According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there’s an estimated four burglaries every minute in the United States. Based on the startling number of homes and businesses victimized by criminals, it’s become more and more apparent that a video surveillance security system is required to protect your assets. Although installing a security camera is a good initial step to take to protect your valuables, maintaining the CCTV system is necessary to keep your equipment working properly for the long haul. Video surveillance systems can be costly and you’ll want to protect your investment by following a regular maintenance schedule. Depending on the type of system you have, you should refer to your manufacturer’s guidelines for any specialized instructions.
The age of your video security system will determine how often you need to maintain the equipment. For older systems, you want to examine all of the components at a minimum of every three months. For newer models, every six months should be an adequate timeframe for maintenance. On an annual basis, a professional installer needs to be brought in for a more detailed check of the equipment. During the company’s inspection, the technician will perform test controls, repair or replace any damaged parts, and ensure sensors have not become misplaced.
Addressing any landscaping issues may be one of the first ways you can maintain your CCTV system on your own. Look at the area where the cameras have been placed to check for any obstructions. Trim back any branches and vines to stop blocking the camera’s view. If any animals or insects have made nests on the equipment, they’ll need to be safely removed as well.
Cleaning and checking the camera closely is another item on your CCTV maintenance checklist. A dirty camera lens can make the images captured by the security system virtually useless. First, remove any dirt and debris stuck to the camera with a can of compressed air. Then, wipe the lens with a clean, microfiber cloth to remove any smudges. And cleaning the camera, inspect the housing as well. Make sure the housing is adequately keeping dirt and moisture away from the camera. Any damage to the housing needs to be addressed since that means the camera is not being well protected.
Evaluate the placement of your cameras at the time of maintenance. The cameras should be stable and not able to be shaken loose. If the position is causing the camera to vibrate too often, then image quality will be undermined. Use any controls to check if all features of the camera are working. For instance, some security cameras allow you to tilt and zoom in and out.
Check all cables and connections of the receivers and cameras included in the system. All connections need to be tightly secured and not loose. Worn out or damaged cables need replacing to avoid future malfunctions. The power supply needs regular testing as well. Make sure the receiver is still powered on. If unsure that the equipment is getting adequate power, a voltmeter can take readings to guarantee that the receivers are getting the full amount of power to operate. Dust the outside of your receiver at the end of your inspection. A build-up of dust could affect the receiver’s performance.
Replace any broken or corroded parts of the video surveillance system. Corrosion is indicative that the system could short out any minute. If the camera or receiver doesn’t seem to be working correctly, then order replacements at that time. Only purchase parts and accessories directly from the manufacturer to certify that the new parts will work correctly with your current system.
Wireless video camera surveillance systems operate over an IP network. Since the camera transmits data to the server wirelessly, there’s more freedom in where the video cameras are placed on the premises. Wireless systems typically use network video recorders to monitor and store any footage captured by the camera. The system will also need an access point nearby in order to connect to the network via a Wi-Fi connection.
One of the ways to maintain a wireless system is to check regularly for disturbances that could be affecting your video feed. For instance, other radio frequencies within the area may distort the recording. In this case, you will have to remove whatever’s causing the interference or relocate the camera. Also, check the frequency band of your wireless CCTV system. If there’s a lot of activity on it, you should switch to a less popular band.
Another maintenance tip for wireless systems is to consider any obstructions between the camera and the wireless receiver. If there’s a significant distance between the equipment pieces or walls, tree, and other large obstacles are blocking the signal, performance may be undermined. When removing the obstacles isn’t an option, you can purchase a high gain antenna for improved transmissions.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that wireless cameras and receivers should still undergo the same semi-annual inspections as their wired counterparts. You’ll want to do similar tasks such as check all moving parts for any signs of damage or corrosion. Also, since wireless systems rely on batteries to operate, you’ll need to change the batteries based on the manufacturer recommendations. On average, wireless systems need replacement batteries every three to five years.
Security systems are not only helping prevent robberies, but they can be a deterrent for other crimes as well. The National Center for Education Statistics found that surveillance cameras are becoming fixtures in schools to monitor the safety of students and staff members. This is why it’s more important than ever to make it routine to maintain your surveillance system.
Unifore offers state-of-the-art surveillance equipment at very budget-friendly prices. Their products use the latest technologies to protect your home and business against crime. If you run into any issues with your CCTV systems, the company is available to offer technical support and maintenance tips to all of their customers.