This story is part ofCNET’s collection of practical advice for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.
The appeal of security cameras is simple: you can set them and forget them until you really need them. With, you can keep a close eye on most of your home from a distance. As wireless technology has improved, security cameras have become more accessible. It is now possible to set up a wired or wireless security camera system that fits the needs of your home and your budget.
But it’s also possible to set up a home camera security system incorrectly. The last thing you want to do is put a camera where it’s ineffective and find out too late that its footage is useless. This guide will take your mind off camera placements to avoid and help you set up a more effective security camera system for your home.
You may be tempted to point cameras at hard-to-see spots around your home. There’s an intuitive reason for this: if you can’t see a place from your windows or doors, it’s possible someone is lurking there. You might think that these hidden areas are the preferred place for burglars to break in and break in.
The fact of the matter is, most burglars break into a home through the most obvious ways. According to security company ADT, 34% of burglars break in through the front door and 22% use a first floor window. You might imagine these are places where your eyes or your neighbors could spot malicious activity, but they are also the most common intrusion routes. Pointing a camera at these areas can deter a potential break-in and help identify anyone attempting to break in.
If you set up a security camera in a back alley or in the back of your house, it may seem like it will catch someone sneaking around, but you’re more likely to miss the action you’re trying to capture on camera.
This may sound like a no-brainer, but camera obstacles aren’t always so obvious. Outdoors, this can mean branches can sway in the wind. Watch out for fast-growing plants that will require you to move your camera every year or two.
Also consider the field of view of your camera inside. Will your camera see everything you want when interior doors are opened and closed? You should also avoid placing the camera in a location where a pet might interact with it. If you put it on a shelf, will your cat knock it off? Will an energetic dog dashing through the house cause him to stumble or adjust his angle? Find a spot that offers a good view of the room you’re observing and isn’t likely to be bumped by you, a guest, or your four-legged friend.
Bodies in breach of data protection
While you want your security camera to protect your home, the last thing you want it to do is violate the safety of others. Because of this, it’s important to consider privacy concerns about camera placement. Do not place a surveillance camera in a bathroom or bedroom. No matter what you intend to do with this camera, there is a risk that someone caught on camera will be placed in an awkward position and you could face legal trouble for doing so.
Likewise, you should consider where your camera is facing outwards. For the most part, security cameras are allowed to cover public areas, such as the sidewalk or street that passes by your home. However, you cannot point a security camera at a private location that is not your property. You may also want to clarify the placement of your camera with your neighbors if you think it might capture their home or activities.
As a general rule, make sure your security cameras are aimed at the areas of your home that matter most to you. You want to keep an eye on who is approaching your home and know if anyone is trying to enter. The camera is designed to provide a sense of security and serve as a tool to protect you and your home. Make sure your cameras aren’t in locations that render them ineffective or worse, undermine your security.
For more information, see Other Home Security Mistakes You Can Make. learn how to, and .