A Guide to Home Security Camera Placement

Posted February 15th, 2022 by SimpliSafe

So, you’ve invested in a home security camera system. Unless you’ve gone with a pro-installed security system, a DIY system gives you the flexibility to choose your equipment and the features most useful to you. However, going with a DIY system will also require you to install the cameras on your own. Though many DIY companies do have professional installers that can come to your home and help you out, the beauty of a DIY security system is that it’s easy to place cameras on your own. 

But, where to put them? Where should you install your home security cameras to ensure they work to their full potential?

Deciding on the optimal home security camera placement for your situation doesn’t have to be hard. Here are some home security camera best practices to help you get started with self-installation.

The benefits of indoor and outdoor security cameras

In general, if you had to choose between an indoor or an outdoor security camera, most might go with an outdoor camera. But, since most home security systems offer several cameras to choose from, you might be wondering about the benefits of each before you even get to the placement stage. 

An outdoor security camera, of course, is your first chance to catch (or even better, deter) an intruder entering your home. But, outdoor cameras are also a good way to monitor activity into and out of your home. Kids coming home from school and they’ll be alone for a few hours? You can make sure they enter safely with an outdoor security camera. The same goes for pets — especially as there has been an increase in pet kidnappings, often right from people’s yards!

Indoor cameras provide more security in the unfortunate event an intruder does make it inside your home. But, an indoor security camera can also keep everyone safer. For example, if you live in a large home and detect an intruder downstairs while you’re upstairs, an indoor camera can give you time to get your family together safely in one room before the authorities come. 

Beyond just home intrusion, indoor security cameras can help you keep an eye on everything when you’re not at home. For example, an indoor camera setup can help you make sure children and elderly family members are safe when they are home alone. If someone trips on the stairs, for instance, an indoor camera with motion detection capability can help you promptly alert emergency services even if you’re not home to help.

Where is the best place to put security cameras?

Though we would often recommend placing cameras in multiple areas in and around the house, what if you had to choose just one area to install a security camera? Perhaps you’re feeling overwhelmed with the possibilities, or you just want to get the most out of a security package for now.

In general, the best place to install a security camera is the main point of entry to your home, so for many people, this is the front door!

Where to place outdoor security cameras

In addition to placing a primary outdoor security camera at your front door, there are other areas around the perimeter of the home where you should consider installing cameras to ensure whole-home protection:

  • Major entry points, including garage doors, back doors, side doors, and first-floor windows (as well as basement windows)

  • Your garage(s) and driveway(s), especially if you keep vehicles in the driveway

  • Facing your front yard, backyard, and side yard

Best practices for placing outdoor security cameras:

It’s not always enough to know where to place your outdoor security cameras, but how. 

Knowing how to angle your outdoor cameras is important and should be considered during installation. For instance, if you want a sweeping view of any one approaching the entryway from afar, then you’ll want to make it so the camera captures this. But, if you want a detailed look at the person, you might want to place the camera above the entryway and angle it down. As an example, SimpliSafe typically recommends placing our Wireless Outdoor Security Camera 6-8 feet above the ground at about a 30-degree downward angle. Either way, make sure there’s nothing that can obstruct the view of your camera.

Additionally, it’s important to decide whether or not you want to use the camera as a deterrent, a detector, or both. This means that you might decide to keep your camera very recognizable from the street, or a little more discreet.

Lastly, keep motion detection in mind. For example, the SimpliSafe Wireless Outdoor Security Camera uses technology to distinguish people from vehicles, animals, and other distractions. But motion detection capabilities vary widely across different security providers. If you have a camera facing your backyard, for example, you might not want it notifying you every time a tree blows in the wind in front of it!

Where to place indoor security cameras

If you’ve considered the benefits of indoor security cameras, then you might be wondering where to place cameras inside your home to protect everyone’s safety and privacy.

The best places to put indoor security cameras are in high-traffic areas of your home; ideally in areas where an intruder is most likely to walk through if an outdoor camera does not deter them. And of course, you’ll want to have camera coverage on any areas of your home where valuables might be stored. Indoor camera placement opportunities include:

  • Inside entryways (foyer)

  • Hallways

  • Stairs

  • Kitchen

  • Living room/living areas

  • The basement

Best practices for placing indoor security cameras:

Try to keep indoor cameras positioned so they are visible, but difficult to tamper with. You don’t want an intruder or thief to be able to easily cover up or disable your camera, but it needs to be visible to act as a deterrent. Also, keep the privacy of your guests and family members in mind when determining where to place your indoor cameras.

What is the right camera system for my home?

Still not sure on the right camera system for your home? Should you purchase a video doorbell, a set of outdoor cameras, indoor cameras, or a combination of all three? 

No matter what you decide, it’s great that you’re taking the first step towards protecting your home. And, if you’re feeling stuck, a professional can help guide you based on your needs and your budget. Best of all, they can also guide you with home security camera placement when the time comes.

Ready to get started? Learn more about SimpliSafe and begin setting up your home security system in minutes.