Don’t let the weather get the better of your security system hardware

March 19, 2014

Frozen cameraWith the Genetec Headquarters based in Montreal, Canada, we experience longer and colder winters than the majority of our end-users. While this year's temperatures have been particularly frigid, have you ever wondered how security or LPR cameras can withstand freezing temperatures, snow, wind, rain, sleet, etc.? Here are a few worthwhile considerations to ensure your security hardware survives the elements in your environment (and we sincerely hope your winters are shorter and a bit warmer than ours).

1.  IP Doesn't Just Mean 'Internet Protocol'

When it comes to identifying how resistant your device will be to dust or rain, the 'IP' rating can help. Referred to as Ingress Protection (IP), this rating is a two-digit number that applies to all kinds of security devices and equipment. The first number represents the level of protection against solid objects such as dust, and the second number against fluids. The higher the number, the greater the protection, where 6 and 8 (sometimes 9) are respective category limits. For instance, the Genetec AutoVu Sharp license plate recognition camera has an IP67 rating, meaning it is completely sealed and can withstand the most challenging environmental conditions..

2.  Location, Location, Location

Even when an LPR camera or IP video surveillance device is ruggedized for your environment, it is important to mount your device in the most suitable location. For example, if you install a video or LPR device under a sheltered area such a roof overhang, this adds additional protection from the elements. Be sure to factor in lighting and sun exposure, as too much or too little light can seriously compromise video quality. Additional light sources might be required such as IR illumination for better night or low light clarity. Finally, be aware of backlight issues and the direction of daytime sun to find the ideal spot for capturing the best footage and visibility.

3.   Housings and More

AutoVu Sharp cameras come with built-on, tightly sealed aluminum housing, and can also include an extended temperature option, which accommodates temperatures of -40°F to 140°F (-40°C to 60°C). Some outdoor IP video cameras offer the same. But if capturing the right field of view means you have to install a device in an exposed location, additional ruggedized housing can help. Did you know you can get camera housing with built-in heaters, coolers, wipers and sunshields to keep devices running optimally? Additional housing can shield cameras from adverse weather conditions that can negatively affect video quality, and even offer a higher level of vandal resistance. 

To learn more about environmental considerations for surveillance cameras, check out challenge 4 in the article titled Top Ten Installation Challenges from our technology partner Axis Communications.

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