Do CCTV Cameras Work Without Electricity?

Securing your properties is important, whether those properties are residential or commercial. There are many different ways to go about securing a property and the best way to do it is often to use multiple methods. One of the most popular methods for securing a property is to utilize CCTV cameras.

CCTV cameras use a closed network to transmit images to a central point. While the network is closed, many modern systems also allow for remote viewing stations. People around the world have many questions about CCTV cameras. Today we are here to address the question of: do CCTV cameras work without electricity?

The short answer is that CCTV cameras will not work when there is no electricity. But the answer is more complicated than that.

During the installation of a security camera system, the cameras are wired into the wall and attached to the power. This is usually done by tapping into an existing electrical cable in the wall. Another cable connects the camera to the network. On the other end of that cable a network device also needs power.

Some CCTV cameras anticipate the power either being cut purposefully or a power outage. These cameras have a backup battery and onboard storage so that they can still record for a time after the power has gone out. Usually the recording time and power for such devices is limited due to the limits of batteries.

If your CCTV camera has a built-in backup battery and storage, you typically won’t be able to view it during the outage. You will have to wait for the system to come back online before you can access the camera. Or, if the storage is removable, remove the storage and view it on your computer. However, removing the storage will also disable the camera’s ability to record.

A backup feature is not available on many cameras though. The best way to keep your cameras operating during a power outage is to have backup power for your home or business. A generator will allow the cameras to continue running at normal operations and will allow the network device to run. This kind of property wide emergency power will allow all of your security systems to continue to run.

Installing battery backups on every device is another option. This will keep the whole security system running without the need to have a facility wide system set up. Small backups can be setup for all of the cameras. Then, for the DVR or NVR you can utilize a UPS power backup. The problem with batteries is that they have a shorter lifespan than a generator backup and once they are dead, they are dead until they can be charged again.

Critical infrastructure facilities, such as hospitals, will often have both a generator that the CCTV system is connected to and UPS backups. This helps to ensure uninterrupted coverage. It also allows you to have emergency power Incase a generator fails to start. While not as common, some other properties will also have this type of system in place.

No matter what kind of backup method you utilize for your CCTV camera system, if the system relies on the internet, it will not be able to function. Internet is typically not available on backup power unless you have a complex backup system implemented. Further, remote viewing or other remote access features will not be available when on backup power.

Due to the nature of security cameras they need power in order to operate. That power does not have to come from an outlet though. As you can see from this article there are a number of ways that you can set up emergency power for your camera system. When having your security camera system installed, you can talk to the technician about options that are available in your area.

Installation technicians for security cameras may not be able to handle some of the more advanced backup systems, but they will typically know where to direct you in order to have one of them installed. Professional installers aren’t just used to ensure that the cameras are properly installed but to make sure you have everything you need to secure your property. Every property is different and no one solution will fit every location.

Quick Free Quote!​