Security systems are one of the most important and expensive investments a company can make, so prolonging the life of your system is crucial to the success and longevity of your organization’s security program. Despite the widespread belief that systems are only at risk for a power surge during lightning storms, surges happen far more frequently than storms do. The truth is that your business might be subjected to dozens, or even hundreds of power surges each day, depending on a range of factors. To ensure that these surges don’t have a detrimental impact on your security system, it’s important to properly protect yourself with surge protection systems.
Natural disasters and inclement weather can destroy your entire security system if you aren’t properly prepared. Cameras themselves are vulnerable to lightning damage, as the camera body, metal casing and attached electronics are made from conductive materials. Wind and precipitation present other potential threats if the camera is not waterproof. It is also vulnerable to being hit by flying objects, downed trees, or extreme temperatures. Here are some tips for protecting your security devices during these unpredictable and sometimes unavoidable weather events.
A common misconception about power surges is that devices are only at risk during extreme weather, but power surges can happen at any time without warning. According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, lightning strikes account for just two percent of all surge protection damage. That means that 98 percent of the damage is done by the hundreds of power surges that are mostly unnoticed every day.
Imagine you are the manager for a large office building and want to replace your outdated lock-and-key system with a new access control system.
You have done the research and found the perfect keyless system that will protect the external entrances, elevators and individual offices. You have a company come in and set the system up, and within a few hours, the system is active and functioning properly.
Two days later a lightning strike triggers a power surge that damages your system, rendering it useless. No one can enter the building and those who are already inside cannot use the elevators or enter their offices. Bypassing the building’s security system gets everyone back to business, but also introduces a major security risk.
The best way to protect your business from lightning is to install surge protection on all vulnerable devices and the electrical data paths between them. For example, install AC power and data circuit protection for each dispenser. Next, install protection on the controlling devices inside your stores, such as distribution boxes and pump controllers. Finally, add surge protection to your point of sale equipment and all of its data paths. As a rule, always install AC power and low voltage surge protection on all devices that are interconnected.
Industries invest thousands of dollars annually in the latest technology and electronics. Yet without one element which is often overlooked, the entire investment can be damaged or destroyed in just seconds. Although prevention is both easy and inexpensive, many people don’t realize they need protection from power surges until it’s too late.
Here are four things you need to know about surge protectors that may help you think more proactively when installing new technology.