Important maintenance tasks that need to be done regularly to keep security cameras operating
Keep the following checks in mind after installing a system
While you can generally tell if there are any serious issues or glitches with your security camera system, not many companies know how to tell when it might be time to do some routine maintenance on their cameras. By keeping an eye out for early symptoms and performing routine maintenance to address smaller concerns, you can help prevent major issues from arising. We’ve compiled eleven of the top signs that you might need to call your security camera installation company to perform maintenance.
- You can’t remember the last time you did maintenance on your security cameras.
Before you can start looking for signs of possible issues, it’s important to put a schedule for ongoing maintenance into place. If you can’t remember the last time you did maintenance on your security cameras, that’s a sign right off the bat that it’s time for a check of your system.
In order to maintain your security camera system, you should regularly be performing a general system check to make sure that the cameras are working properly. This is a great type of security camera maintenance to have performed on a monthly basis. It will help identify any cameras that might need extra attention in the future and can allow you to make any necessary tweaks to optimize camera performance. Set a schedule and stick to it, and you’ll be able to avoid your security camera system failing just when you need it most.
- Footage is blurrier than normal.
One of the most important functions of business security cameras is recording clear, focused footage of your business and its surroundings. If the footage that your cameras are capturing is looking a little out of focus compared to when you first had the cameras installed, that’s a huge sign that you need to have a maintenance tech take a look.
Don’t ignore blurry or grainy footage. It might be the result of damage to the camera, the camera housing being bumped, or numerous other factors that will prevent your cameras from displaying a clear picture. Especially if the blurriness is only noticeable on one or two cameras, it’s a sign that those particular cameras might need a check done on them.
Maintenance can be performed on the different parts of the camera that are responsible for capturing the image, zooming in or out (if applicable to that camera model), and triggering night vision. The camera lens can be re-adjusted to ensure it is clean and able to capture clear, focused footage, and the other features can be fine-tuned as well.
- Camera footage cuts in and out.
It might seem like a relatively minor thing that can be easily attributed to poor signal or random interference, but you should always take camera footage that cuts in and out seriously. It can be an indication of numerous different issues in the camera—and possibly the network—and it is smart to get it checked out sooner rather than later.
If you’ve got camera footage that cuts in and out, pay attention to whether there is a pattern to when it happens. Is it only in high winds? Does it occur when multiple people stream video on the building’s Wi-Fi? These details will help the maintenance technician determine what the root cause might be and how best to handle it.
- You cannot access the security camera remotely when you should be able to.
Remote monitoring is one of the biggest benefits of modern security camera systems. Losing the ability to remotely monitor your cameras or footage is more than just an inconvenience; it’s a major problem that should be addressed promptly.
When you call for maintenance due to losing remote monitoring capabilities, the tech will likely ask for some additional information. You should be able to describe if you’ve lost all or some remote monitoring functions, how long the problem has been happening, if anything unusual preceded the issue, and what troubleshooting steps you’ve already taken to re-enable remote monitoring. If your remote monitoring goes down, that’s a massive red flag that other key functions of the security camera system may not be operating effectively, and the system will generally require professional maintenance to get everything recalibrated and working again.
- The Pan-Tilt-Zoom feature stops working.
Some security cameras, like the Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) camera, are made to be controlled remotely. The obvious upside to a camera like this is that it gives you exponentially more control over how you collect information and visual data in your business. The somewhat less-clear downside is that more moving parts mean more maintenance needs.
If your PTZ camera suddenly doesn’t tilt anymore, or if you find yourself unable to zoom in or out, call your maintenance tech! They’ll be able to help diagnose the issue and do whatever maintenance and repairs are needed for the camera to work as intended.
- Motion sensing stops working.
If you have exterior or outdoor security cameras, you may have chosen a system that uses motion detection to get the cameras to start recording. If the motion sensing capabilities on the camera stop working or become less sensitive, it’s a sign you might need to have maintenance done.
To test whether the cameras are still detecting motion appropriately, you might want to have somebody intentionally trigger the cameras every once in a while. That will give you a chance to see if the camera starts recording immediately or if there are signs that it might need maintenance.
- Your locale experiences severe weather.
It’s easy to overlook the impact that weather can have on your security camera system. However, the weather is one of the biggest predictors of whether your cameras might be due for maintenance.
If you have outdoor security cameras, you should check that they are working and undamaged after any major weather event. This might include thunderstorms, flooding, blizzards, or high winds. Any type of severe weather can cause damage to the cameras or cause them to move and no longer record the intended area. After any storm, it’s a good idea to walk around and do a visual inspection of your security cameras to see if you can sport any physical damage. You can also check the footage that is being recorded to make sure that the camera didn’t get bumped or shifted during the storm.
It’s also beneficial to check up on your indoor cameras if there has been a significant storm. You shouldn’t generally experience any issues in the cameras rebooting if the power goes out or you lose internet, but it’s useful to confirm that they are all still up and running. If there seems to be any issue with the cameras recording or with the storage system you have, be sure to call for maintenance right away to address the problem and get your system working properly again.
- Cameras are recording but not storing the footage.
Communication between the security cameras and your storage method can be a key indicator that it’s time for maintenance on your system. If you have security cameras that are recording footage but you can’t access the footage through your storage system, chances are good that the communication between the two has been interrupted. This might be the result of loose wires, an unstable internet connection, or a problem with the components of the security camera or storage system. If you’re having difficulty getting your cameras to communicate with your storage system, a maintenance technician will be able to help troubleshoot the problem and get everything back to normal.
With regards to the storage system, you may also need to check on whether you are approaching your storage capacity. As the video quality that your cameras capture increases, so does the amount of storage space that you need. If you don’t keep an eye on your storage capacity, you could end up losing important footage because you run out of storage space.
It’s also a good idea to select several video clips at random to pull from storage to view and confirm that the footage is being properly stored and can be accessed without any issues. You want to make sure that all aspects of your security camera system are functioning well, and that includes the footage being properly processed and stored!
- Your business is the victim of a crime.
The obvious interpretation of this tip is that, if your business is the victim of a crime, your security camera system might not be working as intended. If your business was targeted, the criminals might have tampered with your security camera system without your knowledge. Doing a routine check and maintenance on all of the different parts of your security camera system after a crime will make sure that you catch any intentional damage or interference with your system in a timely fashion.
After a crime, it’s generally advisable to work closely with a professional security camera installation company. They’ll be able to guide you through the process of filling any gaps in your security system and making sure there was no damage to your system while the crime was being committed.
- You notice visual signs of wear and tear.
Once your security camera system is in place, the cameras typically fade into the background quite quickly. After a few weeks, you might not even notice they’re there. That’s not an issue on its own, but it does mean that you need to be intentional about keeping an eye out for wear and tear on the cameras.
When looking for visual signs of wear and tear, you should look for things like damaged housing, exposed wires, or cracked glass on the camera lens. These are all issues that should be addressed by a qualified maintenance technician. Be sure to pay attention to both indoor and outdoor cameras, as they can both experience wear over time!
- Construction or renovations are done around/near security cameras.
If your business has had any construction done recently, including any renovations, it’s a good idea to have a routine maintenance check done on your security camera system. In the hustle and bustle of construction, it is easy for cameras to get bumped or damaged without you noticing. Proactively performing maintenance after construction has been completed will allow you to catch any issues before they cause problems down the line.
Performing routine maintenance on your security camera system is a great way to make sure your business is protected. In order to know when it might be time for maintenance, pay attention to the physical condition of the cameras, whether you’re experiencing any technological issues with the cameras or your storage system, and make note of any events or incidents that might result in damage to the cameras.
There are many other ways you might be able to tell that your security camera system is in need of maintenance, but these are some of the most common red flags that we see and hear about from clients. You can work with us to identify and address any maintenance needs your security cameras might have, and we can help you tell whether what you’re observing in your cameras means they might need attention. If you have specific questions about the type of maintenance that your security camera system might need, get in touch with us and we can help you determine what you need to keep your cameras running in optimum condition!
About the Author
As datanet IT, our experts specialize in working with clients to design tailored security solutions. If you want more information on the business security camera systems that we offer, feel free to reach out to us today. We’re happy to work with you to ensure your company is protected! If you wish to be contacted about a security camera install, please fill out this form.