It’s predicted that 3 out of 4 American homes will be victim to burglary in the next 20 years. Such an alarming fact is a call for us to act and secure our homes with security gear. The first thing that comes to our mind is most likely a security camera. Security cameras have long been the forefront on battling unwanted guests.
Yet, if they are so popular, how come burglaries still happen and such bad predictions exist?
Whether you opt for a wired or wireless security camera, the positioning that you choose will make all the difference. This 5-step security expert guide should help you out with that.
Keep focus on vulnerable points of entry
Not everyone is able to place their security gear all around the house to cover every angle. This is why you should keep your focus on the most important entry points. The most vulnerable areas are first floor windows, back doors, and the front door – a staggering 79% of break-ins happen via those areas of the house.
If you cover all of these areas, you will be able not only to monitor what is going on, but provide evidence in the event of burglary.
[DO] Install your cameras at the most vulnerable entry points, including the front door, back door, and first floor window.
[DON’T] Your cameras shouldn’t be placed within hands’ reach, allowing the burglar to do serious damage, or even break your gear.
The right height is as important as the right angle
Your cameras should be positioned high enough. The burglars shouldn’t be able to just reach up and knock them down, spray paint the lens, or do any other damage. A good rule of thumb is to install your security cameras eight to ten feet off the ground. Choose an area where they can be angled for the best coverage.
A good decision is the apex of an A-frame where a camera can cover the front yard, or installing a supporting beam opposite of the front door to cover the main entrance. If you are unable to cover every single point of entry, thus removing any potential blind spots, try installing your camera at second-story height – allowing you to cover a much wider field of view.
[Important note] Too high a position can make it hard for you to figure out details on your recordings – such as the appearance of the person or their behavior.
[DO] Prioritize making your gear harder to reach and ensuring a satisfactory angle. Always look for a sweet spot of eight to ten feet of height.
[DON’T] Avoid placing your camera indoors. If the camera is recording through a window that gets a lot of direct sunlight, a glare can damage the quality or completely block out the footage.
Go for good lighting options
Even though most burglaries occur during daytime, your cameras won’t be of much use during the night (unless they come with a night vision feature). Try to compensate with additional lighting around your property.
The more lighting you have around your property at night, the better overall security. Lights don’t only help your cameras get a clearer shot, but they add to the impression that you are home even if you’re not. You should be mindful of the distance, however.
If your cameras are too close to bright lights, it can seriously distort the surveillance. So make sure you test the gear and the camera angles to account for lighting. Try to review the recorded data at various times of the day – if the lighting becomes problematic at any point, consider changing the position.
[DO] Consider enhancing your cameras with added lights for the nighttime, so you can always have a clear picture of what’s going on.
[DON’T] Don’t forget to check if your gear already has night vision settings, as your property will be vulnerable during the night. Either way, outdoor lights add to the impression that you’re at home, so they’re always a good option.
Visible or hidden placement?
This is the question. The key to the right answer here is simple – functionality.
Visible cameras can sway off potential burglars momentarily. They also provide a wider view range, and are much less prone to obstructions. They are, however, an easy target for vandalism and a brave intruder can at least try to disable or destroy them, buying themselves ample time to attack before you manage to replace the gear.
Hidden cameras are more discreet, making them a good weapon for unsuspecting perpetrators. They are great for providing proof of illegal actions. However, before opting to hide or camouflage the gear, there are legal implications to be considered – such as recording people without them knowing.
[DO] Consider the primary function of your surveillance before opting to hide or to make the camera visible.
[DON’T] Always consider your local laws and regulations before you install hidden cameras, as it can lead to legal consequences.
Try using decoys
If you have a hallway or a long staircase leading to your home, it might be more difficult to get the right lighting, ideal installation height, or possibly even good Wifi signal strength. A decoy camera might be a viable option in such a case.
You should know that decoys have as many disadvantages as well. The biggest one is that they’re easy to detect, and completely useless if a break-in happens.
[DO] Always look to pair the decoy option with backup measures in place, such as a security team on-call or a hidden camera in place.
[DON’T] Try not to rely only on cameras as a sole security solution. Always look for an additional option, such as improving your locks, lighting enhancements etc.
When installing your security gear, you might notice some structures around your home are not as strong as they once were. This is especially true for your window frames, which might have become loose or have pulled away from the structure over the years, as well as doors that stick out a bit. This may be a good time for minor improvements to the security, energy efficiency and structural integrity of your home. Improvements like that allow for the safe use of your cameras in the long run as well.
Tomasz Borys. Currently with Deep Sentinel, Tomasz specializes in home safety and security technology. Prior to joining Deep Sentinel, Tomasz has over a decade of marketing leadership experience, ranging from Microsoft to Kissmetrics.