The best places to install home security cameras

Not every home is the same, but everyone’s property deserves protection. Security cameras are a great tool for creating a sense of security, as they will always give you another view of your property.

The design, budget and security priorities of your home are different from the priorities of your neighbors, so there is no universal rule for installing security cameras. However, this guide will help you consider all aspects of your home’s security and identify those that are absolutely necessary based on your home’s vulnerabilities.

Where you should consider installing a camera

1. Exterior: front door

You may think that intruders always sneak through the side entrances, but statistics from the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors show that 34% of thieves use front doors. It is also a place where package thieves are likely to strike. 

The camera at your main entrance monitors everyone who enters and leaves your home, from family members and nannies to handymen, delivery men, and more. (Pro Tip: Video doorbells are a great choice for front doors. You can use them as a primary camera or in conjunction with another outdoor camera facing the courtyard or garage.)

2. Exterior: rear and side doors

Out-of-sight doors allow visitors to enter unnoticed, whether they are invited or not. NACHI statistics show that 22% of burglaries go through the back door. To make sure that everyone who enters and exits fully notices, add cameras to your secondary doors, especially if one of them is used as often or more often than your front door or if one of them (for example, a cellar door ) appears to be particularly attractive or accessible to a potential intruder.

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3. Exterior: garage and driveway

Garages are a common target for thieves because they are one of the weakest entry points. A camera focused on your garage and / or driveway monitors bikes, tools, grills, sports equipment, cars and everyone else who handles them. 

If your garage is detached, the camera will help you stay connected. With an attached garage, another layer of the entrance protects another possible entrance to your house. If there is a gate at the end of the driveway, you may want a camera to see anyone trying to get inside.

4. Exterior: garden

Yard monitoring allows you to monitor anyone who views your home from the outside. It is also useful for recording the activities of children, animals and intruders.

5. Interior: common areas

Placing cameras in collection points, such as the kitchen or living room, is a great way to find out if children are doing what they have, if the babysitter is attentive to what pets are getting into, or looking for help in the home, such as cleaners. and repairmen. Consider preferring rooms with large windows on the ground floor – depending on whether someone is manipulating them or using them as a burglary site.

6. Interior: main staircase or hallway

Place the camera on the main road in your house so that it is difficult for someone to walk unnoticed. If someone breaks into a bathroom, bedroom or other unguarded space, they will still be captured by the camera as they move around the house.

Areas that you do not need to install a security camera on

  • Places that invade your neighbors’ privacy.Cameras are great for your security, but you need to consider the privacy of others around you. Specific laws regarding cameras and privacy vary from state to state, so it’s a good idea to check with local laws (and local homeowners’ associations) to make sure you don’t have to uninstall. 
  • Generally, homeowners have outdoor security cameras that cover a large area, and it’s usually okay to include your neighbors’ public property in the background of your footage. Legal issues occur if your camera captures areas where your neighbors expect privacy (for example, if your cameras can see their bedrooms or bathrooms) or if you use the footage for non-security purposes. Please note that these rules only apply to video surveillance. Audio recording without knowledge and permission is illegal in most cases.
  • Bedrooms and bathrooms. The urge to keep a close eye on children or the elderly in your home is understandable. However, some areas legitimately expect privacy. And if you use a monitoring service, you run the risk of a hacker tapping a camera that accesses your private space. 
  • Fortunately, there are many alternatives. Babysitters are a smart choice for very small children’s rooms. Motion and glass breakage sensors can be added to doors and windows as part of a connected home security system. Personal medical alert systems are a powerful choice for seniors.

Optimize camera placement for function and visibility

Once you decide which locations to monitor, you’ll also need to devise a strategy for locating and installing security cameras to cover target areas.

Instructions for locating the outdoor security camera

  • Install the cameras 8-10 feet above the ground. This height is low enough to capture fine detail, but high enough to be out of reach of thieves and vandals.
  • Do not aim the cameras directly at the sun. Bright light causes flashes and high contrast in your shots, making it difficult to understand what’s going on. Pay attention to the movement of the sun and focus your cameras on indirect light.
  • Decide if you want the camera to be visible or hidden. Visible security cameras effectively deter burglary, but are also the target of theft and vandalism. Some homeowners choose to prominently install a fake deceptive camera and back it up with a real one that is a little more hidden, while others add heavy hardware or a cover around the camera to make it harder to get damaged.
  • Protect the camera from the elements. Top outdoor security cameras have sufficient resistance to weather and water, but not all are equal. Choose a camera suitable for your climate and, if possible, place it under eaves or in another partially protected area.

Instructions for locating internal security

  • The horns are your friends. By hanging the indoor camera in the corner of the room, you usually get the widest possible view.
  • Windows can cause reflection problems. Placing the camera out of the window may reduce the image quality. Many security cameras have infrared (IR) light technology, which helps detect motion and ensures that the cameras operate in low light conditions. IR light can bounce off windows and other glass objects and make your shots unreadable, especially in the dark. If your shots look faded or white, you probably have a reflection problem.
  • If it is necessary to point the camera out of a window, two measures to reduce glare are to place the lens as close as possible to the glass and / or to illuminate the outdoor area (for example, using lights with a motion detector). It can also be useful if your camera has WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) technology.
  • Angle for indirect light. Direct light washes away your shots again. For indoor cameras, consider lamps, luminaires and clean windows. Do not point the camera directly at any of these light sources.

Tips for installing a security camera

By following these installation rules, you will save yourself a possible headache.

  • Test your device before full installation. Use the camera at a simple test site to make sure it works as expected. If possible, run dry in the intended area of ​​the camera (fasten it with tape, a single nail or other solution) to check and evaluate the feed. Do you see everything you want to see? Is the WiFi signal strong enough? Does the field of view block glare or an obstacle?
  • Do not install the camera using hardware or tools that could damage components. It is tempting to prepare the camera so that it reaches the perfect position. However, do not take any precautions that could damage or strain the case, electrical components, or lens.
  • Remember to clean or maintain the camera from time to time. Outdoor cameras are particularly prone to dirt or pollen settling on the lens. Do not install it in a way that prevents maintenance.

Do your security cameras need to be professionally installed?

The choice between installing your own surveillance cameras or installing them professionally is ultimately up to you. If you get dizzy from the information in this article or from the manufacturer’s instructions, you don’t have to deal with it yourself. However, these devices have become more accessible and accessible over time and are often set up for easy custom installation.

Self-monitoring security cameras (unlike professionally monitored security systems) usually have the simplest installation. Many of these cameras communicate over Wi-Fi and require only a fixed connection to their power supply. Smaller cameras, such as video bells and peepholes, often use batteries, which is even more user-friendly. 

Outdoor security cameras can be more challenging, especially if the exterior of the house has limited energy resources, if you do not have many tools or you are worried about the appearance of your home. In these cases, you may want to hire a professional who has experience with previous camera installations.

Finally, there are circumstances when you cannot install your own cameras. Many leading vendors of monitored home security systems (such as ADT and Vivint) require professional installation to ensure that everything is in order. 

In these cases, a trained technician will come to your home to relieve you of this responsibility. If you are committed to doing it yourself and if you want a professionally audited security system, you have plenty of options for doing it yourself.

To learn more, check out our tips on the best outdoor security cameras or check out our comprehensive guide to the best home security systems.

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