Security cameras are important for the safety of any and all property, but they will perform only as well as they are installed. Whether you install your security cameras yourself or have this professionally done, there are always going to be some important points to keep in mind to ensure maximum return on investment.
For this post, we spoke with numerous industry experts about what areas they recommend paying attention to when installing security cameras. We will intersperse their thoughts on this subject with our own to give you a full picture of what to expect when you are just getting started with security cameras on your home or commercial property.
1. Ensure the Cameras Work First
This first tip seems like common sense that isn’t worth repeating, but these are exactly the types of pointers that people may tend to forget. When you purchase a set of security cameras, your first instinct might be to set them up immediately, or to pay a professional to do so.
However, think about the inconveniences you would create for yourself if you installed four security cameras up on the side of your house only to discover later that one or a few of them were non-functioning straight out of the box. You then have to go back up on a ladder to remove all the cameras and return them.
We spoke about this with Evan Davis, senior manager of solution engineering at TRENDnet. He directed us to some of his website resources, which said, in part: “Mounting your outdoor surveillance cameras should be one of the final steps of your installation process. When you get your equipment, test for functionality first. In the small chance you get a defective camera, you’ll find that a camera that has not yet been mounted is much easier to exchange or return than one that is mounted 25 feet in the air. Troubleshooting is also much easier when cameras haven’t been mounted yet.”
This advice could not be clearer: do what is needed to test all cameras you purchase before actually installing them. It has the potential to save a lot of time and effort in the long run.
2. Consider Having Your Cameras Professionally Installed
There is one major difference between a DIY camera installer and a professional, and that is the fact that an amateur might not consider the exact optimal placements of the cameras. This matters tremendously if your purpose is actually to monitor all entrances to your home.
Installing a camera system yourself, especially if it is a wired camera system, can also be very dangerous. We spoke with David Walter at Electrician Mentor who is an experienced electrician. He went on to tell us that, “While DIY projects can be a fulfilling and enjoyable way to spend your weekend, home security system installation should be left to electrical professionals. Even if the camera system itself is ELV (Extra Low Voltage), you can still be exposed to dangerous voltages when fiddling around with your power outlets before the voltage has been stepped down. Working with these voltages has the potential to seriously injure or even kill you, and is not suited to DIY.”
Amina Yepisheva, PR manager at Ajax Systems, explains it this way: “No matter how convenient the product is, professional installation implies a certain experience and practical knowledge. Even after reading instructions, a casual user won’t learn all the subtleties of how to effectively apply the system to a specific object. Only a person who has long been in the industry can deal with it properly.
“If there are pets in the house, it’s especially important to conduct a short consultation. An installer should learn how the animals behave, where stove hoods/windows are located and how the property is ventilated (where there are air currents, curtains, etc). All these things can trigger false alarms and waste the time of the security company. At least, this may cause you unnecessary discomfort. At most, you may be fined.”
3. Make Sure Your Cameras Allow Remote Viewing
In these modern times, it is important that your security camera system be truly top of the line so you can access all the features you need to keep your property safe. One important spec that we always recommend be present in your security cameras is the ability to view the footage remotely. Things work out perfectly when you are physically present at home or at your business and you want to check your security cameras.
But suppose you want to see what is happening there while you are away? It should be a standard feature on superior security cameras that they allow you to access their footage remotely from a mobile app or laptop. According to security expert Brianne Sandorf, copywriter for Clearlink.com, “One of the number-one things I look for when reviewing a system is free remote monitoring. It doesn't really make sense to have a security system if your provider's not going to let you check in on it and/or get notifications when something goes wrong.”
Brianne is correct in this. The risk is too great not to be able to check your own property’s footage just because you are somewhere else. This is always something you will want to make sure of before having a camera system installed. A system that does not allow for this may not be worth the cost for you, depending on how often you leave the house.
4. Decide between Wired and Wireless
Another question many people have before buying security cameras is whether they need a wired or wireless system. It makes sense to know what you are getting into before making any major purchases, and especially before going through the trouble of having your cameras installed.
There are advantages and disadvantages of each type of security camera. The differences between them come down to initial cost and the maintenance required later. Timothy Mills of FE Moran Security Solutions explains: “Wired is much more dependable and requires less maintenance. Wireless is convenient when adding new points and will save you money during installation, but you will have to deal with battery replacement. Batteries tend to send in their low-battery signals to the panel in the middle of thenight. Newer panels will not alert until the morning to keep you from pulling your hair out. Just make sure your time and date are accurate.”
Basically, the cheaper and easier way to go is wireless, but you will enjoy greater dependability with a wired security camera system. It is important to look into each option before installing any cameras on your property.
5. Confirm Usability at the Outset
The best security cameras on the market won’t mean a thing to customers if they are not user friendly. That’s why usability makes this list of important camera-installation tips. The cameras themselves should be easy to install, and the software associated with them should be simple, intuitive, and, above all, convenient for users.
Jason Young of Smart Home Focus agrees with this assessment of usability. “You want a usable home security system. The system needs to be simple to arm and disarm so you and your family want to use it. If you never turn the home security system on, then it isn't really doing anything for you. Systems that provide door access panels and keychain remotes make it easy to arm the system when you leave.”
Keychain remotes and access panels near all doors into and out of a property are exactly the types of user-friendly aspects you ought to look for in a security camera system before installing. It is important to consider the whole system in this way so you can plan out the installation before doing anything. For instance, if you want those door panels for the convenience, you will need to make sure they can be easily wired in those exact spots. Check out things like this before deciding on a camera system, and the install will go much more smoothly.
Security Cameras You Can Count On
The security cameras from CCTV Camera World are designed to be easy for the DIYer to install, should that be the route you want to take. Whether you need dome, bullet, or PTZ cameras, our products can mesh with any security system, and our cameras meant for exterior locations are built to survive all kinds of weather.
Shop all of our security camera types right now, and contact us if you need technical support or have any questions about our products. Just remember to keep these tips in mind when preparing to install your new security cameras, and you will be much better off.