The Power of Video Monitoring for Electric Substations

Electric power substations are a critical component of life in the modern world. They make it possible to live our everyday lives as efficiently and effectively as possible, at home and in the workplace. On top of this, high-stakes environments such as healthcare facilities, railways, and other components of our crucial infrastructure are powered by electric substations, making them a massively important part of modern life. But what happens when these substations are compromised by accidents and, in extreme cases, sabotage? Short answer: it makes life difficult for the thousands of people relying on them.

Power substations in the United States are facing threats of vandalism and sabotage at an increasing rate. When key pieces of our infrastructure power substations face physical attacks, the consequences can be catastrophic for surrounding communities – and when attacks on these facilities are coordinated on a larger scale, entire counties can be left without electricity until workers can make emergency repairs. In such instances, sensitive facilities in these areas, like hospitals, may be left without power for extended periods. Critical pieces of our infrastructure, like power substations, make high-value targets for criminals looking to cause widespread damage, so what can governments do to keep these areas secure from bad actors?

PVM as a Solution to Substation Security Threats
According to recent reports, there were 163 reported incidents of physical attacks, vandalism, suspicious activity, and sabotage targeting electric substations across the United States in 2023 alone. As it stands now, this problem only seems to be getting worse. However, remote video monitoring solutions like proactive video monitoring are rising to the challenge of securing these vulnerable sites. While equipping substation transformers with armored panels to keep sensitive points protected from incoming damage can make it harder to take substations down, investing in solutions that keep would-be bad actors off of substation grounds in the first place is the most effective way to ensure substations remain unbothered by disruptive activities.

How it Works
One of the most significant advantages of using proactive video monitoring to secure power substations is that it allows for intervention on the spot when incidents occur, exponentially decreasing the likelihood of escalation. By actively monitoring the surrounding area for suspicious activities and potential security threats, remote operators can identify aggressive behaviors before they occur.. To accomplish this, operators are equipped with the tools to deliver live audio warnings to trespassers, informing them that they are on restricted grounds and are currently on camera. If this fails to dissuade would-be vandals, operators behind the scenes can inform these bad actors that the authorities are already on the way.

Proactive video monitoring also provides a solution to limited on-premises security personnel in substations often constructed in remote locations. These sites are often built in remote areas to ensure that the surrounding population is kept safe from potentially hazardous incidents taking place on-site. Still, this positioning also ensures that would-be vandals must make a significant effort to do any damage. This can be a double-edged sword, however, as the remote locations of these power substations also mean that authorities may take longer to respond to distress calls. Proactive video monitoring services can monitor the surrounding area in multiple directions, surpassing the limitations of traditional video monitoring services and on-premises security guards by providing constant oversight of vulnerable substation grounds.

To discover why proactive video monitoring from Netwatch is the future of power substation security, read more here.