How to Protect Your Outdoor Security Cameras From Lightning

May 28th, 2021

The popularity of CCTV ( Closed Circuit Television Systems ) and outdoor security cameras in Chico, CA is on a sporadic rise. This combination has proven to more effective in deterring petty theft, employee pilfering, vandalism or even burglary than conventional methods such as physically manning a building. In fact, the mere presence of cameras in a building is enough to discourage theft, regardless of whether the cameras are functional or not. That being said, outdoor cameras are increasingly becoming prone to environmental disturbances such as power surges and lightning strikes that could wreck unrepairable havoc to the camera unit and its adjoining components thereby compromising your home or business' security in Chico, CA.

Fortunately, there are several measures that you can take protect your cameras from such fatalities of weather, e.g., unexpected lightning strikes. Here is a quick primer on that.

1. Avoid mounting or installing the outdoor camera directly on a metallic structure. Instead, make use of PVC or fiberglass rods that are less likely to be struck by lightning. Bear in mind that a camera unit mounted on a metal structure is three times more likely to be hit by a than one on a non-metallic surface.

2. Ensure that the electrical wiring leading to the cameras is well-grounded to your building's structural foundation ( steel ) to reduce the chances of an unexpected power surge flowing back and reaching the main DVR unit via the connecting coaxial cables. It is advisable to use an additional 1-and-a-half inch copper strap connected as an alternative ground connector for maximum protection.

3. Ensure that you're using a power panel with sufficient circuit breakers instead of individual power supplies connected to the cameras. This effectively minimizes the possible damage that could be sustained should an unexpected power surge occur. Also, the power panel in question ought to used in conjunction with a UPS ( uninterrupted power supply ) and an external surge protector to achieve maximum protection against a haphazard power supply.

4. Employ an additional surge protector to lessen the chances of major damage to the DVR in the wake of a transient voltage or external power surge. Remember that a surge has the potential to not only blow up the electronic components inside the DVR but also weaken the connecting wires used within the system. In most cases, significant electrical surges will render a system useless after destroying a huge chunk of the main transformer core. On the other hand, a surge protector reduces the likelihood of such scenarios by redirecting the extra electrical power from a surge/lightning strike to a well-grounded outlet.

The Bottom Line

Having a UPS can be beneficial against three major types of electrical abnormalities - some of which can be a direct result of lightning strikes in a distributing substation. And this includes power lags, power surges and, more importantly, power failures. As far as this goes, two main UPS variations can be used with a regular DVR; a standby UPS and a Continuous Use UPS. The latter is usually more effective than the former in guarding against surges and, therefore, more expensive as well.

For proper installation of outdoor security cameras for your Chico, CA home or business, please call Crime Free Living at 530-327-7268 for a free security analysis.

What Our Customers Say

"I had the Alibi system installed several years ago. It has functioned flawlessly. The image quality is exellent both night and day and in all weather conditions. I particularly like the replay (which can be set at various speeds) and zoom functions of the system. Tech support from Crimefreeliving has been excellent. I have received quick responses to questions, and timely home visits — as when I changed IP carriers and my Alibi system needed to be reset. I have recommended Crimefreeliving to several friends."


"As a small business owner here in Chico we definitely saw the need for video surveillance. After expressing our needs and concerns Tim did an excellent job getting us set up with the set up with the appropriate equipment. He really took the time to address our concerns in a very friendly, professional and knowledgeable manner. I highly recommend Tim for all of your business and residential video surveillance needs."

Ron H., Owner/Auto Doctor

"I have to say I love having my security cameras at my home. Tim Truby did a wonderful job of installing the five cameras. He is very neat and cleaned everything up after the installation. He explained to me how to operate the monitor, my phone and IPad. However, I have had to call Tim because I'm not tech savvy and forget what he has told me. He usually just helps me over the phone and then all is well. I'm 80 years old and enjoy the comfort of knowing I have these security cameras."


"Tim Truby designed and installed a 32 camera system for us here at the Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District. We had received several other quotes from security system vendors, but Tim’s quote was the least expensive. Tim also installed the system quickly and has always been available when we needed him. We are very happy with our security camera system and we can highly recommend Tim Truby for all of your surveillance system needs."

D. Weseman, Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District

Crime Free Living updated our old video system with a new 16 Channel HD Alibi Video Security System. The old system had been added onto by different installers which resulted in a cabling mess. There were cables that worked and cables that went nowhere. It was a mess. Tim sorted it all out and installed cameras that are very clear. He also installed a monitor for our cashiers to watch hidden areas, a monitor to watch the entry door, and a monitor that allows employees to watch the outside parking and gas pump area. All work was done on time and very professional! Will always recommend Tim and Crime Free Living.

S. AM PM Chico Arco Station

"I had Tim install an Alibi Video Security System at my residence and a couple business locations. The remote view option is invaluable to absentee owners or anyone who travels a lot. The clarity and quality of the cameras have allowed for viewing employee theft. The evidence provided from the HD video cameras was fantastic! Tim was professional and provided extra value from his law enforcement background."

J. Folsom Arco Station

"Tim, I want to thank you again for doing such a fantastic job on installing a wireless IP security camera system at our dream home. The extra time that you took to hide wires, and install a clean, professional system is much appreciated. I still can’t believe the clarity, quality, and ease of use of this new system. I wished that I would have met you before our original inferior system was installed by another company. Now, whether I am at home, or monitoring the system from around the world, I know that my home and family are safe and sound."

John M.

"In April of 2017, my husband and I made a phone call to Crime Free Living that turned out to be a smart and wise decision. Amazingly, in just a few hours, Tim installed four Dome Security Cameras, weatherproof enclosures, and hooked up into our home a 23" Full HD Widescreen Security Monitor. Even more than his professional expertise was the time spent with us in making sure that this system was working correctly and properly installed on our phones so that anywhere in our travels we can monitor our new home in Magalia."

Tieka and Don S.

"I have been using Crime Free Living for the last couple years ar work and at home and I really recommend this product. Tim is a very good service provider. If he can't figure it out, he's got good tech support with the system that he offers."

Gary D.

"I have known Tim for over 10 years. To date, Time with Crime Free Living has installed two separate surveillance systems for my company. With each system, Tim has listened to my needs and custom dsigned surveillance systems for my specific needs and within my budget. The equipment used is always state of the art, the workmanship is top notch, and Tim is the example of trustworthy. I would recommend him for any job."

Steve D., Down Range Indoor Training Center

images Certifications & Training

With 16 years of experience in law enforcement, Tim Truby, CEO, is fully certified in video surveillance and training.

  • Certified Advanced Crime Prevention Specialist
  • Academy Instructor Certification
  • California POST Certification in Specialized Surveillance Equipment
  • California POST Certification in Basic Crime Prevention
    • Advanced Crime Prevention through Environmental Design
    • Certified Alibi Security Dealer
    • Enhanced Risk and Threat Assessment (FEMA)
    • Incident Command System (100 & 200)
    • Certified Cognitech Video Forensic Investigator
    • Neighborhood Watch Toolkit Trainer
    • Computer Crimes/Investigations
    • Domestic Crisis for Crisis Negotiators