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Home Security Camera Placement: Where Should You Install Yours?

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Installing security cameras outside and inside the home may seem like a difficult task, but it’s a task more than worth the hassle of taking on if you want to guarantee the safety of your property. After all, burglaries are estimated to occur once every 30 seconds.

How many security cameras do I need?’ and ‘where should I install them’ are common concerns when it comes to establishing a viable home security system. Fret not – find out all there is to know about installing home surveillance cameras, where to place home security cameras, and other security camera placement tips.

Installing Security Cameras Outside the Home

Outdoor security camera placement is vital to ensuring truly robust home security, but it can be a nuisance to find somewhere appropriate to place it.

Placement #1 – Front Door and Porch

Sure, the front-door might seem like too obvious a place for intruders to enter a property, but it’s actually reported that as many as 34% of home burglaries are facilitated through the front door. 

Why should you install your cameras there?

Installing outside cameras above the front door is therefore a very wise first step in home security camera placement, allowing you to keep an eye on everyone coming in and out of your property, both invited and uninvited. Since such a large proportion of entry-gains are made through the front door, it may be the best place to put security cameras.

If you have a porch, a camera positioned above it would work best in order to provide a bird’s eye view of the entrance – otherwise, a doorbell camera is a good means of subtly concealing a camera.

Recommended reading: Porch Pirates: 5 Ways To Stop It From Happening To You

Placement #2 – Backdoor

Surprisingly, backdoor burglary entrances are about 12% less likely than front door ones. But that doesn’t mean you should cut corners when it comes to home surveillance cameras.

Why should you install your cameras there?

Back doors tend to be more out of sight than front doors and windows, making them an excellent place for intruders to enter undetected. Add outside cameras above or onto backdoors that see regular use, even if it seems like they are less accessible or noticeable.

Placement #3 – Garage

Even though garages are often unattached to the main property, thereby not enabling access to the house, they are still an entry-point of sorts and should be taken seriously as a place home to many valuables.

Why should you install your cameras there?

Garages are notoriously weak entry points. Not only that, but the inside of a garage is generally home to a treasure trove of expensive goods; cars, bikes, and power tools. If the garage doesn’t provide direct access into the house, burglars can still take plenty of easy-to-access valuables without even entering the main building. A motion activated light may be a good means of illuminating the garage area. Place it somewhere near the opposite end of the drive to maximize the space that’s lit.

garage

See AlfredCamera in Action

Recommended Reading: Apartment Security 101: DIY, Deadbolts, & Smart Devices

What AlfredCamera Users Think

Not everyone feels the same about just where the best place to put their devices is. Different folks, different strokes! That’s why we’ve asked our users to share how they are using AlfredCamera to improve security outside their homes.

The top three places AlfredCamera users place their devices are:

1The front yard
2The garden
3The driveway

For inspiration on how to set up your device to maximize your home’s security, check out a range of different ideas in our Alfred’s 100 Poses photo album

Alfred’s 100 Poses photo album

Download now for iOS and Android devices, and start protecting your home with AlfredCamera today.

Installing Security Cameras Inside the Home

In the unfortunate event that an intruder does enter the property, be prepared with an in home security camera positioned in each of the most vulnerable spots inside the home. 

Placement #1 – Main Stairway/Hallway

A common question that comes up when putting together a robust home security system is ‘how high should security cameras be mounted?’. 

Generally, it’s wise to have cameras several feet up the wall – rather than ‘looking up’ at a vantage point, the camera should ‘look down’ so as to maximize the area it can record.

Why should you install your cameras there?

The potential to have the camera point downwards, rather than face on or upwards, is what makes the stairway one of the most important vantage points in the home. 

The central thoroughfares inside the home are the areas likely to see most traffic, and therefore placing house cameras above the stairwell – looking down the stairs, into the hallway, and with a view of the back of the front door – is crucial. 

After all, about 81% of burglaries begin on the first floor.

hallway

Placement #2 – Above Large Windows

It’s estimated that about 23% of entry-grains are through a ground-floor window, making it slightly more common than back-door entries.

Accordingly, security cameras should be placed not just in view of the exterior of main windows, but above them, allowing for a wide view of living rooms and kitchens.

Why should you install your cameras there?

Regardless of how large or unusual the design of your home is, windows are always going to be the ‘furthest’ point of any room, thereby allowing for more advantageous vantage of the central areas of your property. 

Placement above windows again makes it possible to ‘look down’ on the space, meaning you’ll have less of a need for multiple cameras in one room.

Placement #3 – In Corners

Following the same logic, installing house cameras in the corners of your ground floor rooms is also a great way to get the most out of your home surveillance cameras.

Placing cameras above the windows is vital since windows are such a common point of entry, but this can make for blind spots.

Recommended reading: The New Homeowner’s Security Checklist: 8 Things You Need To Do

Why should you install your cameras there?

By having an in-home security camera positioned in the corner of a room, the camera has minimal blind spots, since it is positioned against a wall on all sides. This allows for any blind spots that the window cameras may have to be mitigated.

Not to mention, a corner is likely the darkest spot in a room, decreasing the chance of glare impacting the quality of the image, and making the camera less of an eyesore. 

Tips for Placing Security Cameras Inside The Home From AlfredCamera’s Users

A home’s a big place (or at least it can be), and no two houses are the same. We wanted to see what users thought about camera placement inside the home. So we asked!

The top three places AlfredCamera’s users place their devices are:

1Living room
2Bedroom
3Front door

Learn more about how AlfredCamera can be used inside the home by checking out Alfred’s 100 Poses. 

Where Not to Install Security Cameras

A truly effective home security system isn’t achieved by placing as many house cameras as possible. In fact, there are some locations that it might be wise to flat out avoid.

Placement #1 – Through a window

Pointing a security camera through a main window can lead to reflection issues as external light shifts throughout the day and hits the glass at different angles. This is further impacted by internal light sources behind the camera being switched on and off.

For some security cameras, this degrades image quality and can confuse motion detection capabilities your camera may have, raising a false alarm. If it’s completely necessary to have a device pointed through a window, make sure to follow these tips:

  • Press the lens directly against the glass to eliminate glare.
  • Remove objects between the lens and the target (including dirt on windows, which can cause the camera to shift focus and blur the background).
  • Consider buying a polarizer, a relatively inexpensive filter peripheral that can be attached to a lens to reduce glare and fix contrast issues caused by bright light. This can be helpful if you live somewhere that regularly experiences sunny weather.
  • Move reflective objects around the room that may be causing hotspots to appear on the interior of the window.

Placement #2 – Bathrooms

Upholding and respecting privacy should always be considered when considering home security camera placements. That’s why it’s probably a bad idea to have security cameras in bathrooms. 

Chances are, the bathroom has the least valuables that are easily accessible in the whole house anyway, so it does not need to be a priority when it comes to security.

Not to mention, steam and water can quickly damage cameras, or otherwise totally obscure the image.

Placement #3 – Where The Neighbor’s Property is Visible

It’s a more than reasonable concern: can security cameras overlook a neighbor’s property? The short answer is no. 

Aside from the plain fact that it runs the risk of violating the neighbor’s privacy, in most places it is illegal to record parts of the neighbor’s property that capture areas inside the home, like the bedrooms and bathrooms.

Some of the property can be captured within the background, but generally it is a good idea to avoid positioning outside cameras that will capture extensive parts of neighboring properties.

Positioning to Perfection: Security Camera Placement Tips to Keep in Mind

You now know where’s best to place your cameras and where’s best to avoid, but there’s a couple things you should bear in mind when trying to get the most from your surveillance. 

Placement Tips #1 – Protecting Valuables

Though you want to maximize how much is visible to your security cameras, deciding where to put security cameras will also come down to where your most valuable possessions are. 

a safe

While ‘value’ to you might be your tattered old teddy bear, burglars don’t care for the sentimental. They care only for the monetary, meaning the most expensive objects in your home need to be the priority when it comes to placing cameras around the house. Keep an eye on:

  • Jewelry and watches
  • Luxury bags and clothing
  • Safes
  • Home tech, including TVs, stereos, computers, games consoles.
  • Power tools

Placement Tips #2 – Avoiding Glare

It’s not just when positioning a security camera through a window that you need to consider how glare could impact image quality. Bright sun shining directly into the camera lens can completely obscure the image.

glare

Placing a camera in shade is the simplest way to overcome this, and it helps that the corners of rooms are usually the most devoid of light, since corners are a way to maximize the amount made visible to the camera anyway. Consider the following:

  • Corners – not only a great vantage point, but generally one of the shadiest spots in a room, which will guarantee a clearer image.
  • Well-lit subjects – it’s the subject that needs to be well-lit, not the camera itself. Consider additional lighting if this isn’t the case.
  • Pressing the camera against glass – if the camera is to be positioned through a window or other glass object, make sure the lens touches it directly. This will minimize glare.
  • Polarizer – homes replete with floor-to-ceiling windows and other glass features will struggle to avoid glare. If the amount of glass is extensive, consider a polarizing filter add-on, which will significantly reduce glare.

Placement Tips #3 – How Many Cameras You Use

Though your priority is valuables, your end goal should be to have virtually every point of the property made visible. Make note of the blindspots in your current setup, and aim to rectify it. 

security cameras on a wall

This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to have a dozen cameras, but be aware of how many you add, especially if they are Wi-Fi enabled. The more cameras you add, the more taxing this will be on your internet speeds. Consider:

  • A second Wi-Fi router – many cameras will punish your internet; another router used purely for security may be a worthwhile investment should you have a large property.
  • Long-shots – this isn’t cinema: all shots should be fairly far from their subjects. As tempting as it is to have one camera perform a close-up shot of your alligator Birkin, this is completely useless in terms of security. A faceless pair of hands grabbing your goods will prove to be utterly useless evidence, so back up a bit!
  • Compatibility – combining a variety of cameras produced by different brands is ill-advised, since they probably won’t be cross-compatible. Ideally, the footage from all your cameras should be easily visible in one place. Stick to one or two types of camera to ensure simple cross-compatibility. 

FAQ

Where should outdoor security cameras be placed?

Places that maximize the observation of the property without violating the privacy of neighbors—above front doors and backdoors, porches, in view of the garage.

Where should you put cameras in your home?

Places that consciously avoid blindspots caused by furniture and layout designs—corners of main rooms, above stairways and hallways, and above large windows, particularly those on the ground floor.

How high should security cameras be mounted?

As high as possible without sacrificing image quality. 7-8 feet high should do the trick. The logic behind this isn’t simply to maximize how much is visible; security cameras tend to be valuable objects themselves! Thankfully, burglars aren’t usually 8 foot tall…

Can security cameras overlook a neighbor’s property?

Generally speaking, no. Avoid where possible.

Conclusion

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to home security camera placement. Every house is different. But there are certainly threads of logic you can follow, and places commonly associated with the most advantageous positions for camera placement both inside and outside the home.