If you don’t have a dedicated security team, then you’re probably not looking at your security cameras very often. Unless you’re a large end user, odds are that your surveillance system isn’t looked at unless there’s a problem. You don’t want to find out that something went wrong with the system during, or before, a security breach. The valuable evidence needs to be protected by regular security camera health checks.
What can go wrong?
From legacy analog systems to new and complex IP systems, here’s a quick list of what can go wrong:
- Recorder operating system failure
- Recording settings entered incorrectly
- Daylight savings time causes wrong time/date stamp
- Camera focus problems
- Power supply failures
- Environmental challenges like snow, dirt, dust, spider webs, and ice buildup
- Camera failure
- Network infrastructure failure
- IT policy changes
- Camera and recording system version mismatches
- Integration failure between video surveillance and access control
With so many things that can go wrong, where do you start with a security system health check plan? Here are 2 steps to get started on…
Step 1: Schedule camera checks on a regular basis.
If you have a dedicated security team, make it part of their daily routine to check the camera feeds. If not, set a reminder in your calendar for a weekly check by the facilities department or an administrator.
Camera Live View: You’ll immediately know if there’s a problem when you check the camera’s live view.
Then it’s just a matter of eliminating possible causes. This is something your security dealer can do for you. The most common issues are focus problems and dirt or ice on a camera housing. Fortunately, both are easy to correct.
If your cameras are new, there’s a chance they were focused during the day. The problem is that at night, the iris adjusts and that’s when you may find the camera to be out of focus. This is a simple fix and one that your security dealer can address without too much headache.
Obscured housings can be cleaned off very easily. Simply follow manufacturers recommendations for cleaning the housing window or remove debris carefully.
Camera Playback: If you checked the live view and all is well, try to play recorded video from a few days ago or even a few weeks ago. If the video is there and is stamped with the proper time and date, you’re good to go. Start at camera number one and be sure to check every camera’s recorded video.
Step 2: Prevention. Devise a scheduled professional maintenance plan for your video surveillance system.
Quarterly health checks of the entire system will reveal problems that may have gone unnoticed since the last check. Timing them quarterly with your security dealer provides an opportunity to make sure the system is running properly and that any issues are addressed immediately. Plus, with changes in sunrise and sunset, you may find that a camera or two needs to be adjusted to account for seasonal changes. Direct sunlight on the lens can cause blind spots in critical areas.
Manufacturers often provide updates for software as well as camera firmware. These updates can correct known bugs, close cyber security holes, or even offer new features.
Even if you didn’t purchase your video surveillance system from Vision, we can help. We’ll perform a complete system evaluation and site survey. Next, we’ll create a regularly scheduled maintenance plan to ensure your system remains in good working order.
Contact Vision today for a free consultation.