking to catch your teen as he sneaks out the back door.
Before you can determine where you should install your home security cameras, it’s important to understand why you want them in the first place. Once you have determined your motivation, you can get to work.
Indoor home security cameras versus outdoor security cameras
Another consideration to keep in mind is the placement of indoor security cameras versus outdoor home security cameras. Let’s investigate both options.
Indoor home security cameras
If you are looking to install indoor home security cameras, you should evaluate your main points of entry and high-traffic areas. Most people come and go through a front door or back door. In addition, anyone entering or leaving your home is most likely to travel a common path. For example, if you come and go most frequently by the back door because your car is in the driveway just outside that door, then others are also likely to take that path. In this case, you would want a camera that points directly to your back door. Our security expert offered these tips when installing indoor home security cameras:
- Avoid mounting cameras to a permanent place inside the home because it reduces their ability to be mobile. Also, it makes them easier to find, and thus, easier to avoid.
- Consider placing them amongst common household artifacts, such as picture frames. If burglars are looking to gain entry or wily teens are seeking a late-night escape, they will look for something that seems out of place.
- Evaluate the tops of cabinets as a possible place for your home security camera. Typically, they will go unseen and provide an ideal location for a wide perspective.
- It’s a good idea to position home security cameras so that they have a view of stairs and/or hallways.
- Place home security cameras near any easily accessible points of entry. Do you have a basement window or large front windows on the bottom floor of your home? These points of entry are often used for entry or escape.
Remember, indoor cameras are especially helpful in proving the committal of a crime. In most cases, it isn’t a crime to have someone lurking on your property. However, gaining unlawful entry into your home is a provable offense. Your indoor home security cameras could be instrumental in proving a crime has occurred if your cameras go undetected and are able to catch a glimpse of the intruder.
Outdoor home security cameras
If you have chosen to go the route of outdoor home security cameras, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Outdoor cameras are more difficult to hide because there is less coverage.
- You may have to contend with outdoor elements, such as the extreme heat and cold or moisture.
- If your outdoor home security camera requires power, you will have to position it so that it has access to a power source.
- Catching something on an outdoor camera doesn’t necessarily make it a crime.
If you are willing to deal with these issues, outdoor cameras can be a good deterrent and can help you keep an eye on what is happening around your home. If you choose to install outdoor security cameras, consider these expert tips when positioning your home security cameras around your home:
- Place one at each of the four corners of your home. By placing a camera at each of the four corners, you can essentially have a view of the entire perimeter of your home.
- Home security cameras are ideal for the front door, especially in a covered alcove. This allows you to see who is coming and going at all times and usually offers coverage from the elements.
- Give your camera a view of the back door. If your back door is easily accessible, it’s a likely choice for those coming and going.
- Consider positioning one to see the garage and driveway. Many neighborhoods may have more issues with car vandalism than they do with home invasions. Cars are frequently left outside and a person looking for a quick grab might try the easy score, rather than risking breaking into your home. The garage is also a common point of entry and might be a target for an intruder looking to score some high-value tools.
- Cover any blind spots that might be fair game to a burglar. Do you have any objects that block the view of valuables? For example, if your shed faces the back of your home, but your camera only offers a view of the back door, a burglar could easily grab your bicycles or tools and be gone without being caught on camera.
The goal is to keep your home and those you love protected. Try to envision which methods a burglar might use to enter your home or what path a teen might take to sneak out. Position your cameras to view those areas.
Installation tips for home security cameras
Home security cameras are essential in helping you keep track of your home when you are away. addition to making sure you place home security cameras in all the right places, you will want to take care to
- Choose an area that has power if your camera requires a constant source. If you aren’t choosing a battery-powered option, make sure you are accounting for power. Often, homeowners will install home security cameras on gutters because it offers a wide view and is out of reach. However, running power to your home’s gutters can be difficult. Similarly, hiding your camera on top of a shelf might seem ideal, but will become conspicuous when a cord trails to a power outlet. Consider your power needs before you jump into installation.
- Avoid mounting indoor cameras: Most indoor cameras are mobile, which means you can leverage them when and where you need them. If you mount them in a corner, you are preventing them from being moved around your home. For example, you might want a camera pointing at the front door on a regular basis. However, if you and your family leave for the week and your dog sitter is coming through the back door to let out Fido, you might want your camera pointed at the back door so that you can verify she came and went.
- Keep cameras out of reach or hidden. Ideally, you don’t want to give intruders an easy opportunity to go unseen. Make is as difficult as possible for a potential burglar to disarm your camera. Hide your indoor cameras amidst common household objects and keep cameras up high when mounted in full view outdoors.
- Read the manufacturer’s manual. Because each camera offers different features and may have specific mounting or power requirements, you will want to review your manual before installing in or around your home. In addition, properly protecting your camera from weather-related obstructions will keep it in working condition at all times. The manual will be able to offer proper installation instructions so that you can make the most of your model.
Other considerations when installing home security cameras
Like many other security equipment options, home security cameras run the gamut from fully-stocked, integrated, sophisticated pieces of hardware to completely fake decoy cameras. Sometimes you need the top of the line, while other times may just call for an average model. Which home security camera features do you need? Consider your options.
- Do you want wired or wireless?
- Which features do you want your camera to have?
- Will you want multiple, networked cameras?
- How secure is the camera?
- Is the camera reactive or constantly recording?
- How much does it cost?
- Will your camera be exposed or will it be undercover?
- What does it look like? Does it look like a camera or does it blend in?
Give the following points some thought before selecting your home security camera:
- Wired cameras need to be attached to a power supply, but they can are considered by some to be more reliable and don’t require charging or changing batteries. However, wireless cameras are easier to conceal.
- Depending on the model you choose, home security cameras come equipped with different options. If you choose to go with a professionally installed variety, you can likely tie it into your monitoring company’s app, giving you more control over what your camera can do and the images it can provide. For example, if your camera is tied to ADT Pulse, you can set how often you want images to be captured and even have pictures and videos sent directly to your mobile device for immediate viewing.
- If you are wanting multiple cameras, you will need to make sure you have the internet speeds required to keep them running. If you plan to tie together multiple home security cameras, you will need greater speeds. Consult your internet provider for more information.
- While most burglars are opportunists, you might find yourself faced with a tech-savvy burglar. In that case, you will want your camera to have a firewall or appropriate protections against easy hacking.
- Most home security cameras are reactive, which means they only record when they detect motion or an event. Unless you have the closed-circuit variety, your camera won’t be recording constantly. If you need a camera to record on a constant basis, you will need a more sophisticated piece of hardware.
- As with any purchase, cost is a factor. Shop around for the features you want and evaluate the costs against the benefits.
- If your camera will be exposed to outdoor elements, make sure it is equipped to handle extreme temperatures and exposure to moisture.
- Finally, do you want a camera that looks like a camera? If you want your camera to blend in with the surroundings, you might consider a model that doesn’t look so much like a camera. There are many options that are intended to blend in and not draw attention.
Ultimately, you want a home security camera that addresses your needs. The real comfort comes in knowing what is happening in your home, even if you can’t be there.