Security cameras can do you a lot of good. They give peace of mind, since you can check up on your home at any time through your phone or tablet. They also do a pretty good job of broadcasting to any would-be burglars that your house is ready for any shenanigans.
Before you go about ordering a few dozen and sticking them in every nook and cranny, though, take a few minutes to figure out how many you really need. Odds are your home isn’t protecting any national security secrets, so your best strategy is deterrence. By their nature, burglars look for the easiest jobs to pull. If your place looks like it’ll be too much trouble, they’ll go elsewhere.
We’ve come up with a couple steps to help you figure out how many cameras you’ll need for your house:
STEP 1: HOW WOULD YOU BREAK INTO YOUR HOUSE?
This is where you get to have some fun and think like a criminal.
Take a few minutes and walk around your house outside. Where are all the entrances? What’s the view from the street of them? How visible are they at night? During the day? Do any trees in the yard get in the way?
What about windows? Are any of them big enough to sneak through if they get pried open?
Do you have a basement entrance? A side door for the garage?
Yes, asking yourself these questions can get you more than a little paranoid. But if you’re going to protect yourself, you have to first know where you’re weakest.
As you’re scouting around your house, make a list of all the possible entrance and any ideas of where you could put cameras to cover those locations.
STEP 2: WHICH SPOTS WARRANT WORKING CAMERAS?
Security is all about psychology. If a burglar thinks your place is going to be too much trouble to break into, you’ve already won. Sure, no alarms will off, but that’s the whole point of security systems: they’re a deterrent.
When you’re deciding which areas need a camera, go for the most likely points of entry first: the front door, first floor windows, and the back door. 34% of burglars go through the front door, 23% through a window, and 22% through the back door. These are the big ones to watch for. Most other entrances tend to take too long or run the risk of attracting too much attention, like climbing in through a second floor window.
For other locations, consider fake cameras that look real. Nobody can know for sure if a camera is real or not thanks to wireless technology. For these, visibility is key. You want people to know you’ve got cameras around the house. The more likely burglars think they’ll get caught on camera, the faster they’ll get camera shy and go somewhere else.
It’s a short list, but it’s a simple process. If you think there’s any other steps that should be included, let us know in the comments!