Even the best home security cameras are less effective when they’re not installed in strategic locations. Whether your home is already equipped with security cameras, or you’re just thinking of getting them, we encourage you to read our five recommended places to install security cameras to better protect against burglars.
1. Above the Front Door
Since damaging, removing, or destroying doors is a common way burglars enter, SafeWise strongly recommends installing a security camera here. Security cameras placed above the front door can help deter burglars, catch them in the act if they do break in, and provide important clues that could help police solve the crime.
Front door security cameras offer other benefits, too. For example, cameras with motion detection and live feed video let you do things like see the kids get home from school, check on package deliveries, or watch household workers come and go—all right from your smartphone.
SafeWise Tip: Security cameras with a microphone and speaker, like the Uniden GC45S, enhance home security further by allowing you to see—and talk—to the person at your front door without the risk of opening it.
2. Over Other Exterior Entries
Burglars won’t hesitate to enter your home through the front door, but they also favor back doors, basement doors, and doors leading into your home from a carport or garage. In short, every door is a potential burglar entry point, so each one should be outfitted with a security camera.
If you have young children, or older loved ones who tend to wander away, consider getting a motion detection security camera. Many of these types of cameras alert you via text or email the moment they detect motion and immediately start recording video. Some can even lock in on a moving person and follow them for a specified distance. These features may prove helpful if your loved one leaves the house.
SafeWise Tip: Many homeowners buy a high-security front door made of hardwood or steel, but they neglect to upgrade the other doors to their home. Remember, burglars and other intruders look for your home’s weak entry points, so every door should be made of a strong, solid material.
A home security camera in your child’s bedroom helps enhance their safety and security—even if you have a top-rated baby monitor already in place. That’s because many security cameras offer advanced functions that baby monitors typically don’t, namely a wide viewing area so you can see more of your baby’s room and have the ability to record and store video. Plus, motion sensing cameras integrated with your home security system can alert you right away if someone is in your baby’s room or if your little one escapes from their crib.
SafeWise Tip: Some parents opt for hidden nanny cams over more exposed home security cameras, but nanny cams often have legal limitations. For example, while it may be legal to videotape your nanny without their knowledge in certain areas of your home, many states don’t allow you to record audio without their consent. We urge you to research your state law before using a hidden nanny cam or play it safe and install a visible home security camera instead.
4. In Your Home Office
The modern-day home office is a burglar’s candy store, complete with laptops, printers, phones, and other electronic devices that are easy for them to sell. This is also the place many homeowners keep important personal documents like bank statements, passports, and mortgages—all of which can be used by a criminal to steal the owner’s identity. With so much at stake, we strongly recommend having a security camera in your home office.
SafeWise Tip: Keep the curtains of your home office closed to prevent anyone looking in the window from seeing your valuables. For extra security, keep important paperwork in a SafeWise recommended safe. Heavy safes without handles, like the First Alert Waterproof One-Hour Fire Safe, work best because they can’t be easily carried away.
5. Aimed at Your Backyard
Backyards are often brimming with bikes, lawn equipment, and other goodies burglars can pawn for cash. Depending on how your house is situated, your backyard may also offer criminals an easy way to enter your property undetected. On top of adding to your home’s security, a camera covering the backyard can help you keep an eye on your kids and outdoor pets.
SafeWise Tip: Be sure to choose a camera that’s designed for outdoor use. Ideally, your outdoor security camera should also have night vision and a motion-sensor floodlight. If you have a pool or hot tub, make sure the camera covers these potentially dangerous areas, too.
Common Security Camera Features to Consider
Home security cameras offer a range of features from basic to sophisticated. While your unique security situation will determine what kind you need, here are some important questions you’ll want to ask about the cameras you consider.
Does the security camera have motion detection capabilities?
What is the camera’s field of view (the width of the area the camera covers)?
Is the camera static, meaning it can’t move, or can it pan and tilt?
Does the camera have night vision?
What is the camera’s image resolution?
Is it equipped with a motion-sensor floodlight?
Will a professional have to install the camera, or is it DIY?
We hope you’ll make the most of your security cameras by positioning them in these strategic places. If you’re interested in learning more about indoor and outdoor security cameras, consult our Home Security Cameras Buyers Guide. This resource also includes reviews of our top camera picks and a chart that compares each camera’s features as well as its pros and cons.
Written by Alexia Chianis
Wanderlust junky and mom of two, Alexia is a former police officer and U.S. Army Captain who draws on her experiences to write about a myriad of safety topics. Learn more