The Dos and Don’ts of Installing Home Surveillance Cameras
Surveillance cameras aren’t just for spies anymore.
Not only are these cameras placed in numerous public areas, but they’re also becoming more popular as a home security solution. Homeowners are positioning surveillance cameras around the perimeter of their residences and/or property, and some are even putting cameras inside their home to monitor various rooms (like nurseries, kitchens, etc.).
However, a home security system of this type is only as effective as its surveillance cameras. And if these cameras aren’t installed properly, they not only become a waste of money, but also lull homeowners into a false sense of security – which can be dangerous.
Here is a list of several dos and don’ts when mounting surveillance cameras in your home:
- DO place the camera where the roof or ceiling meets the wall. This is the ideal spot for surveillance cameras. The upper corner naturally shields the camera from the elements, and it can usually give you the widest angle of viewing.
- DON’T just install a camera in an area which won’t be well-lit at night. Either make sure the camera has an infrared setting or lens that works in low light, or place exterior lighting (with motion sensors if possible) in the area that is being observed.
- DO protect your cameras from weather, tampering, and vandalism. Depending on where the camera is placed, it may require a weatherproof case to shield it from blowing rain. And make sure it’s mounted out of reach and/or with a protective plate to hinder access to criminals.
- DON’T attach a camera to a gutter. Even though it’s high up, the camera is completely exposed to the weather; plus, its weight will put undue stress on your guttering system.
- DO mount your cameras so that they won’t shake or wiggle. If walking or other movement sends vibrations to the walls, the camera could shudder and distort the image that it is transmitting. You may need an additional mounting bracket to keep this from happening.
- DON’T limit your cameras to just your front door. Install surveillance cameras near your back doors, side entrances, and sliding glass entryways. It’s even wise to consider a camera at the top of your basement stairs in case someone gains access to your basement.
- DO place cameras in heavily-trafficked or shrub-heavy locations. Bushes provide decent cover for prowlers, so pointing a camera at these areas will increase your visibility. You can also place cameras near walkways, gates, and heavily-trafficked areas near your home.
- DON’T place a camera right above a basement window. If it’s within reach of burglars, then it can easily be disabled. Instead, mount it under the eaves or even on a second-story roofline and direct the lens toward the basement window.
- DO set your base unit in your attic. Usually, your attic is the most convenient spot for all of your cameras’ wiring to originate from. Plus, this minimizes the need to string cables up and down walls if they can be run on the insides of your eaves under your roofline.
- DON’T assume wireless means “completely wireless.” Even if your surveillance system operates using wireless signals, each of the cameras will still have to be plugged into a power source. The same goes for your base unit as well.
If your installation is a DIY project, just be sure to follow all instructions, keep safety in mind when mounting high-up cameras, and test the system thoroughly before putting your tools away. When used properly, a surveillance camera network can not only provide visibility for hard-to-see areas around your home, but it can also deter criminals from targeting your home in the first place.
Written by Del Thebaud