Don’t get left out in the cold this winter! If you live in a cold climate - sleet, frost, freezing rain, snow, and extremely cold temperatures can impact the performance of your security cameras - and your video security camera system. Learn how to maintain and protect your video security system during the wintertime (and beyond) with a few simple-to-follow video security system maintenance tips.
1. Check Your Video Security Camera Enclosures
A camera enclosure provides the first layer of protection for your security cameras. A winter climate requires a weather-rated enclosure for your security cameras. An IP66 (or higher) enclosure provides protection from the elements, along with harsh winter weather conditions - including sleet, ice, and snow. Take a good look at your enclosures and security camera housing. Are the enclosures still providing weather protection? Look for any signs of exterior damage, including dents or gaps. Then, open up the camera housing and look for signs of water, condensation, ice, or dirt that may have built up inside of the enclosure. If you find any of the aforementioned elements inside of your camera housing, it’s a clear indicator that the housing is no longer providing optimal protection, and may need to be replaced. You will also want to regularly clear away any snow or ice that accumulates on your camera enclosure - throughout the season.
2. Clean and Inspect Camera Lenses
During the wintertime (and throughout the year), it’s important to inspect your indoor and outdoor camera lenses, to make sure they are clean and damage-free. Elements such as dirt and dust, along with various weather conditions such as sleet and snow can impact the visibility of your security camera lenses. Even if you have a high resolution camera, if the lens is cracked or dirty, you won’t be able to get a good shot or clear video. Make sure your camera lenses are clean and blemish-free to ensure optimal image quality. To clean the camera, you can start by spraying a can of compressed air onto the lens to gently blow any loose dirt or debris off it. If the camera lens has any smudges, you can gently wipe it with a microfiber cloth to remove the smudges.
If any spots remain, you can dampen a small area of the microfiber cloth with a bit of plain water and gently go over the lens again with the damp cloth, and wipe the lens with a dry cloth, or let it air dry.
3. Install an Extreme Temperature Security Camera
If you live in a climate that experiences extremely cold temperatures - you may want to install security cameras that are built to handle the cold temperatures and harsh winter weather conditions.
A security camera with a built-in heater and extreme temperature operating range (sometimes referred to as an extreme temperature security camera), can ensure uninterred operation when the temperatures rise and fall. The built-in heater helps to protect the camera’s electrical components, prevents fogging and condensation, and keeps it operational in freezing temperatures. The all-weather construction supports a wide temperature operating range so that the camera is able to withstand sub-zero temperatures. Extreme temperature security cameras are engineered to perform seamlessly during the heat of the summer and during the frigid winter months.
4. Examine All Security Cameras Systems Cables
Are your security cameras securely connected, and are all of the cables to your cameras and video recorder damage-free? Look for any signs of cable fraying, or wear-and-tear. Are there any exposed wires? If there is any fraying, tearing, or wires that are exposed - you need to promptly replace the damaged cables. You can also deter water or moisture from pooling up inside of your security cameras by creating a U-shaped drip loop with your camera cables. A camera drip loop prevents water from seeping in and forming a puddle of water inside of your video security cameras.
Also inspect cabling to confirm that all of your cables have a secure connection and your cameras and recorders are receiving power.
5. Take a Look at Camera Connectors
Are your security cameras securely connected? Are your video security equipment connectors in good shape? Carefully inspect all of your connectors to ensure that there is no sign of damage or corrosion. Replace any connectors that are corroded, damaged or do not form a secure connection to your equipment.
6. Remove Dust from the Video Recorder
Take a good look at your DVR or NVR and make sure that it is clean and dust-free. If there is any accumulated dust on the top of the enclosure - wipe it away with a clean microfiber cloth.
You can also use a can of compressed air to gently blow air into the recorder’s enclosure. A layer of accumulated dust can have an effect on the performance of your video recorder, so it’s important to keep it clean and dust-free.
7. Inspect All Security System Power Supplies
You always want to ascertain that your video security system’s power supplies are connected properly, and that your equipment is receiving power. Frequently inspecting your power supplies will ensure that your equipment hasn’t lost power due to a storm, tampering, power outage, or other event. It is a good idea to use a voltmeter to ensure that all of your security cameras are getting the proper amount of power. Why is this important? Too much or too little power to your security camera can affect performance or even cause your camera and video security system to fail to capture video. You can prevent missing important video, or having to replace a failed camera by frequently checking to see that all security cameras are receiving full operational power.
8. Check for Camera Obstructions
Even during the winter months, it’s important to maintain landscaping near your outdoor security cameras. This will ensure that your video security cameras have a clear, unobstructed view of the area you are monitoring. Look for trees, shrubs, or braches that block the view of your video cameras. If there any obstructions from landscaping, or other elements such as snow banks, holiday decorations, or icicles -promptly remove any of the objects that impede a clear view from the camera lens.
Protecting Your Video Security Investment
Seasonal maintenance for your video security system does not take a lot of time, but is extremely important. This is especially critical during the wintertime, because cold temperatures and harsh weather conditions can impact the performance of your system. However, you can ensure optimal system performance, and protect your investment by regularly examining and maintaining your video security system.