Environmental factors can have a major impact on surveillance cameras. Check these four points to know what to consider before offering perimeter security.
The perimeter is the first line of defense for many premises. How efficient your perimeter security solutions are will not only decide the effectiveness of overall security infrastructure but also in stopping an unwanted incident before it happens.
Modern security companies offer several options for customers to protect their perimeter. These range from different kinds of video surveillance cameras to motion sensors, analytics, thermal cameras, and even radars and LiDAR.
The fundamental solution among all this continues to be the surveillance camera because of its ability to provide visual evidence. But installing surveillance cameras outdoor comes with several challenges. In this article, we look at four environmental challenges that security systems integrators (SI) and end customers must know when using video surveillance cameras outdoor for perimeter protection.
Condensation in humid conditions
Condensation is a major issue that limits visibility and hurts electronics. In surveillance cameras, condensation can blur the lenses and cause their electronic parts to erode over time. If you place the camera in a place that’s constantly exposed to changes in air pressure and rain, there are chances that its seals and components could crack which would lead to moisture building up inside.
The solution to this is to ask the vendor for cameras that can deal with high-humidity conditions. Outdoor surveillance cameras from some of the best vendors are fitted with fans and quick-dry technology that would limit moisture-related concerns. Alternatively, you can consider placing the cameras in a water-proof enclosure.
Extreme cold conditions
Temperature is another factor to consider. Extremely low temperatures can adversely affect any surveillance camera. Cameras may freeze, erode, and have ice build-up on the lens that could blur the vision. In worse cases, the device may not power up at all.
Using surveillance cameras that have quick-drying technology is one of the best solutions to this problem as well. A weather-proof enclosure may come in handy here as well if even the quick-dry technology fails.
This might seem obvious but do make sure that the outdoor cameras in cold conditions are not battery-powered because batteries tend to drain extremely fast when the temperature is low. Some manufacturers also suggest placing silica gel packets inside the enclosure to protect the camera from moisture.
Elements in the environment
Weather conditions are not the only environmental enemy for surveillance cameras. If the cameras are in a coastal area, there are high chances of the salt content in the air corroding the device over time. You may face similar issues if the camera is placed in medical or industrial sites where strong chemicals are used.
Using outdoor-ready cameras with polycarbonate or stainless-steel housings may help you deal with this problem. Some integrators also suggest frequent cleaning of these cameras with freshwater and greasing the fasteners.
Know where to mount
Finally, knowing where to mount the camera can have a major impact on the way the device withstands environmental challenges. The rule of the thumb is to understand not all surfaces are the same. Mounting cameras on porous surfaces or walls that allow the temperature to transfer easily, is a recipe for disaster.
Carefully choosing the right surface to mount can go a long way in protecting the cameras from tough weather and environmental conditions.
Check the ingression protection and working temperature
Choosing a camera with the right IP (ingression protection) rating is critical to protecting it from adverse outdoor conditions. IP 66 can withstand the impacts from solid matter like dust and liquid-like rainwater. This should help it survive in most outdoor conditions. Another important factor to consider is the working temperature. Make sure that the camera you buy can work at the temperature of the place where it will be installed.
Installing cameras outdoor requires some planning with careful attention given to the specific conditions. Most large manufacturers today offer cameras that work in various conditions but it’s up to the integrator to choose which among them would work best. Eventually, the key would be to assess the location, consider the environmental factors, check the camera specification, and use additional support from enclosures.