CCTV Camera

Thunderstorm in the Forecast? Here’s How to Protect your CCTV camera from Lightning!

Protect your security camera from Lightning


Changing the PoE switches and IP cams due to lightning is something you don’t want to do on a regular basis. A lightning may damage for good your outdoor CCTV cameras and the DVRs too, leaving your house unprotected against intruders.

Mounting, using power supply panels and simply installing high quality outdoor cameras is going to count the most when you want to protect your CCTV system by lightning.

Mounting is fundamental for protecting IP cameras against lightning

The risk for lightning to ruin completely your security system is high, especially when the outdoor security cameras are placed in the garage, driveway, yard or other open air places.

When you’re going to install a security camera system outside your home, it’s wiser to use the right grounding system and not to mount your camera to a metal structure. Following these tips is going to reduce the risk for a strike later on.

mount your cctv on the structure

When the CCTV outdoor security camera is going to be mounted on a building, you should ground to the structural steel, really close to the camera.

Some 1 ½ inch copper strap is going to come in handy for the grounding. This way you’re going to minimize the risk of the power surge to travel down the coax to the DVR or NVR. Even if the camera is going to get stricken, you may still save the video recorder like this.

The right grounding system

You should ground the camera to the pole if the pole is made of metal, alongside the right ground system mounted at the base.

A lightning ground system may disperse an impressive amount of lightning energy into the earth really fast, reducing the damage to your camera.

If you’re mounting the camera on a non-metal support, you should ground it to a 3-inch copper strap. Run it from the camera mount to the ground system at the base. You also need to run a 3-inch copper strap from the lightning rod (diverter) to the ground system. Make sure that you separate the two straps on opposite sides of the pole. Connect them only below grade.

The wireless cameras and metal PoE are going to attract the energy of the lightning, but proper grounding and not mounting the camera to a metal structure is going to count a lot for protecting the camera.

rovision CCTV camera

You should also make sure that the camera and the mounting system aren’t the tallest structures on your property. If you’re installing the security camera near the lightning rod is going to direct the energy of the strike to that specific rod. This is going to lower the risk for your IP camera and DVR getting destroyed by a strong thunderstorm.

Protecting the entire CCTV system and power supply is going to count too

As the CCTV system is exposed to the elements, there’s no magical way to fully protect it from lightning and surges.

You may, instead, try to avoid the lightning from damaging the whole NVR/DVR system. You’re exposing the camera to a greater risk when you’re using individual power supplies.

It’s important to start using Power Supply Panels and CCTV lightning surge protectors for protecting the whole outdoor security system from lightning. Consider using the Uninterruptible Power Supplies as well.

There are lightning protection gadgets for your CCTV cameras that are going to reduce the chance for damage by lightning even if the outdoor cameras get hit.

Power surge (lightning is a good example) may jump between terminals, even if one of the fuse has blown. An UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) is going to make sure that the video doesn’t get lost during the power surge, lightning strike or lags (but you do need all cameras and DVR to be powered through a UPS).

Tip: you need to choose from a standby or a continuous UPS.

continuous power ups

The standby UPS runs the DVR/NVR off the normal power supply, until the specific problem is identified. In the case of continuous UPS, the NVR/DVR runs off the battery power of the UPS so that the battery is constantly recharged.

The standby UPS are cheaper than the continuous ones. As your NVR/DVR is always going to get the best voltage, you should pay the extra buck and get a continuous one.

Take a leap of faith and get high-quality cameras

Cameras are really vulnerable to lightning strikes. Typically, security camera manufacturers are going to recommend placing lightning rod or arresters in the rack. You should also place the grounding to the grounding pipe.

You need to get dependable and high-quality cameras from a respected manufacturer. If you’re getting low-quality camera, the risk for damage by lightning is a lot higher. Don’t get cheap so make a wise investment right from the beginning.