This post was originally published on March 6, 2017 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 of suspicious activity.

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 on your property in real time. 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:

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.
  • 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.

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 in private areas, such as restrooms.

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.