Hidden cameras and smoke detectors are the need of the hour. However, when both of them get combined, it is dangerous. We have our tricks to check whether a camera is hidden in the smoke detectors. A single method may not confirm the presence of a camera hidden so high.
I suggest trying a combination of the following methods for the nearest accurate results.
The first look of the property we enter is pleasing. The next in our list is to check our security. We can test mirrors in the trial rooms, indoor or outdoor, Wi-Fi routers, gaps in the lifts and some other corners where a hidden camera or a battery powered outdoor camera might be placed. A smoke detector may seem to be out of our reach for such a close check.
- Scrutinize the power plugs and electrical appliances in the rooms: Search for unusual fittings, multiple items of a single type of device like two smoke detectors, and items using the plug point. Test the Wi-Fi Router and local network for extra portals or energy plugins. If the hidden camera is connected to a network, you can trace it through a Wi-Fi scan. Boxes with an IP camera installed inside smoke detectors can be picked out if they appear in the network. Wi-Fi enabled smoke detectors should get your special attention.
- Check for lights and glints: Hidden cameras will also reflect small light flashes called glints from their lenses. You can carry out a close visual inspection of the smoke detector to figure out pinholes or dots. Night vision cameras have LED lights to assist in the process. Make your room dark and opaque and check for LED lights that are blinking.
- Use the mobile flashlight at all angles in the darkroom. Reflective light from any point is an indication of a hidden camera. If a camera lens is present inside, it will shine. If the smoke detector is placed close enough, you can use glint detection devices available in the retail and online markets.
- Follow the wires: Since most of the smoke detectors operate on battery, if you find a wire running out from them, it calls for caution. Hidden cameras capable of live streaming need continuous power and will be connected to a power source. Scan around the smoke detectors for connection cords and power supply.
- Use our smartphones: Our Android and iPhones are capable of ensuring our safety through scanning apps. Read on to learn how to use smartphones to detect smoke detector cameras with night vision.
- Check if your phone’s camera can detect infrared light. Press any button on the TV remote by facing the mobile phone camera. A light on the mobile screen confirms that the phone can detect infrared.
- Switch off the room lights and look around and up through the mobile phone for any purple or white lights.
- If you see light on the mobile screen, turn on the room lights and scan for discrepancies on the ceiling or walls.
Related Topic: The Causes For Interference On Security Cameras
Take the help of apps in the market to detect cameras:
An app called Fing detects external devices connected to the local network in your rental. Here is the step-by-step scanning process:
1) Disconnect all the visible devices you see around that might be using the network.
2) Connect your phone to the network and open Fing.
3) The app asks for location permissions. Agree to it or let it do that automatically.
4) The app starts scanning the network and gives you the list of devices connected to it.
5) Relate the names that appear to possible devices around you. You can recognize the name of camera makers, codes or IP cameras if present.
If you encounter unrecognizable device names, the same app helps you further. When you type “Find Open Ports” in the Network button, you can find ports that are open and the services used.
I came across a piece of recent news about an app to detect hidden cameras in Airbnb rental properties. This comes out along with many reports of Airbnb staff and hosts using hidden cameras for streaming guests.
A couple from New Zealand who were touring Ireland realized that a hidden camera in the smoke detector of their Airbnb rental was live streaming them. Careful scanning of the premises saved them from the disaster.
Editor Sidenotes: All business owners will have a hidden camera somewhere that you can sometimes spot and sometimes can’t. Here is a guide on the best security cameras for small business as we talk about more on hidden cameras that is fit for your retail shop or business.
Cameras held high in the smoke detectors bypass the first-hand observation of room occupants. In the preliminary screening using mobile phones, many of them escape the attention due to high location.
However, camera lenses are visible irrespective of their sizes. If your eyes cannot catch them, your mobile phone’s camera, flashlight or app can. There are iPhone apps available for glint detection. You can find one such app on the iTunes store.
The Glint Finder app is for Androids. There are smartphone apps that use the electromagnetic field for detecting hidden cameras. If the smoke detector comes in a range close enough and there is a hidden camera, the apps might pick up the strong fields.