Installing a camera in your home is like deploying a soldier into a military base. A muscle-bound warrior who guards the front door is a given, since they scare away intruders with their brutish appearance. However, a smart commander also hires a spy to infiltrate and send back reports. As the master of disguise, the spy hides in plain sight to observe the actions of anyone who might enter the area they’ve been ordered to protect.
Home security cameras have their own branch of spies that serve this very same purpose, the only challenge is to find the perfect cover-up. A smoke detector that houses a small internet-enabled camera is probably the best choice for a number of reasons.
Why a Hidden Smoke Detector Camera?
The biggest problem with outdoor cameras is that they can be easily spotted. Crafty criminals recon the place before the break-in, so despite the deterrent such a device might represent, thieves can still sneak up to the recorders and blind the expensive electronics with a laser pointer. Or even worse, smear jelly on the lens. This same tactic could also be used to prevent indoor cameras from recording their face.
So it’s quite obvious that you’ll also need a hidden camera as a backup plan. Since these can be disguised as common household objects, the robbers won’t suspect that a there is an eye watching their every move. However, a hidden camera should be placed inside an object that burglars won’t want to stuff into their bags or, even better, can’t reach. And this is where the hidden smoke detector cameras come into play.
For one, smoke detectors are located on the ceiling and out of reach without a ladder, which isn’t likely to happen while the thieves are looting the place. On the other hand, the camera inside the fake detector offers a bird’s eye view, meaning that the whole room can be monitored.
And a last tip: if you have a spare detector casing, then put one on your actual smoke detector to strengthen the unified look. If the hidden camera looks different to the real ones, then the intruders might get suspicious.
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How a Smoke Detector Spy Camera Works
Hidden cameras can come in all shapes and forms. They can be put in a plushy toy, in an antique clock and even inside a coat hanger. Hidden smoke detector cameras are a bit more complicated to install, since they must be stuck to the ceiling or the wall. The manufacturers often include a set of screws for solid installation, but using glue is equally viable. Bear in mind, however, that the camera must be detached from time to time to replace the batteries.
There are two ways to access the footage from a hidden camera. Some models that stream the video to a cloud server to access it through a smartphone app. A less convenient but more secure option is found in models that store the recordings locally on an SD card, which homeowners can then hook up to their computer to review the footage.
There are many viable uses for a smoke detector camera, but the obviously benefit is for homeowners who purchase a few of them. Be sure to place them in rooms where you store valuable items and documents.
Recommended Hidden Security Cameras
The smoke detector cameras available on the market all boast different feature sets, so here are some recommendations for the most noteworthy and distinct products available.
Littleadd Motion Activated Nanny Cam
The camera is capable of continuously filming for 10 hours on a full charged and captures high-definition footage in 1080p. The main selling point, however, is without a doubt the built-in motion detector that activates the camera when it senses movement. In order to avoid draining the battery while the family is home, the spy cam also comes with a remote controller.
All recorded footage is stored on a 32GB internal SD card, which can be synced by connecting it to a computer. Bear in mind that the camera doesn’t feature night vision, so make sure to have motion activated lights in the same room.
DigiHero Smoke Detector Camera
The camera comes with the company’s smartphone app that allows homeowners to issue commands and review the footage from afar. The product is also fitted with motion sensors and the system sends a push notification to the owner’s phone when it senses an intruder. On the downside, this feature is only available if the device can connect to a live Wi-Fi network.
Camscura Smoke Detector Hidden Camera Kit
The kit includes three parts: the Camscure black box hidden camera, which is the heart of the system; the smoke detector enclosure that serves as the disguise; and a 32GB micro SD card, although the system works with the 64GB version too.
The system is battery-powered and can be easily replaced from one room to another. Although it’s only capable of recording only 720p footage, the recorder is able to handle day and night lighting conditions.
Complete Surveillance Camera System
A smoke detector camera is a fine addition to your arsenal of IP cameras and surveillance systems, but in itself a hidden camera won’t be enough to protect your valuables. The most prudent approach is to combine the strength of your alarms and recorders. For example, if your regular cameras already have a feature that allows them to send snapshots to your phone and stream footage, then you can skip this function with the smoke detector cam.
Another useful combo is when you have an internet-enabled spy camera surrounded by motion sensors. When the alarms pick up movements, you can switch to streaming the camera footage and inspect the interlopers from above.
Even though hidden cameras cannot stop the crime in progress, they do still provide necessary evidence for the police investigators and perhaps help them to catch the perpetrators quicker.