How to place home security cameras

HOUSTON - Cameras can help capture crooks on video if you become a crime victim. But where the cameras are placed is key.

Carefully placed cameras captured images of a crook who was driving through a Tomball neighborhood last month and stealing from unlocked cars.

"I played it slow and I could clearly observe this guy come and steal my stuff," said Ashish Trivedi.

The crime victim said he was happy his home surveillance system was working but sad it happened in his neighborhood.

There are six cameras on the Trivedi home and that is just right number, according to security expert Don Williams, with The Crime Prevention Center.

"You want to put No. 1 on the front door and the most important back area. Normally 50 to 75 percent of the time, they are going to break in one of the doors because all they can do is kick the door in," said Williams.

The security expert also recommended making sure cameras are placed high enough on homes so the crooks can't get to them.

Bullet cameras need to be placed higher, according to Sidney May with Spy Emporium, who recommended dome security cameras that are also protected.

"If you get a dome camera, you have to make sure you are getting a vandal-proof type because if it is outdoors and if someone was going to try demolish it, they wouldn't be able to break it or anything because it is vandal-proof. A sledge hammer wouldn't even be able to kill the camera," said May.

Basic analog security cameras can run from $20 to $300. Digital cameras cost between $160 and $1,000, and wifi security cameras range from $160 to $800, according to May.

He also recommended asking if a security camera is waterproof before you buy it because sometimes cameras are sold for outdoors that should not be and he said if it rains, the camera is fried.

Security experts also recommend you invest in a good DVR to make sure the best images are recorded from your security cameras and said you should spend extra money on a quality DVR over the cameras. DVRs need to be hidden in a closet with a lock, according to Williams.

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