How Do You Maintain Security Cameras?
After setup and installation, every video camera security system will require ongoing maintenance to ensure that it continues to operate optimally. This demands a maintenance strategy that is typically executed by either the system provider or internal personnel. Either option can have benefits and drawbacks and different strategies may have different impacts on the total cost of ownership.
Regardless of the strategy employed, most end users view ease of maintenance as a key priority. As a rule, the less hassle involved, the better. This is because anything that interferes with normal operations or causes downtime will have a negative effect on the organization’s video security goals. In addition to the usual IT and network considerations involved, key maintenance requirements typically include security patches, firmware updates, tamper detection, and camera downtime alerts — just to name a few. How all this is handled will greatly impact the effectiveness, lifespan, and user experience of any video camera system.
Jump to each section to learn more:
Security Camera Maintenance Features & Best Practices
• Automatic security patches & firmware updates
• Tamper detection
• Proactive notifications for camera downtime
Security Camera Maintenance FAQs
• How long do surveillance cameras last?
• What is camera tampering?
• How do you maintain a security camera system?
• How often should CCTV be serviced?
Security Camera Maintenance Features and Best Practices
Automatic security patches and firmware updates
Most modern technology requires recurring updates. The two main types come in the form of security patches to fix specific vulnerabilities and firmware updates that provide new instructions for how the device should operate. Because security patches aim to protect against newly discovered malware and other exploits, they will generally occur more frequently than firmware updates.
Many end users largely view patches and updates as necessary evils. So they may be happy to see months go by with no action necessary. But going too long between updates may be a sign that the manufacturer or third-party provider is not responding quickly enough to vulnerabilities. On the other hand, constant updates may suggest that the underlying software is substandard. A happy medium may be the preferred balance — and automatic video camera security patches and firmware updates can streamline the process and promote ease of maintenance.
In addition to cyberattacks within the network, you must remain vigilant against anyone physically damaging or stealing data from your video cameras. Visual inspection was once the only method, but automated tamper detection is an increasingly popular feature. Fortunately, physical vandalism is relatively rare. So it can be very beneficial to use modern technology to help solve this problem rather than devoting additional human resources. With the automated response, some systems are able to instantly initiate a backup protocol, and even send users a notification, when they detect an offline security camera. This may not prevent physical damage to the device itself, but if backup footage can be transmitted to cloud storage, you won’t lose any video recordings —and you may even capture video evidence of the culprit in the act.
Proactive notifications for camera downtime
Camera downtime is a constant concern for any video security system and is something you want to avoid at all costs. Some outages will likely happen, however, and the goal of maintenance is to minimize the duration and impact of these occurrences. One increasingly popular feature to help is proactive notifications that instantly alert users any time a camera goes offline. Whether through SMS text, a proprietary app, email, or other means, this can allow you to quickly assess, diagnose, and fix the problem to make sure every video camera is working as intended.
Security Camera Maintenance FAQs
How long do surveillance cameras last? What is the life expectancy of a security camera?
Some surveillance cameras last for a very long time with little fuss. Some will need to be replaced much sooner than you expect. And others will seem to need near-constant security camera repair. It all depends on build and software quality. One key consideration in the equation is whether your system provider or surveillance plan includes ongoing maintenance and extended warranties. You should always know whether you or the provider is on the hook for security system repair.
What is camera tampering?
Camera tampering is the physical destruction, vandalism, or theft or a security camera. This can require full replacement of a missing device or surveillance camera repair if it is merely damaged. Fortunately, camera tampering is relatively rare, and this is why an automated solution is usually the best way to monitor the device and send out instant alerts if something goes wrong.
How do you maintain a security camera system?
There are various strategies for ongoing maintenance, with some organizations preferring to keep everything in the hands of their internal personnel and others opting to leave it up to a third-party provider. Both can be effective when done properly. In general, keeping a security camera system operating properly is one of the most important — and overlooked — factors video surveillance. Even the best system is worthless if it is plagued with poor quality and constant downtime, making ease of maintenance the main priority for most users.
How often should CCTV be serviced?
The frequency of CCTV maintenance and CCTV repair can vary greatly depending upon the manufacturer, onsite conditions, and system configuration. In general, any system that needs constant care is probably one that isn’t worth investing in. Some security patches and firmware updates are par for the course, and certain hardware issues will arise from time to time. But modern systems should largely function well out of the box and not demand constant attention when it comes to troubleshooting and fixing problems.