There isn’t a greater peace of mind for your home and valuables than installing home security equipment. Now that you can rest assured that all your valuables are protected, it’s time to move on to the more lighthearted and exciting side of home security — all the surprising uses of cameras.

Home security cameras have some very practical, fun, and clever uses to them. You might be able to come up with a few of your own, but here are our top 10 favorites.

1. Spy on Your Dog

Probably the most popular and most-written about way to use a home security other than securing — spying on your four-legged best friend and seeing what kind of mischief, or lack thereof they get into while you’re away.

Maybe your home security camera will capture evidence of your dog(s) in the act, or maybe you’ll see just how lazy your pooch(es) can truly be. Regardless, it’s a fun past time to watch dogs, or any pet from the comfort of your phone. If you have the two-way talk feature, you can even talk to them.

2. Check in on Newborns

Home security cameras are very beneficial for parents of young children or newborns. Placing cameras in sleeping areas can relieve much of the stress that comes from constantly wanting to check in on your baby and make sure they are okay. If you hear crying via the two-way microphone system, then you will also be able to peek in and have a good chance of identifying the issue before you enter the room.

Additionally, these cameras can be used to check in with a babysitter and make sure there isn’t anything wrong. If you take this approach, however, do let the babysitter know that cameras are in the home to make sure they are comfortable with the practice and don’t feel as if their personal privacy is violated.

3. Check on Older Loved Ones

In one of our content pieces we wrote about how older loved ones benefit from tech installed in the home. Whether your loved one has an illness, injury, or is simply a little slower, home security equipment can allow you to communicate with them throughout the day and check-in to make sure everything is okay.

Retaining independence is an important aspect of aging, and home security equipment will be a great aid to help older loved ones be on their own in a protected environment. But make sure that just like the babysitters, your loved ones have agreed to this practice and don’t feel like their privacy is being violated.

4. See What Creatures Wander Around

If you’ve got home security on the perimeters of the home, you might be able to capture some sneaky guests — and no, not the burglars.

Do you see the neighborhood cats wandering around and wonder if they take strolls around your home? Maybe there’s been some mischief outside and you’re wondering if raccoons or other creatures are getting into your space. Regardless of the critter, home security outside can capture very entertaining, or alarming animals.

5. Watch Kids Play Hoops

A lot of people outfit their homes with an outdoor basketball hoop near the garage for their children. Near the garage is the perfect place for a home security camera since it’s an entry, and the garage may be close to a backyard and an additional point of entry.

If you’re camera captures enough of the surrounding scene or has pan or tilt capability, you can catch a glimpse of your kids shooting some hoops in the backyard. You can see the kids do their best Stephen Curry impression from the comfort of your house.

6. Talk to the Family

Assuming your family knows there is home security equipment in the home and they don’t feel any sense of violation, you can use the tools to be a prankster.

Maybe your kids got home from school early, or your spouse is eating cookies from the pantry that they shouldn’t be eating. Use the two-way talk feature on the system to give them a little startle. Of course, it’s all in good fun. (This tool could be used to add some additional scares around trick or treating and Halloween season.)

7. Spy on the Doorbell

We all have those days that we don’t want to answer the door to anyone, or maybe that’s a general rule for you. Home security cameras are the perfect way to see who’s at the door at all times. Is it a solicitor? The mailman? Or maybe just the delivery man with pizza?

Regardless of who comes knocking, you’ll have the heads up.

8. Time-Lapse Videos

Since home security cameras capture and store recordings, these recordings can later be pulled and uploaded to laptops, tablets, or other tools with video recording software.

If you have cameras set up that are able to capture outdoor scenes, scenes of the family, or the kids hooping like we mentioned above, you can use video-editing software to create time-lapse videos of these events.

9. Take Party Pictures

As with the rest of these home security camera hacks, always make sure that privacy isn’t impeded in order to capture something.

But, assuming all parties have agreed, your security equipment can be used to capture pictures from family gatherings, parties, or events that you have around the home. If equipment is placed properly, this can save the hassle of having to assign someone to be photographer, or at the very least save some of the time and disruption in activity that it takes to get pictures.

10. Double-Check Forgotten Things

One of the most convenient ways to use home security is to use the equipment to check in on the home after you leave, in case you forgot to turn off the stove, a light, left a backdoor open, or any other clutter/issue that could have been left in the home.

The one downside to this is that unless your home is automated, you may realize the issue, but you’ll still have to take the trip back to your house to fix the problem. And if your issue was a stove that was left on —you’ll really want to take that trip back home.

Those are our top 10 uses for home security cameras? Do you have different ones? What are they? Let us know on social media!