How to Keep Security Cameras Working in the Winter
Cold weather can wreak havoc on your video surveillance system, but ensuring your cameras can survive the winter is sometimes an afterthought that occurs only when below-freezing temperatures have hampered their performance.
We are being asked how to maintain security cameras every winter so today; we thought we would write an article about it and try to help you the best we can.
Select a High IP Rating
Cameras in cold climates need a weather-rated enclosure of at least IP66 to withstand harsh weather like snow and sleet. Also, these enclosures should be checked regularly to make sure the seals are still tight, and humidity can cause condensation to accumulate inside the camera and turn to frost. Because of this, you should also take caution when moving a device from extreme cold to a fairly warm environment. If condensation is bad enough, it could short circuit the internal components.
Look for Temperature-Tolerant Cameras
Sometimes, double-checking the temperature rating when specifying a camera is all it takes to keep a video surveillance system up and running in cold environments. There are two main specs to understand: storage temperature and operating temperature.
Storage temperature is the temperature at which the equipment can be safely stored when it is powered off. Operating temperature is the air temperature of the environment when the equipment is powered on.
If a camera has been stored below the recommended operating temperature, you should let it warm up in a warm environment, with the power off, until it reaches the operating temp.
To be sure you are specifying the right temperature-rated camera, we have a list that highlights the minimum and maximum operating and storage temperatures for each of our cameras. Extensive tests have been performed to ensure our devices meet these climate conditions, a key reason why we are considered one of the best CCTV installation providers in Essex.
Remember Other Components
Cameras are not your only concern! Low temperatures can affect other electronics. Wind and snow can quickly degrade improperly specified cable and unprotected connectors outdoors.
Surveillance components like NVRs with hard drives and LCD monitors will usually be in temperature-controlled environments, so there’s little worry. However, there is a risk if those devices have been stored overnight in a vehicle outdoors in below-freezing weather and then immediately installed and powered on. Hard drives can fail or sustain damage because their lubricants thicken. LCD screens contain liquid, which can freeze and damage pixels.
Our advice is to always check security components in exterior locations before the seasonal temperature drops.