Your CCTV cameras are perhaps one of the most integral components in your home. It deters burglars and keeps a close eye on what’s happening in your property 24/7. That’s why it’s important that your security camera system is working properly at all times to ensure your home is adequately protected. Whether you use modern IP cameras or an old analog system, you should always keep them well-maintained as doing so will help prevent further issues down the line.
While manufacturers have their own set of instructions on maintaining their products, there are easy ways for you to keep your CCTV cameras in tip-top condition. Here are 5 tips that you can apply when maintaining your security camera system that come from the ANZPAA recommendations.
1. Always keep the lenses clean
As with any security cameras, the lenses are what captures the information you need. It would be a shame to put a good footage to waste if it was recorded in a camera that’s smothered with dirt and grime. Simply wiping down the camera lenses can go a long way towards recording crystal clear footage which is helpful in the event of a burglary.
Keep your camera lenses clean by using a compressed air canister to blow off dust and other particles. Then, proceed to wipe the lens with a microfiber cloth to remove smudges. If the camera lens is covered with stubborn dirt, you can use a lens cleaning solution and wipe it gently with a microfiber cloth.
Avoid using household cleaning agents on your camera lens as it may do more harm than good. Also, don’t wipe the lenses without blowing compressed air first or you’ll risk scratching the lens.
2. Inspect the units for damages
CCTV cameras, especially the ones installed outside your property, are frequently exposed to the elements which can cause accelerated wear and tear. Carefully inspect the cameras for any signs of damage such as corrosion and worn-out cables. You may also want to inspect the connectors for signs of rust. Catching rust early on is crucial so that it doesn’t spread to nearby camera parts.
Check if there is any moisture buildup or condensation happening inside your cameras. This can be a common problem if you live in areas with high humidity levels. If you notice signs of moisture in your CCTV cameras, have it inspected by a qualified technician as soon as possible. Security cameras should be water-proof and free of moisture no matter the weather conditions.
3. Check the power supply box and the cables
While it may be in your best interest to maintain your security camera system, none of these would be effective if your CCTV cameras suddenly power down due to a faulty power supply. Check the power supply box and make sure all the cables are neatly arranged and the cameras are getting the exact amount of power they need. For analog camera systems, you should check the coaxial cables for any signal loss and any visible damage that may result in a choppy connection.
A large amount of connection issues revolve around cabling problems. Checking the cables for kinks, shorts, frays, and bad termination is a quick and easy troubleshooting step that you can perform during your CCTV camera maintenance. If the camera’s links and activity lights aren’t blinking, it’s most definitely due to a cable issue.
4. Empty your hard drive
If you use a hard drive to store your recordings, it’s a good idea to empty it once in a while to free up space for future footage. There’s no point in using a security camera system that isn’t capable of storing important information. Check how much memory is left and transfer the files to a separate hard drive before cleaning storage.
A 1TB hard drive is usually enough to store 3-4 weeks of data from a single camera. It’s crucial to create multiple backups of your footage with both automated and manual methods. Most modern security camera systems can help facilitate the process by enabling you to check the storage within an app. Depending on the camera, of which PCmag has a list, it can even unload the data off to the cloud for you. This eliminates the need for you to manually locate your CCTV footage, thus facilitating the entire process.
5. Perform software updates
Security system companies constantly release new software updates on their devices to fortify its security features and prevent hackers from breaching your CCTV cameras. Always make sure that your units are up-to-date to avoid compromising your home security. Software updates can also make your CCTV cameras more reliable by adding in new features to help with its performance.
With something as important as a security camera system, you want it to function properly at all times. With regular maintenance and repairs, your CCTV cameras will operate reliably and deliver the kind of protection your property needs. Of course, while maintenance will help your system remain functioning don’t hesitate to get in touch with a professional for CCTV camera repairs if something does go wrong. You will also want to get in touch with an expert annually to do extensive maintenance too.