A security camera system is a critical and necessary investment for every FFL and one that should be maintained to keep it in good condition. We recommend that you schedule regular system maintenance to protect your investment and ensure that you’re getting the best performance out of your camera system. Following are 10 easy tips for maintaining your cameras on a semi-annual schedule:
- Carefully inspect all your indoor and outdoor cameras, looking for signs of any damage, weathering and corrosion. Be sure to replace any connectors that show signs of corrosion, because this kind of deterioration can cause your equipment to short.
- Check all power supplies to ensure that your system hasn’t lost power due to tampering, a storm, animals or some other unwanted event. If you have an uninterruptible power source or backup battery, look at the unit to make sure that the battery is fully charged and does not display any warning lights.
- Check all your indoor and outdoor camera lenses for dust, smudges, water spots and other elements that degrade the view and recording clarity. Clean as needed to restore optimum viewing and recording.
- Ensure that all bullet and box cameras are securely in position and free of vibration. Slamming interior doors, the lowering and raising of loading bay doors and even human contact can alter how you have your cameras positioned. This can compromise not only the area you desire to be recorded, in the case of cameras that aren’t free of movement, the quality of the image being recorded can also be degraded.
- Fix cameras as needed. Take note of the overall shape your cameras are in during your inspections and replace housings, lenses, shades, mounting brackets and other parts as needed. It is recommended that you buy needed parts from the same manufacturer that made the camera. That way you are assured that you are purchasing genuine parts, and they should have warranties and are less prone to premature deterioration.
- Replace cameras as needed. If you notice the image quality produced by a camera is degrading, replace the camera before the camera becomes useless.
- Take care of exterior landscaping to ensure your cameras have an unobstructed view of the area you want to protect. Trim all vines, bushes, trees and other foliage around the cameras. This is also a good time to make sure that animals likes birds, squirrels or bees have not built nests near your cameras.
- Check your exterior camera housing and weatherproofing. To do this you’ll want to open the housing of these cameras to check for collected water, condensation and dirt, in order to confirm that the camera enclosures are still protecting the units from the elements. Remember, too, that too much sunlight or water exposure can damage your cameras, especially if they have not been designed to beat them. If you like your exterior cameras but think they need more protection to increase their longevity, you may want to cover them with an additional protective housing.
- Make sure your cables are securely connected. Loose connections or worn-out cables are usually the culprit when your security camera system is discovered to be not working. Make sure to check all your cable connections and look for any cables that are showing signs of wear and tear. These include all cables connected to your security cameras, as well as those to the DVR, monitor and power sources.
- Keep the security camera system manuals handy and review them periodically, especially when you suspect your system isn’t performing adequately. Store the manuals in a safe place so that they can be accessed when needed, and seeking help from the manual first before calling a professional can save you some money.
While all of the above can be performed by you or a competent team of employees, it’s never a bad idea to have a professional come in and evaluate your security system at least once a year. Together you will maintain your system’s integrity, plus the pros will be able to give you some tips for improved security system utilization and recommended upgrades as needed.
NSSF’s Store Security Audit team can help you assess the right security camera and recording applications for your location. For more information, visit the Retailers section of www.nssf.org. NSSF also partners with a variety of vendors, including several that provide security camera and recording products. Log in to the members-only side of nssf.org to discover more.
John Bocker is an NSSF Security Consultant Team Member and the Managing Director at JB Group, LLC, based in Denver, Colorado. JB Group is a business security and integrity strategy consultant organization specializing in maximizing profitability, risk management, employee integrity, operational controls. Visit www.jbgroupco.com or call (720) 514-0609 for more information.