GFM SEP 2017
THE BEST LOCATIONS TO PLACE SECURITY CAMERAS IN YOUR HOME
It may feel like our neighborhoods have never been safer, but FBI statistics speak for themselves. 2016 saw only a modest 0.6 percent decrease in property crime, a statistic which includes home burglaries and invasions. While waiting for 2017 figures is all well and good, responsible homeowners will use these statistics as motivation to finally install home monitoring and security systems.
Window locks, door alarms, and outdoor floodlights are simple enough, as the vulnerabilities they compensate for are fairly obvious. Security cameras, an essential component of your family’s home security plan, are more difficult to implement. Covering every inch of your home in surveillance equipment is impractical; therefore, placing cameras strategically is the most reasonable and effective course of action. While property layouts can vary immensely, there are a few basic guidelines to follow when selecting where to set up your cameras.
There are a few general installation rules that should be followed irrespective of the areas your camera will be observing. First off all, it’s important to place cameras above the reach of intruders, as otherwise they may smash or, even worse, dismount and steal the camera as part of their loot. Nine feet from the ground is normally enough to prevent even the tallest of home intruders from interfering with your security cameras.
Secondly, pay careful attention to each camera’s focus range before mounting them. If the range falls between 45 and 75 degrees, the camera is best used to target a specific area, like a side window or door. Cameras with a degree range from 75 on up should be used in broad, obstruction-free parts of your property.
The First Floor
We never feel quite as vulnerable as we do when we go to sleep at night, and therefore the natural temptation is to place cameras on upper floors where bedrooms are located. However, criminal statistics argue the opposite, as it is the first floor that is most vulnerable to intrusion. Over 80 percent of home invasions begin on the first floor, with a substantial 34 percent of those cases involving entry through the front door. The remaining majority of intrusions were committed through either a first floor window or the backdoor.
With this in mind, it’s evident that the bulk of home invasions can be deterred by focusing on entry points located on the first floor. The front door is particularly advantageous as not only is this the most likely point of entry, but it also doubles both as a means to inspect the street approach to your home and a way to view anyone knocking on the door without having to approach the door itself.
Guard Your Flanks
Relying on the stupidity or predictability of criminals isn’t enough to effectively secure your home. Many would-be thieves, rather than approaching from the street, slip onto your property from a neighboring backyard and break in through a side door or off-street window. This gives them access to your family home without them having to worry about the revealing glow of streetlights, or the watchful eyes of neighbors and passing drivers.
A combination of sufficient lighting and cameras can help deter and prevent entry through vulnerable off-street entry points. Windows are often places at intervals, so in this scenario, consider using a wireless, controllable camera that can effectively pan and observe the broad sides of your home.
Threat From Below
They may only account for four percent of break-ins, but basement entries can and do happen. Basement storm doors are difficult to secure, and the cheap sliding windows used for most basements are easily breached. Some window and door upgrades, along with a well-placed camera, can help secure this uncommon but nonetheless vulnerable way into your property.
Rather than focusing cameras on entry points to your basement, instead place the camera on the steps leading up from the basement into the home. This minimizes the area needed to be covered while maximizing the likelihood that your camera will capture identifying footage. Consider using a camera with motion sensor capabilities, whether these trigger simple lights or infrared filming.
The First Line of Defense
While local authorities play their role in fostering a safe, crime-free community, the responsibility of securing your home and protecting your family ultimately falls to you. Security cameras, when implemented properly, work not only as an invaluable deterrent, but also watch your home when and where you cannot. With careful placement and positioning, security cameras serve as the foundation of your home security system. #