Protecting your security camera system from Vandals

Vandal proof your surveillance system

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Vandal

It's no secret that a security camera system is a great tool to deter criminals from committing crimes. But what about the ones they don't deter? Security cameras are usually installed so they are clearly visible to potential criminals which generally acts as a deterrent. But this can also make them an easy target for vandals. There are many things you can do to help vandal proof your security system. Purchasing Vandal proof cameras is the best option to help combat this but there are some other steps you can take if you find your cameras are being vandalized.

Vandal Proof Cameras

Vandal proof cameras come in different levels of vandal resistance ranging from IK01 all the way to IK10. They are rated using an international standard created by the International Electrotechnical Commission. This rating system defines the level of impact resistance provided by a particular electronic device. This is measured in a unit called Joules. To make this measurement more relatable the table to the right shows the different ratings and the equivalent impacts of an object of a certain weight falling from a given height. It is important to check the IK rating of a vandal proof camera. Just because a camera says it is vandal proof does not necessarily mean that it has an IK10 rating. Always check the specification sheet to ensure the camera is IK10 rated. With an IK10 camera such as the MTD4104 from Montavue you can rest assured that your camera will continue functioning after taking a blow from a vandal.

IK RAtingDegree of Protection
IK 00No Protection
IK 01Protected against 0.14 joules impact. Equivalent to impact of 0.25 kg mass dropped from 56 mm above impacted surface.
IK 02 Protected against 0.2 joules impact. Equivalent to impact of 0.25 kg mass dropped from 80 mm above impacted surface.
IK 03Protected against 0.35 joules impact. Equivalent to impact of 0.25 kg mass dropped from 140 mm above impacted surface.
IK 04 Protected against 0.5 joules impact. Equivalent to impact of 0.25 kg mass dropped from 200 mm above impacted surface.
IK 05Protected against 0.7 joules impact. Equivalent to impact of 0.25 kg mass dropped from 280 mm above impacted surface.
IK 06Protected against 1 joules impact. Equivalent to impact of 0.25 kg mass dropped from 400 mm above impacted surface.
IK 07Protected against 2 joules impact. Equivalent to impact of 0.5 kg mass dropped from 400 mm above impacted surface.
IK 08 Protected against 5 joules impact. Equivalent to impact of 1.7 kg mass dropped from 300 mm above impacted surface.
IK 09Protected against 10 joules impact. Equivalent to impact of 5 kg mass dropped from 200 mm above impacted surface.
IK 10Protected against 20 joules impact. Equivalent to impact of 5 kg mass dropped from 400 mm above impacted surface.

Protecting Your Security Cameras

If you already have existing security cameras and do not have the budget to replace them with vandal proof cameras then here are some tips to help prevent your cameras from being vandalized. These tips should also be applied even if you are using IK10 rated vandal proof cameras as they will help make your security system even more vandal proof.

Camera Height

One of the best ways to prevent vandalism is to mount your security cameras as high as possible. If the camera is too high for you to reach then it makes it much more difficult for someone to vandalize. Of course, this also means that your subjects will appear smaller on camera and you will lose some smaller details. So you will need to find a good balance between protecting your cameras and capturing details. 

Camera Placement

Another great way to prevent your cameras from being vandalized is to make them less noticeable. This can be difficult as you want your cameras to be seen to deter criminal activity. however, it is always a good idea to have a few cameras cleverly placed where they are less likely to be noticed. This will help make sure that if your other more noticeable cameras are vandalized or disabled that you still have some backups.

Cable and Power Protection

A common way that security cameras are disabled is by simply cutting their cables or shutting off the power. This means it is very important to make sure that they are protected and out of reach. If you have an existing system with exposed cables then you may want to consider covering them with a heavy duty metal conduit. This will make it much more difficult for criminals to simply cut a cable. If you are installing a camera try to run the cable directly into a wall if possible this will help minimize the amount of cable that is exposed. You will also want to consider purchasing an Uninterruptible Power Source (UPS) for your security system. These are basically a battery back up that goes between your wall outlet and your NVR. This will help ensure that even if a criminal cuts the power to your building your security cameras will continue to operate. These are also extremely useful in areas where power outages are common. The amount of time that your cameras can run on this battery will vary depending on how many cameras you have and the size of your UPS

Prevent Hacking

A less common but still prevalent way security systems are compromised is by hackers. They can gain access to your cameras and network and use this access to delete footage or shutdown your security system altogether. This is why it is important to increase your network's security. The best way to prevent hackers from gaining access to your system is to use complex passwords for both your security system and your network. Regularly changing your password also helps prevent unauthorized use. A complex password is usually at least 8 characters made up of both upper case and lower case letters and including at least one number and special character. Also, make sure that your network is using WPA2 security protocols and that you have changed the default login for your router. This is different from your wifi or network password. This is the password you use to log into the router itself. Many people do not realize this and never change the default login for their router. This makes it extremely easy for someone to gain access to your network. There are many other things you can do to make your security system more secure and not all of them are covered here. But it is a good idea to look into your network security and make sure you are doing everything you can to prevent someone from accessing it.

If you are considering purchasing a business security system then you will want to take all of these tips into consideration when installing your security system to help protect them from vandalism. These tips can also be applied to residential security cameras as they can also be key targets for vandals. Vandal proofing your security system is not foolproof but if you purchase vandal proof cameras like the MTD4104 from Montavue and follow these tips your security system will be much less likely to fall victim to vandalism.