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I am planning a construction project; as part of it, I will install several security cameras mounted to the underside of my soffits. The cameras will be connected and powered via a wired network (Power over Ethernet / PoE).

Do the cameras need to be grounded (bonded to the building's earth ground)? If so, what is a practical, code-compliant, and effective way to get this done? In the event of a lightning strike, I'm OK with a camera being destroyed, but I want to minimize the chance of it destroying anything else in my network.

When in doubt, assume I must comply with the latest National Electric Code (NEC) standard and that no other standards are in play.

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    Many security cameras are 100% plastic on their exterior, so the bonding question is N/A.
    – SteveSh
    Jan 10, 2023 at 23:54

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You don't need to ground the cameras.

To protect the network, install Ethernet surge protectors according to the instructions provided with the surge protector. Units such as the Ubiquiti ETH-SP-G2, Black Box SP529A, Tycon TP-ESP-10G-PoE, Eaton DNET1, etc. will all work. Just make sure it supports Power over Ethernet and meets your quality needs.

If you are using midspan power injectors, check the documentation as they may also already provide surge protection.

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The thing that is powering the Ethernet cable should be SELV (Safety Extra Low Voltage). Which means that the 48V supply is totally isolated from your home supply, and should not be grounded.

Realistically, if the camera gets hit, the power supply, and the router if they aren't the same thing, will get fried too.

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