As the technical director of Damar security systems, I deal with all things CCTV.
This project is regarding my own home CCTV and how I went about installing the cameras on the front of my house.
I moved into my current home back in 2018. Upon my arrival I became acutely aware of certain vulnerabilities around my new purchase. It was then at the time a new build property with only a handful of neighbouring properties occupied, so a very quiet area, especially at night. The new site was quite large and one side of my property was an open field, fenced off ready to become another building project. I felt this left us quite exposed.
We have two vehicles in our family, one being my Fiancée's car and the other being own company car, the latter sometimes carrying small hand tools overnight. I was very conscious about car crime having come across it daily for years but my main issue was feeling comfortable in my home so the security level needed to be just right especially with a Fiancée and two little daughters to look after. I knew that I had to get it perfect. For their feelings as well as my own.
Luckily for me I have years of experience in installing and maintaining CCTV. So read on as I address in words what I thought about back then from the perspective of a new homeowner, father, partner and CCTV Engineer.
The above image is the view from my lounge window, it clearly shows the cars on my driveway infront of the garage area. My concerns are car theft or damage more so than burglary. So protection of the vehicles as they are parked and also eyes on the approach to the vehicles from the left of the image above was my priority.
Positioning & Perspective
“Get one camera high to give a good view of both front and back cars as they are parked. If the camera is low then I wont see the car parked at the back.”
In terms of height of my first camera, I could go anywhere, low level, mid level or high on the soffit. Knowing the way the cars are parked I felt a more birds eye type view was best for the purpose of seeing both cars, the front black car blocks the silver one slightly so the higher I can get the camera the better view of both I would likely achieve. So the higher the better, meaning on the soffit would be best position for the first camera. See below the final image as it appears on my CCTV app on my phones display, I think the result was perfect.
This mobile phone image how it appears on the app in portrait view, below view from the app in landscape display
As you can see I have a very good view of both cars with the camera fitted high. Although this camera is only going to give me a view of the cars and not any approach or build up to an attack on the vehicles.
The next step is to look into the aesthetics of the camera, its fitted on a white soffet so I choose to go against the most common camera colours, grey and choose a white camera instead. I thought this may be more discreet and less untidy on a new soffet. However sometimes it may be in your benefit to have an obvious camera as this may be a better deterrent.
Second camera for side view
“The second camera can be fitted on the other side of the property looking in the other direction towards the approach from the road.”
My second camera would work two fold;
- Firstly it has to look over the front door, as much as I want to protect the cars and use the CCTV as a deterrent, it also needs to be used as a tool to see who is at the door.
- Secondly, given the side of the house it is to be fitted I can also pick up the approach to the drive from the road, the part of the drive that the first camera misses.
An important note regarding the second cameras installation. The height. As you can see there is a canopy over the front door. If I have the camera on the soffit again or even 1m down, I am likely to hit a blind spot should there be somewhere standing at the door. Therefore I need to get the camera as low as possible so to miss the top of the canopy and view underneath. This also gives me a fantastic view of the parts of the drive I cannot see in the first camera. I like to think that any CCTV system should never have blind spots.
I have chosen black as a camera colour on brick against the black drainpipe as this is more discreet. All cables on this project are concealed in the cavity wall and cannot be seen inside or outside
Camera, cables and positioning
“I can use the cavity wall to hide the cable so that I can bring the camera down as low as I need to. This will mean no cables will be on display in the house or on the outside of the house.”
I have all the angles across the front of my home covered with no blind spots. There are no cables on display anywhere and aesthetically I feel I chose the right c olour cameras for both so that they are fitted very discreet so not to be too obvious on the front of my new purchase. The focus of the cars is clearly achieved with both vehicles visible in the event of any intrusion. See below. Overall im very happy and satisfied that this is a job well done.
Here is an image of the night time view. This image is from my phone on playback.