Not sure where to place security cameras? In this post, I give you the top spots you should consider putting security cameras. Plus I will share some professional tips to get the most out of your security cameras.
Before we explore the best locations for your cameras, it’s important to understand that some of the best locations require professional installation. However, there are locations suitable for DIY.
Let’s start with the number one spot burglars break in…
1. Main Entrances
If you were a burglar, you would probably start by checking the front and back doors. Perhaps the owners left a door unlocked, or stashed a hidden key under the welcome mat. A lot of burglars will knock on the door to know if it’s occupied or if there is a dog on the premises. In fact, statistics show 45% of burglars use this method to gain entry!
a) Outdoor security camera facing entrant points
When it comes to placing cameras outdoors, we recommend professional installation and a camera that is weatherproof and has infrared / night vision capabilities.
An outdoor security camera that is visible from the street is a great deterrent. However, some burglars may sneak around the side or back of the house to break in through the back door.
Positioning a camera above main entrances to your home can help cover all bases. Ensure it is high enough to be out of reach but low enough to capture the intruder’s face.
Pro tip: Avoid pointing outdoor cameras directly at the sun. Just like you go blind when looking directly into the sun, so do your cameras. This is a problem at dawn or sunset when the sun is at a low angle.
b) Indoor security cameras facing front and back doors
The other option is to point your cameras at your front and back doors (from inside). The benefit of this angle is that you can clearly identify the face of the person entering.
A bookshelf, mantle piece, cupboard shelf or desk are great flat areas to place cameras.
Pro tip: If possible, avoid placing security cameras too high near doorways and entrances. You want a clear view of the burglar’s face so head height views like the above are best.
2. First Floor Windows
The second most popular entry for burglars is the first floor (ground floor) window. Placing an indoor camera on a table facing the window is the best way to get a clear image of the intruder.
The image below is what your camera would see.
Notice the camera view above is from an angle, do you know why? Because if you point a camera directly at a window there will be too much backlight as shown below. You won’t be able to identify a burglar’s face.
Besides first floor windows, consider monitoring any pathways to the bedrooms of the house because that’s where the most valuable items are kept. Better to catch an intruder before they get to the bedroom.
It’s rarely practical to point multiple cameras at every entry point to the house, especially in larger homes. The best alternative is mounting a camera in a “bottleneck”. This can be a hallway, stairway or living room.
The position of the camera is extremely important here. Ensure the camera captures the face of the intruder coming in, not the back of the head on their way out.
Why do burglars break into sheds and garages? Because most of the time, sheds and garages are unoccupied. Plus, they offer access to expensive items like bikes, not to mention potential weapons such as shovels or pitchforks.
Just remember our pro tip about backlight. Garages and sheds are dark places, so when a garage door opens during daytime your security camera will find it hard to pick up the face of an intruder. To solve the backlight issue, try pointing your security camera at an angle to your garage’s opening.
5. Front yard
Appearances matter! Burglars prefer to avoid homes with any type of security, especially a home with security cameras. In fact, homes with visible home security are 300% less likely to be burgled than those without, making cameras visible from the street a great deterrent.
Depending on the size of your yard, the cameras mounted above your door may not be visible from the street. For large homes we recommend placing additional cameras on either side of the house to cover any side entrances or alleys.
Avoid pointing your cameras at a public footpath or road to avoid false alarms and meaningless footage.
6. Backyard / Side Gate
A lot of yards back onto other properties, waterways, bushland, parks or laneways. This makes backyards easy to access and easy to escape from.
The backyard is also an area where kids spend a lot of time so you may want to place a camera here to watch over them.
While one security camera can capture a large area of your backyard, you may need multiple cameras to help identify an intruder. A good location for a camera is at the entrance point to your backyard.
When it comes to placing security cameras, there are lots of options. We looked at indoor and outdoor camera positions for the most popular break in locations:
- Main entrances including front and back doors
- First Floor Windows
- Thoroughfares within the home that lead to any bedrooms
- Garages, especially if your garage is connected to the house
- Front yard to help deter burglars
- Backyard / side gate
We also looked at some things to consider when placing cameras, such as:
- Night vision cameras behind a glass window cannot detect heat outside so save your money and get professionally installed outdoor cameras
- Avoid pointing indoor or outdoor cameras directly into the sun. Consider where the sun is at dawn and dusk
- Position cameras at an angle to avoid backlight from windows and doors
- Avoid positioning cameras too high, especially close to walkways and entrances
- Consider multiple cameras for large areas like backyards
I hope this helps you place your security cameras in the best positions. If you enjoyed this post you might enjoy this home break-in story which shows the benefit of good camera placement.