Placing of security cameras
You may have purchased security cameras based on my post Security Camera Buying Guide, and now it’s time to ask the question: Where to place security cameras? Let’s use some burglar’s common sense. If you were a burglar, how would you try to get into a home?
The mind of a thief
Let’s see how my ‘criminal mind’ works. The front door, in many cases, is unlocked. I’d try that one first, basically walking straight in. Then I’d consider that I don’t want to give a show to the neighbors or any bystanders when breaking into a home. Therefore, the back-yard door would be my second choice, and maybe that one is also unlocked. Then I look for windows that are out-of-sight, to the side or the back of the house.
Consider this, statistics from burglaries and police reports at the Bureau of Justice Statistics reveal that about 80% of break-ins happen through the first floor, and the front door is the number one entry point
Using the front entrance
Let’s talk about the front door. Where should we place this camera? Most likely the intruder will come from the street, either by walking or by car. So you want to see what’s coming at you. I recently read a news story that had a photo of an intruder taken by a surveillance camera. The camera was placed right above the door, almost pointing straight down. Lucky for the owner of the house, the thief looked straight up into the camera and still broke into the house. They did catch the thief. But really, that camera was not mounted at the proper spot.
Therefore, for the front of the property, a wide-angle 180 degrees camera is appropriate. That would capture just about everything coming towards your home. If the thief comes with a car, with some luck, you may catch the license plate.
In addition, the camera should be installed at a height of at least 9 feet, which is out of reach to be smashed by a robber. Yet, do remember that cameras are great break-in deterrents, so make sure it can be seen.
Facial recognition photo search
As I mentioned in the news story, lucky that the thief looked up, otherwise facial recognition would have been impossible. Nowadays, most all police departments have facial recognition applications. So, if you have a good photo of the intruder’s face, most likely that face will be identified if it’s in the police’s database. A couple of options to get a good shot, either put a camera inside the house pointing straight at the front door, or get a peep-hole camera.
In my opinion, the best option is a ‘peep-hole’ camera. Not only do they take photos, but they also do video recording. The one I recommend is the digitharbor® 3.5 inches TFT LCD screen digital door peephole viewer camera. Amazingly it also comes with night vision and wide angle.
I believe it is fair to say that it would be difficult to use a facial photo that was taken through an ‘old style peep-hole’ as shown on the right.
The backyard entrance
The backdoor coverage would be the next priority. We can use the same principals we used for the front door camera. If possible put the camera up high and cover the area with a wide angle. If you have a backyard gate, that should be the focal point.
TIP of the day! Keep in mind that the camera view should be unobstructed!
That leaves us with off-street windows. They may be at the side of the house as well as facing the backyard. If you have a shed or a bar area in the backyard, that would be a great spot to mount a camera. Why? Usually, sheds or bars are in the corner of the backyard. If that is the case, you should be able to cover windows at the side of the house as well as the ones at the back door wall. If you bought a camera with night vision and motion detector, that’s the one you want to use here.
In case you haven’t bought a camera and need some advice, check my post Security Camera Buying Guide. Have fun installing your cameras!
Have fun installing your cameras!