Clean your Cameras
Its recommend to clean your cameras monthly or quarterly. By removing access dirt and water spots from your camera view will ensure you get the best video results possible for those cameras. Dirt and water spots have a negative impact on cameras with infrared. You can experience over saturation in your cameras field of view during nighttime operation since the infrared will reflect off the dirt and water back into the camera lens causing a white blown out image at night making it hard to discern what the camera can actually see. Windex is a fine solution for most cameras since they are glass.
Once a quarter you should review all the cameras on your system to ensure no trees, vines, foliage or bushes have gotten in the way of your cameras field of view. Its very important to keep your landscape trim back so it does not negatively impact the cameras field of view. The biggest issue aside from the cameras field of view being blocked by landscaping is if you own infrared cameras, bushes, tress vines anything leafy will also absorb your cameras night vision limiting the distance the camera can actually see at night.
Perform Quarterly Inspections of your Security System
Its important to check the integrity of your indoor and outdoor cameras, look for cracks in the lenses of your cameras, ensure all video and power connectors are securely fastened to each camera, remove animals nests near your outdoor cameras, remove any spider webs that may have formed on the exterior cameras, spiders love infrared, they are drawn to it as are most bugs, They will turn your camera into there personal hunting ground , so keep a close eye on them. Spider webs can impact your cameras ability to see during nighttime operation so dust them off.
Check your Cameras Power Supplies
If you have individual power supplies be sure to check that they are securely plugged into a surge protector, if you own a power box for your cameras open up that box and make sure all the power leads are securely fastened down to the positive and negative terminals in the box. Power cycle your power box to ensure its working properly.
Check Your DVR and Clean It
Review your DVRs Event log to pinpoint camera issues, hard drive issues and overall health of your DVR. The event log with normally tell you what cameras have lost video, when they lost it and when the video was reestablished, this could mean the camera is failing and needs to be replaced. If you see your DVR is constantly rebooting you may have a mother board issue. So always review your event log of the DVR. Its good to power down your DVR and power it back up, be sure to have a can of air handy and blow out all vents on the DVR to ensure good air flow circulation to the DVRs mother board and hard drive. Keep your DVRs in temperature controlled rooms if possible and if your putting it in cabinet or anything with doors be sure the DVR can breath, if it can not breath cut a small hole in the cabinet and you can attached a small PC fan to allow for circulation or just put a screen cover over the hole.
Replace Camera Connections when Needed
Nothing lasts forever. Be sure to inspect each of your cameras video and power connectors. If you see corrosion or if the connector is loose on the cable replace it with a new one
Check your Cameras Cable Lines
Its always good to check the cameras cables to ensure no animals have chewed them up, if you find a cable that has been chewed be sure to lay down traps to stop the pest. I recommend re-running the entire line instead of splicing the line to ensure a healthy and working system long into the future. Make sure cable is being run through dry areas and not over the top of light fixtures. Light fixtures can cause impedance on your video signal giving you a grainy image or rolling image.
Replace Bad Cameras
Individual camera prices have come down significantly over the past 10 years in the security camera industry. Be sure you are replacing grainy cameras, cameras with failing night vision or cracks in there lenses and cameras with broken mounts. Cameras with cracks in their lenses should be changed out quickly since they are no longer weatherized. The lenses can become fogged up, particularity in the morning during the spring and summer time, this will normally clear up as the day warms up but for several hours you will have no usable video footage from said camera.
Security lights are a great tool for homes and business to help deter crime, but they can blow out a cameras image at night. Be sure to check your nighttime footage of your cameras near security lights, be sure the camera is not looking directly into the light, instead the camera should be utilizing the light to allow for it to see further at night, meaning the camera should face the same direction as the light.
Camera Angles /Focus/Eves and Metal Buildings
Its always good to review your cameras angles to be sure they are covering what you intended, if they are not simply adjust the camera in the direction you want. Most cameras have set screws that need to be loosened before you can move the camera, most cameras set screws are Phillips or various Allen wrench sizes, if you have an Allen wrench kit this will normally work on most cameras since it comes with multiple size Allen wrench heads. If you have cameras that have vari-focal lenses its always good to go through any of the cameras and clear up the focus. I recommend doing all of your focusing and camera adjustments in the evening, this will ensure the best possible image quality of your cameras. Watch out for house eves because the IR can reflect off the interior of the eve back into the camera lense and blow out the image so be sure to angle your camera down more if this happens, you can even purchase specific mounts that will lower your camera off the eve 3 to 4 inches. If your camera does not have that option you can use a 4x4 cantex box or 2 by 4 piece of wood to help lower said camera below the eve. If your cameras are mounted on a metal buildings they will lose focus quicker if they are vari-focal cameras because most metal building structures vibrate from the wind which causes the camera to lose focus over time because the set screw will undoubtedly loosen from the vibration. If you notice rolling lines in your camera on a metal building it most likley because the camera is mounted directly to the building. Since the camera is metal and the building is metal it can cause video issues, just remove the camera off the building buy a 4x4 plastic cantex box and mount the box to the building where you want the camera and bring the video line through the box and mount the camera to the front plate of the cantex box, then make up your camera ends in the cantex box and screw the front plate on, put some silicon around the edges of the cantex box to help keep moisture out.
Passwords for DVRs
All DVRs have the ability to change passwords, please keep your passwords in a secure spot. Be sure to remove previous employees who had access to the security system that are no longer with your company.
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