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home security camera placement
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Kim's column

The best and worst places to put home security cameras

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You put a lot of trust in your home security cameras. Sadly, that can come back to bite you. Security researchers found flaws with a major brand. Namely, they weren’t encrypting private footage. Yikes.

Beyond brands, there’s placement to consider. I compiled a list to ensure the essential spots are covered and you’re not making big mistakes.

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Do: Keep an eye on doors and windows on the ground floor

Burglars want the most straightforward route into your home. Set up cameras inside and outside ground-level doors. Don’t forget any side and back doors.

In the event of a break-in, you’ll capture a clear image of their face as they walk up to your door and see everything they do once inside.

Don’t: Put cameras in bedrooms

Most of us don’t want to deal with switching our cameras on and off. Sure, some come equipped with automatic home and away modes, but the idea of a camera catching personal moments makes me uncomfortable.

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Do: Place them high up

Placement makes a world of difference. The worst spot you can put a camera is on the ground. You might step on it, your dog might shower it (if you know what I mean), and it doesn’t record usable footage.

The higher, the better. This placement means your camera will be able to get the whole picture. Having cameras eight to 10 feet off the ground means you’re more likely to see an intruder’s entire body, which can help police narrow down the list of suspects if it comes to that.

Don’t: Stick a camera in the bathroom

Not only will you make guests uncomfortable, but you may also violate the law. It’s illegal to record people without their consent in places with an expectation of privacy.

I get it. You have medication or something else you want to keep an eye on. A contractor once stole my mom’s pain pills from her medicine cabinet. Instead of putting up a camera, I put a motion sensor on the medicine cabinet door.

Sensors are an excellent way to stay safe without a digital eye always watching. Here are more smart places to stick one.

Do: Use corners to your advantage

The goal of a security camera is to capture as much quality footage as possible. Placing a camera in the corner will give you a complete picture.

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Don’t: Block the lens

Most burglars break in through obvious spots like windows or doors. Keep it simple and point the lens towards places with much traffic.

Avoid obstructions like plants, tree branches or backyard jungle gyms. Put your camera up high, so running pets or rowdy kids don’t throw them off.

Do: Put up signs

People act differently when they know they’re being recorded. I have signs in my yard telling everyone they are being recorded. These affordable signs on Amazon include stakes to put in the ground.

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