Your security camera is not going to be much use if you have it mounted wrong. For the most part mounting a camera seems pretty obvious; just mount it above the front door. Well, that may be a good place to start, but what about the side gate, back door, and other entry areas of the house like a basement cellar door. Before you start installing cameras, it’s usually a good idea to sketch up a layout of your property and plan out which areas you need vision.
Planning Your Cameras
First figure out which areas of your house are most vulnerable or most likely to be a target. Remember, thieves are generally pretty paranoid about being spotted, so look for dark isolated entry points. If you’re particularly worried about someone getting through from your back yard, it might be a good idea to have a camera on both sides of the house, not just on the side with a gate, as they might just climb over the fence.
Common Places to Mount:
- Front door
- Back door
- Off-street windows
- Side gate
- Basement stairs
Most cameras these days have pretty decent night vision, but it’s not always going to be good enough. Consider adding motion detectors with lights alongside your cameras. Not only will this improve video quality, but it might scare the would-be burglars away altogether.
Make sure the cameras you’re using have a wide enough viewing angle to catch the whole area, especially if your camera is easy to spot. If you get a camera with a wide enough viewing angel, then even if trespassers try and avoid it, they might still be spotted.
You have to consider the possibility that your cameras might be tampered with, or even stolen. If the burglars target your home ahead of time, it’s pretty likely that they have a plan to debilitate your cameras. In some cases the burglars will target security cameras.
One strategy I particularly like is the decoy cameras. You put out some dummy cameras in obvious spots and hide the real cameras. That way, if the intruders try to block the cameras vision, they will focus on non-working cameras and think that they’re safe. Or even better, steal useless non-working cameras.
Mounting the cameras way up high out of reach could also prevent tampering. Keep in mind though, depending on your camera quality, placing them too high might ruin the picture quality. Make sure to check security camera laws in your state. Generally, if your camera is recording your neighbor’s backyard 24/4, it’s probably an invasion of privacy. Also, consider using tamper-resistant screw heads. It’s pretty unlikely that a home invader is going to come prepared with every variation of screw bit in existence.
Ideal Features and Installation
When looking for outdoor cameras to get, there are a few important features you’re going to want to look out for. Most outdoor cameras are going to have a pretty decent IP rating (basically how well they survive in harsh weather conditions), but not all outdoor cameras are going to have a high enough recording quality.
Important Outdoor Camera Features:
- IP rating
- Field of view
- Night vision
- Remote viewing
- Wide angle view
- Customizable alerts
- Sturdy tamper-resistant design
Consider getting your cameras installed by a professional. Placing and installing cameras can be tricky work. Imagine drilling a hole in your wall, only to discover that your camera doesn’t get a full view from that location. Another perk to professional installation, other than not having to do all that work, is you can get the entire process insured.
But, if you’re dead set on installing yourself, and now that you’ve planned out your mounting points, bought your cameras, and have all your tools ready, you’re ready to begin install. If you’re installing cameras that have a wire, you’re probably going to want to feed the wire directly through the wall; otherwise it might get tampered with. If you’re using dummy cameras, it might be a good idea to install them loosely. That way, if someone does decide to steal them, they won’t damage your property trying to remove them.