Will a CCTV Camera Work Without Electricity?

January 27, 2021 Blog 0 Comment

Whether you own a residential or commercial property, keeping it secured should be one of your top priorities. There are plenty of ways to achieve this and one of them is by using CCTV cameras. CCTVs enable you to keep a close eye on your establishment through live footage and recorded videos, making them an integral part of a security system.

Such cameras rely on a network to transfer images to a central point. While most modern CCTVs allow for remote viewing even when the network is closed, some people are curious to know whether the cameras will work even if there is no electricity.

The short answer is no. CCTV cameras require electricity to fully function, but it is possible for them to work even when the power is down. Let’s discuss a variety of solutions to ensure your CCTV cameras are working 24/7.

How CCTV cameras are powered

When installing a CCTV system, the wires are run into the wall and attached to the power. This is achieved by tapping the wires into a pre-existing electrical cable in the wall. Network cables are connected from the camera to the network device which also needs the power to operate.

Some CCTV cameras are capable of anticipating whether a power loss was caused by an outage or cut purposefully. Such cameras usually have built-in storage and battery that allows them to record for a set amount of time after the power has gone out.

While these types of cameras can still record footage during a power outage, you typically won’t be able to view the recordings since the network is still down. You’ll need for the network to come back online before you regain access to your camera.

Different ways of powering CCTV systems

Some devices have removable storage that enables you to remove it and view it on a computer, but doing so will disable the camera’s ability to record. One thing that’s lacking in CCTV cameras is a backup feature. The best way to keep your cameras up and running at all times is to have backup power like a generator. This gives you property-wide emergency power and enables not just your cameras, but your whole security system to fully function.

You can also consider installing battery backups on every device. This will power up the entire CCTV system without the need for a facility-wide backup power. Small battery backups can be utilised for the cameras. As for the DVR or NVR, a UPS power backup should do the trick. The only concern with battery backups is they only provide a short amount of power compared to a generator backup. Once the batteries run out, you’ll need to charge them again before you can use your CCTV system.

Key infrastructure facilities like hospitals and malls utilise a generator to power their CCTV systems along with UPS backups. This ensures an uninterrupted power supply regardless of the situation as it provides them with emergency power should the generator fail to start. While uncommon, some properties also have similar backup power in place although the setup is pretty expensive at the very least.

Regardless of which backup power you use for your CCTV cameras, if the system relies on the internet, it won’t be able to function. The Internet is typically not available when used with backup power (unless you have a complex backup system in place). In addition to that, remote access features like live viewing are not available when running the CCTV on backup power.

Keeping your cameras powered 24/7

Due to the complexity of security cameras, you will need to have a reliable power source to provide maximum security to your property. It’s good to know that you can keep your CCTV system up and running, even if the power is not coming from an outlet.

As you’ve read from this article,  there are multiple ways that you can set up emergency power for your cameras. During the installation process, you can discuss what’s the most suitable emergency power for your particular setup. While some of the more advanced backup systems cannot be installed by security technicians, they can vouch for recommendations on where you can have one installed.

There’s no single backup power solution that fits all property, so it’s worth talking to an experienced professional to help you make an informed decision. If you’re looking for a reliable CCTV camera system around the Perth area, then make sure to contact Smart Security today.