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Security cameras are an important part of any home security system. Not only can your cameras be used reactively to help see who might be lurking around your home at night or while you were away on vacation, they can also act as a tremendous deterrent.
In fact, when cameras are well placed, they can go a long way in discouraging criminals from going anywhere near your home – much more so than the “this home is protected by…” sign stuck in garden beds throughout neighborhoods across the country.
More important than the type of camera you install, or that model’s capabilities is where you place your cameras. Knowing the right spots that provide the best vantages and that are easily visible to oncoming intruders is a bit of a delicate art.
In this article, we will identify those locations along with some other tips to ensure the safety of your home and family for as long as you live in your home.
Camera positioning plays a vital role in providing any sort of surveillance of your home. If you know very little about security and have perhaps never incorporated cameras into your home’s system before, then there are some apps that can help you identify the best locations.
Generally speaking, though, it is recommended to place security cameras at every door and on as many off street windows as possible.
Nearly 34% of burglars will try and enter your home through the front door. Another 22% through the back. This is why it is so universally accepted that any sort of camera system should feature at least one vantage of any door entrance on a home.
Place all door cameras at the second level of the home. This is a good rule of thumb to follow regardless of what position you are trying to capture on your home. The reason being, if the camera is on the second level or higher, and merely aimed at points of entry around the base of the home, a potential burglar will be unable to knock those cameras out of working order.
If you do not have more than one level, one trick is to enclose your camera in a mesh cage or wiring of some sort. This will protect the camera from being tampered with.
Another 23% of burglars not using doors are entering homes through off-street windows, or windows that are not visible from the street. These are a popular choice for break-ins because the risk of being spotted is reduced significantly.
Some break-ins may be localized to areas that are perhaps easier to access but isolated from the main house like garages or basements. It is not a bad idea to put a lens on these areas as well as they tend to be easy targets for thieves looking to quickly flip some stolen goods for money.
Before you make any purchases for your home security camera system, it is a good idea to stake out your own home the way a potential burglar might. This will give you insight into exactly what you might need and where you might need it.
Some important questions to ask yourself are:
✓ Where do I actually need cameras?
✓ Where are the most vulnerable spots on the property?
✓ Do I have any entrances obstructed to a camera that also might be an inviting point of entry for burglars?
✓ Has your home ever experienced a break-in before? Has any home in the neighborhood? If so, where was the point of entry?
✓ What tools might I need to make security cameras work for my home so that all points of entry are covered?
All these questions are vital to building your home security system and helping determine the optimal set up for that system.
It is also important to consider that, as expensive pieces of technology, security cameras run the risk of being tampered with, or even stolen themselves and later pawned or sold on the street. Because of this, some homeowners use fake or dummy cameras in easy to see and reach places.
The idea here is that they can deter the same amount of break ins as with a real camera but without risking an expensive piece of security equipment. Afterall, there is little you can do if you are away from home and your home is being burglarized regardless of whether you can see it on your security cameras or not.
One of the biggest mistakes people with security cameras make is not securing their devices. This allows footage to be tampered with, cameras to be neutralized, or even stolen outright. The solution is to go high with camera placement. The higher the better, but nine feet is a good minimum benchmark.
There is a such thing, however, as too high. Remember, if you want to actually catch the people who potentially break into your house, you will need to be able to see their faces.
Another pitfall is the idea that cameras can serve dual purpose-both deter and surveil. The two functions are conflicting by their very nature. In order to surveil, a camera needs to be out of reach and relatively stealth. On the other hand, if your purpose is to deter break-ins, you will want them front and center for all to see.
Then there is the issue of lighting. Outdoor lighting and cameras go hand in hand. Without a good source of light, you will be unable to see anything going on in your camera’s lens. If you do not have a night vision camera, be sure you are thinking about light as you plan and think through your surveillance.
Wherever you decide to be the best location for your security cameras, it is advisable to first check if there are camera placement laws in your state. Then, think about whether or not you might be unintentionally capturing a lot of footage of someone else’s property.
With this in mind, and armed with the information outlined in the above guide, you will be well poised to securing your own home and protecting what is most important to you for year to come.