It’s that time of year where the weather is starting to get bitterly cold. When temperatures drop, everyone takes precautions for their homes and cars–why should security cameras be any different? Security cameras need winter maintenance and upkeep just like anything else, more so if you are using outdoor security cameras that will be subjected to the elements and freezing temperatures 24-7 for months on end.
Are Your Cameras Extreme?
If you are in an area that gets extremely cold weather, then your best bet is to install security cameras that are specifically designed to work in extreme conditions. Some security cameras have built-in heaters along with extreme temperature operating ranges. This ensures that these cameras operate without any problems when the temperatures fall. An example of cameras in an extreme environment could be a system we sold a meatpacking plant in Kansas City where the cameras operated inside a facility that is kept at a constant forty degrees below zero. That’s extreme!
How Are Your Camera Enclosures?
The very first line of defense for your camera is its enclosure. Camera enclosures have an IP (Ingress Protection) rating ranging from IP00 (the lowest) to IP68 (the highest). The first number represents protection against solid objects while the second number represents protection against liquids. If your cameras are going to be operating in cold climates, you are going to need a weather-rated enclosure of IP66 or higher, providing protection from harsh winter weather conditions like ice, sleet, and snow. For more details on IP ratings click here.
Take a look at your enclosures and make sure they’re still providing adequate protection for the weather situation and upgrade accordingly. Also, look for signs of exterior damage–this can include dents, gaps, broken pieces, etc. It is also a good idea to open up the enclosure and look for signs of water, condensation, ice, dirt, dormant wasp nests, and other debris that could have built up inside over the months. If you find any of this, then it’s a sure sign that your enclosure needs additional sealant or replacement.
Are All Your Cables In Order?
The harsh winds, bitter cold, and freezing rains of winter can wreak havoc on your cables. The harsh wind can blow water in, cause ice sheets to fall on, and other foreign objects to hit against your camera cables causing them to be cut, torn, or even frayed. You should keep an eye out for fraying and general wear-and-tear along with exposed wires and tearing. If you see cable damage, replacing or repairing the cables before winter is a safe thing to do before the damage gets worse and causes a camera to go down.
How Are Your Connectors?
Are all of your cameras securely connected? Just like cables, connectors can be knocked loose or damaged by harsh winter conditions, especially if they are older. Make sure all of your connectors are tight and in good repair. If that’s not the case, then as mentioned above, replace or repair them before the camera goes offline at a critical time.
Are Your Lenses Clean?
The winter can be devastating to your camera lenses. Sleet, snow, and ice can impact the visibility of your camera lenses and can even crack them. Clean your camera lenses thoroughly before the winter weather hits and regularly once the weather has started. Compressed air is great for getting rid of dirt and debris from the lens while a microfiber cloth is perfect for removing smudges or fingerprints.
Is Your Video Recorder Clean?
Even though your DVR or NVR is typically located inside a building and not directly affected by the cold weather, it’s still important that they remain clean. And since you’re inspecting and cleaning everything else already, you might as well check these out too. Make sure the inside of your DVR and NVR are clean of dust that may have accumulated throughout the year. Remember dust accumulation inside your DVR or NVR will cause it to retain heat resulting in a shorter lifespan. Again, a microfiber cloth or can of compressed air will work fine. If your DVR or NVR look anything like the below image, it’s time for maintenance or a replacement.
When’s The Last Time You Checked Your Power Supply?
It is imperative that your power supplies are connected to your cameras and NVR/DVR properly. If you keep on top of checking your power supplies, this will ensure that your cameras don’t lose power during a harsh winter storm. Voltmeters are handy devices that can tell you if your power supplies have lost power which is important as having too much or too little power will affect performance.
Is Your Camera View Obstructed?
While not a lot of things grow in the winter, your camera views can still be obstructed. Water and ice can build up on the lens and casing while icicles can form in view of your camera. Make sure there are no obstructions in your camera view and no snow buildup that may obstruct things in the field of view.
The winter months can be horrendous for your security camera systems, which is why it is important to take the necessary precautions to make sure your cameras are working to their maximum efficiency. Make sure your cameras have adequate housing enclosures, all your cables and connectors are secure, your lenses and DVR/NVR are clean, your power supplies are working properly, and the views of your cameras are unobstructed and your security camera system will be all set for the winter months!
If you want some professional advice on your security camera system and how to keep it working during the winter months or you are looking for a new security camera system or to upgrade your existing system then give Randy a call today at 877-422-1907 x357 or you can visit CameraSecurityNow.com to Request A Quote!
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