Weatherproof Security Cameras – Important Considerations

Something we know about only too well here in the UK is changeable weather, and from heavy rain to frost right through to heatwaves, the fact is that extremes like this can negatively affect outdoor surveillance systems.

Weatherproof security cameras

Something we know about only too well here in the UK is changeable weather, and from heavy rain to frost right through to heatwaves, the fact is that extremes like this can negatively affect outdoor surveillance systems. Here we look at the important factors to consider when choosing weatherproof security cameras and a CCTV system for use in extreme environmental conditions.

Changes in weather conditions are known to affect the quality of CCTV feed and the functioning of cameras and other components. Heavier than usual rain can distort the vision of the camera; changes in temperature can lead to a build-up of condensation, and freezing conditions can cause components to fail.

If you want to ensure your CCTV system remains up and running and protecting your premises at all times of the year, here’s what you need to do.

Select a high IP rating

The IP (Ingress Protection) rating is something that is given to electrical items, including CCTV. It consists of the abbreviation ‘IP’, plus a two digit code, which indicates the amount of protection the camera housing provides. Basically, the IP rating tells you how weatherproof a product really is.

Different IP ratings are optimised for a variety of conditions, including immersion in water and exposure to dust.

The first digit represents protection against penetration by solid objects accessing internal parts (e.g. dust and grit). A rating of 5 means limited dust may be able to get in, but there shouldn’t be a large build-up. A rating of 6 means you’ll have protection against dust likely to cause damage, and of 7 will be completely dust tight.

The second digit describes the protection against the ingress of water. A rating of 5 means the product is water resistant to splashing water. 6 is water resistant to jets of water from any direction, and 7 is resistant against powerful water jets and prevents ingress likely to cause harm. 8 and 9 ratings are suitable for full immersion in water.

Weatherproof security cameras will always need an IP rating of minimum IP66 and preferably IP67 in order to withstand harsh weather conditions such as heavy rain, sleet and snow. In addition, these cameras should be regularly inspected to ensure the housing seals remain intact.

If your CCTV camera doesn’t state an IP rating, or has a low rating, then you can assume it is for internal use only.

Take care when moving a camera

Humidity can cause condensation to build up inside a CCTV camera, which can turn to frost.

For this reason, it’s important to be careful if you are moving a device from a cold to a warm environment. If condensation is severe enough, it may short circuit the internal components of the camera.

Think about lighting

Low winter sun can cause visibility issues due to glare. It’s important to check cameras aren’t having problems with this when recording during the day. If they are, then it may be necessary to move or tilt them slightly to avoid the glare.

Reduced hours of sunlight can also prevent cameras from recording the best quality images in certain conditions or locations. It’s important, therefore, to take professional advice when choosing and installing a CCTV system so that you can be sure it is perfectly suited to the specific conditions.

Check the temperature specifications of your CCTV cameras

There are two main temperature specifications to look at when choosing a CCTV camera. These are storage temperature, and operating temperature.

Storage temperature is the temperature at which the equipment can be safely stored when powered off.

Operating temperature is the air temperature of the environment when the equipment is in use. If a camera has been stored below the recommended storage temperature, you should always let it warm up with the power off until it reaches the operating temperature.

Consider other components

Cameras are not the only component of a CCTV system that you need to consider. Extremes of temperature can affect other electronics.

Wind and frost or snow, for example, can degrade cabling and connectors if these components aren’t suitable for use, or if they are not adequately protected.

Ensure CCTV systems are regularly serviced

Carrying out routine checks on CCTV systems is vital to ensure no damage has been sustained and that everything is working as it should be.

Checking systems prior to significant changes in the weather is advisable, and maintenance visits will minimise potential issues before they turn into major problems.

Make sure your CCTV system is professionally installed

Choosing the right CCTV system and weatherproof security cameras to suit your specific environmental conditions is best done with guidance from a security professional. And when it comes to CCTV installation, using an accredited company, such as one with National Security Inspectorate Gold status, will give you that peace of mind that the strictest standards have been adhered to and that you will receive a 24-hour emergency response in the event of a problem.

At Barry Bros Security, we have been taking care of the security needs of businesses and private property owners for over 70 years. To learn more about how we can help you choose the right CCTV cameras to suit your specific environmental conditions, you are welcome to get in touch.

Our NSI Gold approved CCTV installation experts are ready to provide you with the bespoke advice you need to secure your property.

How Can We Help?

Regardless of the type of premises you are looking to protect, Barry Bros Security has the solution. Contact us today for expert advice and the benefit of decades of experience in the security industry.