When it comes to your family’s security, always trust your judgement. The first question to ask is, where do you (and your family members) think you need security cameras? What are the most vulnerable spots on your property? Do you have hidden or obscured entrances, windows or doors that would be particularly appealing to burglars? Have you or past owners experienced break-ins before? If so, where? You know your home best, so you are uniquely qualified to evaluate how to keep it safe from intrusion.
Once you’ve decided on the locations of your cameras, you have to determine whether you’ll install your cameras where thieves can see them, to serve as a deterrent but where they can be easily broken, or if you should put them out of reach where they may hide from burgling eyes but will always catch the thief on video? I recommend a hybrid method: install your real cameras out of reach (and possibly out of sight), and then place dummy cameras – the kind that look completely authentic, of course – around your property. That way, if a burglar does break one of your cameras, it’ll be an inexpensive dummy – and you’ll have a video of the act, too.
Here are five spots you should always install a home surveillance camera:
1. Front Door
An estimated 34% of all burglars enter your home through the front door, so you’ll definitely want to train one of your surveillance cameras here. To prevent a thief from knocking out your camera, place it at second-floor level, or even in the eves of your house, and train it on the front door. If your home has just one level, consider enclosing your front door camera in mesh wiring to protect it from errant rocks, sticks, or other weapons. Bonus: You can also set up your front-door camera as a high-tech peephole, so you can see who’s knocking before you open the door.
Purchase an expandable CCTV system, so you can add as many cameras as necessary
2. Back Door
Another 22% of home burglars enter through the back door, so you need a camera here, as well. (And if you have side doors, they count as back doors for sake of statistics. The point is, arm each entry door with a camera.) Again, make the effort to place your camera out of the reach of human hands, or to protect it from projectiles.
3. Off-Street Windows
Burglars often enter a home by breaking a rear window. By choosing a window that is not in direct view of the street, they decrease their chance of being caught and buy some privacy to do the dirty deed. Get a jump on them and train a camera on any area of your home with windows that cannot be viewed from the street.
4. Backyard/Side Gate
Crooks love a good backyard, since they’re often brimming with expensive lawn & garden machinery, recreational equipment, and kids’ toys. Arm your yard with motion-sensor floodlights and a night vision surveillance camera to protect your home and belongings. If your backyard is fenced in, make sure your camera has a view of the entrance gate (or install a second camera there).
5. Basement Stairs
Many basements have access hatches/doors, or at least small windows that are large enough to crawl through. Place a camera on the stairs leading up from the basement to your home – and consider doubling-up on security with a motion-sensing alarm – to record any wayward prowlers who sneak their way into your home via the subterranean route.