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Can You Fly a Drone in Your House?

7 mins
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Your home is your kingdom. It’s a place of refuge, your sanctuary, somewhere you know and love dearly. It’s where you can do mostly anything you want, and you wonder if that extends to flying a drone indoors too.

Can you fly a drone inside your own home?

There are no rules prohibiting you from flying a drone in your home. Just because you’re allowed to doesn’t make this the safest or smartest idea. The tight confines of most homes increase the risk of damaging or even breaking your drone, not to mention your possessions!

If you’re considering flying a drone in your home, we recommend you read this article first. By the time you’re done, you can soundly decide whether it’s the best choice!

Are you allowed to fly a drone in your house? #

The Federal Aviation Administration, at least for our United States readers, governs where drones are and aren’t allowed.

One safe domain is your own property, which is something we’ve discussed in other posts on the blog before.

This means that indeed, you are allowed to fly your drone inside your own home as well as outside of it.

The reason is that federal drone laws don’t restrict your ability to fly over property that you own.

Is flying a drone in your house smart? All the risks to be aware of #

Now that we’ve established that you can fly your drone in your home, it’s time to ask another pertinent question. That is, should you even want to fly a drone indoors?

Here are all the risks that accompany this activity.

Damaging your home’s interior #

You feel a great sense of pride in your home because of how appealingly decorated the interior is.

You wouldn’t want to do anything to put that interior at risk, we’re sure, yet flying your drone can achieve exactly that.

Most drones are not designed for indoor flight. They’re too large and bulky.

Even if your drone is satisfactorily sized, the confines of your home will have never felt tighter than when flying the drone indoors. You have to beware of walls, ceilings, windows, and doors.

All it takes is one sudden turn or one quick maneuver and you can cause some serious interior damage to your beloved home.

What kind of interior damage are we talking about here?

Well, at the very least, your drone flying too close to the wall or ceiling can scuff the paint.

Maybe that’s not the biggest deal in the world if you’ve painted within the last few years and still have the old bucket of paint lying around somewhere.

If the paint has been on your walls for a while and you can’t even remember the name of the color, then repainting is going to be a pain.

Plus, it doesn’t matter whether you have paint handy or not when it comes to your ceiling. Touching it up is never convenient, especially if you have furniture in the room.

You’ll have to move everything around, add some drop cloths, and fix up the ceiling.

A drone propeller in full motion can easily tear wallpaper if it gets too close to the wall. It’s even more difficult and inconvenient to replace wallpaper than it is paint.

At least with a swatch of paint, you can get a darn close match. Matching wallpaper is much harder, especially if your wallpaper is old.

Okay, but what if you use prop guards? Well, the weight of your drone can still break through a window and even damage doors if you take a turn too hard or too suddenly.

Your wallpaper would probably be okay though!

Breaking household objects #

Even if your house was intact during your indoor drone tour or only very mildly damaged, there’s a far greater risk when you use your drone indoors, and that’s possibly harming the items throughout your home.

We’re talking about far more than knocking over a vase. Imagine what would happen if your drone collided with your flat-screen HD television.

Most TVs are pretty durable these days, but none are designed to withstand the force of a drone flying into the television at 10 or even 20 miles per hour, perhaps even faster. Your television will be a goner.

The same goes for any desktop computers (if you still use those) or laptops that might be open at the time. It takes even less to damage a laptop.

Think of would happen if your drone collided with your ceiling fan. Only one could win, and we’re not even 100 percent sure it’d be the drone.

Regardless of whether the drone or fan came out on top, both would be worse for wear.

Furniture could be irreparably damaged. A drone flying indoors without propeller guards can easily wreck and even tear up couch fabric or chip wooden furniture.

Any glass pieces throughout the house–and yes, that does include vases–such as figurines, dishes, and other bric-a-brac would be shattered. Artwork could be knocked from the walls.

In short, your valuables are all on the line.

Damaging or breaking your drone #

As we’ve made clear throughout this section, your drone may not come out unscathed if you fly it in your home, especially if you’re new to flying drones or you’ve never operated a UAV indoors before.

Taking hard dings into the corners of your home could lead to parts of your drone coming off such as the propellers or the cameras.

If this collision also results in household damage, then not only do you have to pay to replace whatever item you might have broken in your house but also to get your drone repaired.

You could absolutely break your drone for good if you’re not careful when flying around the house.

If you fly your drone too far out of range (such as flying it upstairs when you’re downstairs or vice-versa) or if the drone takes an especially hard fall, then that’s it, it could be toast.

That’s no problem if yours is a toy drone, as you probably got your hands on it for under $50, perhaps even under $30.

However, for high-end drones like those by DJI, where you could have paid hundreds if not thousands of dollars, that’s a lot of money to flush down the toilet!

Is flying a drone in your house a good way to practice? #

If you thought that perhaps you’d fly your drone indoors to get a feel for how it handles or to obtain unique practice, that’s your choice, of course. We have to ask what you’re practicing for though.

Indoor drone flight is not something that the average pilot does. Agency pilots need to know how to command a drone indoors in case they need to do search and rescue missions or other government work, but commercial or recreational pilots?

There’s no need.

You’re almost never allowed inside any type of commercial building, and most friends, family members, and others in your neighborhood probably wouldn’t feel all that comfortable about you flying your drone in their homes. Rightfully so!

If you want to accrue experience flying a drone, you’re much better off doing it outside in your yard. Then, when you’re comfortable, you can graduate to flying around your neighborhood or your local park.

Conclusion #

Flying a drone indoors is not a common practice and flying one inside your own home is even less so.

You are allowed to use your drone in your home if you so wish, but it carries with it far more risks than rewards.

You can damage your home’s interior and all the items therein, and you could always wreck if not break your drone.

If you must fly your drone indoors for any reason, then remember to always  equip it with prop guards, use obstacle detection to the fullest, hover your drone, and fly slowly and carefully.


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