How do I Install a Security Camera System

Camera surveillance systems are fast becoming a norm today. Many homeowners are integrating video surveillance with their home security systems for better protection. Long gone are the days when a dog was enough to keep burglars (and sometimes postmen) at bay. Today the tech-driven society places its trust in state of the art technology to keep their family and property safe.

Did you know that a camera surveillance system does in fact lower the risk of burglaries? According to a survey by the Electronic Security Association (ESA), 60% of burglars look for the presence of a camera surveillance system when selecting a target. In other words, burglars consider open season on homes without an effective home security system.

How to install a security camera system

In recent years, security camera systems have become more versatile and affordable. You can choose from a wide range of wired and wireless camera systems. Wired and wireless camera systems both function in the same manner and are designed to capture or record video footage. A wired camera system may be slightly cumbersome to set up as each component of the system must be connected through wires. In case of a wireless camera system, image/footage is sent through signals to the receiver wirelessly.

The key for a camera security system to work effectively is its installation. The installation steps will basically depend on the type of system you have selected. Here are the basic steps when installing a security camera system:

1. Determine which areas of your home need surveillance

The positioning and location of your camera is important. The first step is to prioritize areas of your home that need surveillance. Make sure you choose areas where cameras cannot be tampered. Here are some of the main outdoor areas that need surveillance:

  • Front door
  • Driveway
  • Backdoor
  • Porch

Most people prefer placing security cameras outside, at the front door and in the backyard. Choosing an appropriate location for the device is critically important. You can mount the camera just below the roof where the wall ends, as this would provide cover during rain.  Angling the camera is very important too. You don’t want the camera facing the wall, floor, or has any major object in its path, which may block the view. Some cameras can cover the entire room or a large area. For example, a dome security camera typically has a 4mm or 3.6mm lens, which gives an 85-92 degree view angle.

2. Mount the cameras

There are basically two types of security systems you can choose, wired and wireless. If you have opted for a wireless camera, you don’t have to worry about setting up wires or drilling. In the case of a wired camera system, you will have to make sure the cables leading from the camera are connected to the recording device and the power outlet. You must pick the right cables for the device. Most companies provide cables and wires with the system. If you do not have any technical know-how and cannot do the wiring, it is recommended you get professional help. For wired camera, you may have to drill holes in the wall to attach the mounting stand with screws. Make sure the mounting stands are placed high enough to keep them out of anyone’s reach. Next, place the camera onto the mounting stand. It is best that you choose a wide angle and make sure the view of the camera is not obstructed by any object. Here are a few types of cameras you could choose from:

  • Wide angle lens camera – ideal for covering large open spaces
  • Bullet cameras – best suited for walls and ceilings
  • Dome cameras – dome-shaped and designed to protect entry ways
  • Infrared cameras – ability to capture images in the dark

3. Set up a recording device and monitor

The next step is setting up the camera system’s recording device and monitor. A camera surveillance system will usually include a recording device and monitor. However, you can also purchase these devices separately. If you want to store the video footage, you will need a digital video recorder (DVR). All devices must be plugged into a power outlet. In many security camera systems, you can set a recording schedule according to your preference.

As technology is advancing, the range of surveillance cameras is increasing as well. For example there are security cameras that are equipped with motion sensors. These cameras start recording footage as soon as the sensors detect any kind of movement in its range or view. You can opt for a hybrid camera system, which comprises of wireless and wired devices. A security camera can help you monitor your home, keep an eye on your kids and the babysitter, while you are away.

4. Connect the cameras to the DVR and monitor

If you have a wired camera system, you will need to connect the cameras to the monitor and the DVR via wires. This may require professional help if you lack the technical know-how. First of all, find out what kind of wires/cables you need and their required length. You can position the wires along the wall with the help of cable clips, hooks, and surface-mount conduits. You will need a power drill and screws for this.

If you have a wireless system, you don’t need to worry about wiring as wireless cameras transmit audio and video signals through a radio band. An important point to note here is that you will need to make sure there is no signal interference.

5. Plug in all cameras and test the system

In most camera systems, the camera will have to be plugged into a power outlet. Some wireless cameras come with batteries. After the system has been set up and wired correctly, you should test the system to see if it functions properly. Check the monitor to see if the camera’s signals are being received and the images are clear with no distortion. You can test the security system by recording for a few minutes and monitoring the footage. This will let you know if all the devices are functioning properly. If it is not functioning like it should, get help from a professional.


Q:How to Install/wiring Outdoor Surveillance Cameras?

A:If you want to install an outdoor surveillance camera, you would need to thoroughly read the guidelines given in the instruction manual of your camera. If you do not understand the instructions too well or they are too complex to follow, you may need a professional to help you install these surveillance cameras effectively.

Q:How to Install Indoor Surveillance Cameras?

A:If you wish to install indoor surveillance cameras by yourself, you would need to carefully read the instruction manual given with your camera. If you do not understand the instructions too well or they are difficult to follow, you may look for an electrician. Electricians can help you install cameras according to your security needs and you can also prevent faulty installation.

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