March 11, 2020
How to Protect Wireless Security Cameras from Theft or Damage
my security camera system be damaged or stolen? And what can I do to prevent it?
You’ve invested in video surveillance equipment for a reason—wireless security cameras help protect your property. But to do their job properly, these devices require a little care. High-quality security cameras are designed to be durable, but they do have certain areas of vulnerability. Can a laser damage a security camera? What about bugs, lightning, and subzero temperatures?
Learn how to protect your home security cameras from these dangers and more.
placement helps prevent theft and vandalism
The presence of visible security cameras deters burglars from breaking and entering. For this reason, you will want to place video surveillance cameras where they are likely to be seen by trespassers. However, any criminals who aren’t scared off by the sight of your security equipment may try to steal or disable video cameras to avoid being identified by police.
Some security sites recommend camouflaging your video cameras by painting the housing or placing them in a birdhouse or other hidden area. While this might make it less likely for your equipment to be stolen, it also removes the possibility that thieves will be dissuaded by the mere presence of the cameras. For extra security, you can place multiple security cameras in each area—some visible and some hidden—so that even if a thief steals or disables one, the others will catch him in the act.
You can also make it difficult for burglars to attack your exterior security cameras by placing them where they cannot be easily reached from the ground or a nearby tree or trellis. Use long screws for installation to make cameras harder to remove.
Purchase wireless security cameras with built-in motion sensors and set up mobile alerts to receive instant notifications if a trespasser crosses the camera’s field of vision. Smart security cameras that upload video footage to the cloud enable you to provide police officers access your recorded surveillance, even if a camera is removed or destroyed.
bugs gum up the works
Security cameras’ LED lights and infrared night vision lights may attract spiders, mosquitos, moths, and other insects. Although police recommend installing exterior floodlights and motion-sensitive lights—and it’s a great idea—these can also increase the number of bugs that flock to your yard. This can be an issue for surveillance equipment, as spiderwebs can obscure your video footage, and swarms of insects may trigger false motion sensor alerts.
Clean your home security cameras regularly with a soft brush or microfiber cloth to remove spiderwebs, insects, dead leaves, and dust. If creepy crawlies are a particular problem, you may want to try using insect repellant around the device, taking care to avoid spraying the camera lens directly.
Also, choose cameras that have smart video analytics capabilities, such as the Frontpoint Outdoor Camera. Smart video analytics programs have the ability to differentiate people from moving objects and animals, meaning that they can tell whether insects cause movement and avoid triggering an alert.
the right wireless security camera for the conditions
Different types of home security cameras are designed for different environmental conditions. Products intended for interior use will not stand up to the rigors of outdoor weather—extreme temperatures, precipitation, high humidity, dust, and wind.
When choosing wireless security cameras for your home, check the Ingress Protection (IP) rating, temperature rating, and humidity rating of each device. The IP rating indicates the degree to which an electronic device is protected from dust, water, and other invasive elements. An IP rating of 66 signifies that a security camera’s enclosure completely blocks dust from entering and that even powerful jets of water will not be able to enter the body of the camera.
Less sturdy exterior security cameras may be protected by the addition of camera covers designed to protect them from the elements. These may also be an option for homeowners residing in extreme climates who would like to utilize video surveillance equipment. Another option is to bring exterior cameras inside on days that are exceptionally hot or cold. But quality cameras are designed to weather temperature extremes in most regions; Frontpoint’s Outdoor Camera, for example, operates just fine between -13° to 133° F.
If you do enclose your video surveillance cameras in a weatherproof housing, you will want to check the enclosure periodically to make sure condensation isn’t building up inside, as this can also damage the camera. Placing a packet or two of silica gel inside the housing can help absorb any moisture that may occur.
Any power cords or cables connected to exterior security cameras should also be rated for outdoor use. Cords and cables for both indoor and outdoor cameras should be checked regularly to ensure that they remain in good condition. If they start to fray or otherwise deteriorate, you should replace them if immediately. Choosing wireless security cameras reduces the number of cords and cables you will need to check and maintain.
the risk of electrical damage to security camera systems from lightning and power
Security cameras, like other electronic equipment, are vulnerable to damage from electrical surges. These power surges can be caused by changes in your utility company’s power grid, large home appliances powering on and off, and lightning.
To prevent electrical surges from damaging your security camera system, avoid mounting video cameras on metal surfaces. If necessary, you can place a block of wood between the metal surface and the camera itself. Make sure your electrical system is grounded correctly and plug video surveillance cameras into surge protectors.
Although you want to mount security cameras high enough to prevent criminal access, you should also ensure that they are not attached too close to the top of tall structures. This type of exposure makes the camera more likely to attract lightning during storms. If you have no alternative placement option, installing a lightning rod may prevent equipment impairment.
laser damage a security camera?
The short answer is yes, but this is highly unlikely to occur. Lasers are “very narrow beams of light” that produce concentrated energy. The FDA recognizes four classes and three subclasses of lasers, based on how hazardous each type is. For reference, standard laser pointers are part of FDA Hazard Class III.
To destroy a security camera’s sensor using a laser would require a Class IV laser to be pointed at the device from a relatively small distance away. The laser would also need to be held steady for several minutes. The FDA strictly regulates class IIIb and Class IV laser products, so they are less common.
The same tactics that help protect surveillance equipment from theft also work well for preventing laser damage. Mount security cameras up high to make it difficult for criminals to get close enough to aim a laser at their sensors accurately. You can also use more than one camera per area so that if one is disabled, the other can record vandalism in progress. And be sure the security system you choose will provide you with real-time notifications if any of its components go offline.
exposing your wireless security cameras to direct sunlight
Prolonged exposure to sunlight (or any highly reflective surface) can impact your camera’s performance. Glare may interfere with picture quality, while extreme light exposure can eventually ruin your camera’s image sensors.
To prevent this, Frontpoint recommends installing Outdoor Cameras in shaded areas, such as underneath eaves or other overhangs. This also provides additional protection against driving rain, sleet, and snow. And position cameras, so they don't point directly at the sun at certain times of the day.
offers high-quality wireless security cameras for outdoor and indoor use
Frontpoint’s Wireless Wi-Fi Outdoor Camera has an IP rating of 66, it is designed to operate in temperatures ranging from -13° to 133° degrees Fahrenheit degrees, and it can withstand humidity levels up to 95%. The camera comes with a 10-foot power cord to make installation easy. Industry-leading detection range and infrared night vision capture crystal-clear video night and day.
Frontpoint’s Wireless Doorbell Camera is slim, weather-resistant, and features infrared night vision and 720p HD video. It is motion activated from up to eight feet away, meaning it will sense movement near your front door, not just if someone knocks or rings the bell.
Frontpoint’s Wireless Wi-Fi Indoor Camera has a viewing range up to 50 feet and offers a 113° field of view. It features night vision up to 20 feet and, as with all of our cameras, includes motion detection.
Frontpoint’s Wireless Wi-Fi Premium Indoor Camera provides true HD video, upgraded Bluetooth speakers, and an echo-canceling microphone. It also offers digital pan and tilt, a wide-angle lens for a full 180° view, and enhanced zoom capabilities.
proper precautions will protect your security camera system for years to come
While there are things that can prevent your video surveillance equipment from functioning correctly, purchasing quality equipment and properly maintaining it ensures reliable cameras. Choose security system components carefully, install cameras correctly, and perform basic maintenance to protect your investment.
Frontpoint keeps homes safe whether families are there or not. We've been revolutionizing the home security industry for over a decade. And we're just getting started. To shop DIY home security systems, check out our Security Packages. If you have questions or would like to discuss a quote, contact us at 1-877-602-5276.