For boat owners, marinas represent the freedom of the open waters, the excitement of sailing or economic opportunities. Unfortunately, they also represent an enticing target for thieves. Boats often carry a lot of expensive equipment that needs to be protected, but a marina can be difficult to secure. They’re usually located far from public view, often lack infrastructure such as readily available electricity and can be left unattended for long stretches of time. All of this adds up to make them extremely vulnerable to crime.
Having full-time guards on-site is one answer to the problem, but it’s an expensive one. Marina owners need a cost-effective security solution that can keep a watchful eye over their property and their clients’ assets 24/7. This is why so many of them choose marina security systems that feature cameras. They enable owners and operators to keep watch over these areas and provide a visible deterrent to criminals. However, they can’t be as effective as you need them to be unless you choose the right system. If you choose just any type of cameras without thinking about a marina’s unique needs first, you could even up with some significant blind spots that could lead to problems. With that in mind, here are nine things to consider when buying marine security cameras.
Are they made for marinas?
Cameras used outdoors must be rugged enough to withstand the elements. For example, installing equipment designed for indoor use might save you a few dollars in the short term but cost you a lot in the long run. This is because they won’t be built to resist the dampness and humidity that they’ll experience so close to the water. If you’re located on the coast, you’ll also have to worry about corrosion caused by saltwater. You need to make sure the system you choose is designed and manufactured with outdoor use in mind.
Do they work without on-site Internet access?
The days of security systems recording to videotape are mostly gone. Today’s technology uses digital recordings that usually are saved to the cloud through an Internet connection. However, this presents a problem for marinas because these properties tend to be located far from infrastructure. This means you need to choose a system that doesn’t rely on a wired connection to the Internet. Fortunately, today there are options that take advantage of cellular connections that don’t require them to be plugged into data. They transmit and receive information on the same networks used by mobile phones, making them an ideal choice for these remote locations.
Will they be able to spot criminals at night?
One of the things that makes marinas difficult to secure is that they frequently aren’t very well lit. This makes night-vision capabilities extremely important when choosing a marina camera system. With infrared technology, cameras are capable of not only spotting movement in the dark, but also providing a picture clear enough to show a perpetrator’s face, which can be used as evidence in an investigation.
Can you access footage and pictures from anywhere?
Having remote access to everything your cameras capture is an important feature to have today. If you’re able to see a live feed or review archive footage from your computer, smartphone or tablet from anywhere, it can save you precious time in stopping a crime or catching a perpetrator before he or she has a chance to escape. In today’s highly connected world, having this capability should be a standard feature when selecting your new security system.
Are you able to adjust the camera angles easily?
If the solution you choose offers only a limited range of viewing angles, you may be left with areas of your marina that are perpetually out of your sight. If, on the other hand, you can adjust the position of each camera by remote control, you will be able to get the most complete view of the entire area. This is crucial if you want to have the highest level of protection.
Does the manufacturer offer multiple camera types for your needs?
Some manufacturers offer only a few types of cameras or try to sell you the same basic model by claiming it’s suitable for multiple applications. If you’re not careful, you may end up with something that doesn’t do enough or won’t deliver the right level of performance for use in a marina setting. That’s why you should do your homework and make sure your system’s specifications are right for the job. If you can’t find something that satisfies all your needs and requirements, you shouldn’t have to settle.
Do the cameras come equipped with motion detectors?
Having cameras recording at all hours of the day and night isn’t the most efficient way to protect your marina. Instead, you should make sure your equipment features sensitive motion detectors that can identify human movement and begin recording or taking pictures as soon as they do. Although many manufacturers offer this technology, it isn’t always sensitive enough to be tripped under all circumstances. Always check to ensure your cameras are capable of spotting the smallest movement, even in the dead of night.
Are the recording options customizable?
You don’t want to have to comb through hours of uneventful footage to find evidence of an incident. That’s why you should make sure you have the option to record only when the motion detector is activated, or only during specific times of the day.
What type of power source does it require?
If your marina is far from the standard power grid or has spots where there is no easy access to electricity, you’ll want to look into alternatives. For example, certain systems can take advantage of small solar panels that enable the cameras to be placed nearly anywhere. This gives you flexibility as well as more complete coverage.
As a leading provider of solar-powered wireless camera systems, Eye Trax offers a wide range of solutions that can fit these requirements and many others. To learn more about what we can do for you to help protect your marina, click here.