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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

5 Tips to Get the Best Video From Your Hidden Camera Smoke Detector


Most actual smoke detectors are placed just above a doorway as you enter or exit a room. however this might not be the best place for a hidden camera smoke detector as the subject of interest could walk through the door so quickly that they do not trigger the camera's PIR sensor. Instead consider placing the smoke detector above a window or closet door in the back of the room. This will allow the PIR sensor time to fully activate the camera and the intruder will be walking toward the hidden camera instead of away from it. 

Bottom View Smoke Detector Camera
This model of hidden camera has a hidden camera pointed out the bottom of the detector body. If this unit is mounted on the ceiling it will capture what is directly below. This means that a subject walking through a doorway will have the top of their head in view but not their face. Consider mounting a bottom view smoke detector camera on a wall, opposite of the doorway you suspect the subject will use. In this position the camera will capture all of the doorway and most of the floor to ceiling space of an average room with 9 foot high ceilings.

Bottom view smoke detector hidden camera mounted on ceiling














Bottom view smoke detector hidden camera mounted on wall
















Side View Smoke Detector Camera
In this model of hidden camera the camera is mounted on the side of the detector body with the camera tilted slightly downward. Mount it on ceiling for an angle that will capture most of the floor space of a medium sized room as well as about 4-6 feet above the floor. When monitoring a long hallway consider having more than one hidden camera smoke detector mounted every 10-12 feet. This allows the subject to be captured on video in multiple positions and allows the PIR sensor on the additional camera to be triggered just as the subject is leaving the first camera's field of view.
Side view smoke detector hidden camera mounted on ceiling
















Pick the Best Camera for the Space While a smoke detector is a pretty ordinary object to have in most spaces, in some spaces it might draw attention. For example it would be unusual to see a smoke detector mounted in a carport, a better choice would be the Cable Box Camera or even the Birdhouse Camera.

Monitoring Busy PlacesNo matter how much life a hidden camera battery might have, if the camera is being constantly activated by ordinary coming and going in a busy spot the battery will wear down quickly, possibly in less than a day. While you can check video recorded when the camera was active, no more video will be recorded until the battery can be recharged. Our hidden cameras that plug into an AC outlet are the best choice for this kind of surveillance. Another option is to take advantage of the Scheduled Recording option in the SG Home app. If you know when the person you are monitoring will be in the area you can set the camera to only wake to the PIR during that time, thus saving battery life.

Channel Your Inner Wile E. CoyoteThat rascally coyote never gave up chasing the Roadrunner. While we don't suggest tying an anvil to your hidden camera we DO suggest not giving up the first time if it doesn't capture the problem. Surveillance is as much an art as a science. You may need to adjust your camera placement, be prepared to schedule its recording time or be ready to check the memory card multiple times during the day. If climbing up a ladder to retrieve video from an SD card would draw attention to the hidden camera itself then monitor your video from your smart phone. You can even subscribe to our Cloud Recording and have access to downloaded video for a longer period of time without having to return to the camera at all.

Finally, remember that hidden cameras sometimes tell us good news. If after choosing your camera, carefully selecting its placement, and diligently checking its recording you discover that the suspicious behavior you originally noticed is actually quite innocent then consider it a good day. Breathe a sigh of relief and store your camera in a safe place for the next time you suspect a Road Runner has been sneaking around your cave.

Camera Placement Dos and Don'ts Checklist:
• DON'T place a camera near a doorway or other area that the subject would quickly walk by without triggering the camera

• DO make sure the camera fits into the use of the room and will not draw attention to itself 

• DO make sure the camera is plugged in for monitoring busy areas just as a business' entry lobby

• DON'T mount a side view camera on a wall. 

• DO be prepared to adjust your cameras placement at the beginning of your surveillance


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