Tips For Installing Outdoor Home Security Cameras
Nowadays, it's actually very easy to install a home security system without the need of an electrician or handyman. Here are some of the best places to install outdoor home security cameras in order to get the best results. The FBI reports that more than $12 billion in total value was reported stolen from properties in 2015 alone. Consider checking with the local crime map and staying updated on any local events.
Be Aware of the First Floor
According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, or interNACHI, a reported 81% of burglars enter through the first floor. The same report also suggests that only about 2% of burglars enter anywhere on the second floor. When installing a home security camera, it’s quite crucial to have the ground floor covered from both the inside and out. Ensure that all entry door locks are highly secure and locked when the home is vacant.
Cover Ground Floor Windows and Doors
Since most burglars and home invaders enter through the first floor, it's best to add deterrents for that level. By installing a security camera on the inside and outside of a residential home, homeowners will be able to monitor all points of entry for unauthorized access. Consider checking out our article “Tips For Increasing Front Door Security.”
Keep Security Cameras in High Locations
Make sure that any exterior home security cameras that are installed can't be easily accessed. By installing cameras in a high location, they will be kept safe from vandalism and destruction from thieves and other criminals. Keep security cameras high as to avoid unwanted entities from tampering with or stealing the cameras themselves. When installing an outdoor home security camera, try to install it at least 9 feet above the ground.
Place Security Cameras Someplace Visible
Keeping all residential home security cameras visible is a great way to deter burglars from attempting to break in. A study in 2013 by UNC Charlotte shows that about 41 percent of burglars acted in a "spur of the moment" event. By keeping the security cameras visible, they can act as a powerful visual deterrent that reminds criminals that they are being watched and recorded. When placing security cameras, make sure that they won’t be blocked by items such as trees, vehicles, and other foreign objects.
Make Sure They Are Waterproof
Only invest in outdoor home security cameras that are absolutely waterproof. Don't use indoor cameras in outdoor situations as they aren't weatherproof and will most likely stop working when it rains. Those that don't want to purchase an outdoor camera can try to use an indoor camera facing outside through a window. Another simple and cheap alternative is to repurpose an old smartphone with a motion sensing and recording app to act as an indoor camera facing outwards.
Make sure to invest in a camera that is suitable for the weather conditions it will be in. Always check the security cameras operational temperatures and waterproof capabilities before investing in outdoor cameras. A good outdoor security camera that is waterproof is the Blink XT. The Blink XT is a security camera that is capable of motion detection, HD video recording, and cloud storage.
Use Outdoor Cameras as Intended
When purchasing a security camera always make sure to look at the different focus ranges available. A security camera with a small focus of around 45 - 75 degrees should be aimed at a particular location. Larger viewing angles will allow for broader and much wider views. Make sure the area in front of the camera is unobstructed so there’s a clear line of sight. Remember to have a goal in mind before purchasing a new security camera. Consider keeping any street access covered with a camera as recording a license plate may be helpful. If the security cameras recordings will be used as legal evidence, make sure that timestamps are enabled. If a recording is to be used against a criminal, it’s very important that the video recording displays the date and time.
When selecting an outdoor camera for any residential property, consider investing in a high quality resolution like 1080p versus 720p. A higher resolution will provide crisper and cleaner images that are less blurry than low resolution recordings.
Understand the advantages and disadvantages to both wired and wireless security cameras. Remember to select a security camera that offers quick cloud backups in case any intruder decides to steal the security camera video hard drive.
Invest in Night Vision Security Cameras
It is always a good idea to invest in an outdoor security camera that is capable of night vision. Nowadays there are many different outdoor home security cameras that are equipped with infrared night vision. Night vision will eliminate the cover of darkness and take away any element of safety and security that a burglar might feel when surrounded in darkness. With night vision cameras homeowners are always able to record and watch their surroundings, regardless of it being day or night. For those that don’t want to invest in a security camera that is capable of night vision, many can opt for the usage of a motion sensing floodlight to assist with camera recordings.
The most common types of night vision cameras are infrared (IR) cameras. They use LED bulbs to flood the area with infrared light that is invisible to the human eye but can still be picked up from the security camera.
Install a Door Viewer or Video Doorbell
As we mentioned earlier most burglars enter through the first floor, while about 34% of burglars enter through the front door. Consider investing in a video doorbell or a door viewing device that allows a homeowner to record any motion detected at their door. Video doorbells are great for increasing residential home security, and they look nice too. Not only can residents use them to see their visitors, but they can also use their phone to talk through the device, or even set it to automatically record any movements at their front door.
A video doorbell can help give the illusion that someone is home, even if no one is. When the button is pressed or movement is detected through a video doorbell, it will trigger an alert on the paired mobile phone app. When an alert is triggered, the homeowner can choose to answer and respond, or simply ignore the doorbell completely. Video doorbells might also influence delivery drivers to be more gentle with packages.
Keep the Backyard Covered
According to statistics, about 22% of burglars enter through the back door. Make sure that any security cameras are highly visible and positioned correctly, we recommend keeping the yard and backdoor covered. Security cameras are good for keeping unwelcome guests out of any backyard, but they only help if they are seen. It also helps to place "No Trespassing" signs and video monitoring warning stickers around the perimeter of the home. Remember to never leave ladders loose in the backyard as they might be used by criminals to gain entry into an upstairs window. If interested in learning more about keeping the backyard secure from intruders, consider reading our article “Tips For Keeping Your Backyard Secure From Burglars”
Protect Ground Floor Windows Facing the Street
A ground floor window facing the street is a prime target for burglars. Not only is glass typically much easier to break than a wooden or metal door, it is also see through, allowing burglars a view into the home. Keep ground floor blinds closed at night to block off view of any valuables and possessions. There are many different burglar deterrent tricks that can be used to protect any ground floor windows such as placing real or fake security cameras, warning signs, and even planting bushes or shrubs. Check out our article “Top 10 Ways to Secure Residential Windows.”
Best Locations For Outdoor Home Security Cameras
When it comes to the safety of a residential home remember that more than 80% of burglars enter through the first floor. Place outdoor security cameras in locations that are highly visible, high, and protective of the ground floor areas. It’s important to always do the proper research before investing in a outdoor home security camera.
Best Residential Camera Locations:
Covering the Front Door
Covering the Back Door
Watching First Floor Windows
Near Automatic Garage Doors
Over Any Basement Entrances
Planning and preparation is everything when it comes to implementing a good home security camera setup. Remember that it’s also possible to use fake security cameras in addition to real ones in order to make a home look very secure.
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