Keeping the Secure in Security Cameras
Why you might need to rethink what’s protecting your outdoor surveillance camera
- By Kaitlyn DeHaven
- Sep 01, 2019
The world of outdoor security cameras is changing
rapidly, and with it, the need for secure, high-quality
camera housing. Will Ferris, CEO and founder
of Dotworkz Systems, offered some insight on
why cameras need housing and what the future of
that housing might look like. Dotworkz is a start-to-finish, U.S.
owned, manufactured and engineered organization that builds
secure housing for outdoor surveillance cameras.
Why Do Cameras Need Housing?
Outdoor surveillance cameras are valuable products that are usually
monitoring either costly or high-risk objects and situations. With this
much value on the line, the purpose of a camera housing is to protect
the camera, as well as the situation it’s monitoring, to ensure that
nothing impedes the view of the camera or harms the camera itself.
“What we’re doing is we’re increasing the life cycle of the product,
and we’re also looking to increase the reliability of the performance
through the life cycle of that product,” Ferris said. “We’re
looking to provide reliability by keeping that product from ever having
According to Ferris, some camera owners don’t initially consider
safeguarding their camera with a camera housing because they don’t
see the environment it’s in as ‘harsh’ or ‘high-risk.’ For example, in
San Diego, where Dotworkz is based, one might not automatically
assume a camera would need housing because of the moderate, temperate
weather. Ferris said in reality, many cameras without housing
on San Diego street corners can see temperatures up to 125 degrees
due to the combination of direct sunlight and the processing speed
of the camera. As the highest operating temperature of many surveillance
cameras is 115 degrees at most, if the cameras reach 125
degrees, they will experience failure. With this in mind, Ferris said
that in any situation where the camera is outdoors, there are harsh environmental
elements it will encounter. The term ‘harsh environment’
does not only refer to deserts, mountains or fracking sites, but can allude
to anything from a camera overheating or freezing over to a thief
attempting to disarm the camera by shooting at it. The implications
of a few temperature changes within a 24-hour period can easily negate
an improperly protected camera into not working well or at all.
“The cost of having something broken, or having to repair it, or
not having it do the job it was intended, is enormous,” Ferris said.
“Especially if someone has to perform that task, or they missed
something because of it.”
Where Do I Start, and
How Much Will it Cost?
Whether you’re an integrator, dealer or camera owner, proper camera
care is vital to ensure your relationships with clients, your reputation
or your own safety and property is secure. According to Ferris, before
you begin your camera housing search, it’s important to determine
the specific criteria this camera housing will need. What’s the operating
temperature and IP rating of the camera? Where am I going to
mount this camera? Will it need features such as self-cleaning, cooling,
or heating? Will I need a de-fogging feature? These are all questions
to consider before purchasing a camera house.
Housing prices start around $200 for a base model that offers a
built-in high degree of protection, and progressively get costlier as
more features are added on. Ferris said although these systems can be
an investment, they usually won’t surpass the cost of a camera repair
or, in the worst-case scenarios, an entirely new camera.
The Future of Surveillance
Dotworkz takes the initiative to have market assessments frequently
and to listen and study what the trends are. Ferris said if he could
sum up what the future of outdoor surveillance cameras looks like,
it would be bigger, faster, hotter cameras, and camera housing needs
to be able to keep up. Moreover, as cameras become higher resolution
and more powerful, their value is also increasing, intensifying
the need for practically unassailable protection.
“Our role in the industry right now is to solve problems before
they happen,” Ferris said. “To provide a level production efficiency
so people in our industry can order from us and not have to wait for
those life cycles to develop in a foreign country.”
This article originally appeared in the September 2019 issue of Security Today.