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Routine Maintenance Tips for CCTV Systemsfrom: Maxx Home Guides
A closed circuit television system is your eyes and sometimes your ears for monitoring what's happening around your home in your absence. Security, theft prevention, crime deterrence and other aspects depend heavily on the ability of your CCTV system to function properly at all times.
It would be nice to have a system we can simply "set it and forget it", but when security is involved, there's no forgetting. Actually, individual components of your security features must be tested regularly for functionality and need to receive scheduled maintenance to function consistently.
Here are some routine maintenance tips for your whole CCTV system:
You can start by replacing parts of your CCTV system no longer functioning properly. If they can be repaired, get them fixed, but if they can't, replace them as soon as they break.
For example, if you placed an indoor camera outdoors without a safety cover, you'll likely lose the camera very shortly due to the moisture of rain water or sprinklers, or simply because the lens gets scratched by flying sand and other debris. Replace this camera immediately.
Whenever a component fails, find out if the failure is due to a manufacturing defect, if the unit has reached the end of its useful life, or if it was perhaps not properly used or assigned tasks it couldn't handle.
Check your system setup visually. When it was first installed, you may have had a combination of wired cameras (for visibility and subsequent deterrence) and hidden cameras (for detection) installed. Are your wired cameras still visible? Are the hidden cameras still hidden? If you've used natural agents, such as trees and shrubs to incorporate your cameras into your area's overall appearance, the changing seasons as well as natural growth may have altered visibility. You should do some pruning or perhaps even relocating of key cameras to compensate for any changes in your landscape.
Check all your wires for corrosion or small damage.
Check visible components for signs of tampering. Has someone been doing target practice with one of your cameras? Do you see some signs of cutting alongside the wires? Are there scratches on the lens covers? These may tell you if someone has attempted to disable one component of your system. To ensure all is still in working order, you should make sure you keep a close eye on that location.
Routine maintenance is also the time to evaluate how your system is functioning overall. Are your monitors working properly? Is the resolution adequate? Does the brightness control add to your surveillance's being a snap? If one component isn't functioning according to your needs, this is a good time to switch it out for something else.
If possible, have a manufacturer's rep come out and do a professional once over every so often -- preferably once a year. This will guarantee the system is in good working order from a technical point of view, rather than just the visual inspection you may be able to do on a regular basis. When you do have a technician come out, make sure you receive copies of his/her findings you can keep as part of an ongoing maintenance journal.
Finally, it's important to understand that only a functioning CCTV system will actually do the work you've installed it for. Broken components will do little to deter crime or detect it, and non-working equipment may actually give you a false sense of security. In addition, if you ever have to use the footage recorded with your CCTV technology in court, a good defense attorney will attempt to poke holes into your case mainly by questioning the functionality of your system. If the jury can't make a clear identification from the footage you've provided, or if several components are out of commission, odds are your entire footage will be discredited.
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