Electronics are very obvious targets for theft.  The security cameras and video recorders that are meant to deter criminal activity can, at times, become the target. Paying attention to where and how you’re installing your security cameras and DVR can make a world of difference in keeping them out of the hands of would-be thieves.

Your security cameras are not invincible

The first thing to understand is that security cameras are not indestructible. Period. If a thief wants a camera bad enough or they want to destroy it, they will be able to do so. A good way to prevent this is to place the camera in a location that can’t be easily reached. The general rule is to install them at least 10-15 feet above the ground. Doing so will keep the camera out of (easy) reach and allow it to maintain its visual integrity. Another thing a user can do is choose a location that keeps the camera out of sight but still allows it to monitor the desired area. This can be under an eaves/overhang or anywhere else you feel is a more concealed location. Doing this will prevent any issues before they even occur.

Damaged CCTV Security Camera

Don't forget about your video recorder

In addition to making sure the cameras are secure, the user will need to make sure the DVR is in a secure location as well. The easiest way to do this is to install the DVR in a room that can be locked-up or in an area that has restricted access. For example, a business owner is using a CCTV security camera system to monitor his/her employees. One of the employees does something questionable and they now want to delete the footage so the owner doesn't see it. If the DVR is easily accessible, he or she will be able to log in and delete footage, turn certain cameras off, or even destroy the DVR itself. Looking at the home user as an example, a good location to store a DVR would be a locked and ventilated cabinet, closet, or DVR lock box. With that being said, it’s important that these spaces or containers allow for adequate air flow so that the DVR doesn't overheat.

DVR Lockbox

How about some suggestions

Video recorders don't necessarily need their own living space.  They can be hidden or just placed in a way people can't easily get to them.  While a lock box is a great way to start protecting your DVR, an additional step users should definitely take is using mounting brackets to install it in an inconspicuous location. A typical way to install these is to mount them on a wall or surface that is out of “arm's reach,” meaning an area that a person generally can’t reach without the use of something like a ladder. Many users will mount their DVR and lock box to ceiling rafters or in attic (if they are accessible). Whatever area they choose, it’s important that it is climate-controlled. If a DVR is subjected to constant temperature changes it could cause a potential build-up of condensation inside the unit and destroy the electronic circuitry within.

One more thing...

One final step the user user can take is to purchase an extra camera that can be dedicated to monitoring the DVR itself. Live monitoring of your cameras will catch anyone in the act immediately but it isn't required.  With push alert and email notifications being set up properly, your DVR can actually alert you to the fact that someone's getting a little too close as it's happening.

Making sure a security camera is safe can be a very simple task if the installation area allows for it. If that isn't an option, users aren't totally out of luck. By purchasing a lock box or an additional security camera to monitor your DVR, you can ensure that your CCTV system remains safe and keeps providing you with the level of security that you have come to expect from it.

Don Stephens is a Technical Support Manager at CCTV Camera World, a leading Security Camera distributor located in Buffalo, NY. His area of expertise is in designing professional security camera systems for medium and large scale businesses, schools, and government projects.

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