Keeping security cameras active in the winter

Hangzhou, China

Cameras are not the only concern. Low temperatures can affect other electronics.

Cold weather can wreak havoc on a video surveillance system, but ensuring that cameras can survive the winter is sometimes an afterthought that occurs only when below-freezing temperatures have already hampered the performance. Below, Dahua presents a handy checklist to keep security solutions up and running during the coldest months of the year.

Cameras in cold climates need a weather-rated enclosure of at least IP66 to withstand harsh weather like snow and sleet. In addition, these enclosures should be checked regularly to make sure the seals are still tight. Humidity can cause condensation to accumulate inside the camera and turn to frost. Because of this, you should also take caution when moving a device from extreme cold to a fairly warm environment. If condensation is bad enough, it could short circuit internal components.

Seek out temperature-tolerant cameras

Sometimes, double-checking the temperature rating when specifying a camera is all it takes to keep a video surveillance system up and running in cold environments. There are two main specs to understand: storage temperature and operating temperature.

Storage temperature is the temperature at which the equipment can be safely stored when it is powered off. Operating temperature is the air temperature of the environment when the equipment is powered on. If a camera has been stored below the recommended operating temperature, you should let it warm up in a warm environment, with the power off, until it reaches the operating temperature.

To ensure the right temperature-rated camera is specified, Dahua's datasheets list a minimum and maximum operating temperature, as well as a storage temperature range. Extensive tests are performed to ensure the company's devices meet these climate conditions.

Remember other components

Cameras are not the only concern. Low temperatures can affect other electronics. Wind and snow can quickly degrade improperly specified cable and unprotected connectors outdoors.

Surveillance components like NVRs with hard drives and LCD monitors will usually be in temperature-controlled environments so there is usually little worry. However, there is risk if those devices have been stored overnight in a vehicle outdoors in below-freezing weather and then immediately installed and powered on. Hard drives can fail or sustain damage because their lubricants thicken. LCD screens contain liquid, which can freeze and damage pixels.

Check security components in exterior locations before the seasonal temperature drops.

Real world realiability

Dahua cameras have undergone rigorous tests to meet very tough standards which in most cases, according to the company, exceed the normal industry practice and the datasheet specifications. The purpose is to provide sufficient margins to ensure the product provides the utmost reliability expected of Dahua products when performing in the field.

One example of a Dahua camera that is suitable for extreme weather conditions is the SD65F230F-HNI ultra-speed dome camera. It offers a powerful optical zoom capability and accurate pant/tilt/zoom functions, allowing the camera to catch every angle of the scene. It features Starlight technology that enables it to capture clear images even in low-light conditions. What’s more, its operating temperature ranges from -40°C to +70 °C (-40 °F to +158 °F) (with 95% humidity) and offers an ingress protection rating IP67, making it suitable for various application scenarios.

For applications that demand high-resolution video with advanced analytics or superior night-time images, you can select Dahua cameras with full-colour technology. The recently released Full-colour 2.0 offers clear colour images even in low-light environments. It features cameras with dual lens, vari-focal lens, 4K resolution and AI functions. 

Temperature resistance is a critical aspect of any security solution and should be carefully considered when choosing a camera. Whether it is rain, ice, snow, or heat, an outdoor surveillance camera is subject to extreme weather conditions that can cause components to fail or freeze. Thus, choosing the right camera for your surveillance monitoring based on the nature of the scene is of paramount importance.

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