Can CCTV work without electricity or the internet

Can CCTV work without electricity or the internet? 

The recent storms have highlighted how vulnerable many rural and even town locations are to the loss of power and internet connectivity caused by a weather event or infrastructure outage.

You obviously invest in a CCTV system to have 24/7/365 security of your premises or home, so can it work if your electricity and Internet connections are down?

Can CCTV work without electricity?

The simple answer is that unless your CCTV camera system is designed to automatically switch over to a back-up power source when the mains supply is cut off, it won’t carry on operating.

The good news is that even if you haven’t got your own back-up power source, like an emergency generator, CCTV systems can be set up to have and then switch over to their own.

Your system can include cameras with both a backup battery and onboard data storage - so they can carry on recording for as long as the back-up power supply can keep them running. As the average length of a mains outage on the SSEN network in 2021 was 51.4 minutes, the back-up battery will typically be enough to ensure your system keeps protecting your premises.


How to prepare for longer power cuts

If you’re used to power cuts lasting longer than that, a back-up generator will ensure the cameras and attached network device can keep running for a much longer time – essentially as long as it has fuel or power from a non-mains system like an on-farm wind-turbine.

Can CCTV work without an Internet connection?

The simple answer is yes – the system will keep running and recording its output, but it’ll only be accessible on the premises – where you can still view its live output on a connected monitor or your computer and watch back recorded footage.

However, most remotely-monitored CCTV systems rely on your physical Internet connection to send information from the cameras to you when you’re elsewhere. So if your hard-wired Internet connection goes down for whatever reason, so does your ability to see what’s going on from elsewhere as well as receive push notifications about suspicious movements and sounds picked up by the system and back up footage and data to an external data storage system like the Cloud.

If a 100% resilient remote-monitoring capability is essential for your CCTV system, the good news is you can have cameras installed which have their own Internet connectivity built-in.

Similar to the smart meters many homes now have to send readings to the gas and power suppliers, they use the 3G or 4G network at the monitored premises to continue to send data if a hard-wired Internet connection isn’t available or has gone down.

So, whatever the weather, you can ensure your CCTV system keeps working and protecting your premises.

For more about the CCTV systems we offer, go here for Commercial systems and here for home systems.


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Fraser Fire & Security is committed to keeping people and assets safe through a professional and customer-focussed service.

Our team of five fully-qualified and highly experienced experts provide fire safety and security services across Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray and Inverness, taking a proactive approach to legislation to ensure 24/7 compliance.

Commercial services include: Fire Safety Services, Risk Assessments & Fire Training, Fire Alarm Supply, Installation & Maintenance; Intruder Alarm Design, Installation & Maintenance; Fire Extinguisher Installation & Servicing; CCTV Design and Installation.

We specialise in CCTV Systems for farms, including packages to support landlords and property owners for Smoke Detection and Security.

Our commercial clients include Baxters, Walkers, Brewdog and Excel Scotland.

Contact us for a FREE quotation.

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