How to Find Out If There is Surveillance Equipment in Your House

By Lynn Holmgren

Technology has made surveillance equipment more compact and easier to disguise. While you may welcome it in public areas (ATMs, malls), it can feel like an invasion of privacy in your home. To find out if there is any surveillance equipment in your home you will need to a little detective work. A keen eye is key, along with knowing just where to look.

Things You'll Need

  • Flashlight
  • Ladder
  • Laser detection device

Physical Search

Step 1

Think like someone who would install hidden surveillance equipment. Consider where you might hide it and in which places the camera would be suspected least.

Step 2

Use a flashlight to inspect each room in the house. Look for pin-sized holes in common household appliances like clocks, lamps, radios, books, and fake plants.

Step 3

Climb a ladder to closely inspect the ceiling. Dismantle all smoke detectors and covered ceiling lights to look for hidden cameras.

Step 4

Check all electrical outlets with a spare plug. Inspect further for a camera if any outlet resists the plug.

Step 5

Turn off all of the lights and look for tiny red or green light "power indicator" lights sometimes found on microphones.

Step 6

Check for two-way mirrors. Place a flashlight against the mirror's surface in a dark room. If it is a two-way mirror you will be able to see the other side.

Search Aides

Step 1

Purchase a laser detection device to help locate hidden surveillance equipment.

Step 2

Hold the device up to your eye and press the button to activate the LEDs (camera scan).

Step 3

Methodically scan along the walls, floors and ceilings in each room of your home.

Step 4

Locate hidden cameras appearing in the field of view by the reflection of light from the LEDs. Move your vantage point slightly if you think you see a hidden camera. It is not a camera if the location of the reflection moves as you move. A hidden camera's reflection will not move.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use an RF Detector to detect radio frequency signals sent from listening devices such as electronic bugs hidden in objects or rooms.
  • Avoid letting the cameras and microphones know you are looking for them.

References & Resources