This post was originally published on July 23, 2019 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Although placing security cameras in plain sight might deter criminals from your home, hiding them also has its benefits. Covert cameras can prevent burglars from disabling them, while also capturing footage when needed.
In this article, we explain how to disguise and use your security cameras appropriately for increased home security and peace of mind.
Strategically Place Cameras
Hidden cameras enable you to monitor activity in real time and record footage for future reference. Optimally placed, covert cameras are most effective when they are:
- Installed in sensible areas (e.g., living room, kitchen or toy room).
- Placed under sufficient lighting.
- Positioned to capture wide angles for fuller surveillance coverage.
With properly placed cameras, homeowners can identify and respond to potentially hazardous situations that occur while they are away. Hidden cameras can serve as visual and audio evidence in the following cases:
- A babysitter neglects the children.
- A healthcare provider mistreats an elderly patient.
- A visitor steals belongings from the home.
- An alarm event is triggered.
- An unwelcome visitor enters the premises.
Hide Cameras in Common Household Items
Strategically place cameras where they blend into natural surroundings. Hidden cameras are less likely to be discovered when disguised as common household items, such as:
- Artificial plants. Place the camera in a flowerpot or a vase, and use leaves as a concealer.
- Curtain rods. Small cameras placed high up are less likely to be detected.
- Entertainment centers. Position cameras inside one of the shelves or cabinets of a media center.
- Hollow books. Surround the disguised camera with several books on a shelf or mantle.
- Medicine cabinets. Conceal a camera in a toothpaste box and place it inside the cabinet to capture footage of anyone trying to access sensitive items in your medicine cabinet, like prescription drugs.
- Plush toys. Hide in a stuffed animal in a nursery to keep tabs on your children and babysitters.
- Tissue boxes. Covert cameras may capture footage through a small hole cut into the side of a tissue box.
Install a Doorbell Camera
Video doorbell cameras are growing in popularity, especially in response to the Coronavirus pandemic—many homeowners enjoy the convenience of a doorbell camera while they stay home to prevent spreading the virus.
In addition to enabling a smarter home, covert video doorbell cameras also provide an extra layer of security and convenience while offering a sleek, inconspicuous design. The top benefits of owning a doorbell camera include:
- Deterring and catching burglars. View live camera feeds and receive alerts to your phone when motion is detected.
- Securing home deliveries. Confirm packages are delivered and prevent porch pirates from stealing deliveries from your doorstep.
- Increasing a home’s value. Connected smart homes are more desirable to potential home buyers, further paying off your current investment in security.
- Communicating with visitors. Using a mobile app, you can see, hear and talk to visitors at your front door. With smart locks integrated, you can also unlock the door from your smartphone.
Adhere to Local Regulations
Before installing covert cameras, understand your state’s laws regarding unauthorized video surveillance. Some states require consent from those being recorded. Also, avoid placing cameras where they would inadvertently capture footage of someone in a private area, such as when they’re changing or bathing.
When used appropriately, hidden cameras provide peace of mind to homeowners who are concerned about the safety of their family and personal assets. When strategically placed, they can capture potential danger as it arises, so you can respond accordingly.