Better protection comes with smarter prevention. And this is precisely the role of security cameras. They provide a sense of security, improve safety, and increase building visibility. Security cameras are an extra set of eyes that scare away lurkers and act as a threat deterrent. They’re one of the best investments building owners can make as they lower the risk of costly incidents such as vandalism and theft.
Still, security cameras are only as effective as their placement. The presence of security cameras is not enough. They must be placed strategically to ensure maximum coverage and effectiveness.
Here are some security camera placement tips to get you started.
1. Monitor All Entry Points
Entrances are your first line of defense. Make sure you have at least one camera covering every entry and exit point. You may need multiple cameras placed at different angles to ensure maximum visibility. Think of all the obvious points of entry: side doors, ground-floor windows and doors, and gates.
In a large building, it's a good idea to add cameras in the basements and parking spaces, even though they may not be considered high-traffic areas. Doing so deters lurkers and makes your residents or tenants feel safer. On that note, motion-triggered lights in these areas go a long way in increasing your people’s sense of safety.
2. Cover the Entire Perimeter
In addition to covering the most obvious points of entry, it's crucial to identify critical areas that need to be monitored. These could be areas where sensitive documents or expensive equipment are stored, or they could just be high-traffic areas. Including cameras in secluded or restricted areas acts as a threat deterrent. Be sure to cover stairwells, elevators, and rooftops as well to monitor any suspicious activity. On that note, it's important to pay attention to the lighting, as poor lighting can lead to blurry footage.
The idea here is to cover the entire perimeter by avoiding blind spots. Conduct a site survey and identify any areas that may not be covered by the cameras. Blind spots are weak spots that provide an opportunity for nefarious behavior.
3. Install Cameras at the Right Height
Placing your camera at the height the camera specifications recommend gives you better coverage. That said, added visibility may come at the price of detailed footage, such as facial features or license plate numbers. As such, you'll have to calculate the optimal height for camera placement—one that impedes neither coverage nor detail. Most security cameras are designed to work at an optimal height of around 9 to 10 feet. It's also a good idea to integrate both visible and hidden cameras, as visible ones are more prone to theft and vandalism. It’s critical that each camera be selected based on what you want to see. If you have sixteen camera systems, it is very likely that several different models of cameras may be required.
4. Get Professional Help
Deciding where and at what angle security cameras should be placed is key to ensuring your security system is effective. Poorly placed cameras are easily tampered with and can create blind spots. A professional security system installer will map out your building, noting down any likely blind spots to design an effective placement diagram. It’s also advisable to have a professional review your system every few years to ensure that the original design is still providing the images you want to see.
If you have any concerns about your security system, you can always contact a reputable company to evaluate the effectiveness of your existing system.
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