Severe weather can wreak havoc with so many things at this time of year, whether that be your car, your schedule or even the security of your business.  The winter weather we’ve come to expect here in the UK is very unpredictable.  It could mean low temperatures, heavy rain, snow and freezing conditions -or, all of the above.  Should the UK experience extreme weather this winter, how could it affect your security and how can you winter-proof your security system?

Ensuring your CCTV and other security solutions are ready to take on the elements is key.  Read on for our advice on surviving the winter weather with your security system intact.

Access Control

Barrier systems could have trouble functioning properly if not maintained in winter weather.

External access control systems could encounter weather-related problems if snow or ice builds up on or around them.  Ensure barrier systems are cleared of any snow or ice to prevent from causing any damage.  Footpaths and roads around access systems should also be thoroughly gritted to minimise any chance of falls or bumps causing injury.  Should you also have an external keypad or security token system, check that all hardware has a sufficient IP rating to withstand the environmental conditions.

CCTV

Keep CCTV cameras functioning by checking their IP rating and suitability for the weather your expect.

Changes in the weather could also affect the quality of your CCTV feed.  Heavier than usual rain or snow could distort the camera’s vision.  If you anticipate freezing conditions on site, an internal heater could protect your camera.  Having an IP CCTV system in place could be helpful for when security personnel aren’t available, allowing for remote access which can alert security or emergency services if there is unauthorised access to the premises.  If you have an IP system, check that you have the correct IP rating for the job.  Different IP ratings are optimised for various conditions including immersion in water and exposure to dust.  Your camera hardware should also reflect the conditions you expect, such as if it will experience wet conditions most of the time, you could benefit from a marine coating.  The low winter sun could also cause visibility issues.  Check that your cameras aren’t having problems with sun glare throughout the day.  If so, the camera could be moved or tilted slightly to avoid this.  The reduced hours of sunlight could also impede your cameras from recording the best possible images.  Check your image quality and that site lighting is adequate.

Perimeter monitoring

If you have perimeter monitoring, a drop in the temperature could cause the beam to extend.  If it extends beyond the perimeter of your site, for example onto a road or other heavy traffic area, it could cause a lot of false alarms and an extra headache for you.  Contact your security provider to check this.


Prevention

The easiest way to protect your business against these potential threats is to prepare in advance.  Perform checks on your CCTV prior to significant changes in the weather by checking the performance of the feed and the condition of the hardware.  Wet and windy winter weather can weaken structures including concrete and bricks – therefore, even things like barriers or poles for CCTV to be mounted on could be threatened.  Security maintenance visits from your security provider could minimise potential problems before they hit you.  If you don’t already have security maintenance in place, look into it.  If you need to call out help during the winter period without an existing contract it could be costly and take up valuable company time.