Video surveillance is a smart and effective way to upgrade your home security system. Residential surveillance cameras also help to provide peace of mind whenever your home is being visited by repair technicians, housekeepers, landscaping crews, house-sitters or childcare providers.
The ability to glean helpful video content, however, rests entirely on the quality of camera location and orientation. The last thing you want is to proudly turn over video surveillance after a break-in, only to find you have ample footage of a napping dog or the neighbor's yard - and nothing on the stealthy intruder who got in - and out – without detection.
Placement is Everything When It Comes to Successful Home Security Video
If you utilize a home security system, make it known via signage. According to a Burglar Survey Study from UNC Charlotte, more than 60% of burglars pass over a home when they know an alarm and/or security surveillance is in place - and this statistic is higher for criminals who plan burglaries ahead of time.
Best Places for Home Security Cameras
Based on what we've learned about burglars and their intentions, as well as footage from thousands of burglaries - both successful and not - there are 7 locations around residential homes that should always have adequate camera coverage.
- The exterior doors - plural. These locations offer two benefits. First, according to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, 34% of burglars enter homes through the front door, 22% via the backdoor, and 9% enter via the garage. By placing a camera with a wide-angle view of your front porch and walkway - as well as other perimeter doors - you have more than a 60% chance of getting decent video footage. The added bonus is that using Smart Cameras allows you to see who's knocking on any door via a phone and internet connection, regardless of where you are in the home.
- The front/back street and alley. Place a camera using a fish-eye view of the front street and back alley (if you have one), potentially gaining coverage of the getaway vehicle as well as any potential accomplices to the crime. Most burglars use their own vehicle, or one belonging to friends/family. In most cases, tracing the car means tracing the perpetrator.
- First floor windows, doors and sliders. Try to get full-coverage of the home's first floor entryways since 81% of burglars enter homes via the first floor.
- Focused on the valuables. Hidden cameras should be placed with a good view of safes, valuable art installations, and anywhere money, jewelry or other valuables are stashed. If burglars were able to circumvent outdoor surveillance, these locations offer the next best way to catch them in the act.
- Off-street windows. If you can't afford to get the entire perimeter of the home covered, do place cameras so they have a view of off-street windows. Not surprisingly, burglars are wary of being seen, so unless a visible door is left unlocked or propped open, they're more likely to use less-visible, off-street windows to access your home.
- Interior views of front and back doors. Depending on the time of day or night, or the direction of available lighting, you may not get a good view of an intruder from cameras solely focused on the exterior of the house. Getting a view of the other side of the doors, from your home's interior, may help get a better look at the burglar's face, clothing and/or features - and might also provide law enforcement with better indicators of his/her height, weight, physical proportions, etc.
- Visible and Invisible locations. As noted above, visible signage and surveillance cameras are a deterrent. However, hidden cameras are an added bonus because criminals who think they've "outsmarted" visible surveillance points will be less cautious in front of their hidden counterparts.
Bonus Tip: Pair high-quality home video surveillance with adequate, motion-sensitive lighting to pack a more powerful punch. Also, don't forget to check with your homeowner's insurance carrier as upgrading a home security system is often rewarded by a reduction in monthly premiums.
Smart Residential Surveillance Cameras Provide Off-Site Views
Companies such as Honeywell offer smart home security options, like Total Connect, that allow homeowners to see what's going on in and around their house from a computer or smart phone - whether they’re onsite or not.
Additionally, these video surveillance systems help you:
- Monitor children, nanny, elderly caretaker, housekeeper or others' activities.
- Change camera directions to gain more comprehensive coverage.
- Arm or disarm the security alarm and/or surveillance system.
- Receive real-time alerts regarding entrance/egress to and from your home.
- GPS monitoring of vehicles and/or valuable assets.
- Control over Z-Wave enabled lights, thermostats and other smart home features.
- Honeywell Security Systems integrate with SkyBell Video Doorbell Systems.
Ready to Upgrade an Alarm System to Include Home Security Cameras?
Residential surveillance systems can be effective, but only if they adhere to the industry's best-practices. Make sure your home security video has adequate surveillance coverage - at optimal locations - to provide evidence law enforcement needs should your home become a target.
Contact Alarm South to learn more about home surveillance systems or smart home security cameras.