Security Surveillance equipment like security cameras, fire alarms, recording devices, access control systems, telephone systems and emergency communication systems play a crucial role in saving humans as well as their movable and immovable property during emergencies.
Since, these systems function on power; their continuous operations need power on a continuous and consistent note. However, no matter in which part of the world these devices are installed, they are always prone to voltage fluctuations, power surges and spikes. And when the said devices experience one of these, there is a clear chance of the user loosing the equipment on a partial or complete note.
This is where power protection is needed for these mission critical systems playing a part in protecting a business or other institutions.
Security cameras and recording devices play a critical role in protecting businesses, and whether it is just a 4 camera security system or 400 cameras large surveillance deployment, complete power protection is needed. Otherwise, if neglected these devices become vulnerable to electrical damage or will become inoperable during a power outage. For this reason, always ensure that a camera power supply should be backed up with a UPS as it provides complete protection from surges, spikes, brownouts and blackouts. If not, restart of cameras, cameras switching to default IPs, motherboard chips getting fried will be witnessed.
Likewise, NVRs and DVRs should always be backed up with a minimum 400VA to 900VA UPS. Depending on their capacity and function a large UPS will also be required with either a backup of 1 hour to 6 hours.
And as Power over Ethernet (PoE) is the new mantra of CCTV installers, cameras running on PoE should be protected for the power supply for the cameras. If left unprotected, the POE power supply and cameras will cease to operate.
Access control system readers require power in order to operate as designed- whether installed at entry or exist points of a building, campus, parking lot, or gated community. Since, protecting them from all kinds of power supply issues is crucial, many devices come with an internal battery for emergency operation. But again, the battery backup function may only operate for a few minutes, and if it is a busy building entrance or exit, the built-in battery may prove to be inadequate. Additionally, these power supplies do not provide any further protection from all power anomalies. Gate access systems have similar considerations, and all states have regulations on emergency access for gated communities, apartment complexes, condominiums, private homes and businesses.
This is where powering-up access control applications via UPS prove as a smartest choice. As the power requirement for most access control equipment is relatively small, backing these systems up with a UPS can be inexpensively accomplished.
Fire Alarm systems should be designed as per the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code which offers some specific guidelines. Additionally, many such codes vary from state to state in US. As per one of the vital guidelines formulated by the National Fire Protection Association, a fire alarm system must have a single UPS backup or a two sources power such as a power from main line (as Primary) and the other from a battery pack (as secondary).
As said earlier, some US states function with additional guidelines on power which a fire alarm needs to have a Type 0, Class 24, Level 1system. A Type 0 (on-line) UPS essentially means there is no switchover time when the power is being transferred from the primary source of power to the UPS. This is very important for mission critical systems and can prevent system malfunctions from happening when a system switches from AC power to battery backup. It is not specified in many state codes that the UPS can only serve the fire alarm, but sharing the UPS should not be done unless the UPS can serve the entire connected load for the time needed or have load-shedding capability.
Also in many states, the UPS must be Class 24, meaning 24 hours of capacity must be provided. Thus, it is wise to check your local regulations and codes to ensure compliance while installing Fire alarm systems.
Emergency communications- During any type of disaster, or even in a temporary power outage, it is absolutely essential to communicate without interruptions. Businesses, retail stores, educational institutions should have emergency communications systems which can also mass notify when needed.
Many states are having the law that emergency communication systems must and should have a 24-hour quiescent load capability. Meaning, when the system is not being used, there is at least a 24 hours of battery backup capacity available for the system on account of power failure.
Telephone systems- Phones play a crucial role during emergencies and in earlier days needed power to operate in some untoward situations. Using a UPS to back up a telephone system is an absolute necessity and can be accomplished very economically. IP telephony systems do require additional considerations because not only does the main system have to be backed up, all telephone hand-set stations are also individually powered.
The recommendation is to utilize a UPS on the main controller system and use a small UPS on individual stations. With unified communications also running on a desktop or laptop computer, the same UPS can be utilized to back up the computer and telephone station.
Note- In the era of 4G and 5G backed mobile phones, all these extra arrangements for reviving telephone systems during emergencies may look doltish. But they make sense in every situation, as sometimes even the mobile networks may give up.
Intrusion detection- Intrusions are detected by either integrating burglar alarms with security cameras or using some intelligently functioning alarms, which notify when doors or windows are opened. These systems are primarily focus on identifying possible intrusion incidents, logging information about them, and reporting those attempts. For secured facilities, intrusion detection systems are a crucial component for protecting both facilities and personnel. While intrusion detection systems run on DC voltage, they must have an AC power supply. The usual power supplies installed to support intrusion systems typically include basic battery backup which provides minimal backup time and no protection from any other power problem. Since these power supplies are generally low wattage, they can be cost-effectively backed up with a UPS and they can benefit from complete protection
Making power protection an integral part of a security system installation and disaster recovery is essential, no matter the type of business or institution you are into.
As security systems are designed and installed for protection – by protecting them without proper power solutions can negate any benefit of the investment made on a Security System.
Security shouldn’t end when the power goes out, especially when it’s completely preventable and affordable.
And remember, business owners who are not protecting their security systems from power supply troubles are just making their device lifetime shorter than usual.