If you are looking at purchasing a new security camera system that covers every aspect of your property then one of the first things you need to do is to work out where you need to place your security cameras. This will not only help with identifying exactly how many cameras you need but also help you to gauge the camera quality required.
In this article we will guide you through the key considerations you need to think about when working out where to place your cameras. It’s critical that you start your research in your own property and begin by identifying what it is you are trying to defend by using security cameras.
Essentially – discovering where to place your cameras will come out of understanding what your security objectives are. Once you have your security objectives – it becomes a lot easier to work out exactly which camera system is going to be right for you.
What assets are you trying to defend?
You need to come up with a definitive list of the assets your are trying to defend. If you’re setting up a system for your own home then these assets are likely to be your cars (if parked outside) as well as the possessions within your house.
In a retail setting – your assets maybe the safe, cash register and stock.
For offices you may be trying to defend your IT equipment and unfortunately, in most cases, the access points will be numerous as offices normally have plenty of entrances and lots of windows.
Draw up a list of the assets and note down the locations.
How could a burglar access your assets?
Once you’ve got your list of assets it’s time to start mapping out what’s known as the choke points. Choke points are the paths and routes an intruder must take if they were to attempt to take your assets.
You need cameras at every choke point so you can get notice as soon asap of a potential thief and you can get a very clear shot of the perpetrator.
If you don’t think about this in your intial stages then you may end up installing a security camera system that doesn’t fully cover every area, leaving you with weak spots that burglars can exploit.
Think like a burglar to discover your security choke points
The best way to discover your choke points is to start is by thinking like a burglar. Take a walk around your property and ask the following questions:
If I were a thief:
- Where are the easiest access points to this property?
- Are there any access points which are not in view of the neighbours?
- Are there any high value assets in easy reach? (i.e. expensive cars on driveways)
- Could I get easier access via a 2nd floor window?
Once you’ve done this, draw an outline of your property on paper and highlight your choke points that you have identified when asking the above questions. These will be the areas you want to cover with a security camera.
Common outdoor areas to cover with security cameras
If you haven’t already noted them down here’s a few areas that you want to cover with cameras:
The front door – According to the International association of home inspectors – 34% of burglars attempt to enter via the front door. It’s best practice to place your camera pointing away from the door so you can see people on approach. If you pointing your camera at the door then you won’t get a clear shot of them as they attempt to get in as you will only the capture the back of them.
The back door – 22% of burglars attempt to enter via this entry point – so again, cover it with a camera in the same manner as the front door, pointing away from the door at the approaches.
Windows not in view of the street – If burglars can access your property via a windows that is not in view of any potential witnesses then they will. Make sure any windows not in view are also on your map.
Backyards and gardens – Another popular entry point to a property so make sure you have a camera covering this area. And, if you have a shed full of expensive gardening equipment – make sure this has been considered in your security objectives.
The road leading up to the property – In many instances, professional burglars will start out by assessing properties to draw up a list of targets. Often they will drive around neighbourhoods so it maybe a good idea to cover the road as well. This will enable you to see any thieves at are potential scoping your property out and, if the camera quality is good enough, capture a number plate.
Do you need indoor security cameras as well?
If you can afford it then it is also a good idea to cover your property with indoor cameras as well as outdoor cameras. This increases the chances of you being able to positively identify a culprit should you get burgled. The principles are the same:
- make a list of assets in doors
- Identify the routes a thief would need to take to get to those assets
What height should you place your security camera?
Many people assume that you should place your cameras as high as possible to keep them out of reach of people that could vanadise them before breaking in. However, if your camera is too high then it will only catch the top of the person’s head – which is useless to law enforcement.
Should you need to provide video evidence in the event of a break in then the best picture you can provide is a high quality image of the person’s face. This will enable them to run the image through facial recognition software to see if it matches anyone on the database. Without the facial features, the police cannot do this and the effectiveness of your surveillance system will be limited.
Its also worth remembering that even if someone does disable your camera you will have captured a recording of their face when the approached the camera.
Having read this article you should now be in a much better position to start working out what kind of security camera system you need. You’ll have an understanding of how many cameras you need and where they need to be placed. With this information, you can start to dive into the detail and work out:
What types of security camera you need
The recording storage space you may need
What level of recording quality you will need
Whether you need wired or wireless cameras
If you have any questions please feel free to drop them into the comments and we will answer them for you.