Maintenance of video surveillance systems. 7 rules for saving
Any user, as a rule, initially ignores the fact that the video monitoring system requires maintenance. They don’t think about it and don’t include video surveillance systems maintenance costs (planned and unscheduled). I want to tell you about seven factors you need to pay attention to save money on service work.
The most popular reasons for calling the technician
Most of the technicians’ calls occur due to the elimination of errors made during the design and installation of the system. Does it mean that the user pays 2-3 times for the same work and equipment? Yes! How to kill the video monitoring system during installation is described in detail here.
Also, it is necessary to regularly prevent possible defects, which, in the future, may cause severe malfunctions in the system.
In some cases, it is necessary to upgrade or scale the system.
Elimination of defects
The most unpleasant expenses for video surveillance owners is system flaws elimination which arose during operation. Basically, in practice, users face the following problems:
- the presence of interference, including the loss of the image and the violation of colour reproduction. Here, the technician audits cables and connecting elements, checking the integrity and infringement of the braid and oxidation of the contacts. He also looks at the grounding device and the presence of extraneous electromagnetic signals. Complete information is in the article “5 proven ways to avoid interference in the video monitoring system“;
- system power problems, including IR illumination failure. Initially, the wrong choice of power supply and long power lines can cause many problems. For example, suppose the system was designed and installed in the warm season, during daylight hours without taking into account additional heating loads, then in cold weather or at night, problems with IR illumination may arise. The increased load on the power supply leads to the fact that the conductors’ voltage drops. Accordingly, video surveillance (installation of the system) must be done taking into account the maximum capacities;
- the appearance of optics condensation. There is a separate detailed publication about this problem called “7 ways to get rid of condensation on a CCTV camera“;
- breakage of the hard drive. Experts recommend purchasing only professional, specialized discs. The hard disk is in constant operation, and in case of freezing, it causes the recorder reboot and data loss. Before installation, it is advisable to check the disk for operability and access time. In most cases, if the equipment is not professional, it breaks down with an access time of 100 ms or more.
The primary means of prevention is maintaining the cleanliness and serviceability of the glazing of the cameras. We are talking about lenses, glasses that separate the lens and IR illumination, light filters and other optics.
What heavy dirt and scratches case:
- loss of image clarity;
- the appearance of visual distortions;
- autofocus failure;
- radiation hitting the lens and matrix illumination.
Preventive measures will include:
- the usage of separate glasses for the lens and IR illumination;
- cleaning the optics;
- installing visors on cameras to protect them from atmospheric phenomena;
A modern video monitoring system should be easy to develop, upgrade and scale. For example, we are talking about replacing black-and-white cameras with colour ones, increasing equipment resolution (from 380 to 600 TVL), adding new equipment to the system.
Initially, the development of the system should be planned at the design stage.
Users of analog systems should call technicians to update and adjust the system. At the same time, network cameras + progressive software like Faceter are capable of automatic updates.
Thus, the maintenance of video surveillance systems can be quite costly.
7 rules for saving on system maintenance
The main factors affecting the cost of maintaining video monitoring systems and seven rules for saving on the service:
- The choice of quality equipment and a reliable manufacturer.
Each consumer may have his criteria for choosing equipment and its manufacturer. We do not recommend buying cheap, no-name equipment on AliExpress.
- Warranty conditions.
Since the video monitoring system consists of many elements and devices, to minimize maintenance costs, you need to choose the manufacturer that gives the most prolonged warranty period. You also need to pay attention to the location of service centres.
- Selection and assessment of the quality of additional materials and equipment.
Similar selection criteria should apply to the selection of additional materials and equipment.
- Competent design of the system, taking into account possible development.
As the foundation of the system, the video surveillance project must consider the goals and objectives of the consumer. You also need to take into account the possibilities of maximum loads and scaling.
- Professional installation and qualified setup.
It is better to pay once for the system’s professional installation and its adjustment than to overpay for the alteration, agree?
- Testing the main parameters at maximum loads.
If you do not include maximum loads in the control system, you can fail when they occur. Such problems often occur during the cold and dark seasons, when heating and backlighting are off. Testing an already installed system is the key to success.
- System operator training at the controlled facility.
It is crucial to train staff to work competently. Problems appear due to incorrect operation and untimely service.
Let’s be honest: any technically complex system requires maintenance, mainly if it includes optics. Video surveillance is no exception. Timeliness of prevention and service during the operation of video surveillance systems is a production necessity that requires individual costs. It will be best if you are prepared for them.