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Keeping an Eye on Things: How to Get the Most Out of Your Home Security Cameras

By June 14, 2019 April 6th, 2021 No Comments

Home security technology has come a long way, especially now that video cameras are easily integrated into home security systems. If you’re adding cameras to your home security, below are 10 tips to help you make the most of them.

Think through where you need the cameras
Rather than putting up cameras helter skelter, be careful in your placement. Better placement improves your coverage but also reduces the number of cameras you’ll need. This applies to inside and outside your home. Think through what you want to be able to see. Do you need a camera inside to keep an eye on pets, kids who get home before you do, or an elderly parent prove to falling? Outside, do you have an attractive nuisance like a pool to monitor? Also think about people approaching your home. You don’t want a view of someone only once they are at the front door, but while they are approaching it too.

Use the right cameras for different locations
Interior cameras differ from those meant for exterior use. For one thing, exterior home security cameras are built to be weather-resistant. Put the right camera in the right place.

Install home security cameras for maximum visibility
To maximize the area your cameras can see, install them approximately seven feet high and pointed at a slight downward angle. This also helps with motion detection because the camera has the wider view and will be triggered sooner.

Install in high-traffic areas
Put cameras where people are most likely to go, but also think about where burglars are most likely to enter and install cameras to monitor those locations. Research shows burglars are a lot less subtle than you might expect:

  • 34% of the time they enter through the front door
  • 23% of the time through a ground-floor window
  • 22% of the time through the back door

Use a video doorbell
You’re probably planning to place a camera near the front door because it’s the most common place of entry—even for burglars, as we noted above. Consider making it a video doorbell. That way you can know if UPS delivered your package, or see who is at your front door when the doorbell rings and you’re at work.

Install cameras out of reach
You want your cameras to be located higher up so you get a better view, but the higher the better so they are out of reach of burglars too. After all, your camera won’t do much good if a burglar can simply reach up and pull it down or cover it up!

Keep cameras out of the elements
Your exterior video camera will be built to resist the weather, but that doesn’t mean you should install it where all the weather will hit. You could very well be obstructing your own view if pouring down rain obscures the camera lens.

Be mindful of the light
Don’t install any cameras to point at light like toward a bright porch light or a window because you’ll get a poor quality image if you do. Keep shadows and shade in mind too when deciding where to install your home security cameras.

Choose wireless
WiFi and wireless video cameras are easy to install and to move around if you realize you need a better location.

Connect to your smartphone
Connectivity is one of the biggest benefits of today’s wireless home security cameras because you can see what’s happening from your smartphone. A security camera can send you alerts on your smartphone when motion is detected or a door is opened. This makes it easy to know when the kids get home from school too.

Also consider installing cameras at your garage or any outbuildings if they are outside the range of the cameras you’ve installed for your home security. Because the cameras are there to help you keep an eye on things, and the more you can see, the better!

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