A burglary occurs in the U.S. every 15 seconds. In those burglaries, the average amount of stolen items is around $2,000.
An outdoor camera is one of the easiest ways to deter would-be thieves. In fact, 60 percent of burglars said they look for a camera before they decide whether or not to break into a home. Another 40 percent said they would avoid a home altogether if they saw a camera outside.
While many people buy cameras for this added security from would-be-thieves, some also buy them to keep an eye on the mail, packages, kids, and pets.
Even if most of what they capture is all of the animals that venture into your yard at night.
The point is, you already know you want an outdoor camera. Or you already have one.
Since we’re releasing an outdoor camera soon we thought we would take a look at how and where you should install your outdoor camera to help protect your home.
Where’s The Best Place To Mount Your Outdoor Cameras?
Where you install your outdoor camera(s) depends more on your reasons for having a camera than anything else.
This can include things such as:
- Securing your home from thieves
- Protecting your home and family
- Keeping an eye on your kids/pets
- Monitoring mail and packages
- Watching over your car
- Pretending you’re a security guard
While it’s easy to figure out where to place your camera to watch over the kids in the yard or packages by the front door, we’re going to focus more on where to place it based on security.
Before we do that, though, let’s take a look at where burglars do most of their damage. We’ll use the research from this article to help.
1. The First Floor—81%
Burglars want to get in and out as fast as possible, which usually means they’re coming in through the first floor. And we’re going to take a guess that this is where you enter your home, too.
It feels weird even mentioning this stat because it does feel obvious. But it does point out that not all burglars enter through the first floor.
It’s not as though burglars are challenging themselves to zip line in through the second floor of your home like they’re in a movie. It’s more that there are other places they enter (which we’ll mention later).
However, if you only have one camera to use, your best bet is to place it where you can keep an eye on the first-floor surroundings of your home.
2. The Front Door—31%
Most burglaries start and finish within 90 seconds to 12 minutes, and the front door is a big reason why.
Whether it’s because burglars are kicking it down or because people are leaving them unlocked, it’s the quickest point of entry for homes (because that’s literally a door’s main purpose), so why wouldn’t they use it?
Once again, if you only have one camera, it’s a good idea to place it near the front door—on the first floor.
So, if anyone has ever uttered the phrase, “It’s not as though burglars are going to walk up to the front door and let themselves in,” you can kindly inform them that’s not true.
3. First Floor Window—23%
Similar to the front door, first-floor windows are also popular options for burglars. They’re low to the ground and are sometimes left unlocked either because people forget about them or because people use them as a backup when they forget their keys.
You’re not the only ones who know this, of course. So do the burglars.
While they won’t be able to grab large items such as TVs and slip out the window with them, they will be able to make it out with a handful of jewelry or cash.
4. The Back/Side Door—22%
Believe it or not, burglars will choose back and side doors after windows. But not by a large percentage.
What makes these entry points enticing options is the fact that they’re often hidden behind large fences, bushes, and trees.
Keeping a camera near windows may deter a burglar from breaking into your home—or may not. Either way, it’s a good idea to keep them covered along with the wrong door.
5. The Rest—20%
We lumped the rest of the break-in options of choice together in this section to help make this quick (and because we were running out of jokes).
Here are the rest in order of frequency:
- Unlocked Entrance—4%
- Storage Area—2%
- Anywhere on the Second Floor—2%
How To Mount Your Outdoor Camera
Now that you know all the places people might be trying to get into your home, it’s time to put up some cameras to help secure it.
Or, if you already have cameras installed, it’s time to take a look at their current placement and consider moving or adjusting them.
Here’s a short list of questions you should consider.
Where Do You Mount Your Outdoor Camera?
Once you figure out the locations around your home that you want to protect, the next thing to figure out is where to place your second set of eyes.
If you place your camera too low, someone could easily tamper with it. Place it too high and you risk not being close enough to capture enough detail of anyone who’s breaking in.
Most people can’t reach something that’s 9 or 10 feet above them—even if they jump—so placing a camera at this height should keep it far enough away to discourage tampering but close enough to capture someone’s face.
Should You Hide Your Outdoor Camera?
The first question some people ask about camera placement is, “Where do I hide my outdoor camera?”
The answer is, “Why do you want to hide it?
As we said above, 60 percent of burglars would dismiss robbing a house on the presence of a camera alone. In another survey of 86 currently incarcerated burglars, the response was similar.
One even advised people to, “Get a camera and make it visible!”
What we’re trying to say here is, you could try to hide your camera in order to surprise burglars or prevent them from tampering with it. That is an option.
But many cameras come with cloud-based recording options. Even if someone takes the camera, the video is still stored safely for you to see it.
So why not keep it out in the open?
What’s The Best Viewing Angle For Your Outdoor Camera?
The angle of your camera depends on your desired use and the number of cameras you have.
If you want to see who’s coming up to your front door and your yard or mailbox, you’ll want to set it up so it’s capturing as much of both as possible.
If all you want is to keep an eye on your side window, then you can narrow the field of vision and focus tightly on the area.
What Laws Do You Need To Be Aware Of?
With the rise of home security camera use comes the inevitable rise of laws that need to be followed. Even if you only intended to set up an outdoor camera for your home security, you could be violating privacy laws if you start recording areas of your neighbors’ residences.
The laws are tricky on this, and, if you’re worried about breaking any of them, you can always try a few things first.
- Contact your police department and ask about local laws
- Ask a lawyer about potential legal issues
- Talk to your neighbors about any potential problems and get their permission in writing
At the end of the day, we know that all you want is to protect your home, or keep an eye on your kids and pets, or pretend you’re a security guard.
But it’s always best to play it safe. And now you can.