Increasingly, people are aware of the benefits a good security system brings. Perhaps most important are outdoor security cameras, as they can help catch suspicious individuals before they are able to breach into more vulnerable areas of a home or facility.
Knowing how to install outdoor security cameras properly is important. Improper installation can lead to blind spots, device failure, or even lawsuits. Join us today as we review proper installation techniques so that you can secure a facility with cameras the right way!
Know the Law
Before you install any surveillance system, be sure to research local law. Find one of several online guides on surveillance law and figure out how the law works in your state. Then, research your specific place of residence to make sure there aren’t more particular laws in place too.
Generally speaking, it is both illegal and unethical to record in locations you can expect nude or underdressed people to be present without those individuals’ express consent. If a person can expect a reasonable degree of privacy (such as in a bathroom or shower facility), recording is almost always prohibited. For outdoor cameras, this usually won’t be a concern but should still be kept in mind.
Also common, but not universal is the requirement a given location clearly post that recording devices are in use in a given area. In some cases, you may also not be permitted to install recording devices in such a way that they are difficult to see.
Once you familiarize yourself with the specifics of applicable law, it’s time to actually start choosing where you’ll be placing your cameras!
Choosing Installation Location
Cameras are commonly installed in sub-par locations and conditions. It is important to remember that if the device cannot pick up a good image, it isn’t of much use to you. A wireless camera installed outside signal range won’t pick up an image at all!
First, make sure to choose a camera of at least moderate quality. It needs to be reliable and pick up a high enough quality image that details, like the features of a suspicious person, can be picked out.
Then the camera needs to be placed at a good angle. You want to make sure you have as few blind spots as possible. Prioritize key entrances (including windows) and areas in which theft and vandalism (or more serious crimes) are of concern.
Finally, the area must also be well-lit. Good lighting can deter criminals in itself but also ensures that your surveillance system is fully functional at night. While some cameras have visibility in the dark, lighting is both inexpensive and can ensure image quality is at its best.
Remember that bright doesn’t equal good. Your camera’s sensitivity to lighting conditions will depend on the model you buy. As a general rule, you want the lighting to be even and moderate, rather than dark or bright and harsh.
How to Install Outdoor Security Cameras
Once a location is chosen, it is time to install your device! How you need to approach this process will depend on whether you’ve chosen a wireless or wired option.
Wireless cameras are generally quite easy to install. The first step should be installing any appropriate software onto the devices you’ll be using to monitor the camera footage. A purchased device will come with instructions on how to do this and most companies will provide needed software without additional charge.
Then you can install your wireless camera anywhere within range. Remember that its wireless signal needs to reach a given hub so it can “talk” to the rest of your security system. If a camera’s signal isn’t reaching your hub, you either need to move the camera or your hub.
It’s a common misconception that wireless cameras need internet to use. This isn’t the case; wireless WiFi security cameras require certain devices to be installed nearby by you can have a WiFi setup without being connected to the internet.
Wired cameras are similar except now you are going to need to install a series of wires to a hub (often a DVR hub) rather than need to wirelessly connect to a hub. (This is a complicated enough process that we will discuss it in its own section.)
Keep in mind that both types of cameras require power. “Wireless camera” is something of a misnomer. While cable management is much easier for wireless devices, they still need to be plugged into a power source.
Cable management is a blanket term in the tech and security industry for how one manages the many cables electronic devices require. Wireless cameras only require a plug that goes to an outlet, but wired cameras each require a wire to travel their length to a hub.
For outdoor cameras, this may mean dozens or more feet of cable. If you’re choosing a wired option, plan accordingly. You will need to chart a path from the camera to the hub to run a cable, making sure foot and vehicle traffic won’t damage the cable in any way.
This task can be labor-intensive, requiring you to drill through walls and sometimes even requiring digging. Done wrong, wires may become an eyesore and/or be at risk of becoming damaged from everyday wear.
Skipping the Headache
If the above sounds complicated, and it can be, consider hiring professionals to help with the installation. Smartsecuritypros.com can help with all your security needs, camera installation included. They can help with placement and installation so that whatever location you need to be secured is kept safe from intruders.
Knowing how to install outdoor security cameras is hard. Even once you know the basics, there’s making sure your image quality is good and consistent. Hiring security professionals lets you skip that process.
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