How To Maintain Your Security Cameras
How To Maintain Your Security Cameras
If there’s one thing any person wants, it is to feel safe and secure in their own home. One way to feel protected is with a home security alarm system. Luckily, with advancements in technology over the years, home security camera installation is no longer a luxury affordable only to the wealthy and elite. It has become accessible and within the means of the average Australian homeowner.
Like any home appliance though, regular maintenance is vital to ensuring your home security camera continues to keep you protected 24/7. Here are some of the most effective maintenance measures to ensure your security system remains in peak working order, and your home remains safe and protected.
Keep Your Home Security Cameras Clean
Given that security cameras are typically installed outside and therefore exposed to the elements, it makes sense that they will endure some dirt, dust and occasional rain spots. All of which can affect the picture quality of your camera – particularly if the lens gets dirty.
So what is the best approach to cleaning your security camera?
- Start with a can of compressed air, this will clear any loose debris that may have accumulated
- Then lightly wipe the lens with a microfibre brush to remove any remaining dust and dirt
- Clean the lens at least once every three months
A quarterly clean will reduce the likelihood of dust, dirt, smudges and rain spots diminishing the picture quality of your security camera.
You will also benefit from occasionally checking the casing that the cover is housed in. This housing can also gather dust and debris, which can negatively impact the picture quality of your security camera. Inspecting the camera’s housing will indicate to you whether or not it offers suitable protection from the elements. If water has found its way into the casing, or you can see evidence of condensation forming, you can fix this by adding some waterproof silicon around the casing.
The Control Panel
Essentially the nerve centre of your entire home security system, the control panel manages everything from the cameras to the alarms and the motion sensors. Therefore it’s crucial to your entire security system that the control panel is working properly. We recommend testing the control panel at least once a month to ensure it remains in peak working condition. Make sure you set it to test mode first, and alert your security monitoring service beforehand that you are running a test. If you don’t, you’ll run the risk of your monitoring company activating their emergency procedures on (literally) a false alarm. And no one needs that inconvenience.
It can also help to check the control panel for any wires that may have come loose, or for any evidence of wear and tear or damage. If you do find any loose or frayed wiring, an Upside Down electrical contractor who specialises in security camera maintenance will be able to fix the issue with ease. You’ll receive a certificate of compliance showing that a licensed professional completed the work, that it was done safely and correctly, and that all electrical work meets Australian standards.
Keep Your DVR or NVR Clean
The other key component of any home security camera system is the video surveillance system that records the footage captured by the camera.
Generally most systems work either with a Network Video Recorder (NVR) or a Digital Video Recorder (DVR). To maintain the performance of your home alarm security system, it is important to clear your DVR or NVR of any dust that can get in through the vent at the back.
Follow these pointers for an effective clean:
- Wipe the outside of the box with a clean microfibre cloth
- Open up the box with a suitable screwdriver and, with a compressed air can, clear out any accumulated dust
- Be sure to blow the dust away from the NVR or DVR and, if possible, do it outdoors
Dust build up in the back of your NVR or DVR can cause damage to the fan and cause the system to crash. Cleaning it out once at least once a month will prevent dust from accumulating to the detriment of your home security system.
Check the Cables and Connections
Home security alarm systems require working cables and connections for full functionality; important for providing optimal security and protection. To ensure that full functionality continues, be sure to check those cables for any deterioration, and make sure that power is getting to any and all cable connectors.
Cable connectors are also prone to corrosion. While you’re inspecting the cables and connections, be sure to replace any connectors that appear to have corroded. Leaving it in place can result in the remaining equipment shorting out. Calling on a licensed electrical contractor to ensure your cables, connectors and other electrics are up to scratch may benefit you.
Check That the Complete Security Camera System is Actually Recording
You can follow all these maintenance tips and instructions, but if your home security camera system doesn’t actually record, it’s all for nothing. Test the recording capabilities of your security camera both in daylight and at nighttime. You can then assess the quality and clarity of the images at both levels of light, and make sure that your NVR or DVR is storing the recordings correctly and securely. Double check that the time and date are correct, and adjust accordingly if you need to. These tests should be carried out once a week.
You also want to be sure that the hard drive that stores your recordings is still working and working well. You don’t want it to crash unexpectedly and when you need it most. Be sure to use a hard drive that is surveillance rated; a simple PC hard drive will not suffice.
Other Ways To Get The Most From Your Home Security Camera
In addition to all the maintenance measures we’ve covered, there are other ways to ensure you get the most out of your home security alarms system. Simple things like:
- trimming back any trees or bushes that might be obstructing the view of your camera
- occasionally revising the placement of your camera(s), and
- placing appropriate, professionally designed signage that indicates your property has security monitoring in place
Can all help to maximise the benefit of having a home alarm security system.
As the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that roughly 9.4 percent of Australian households experienced at least one household crime in the surveyed 2020-2021 reference period, demand for security cameras installation across the country has increased.
To ensure your home security camera system provides the level of protection that you expect, follow these tips:
Keep your security camera(s) clean
Regularly check that the control panel is working, and that there are no loose or frayed wires
Remove any dust on – and in – your NVR or DVR
Make sure that the cables and connections are all working perfectly
Check at least once a month that the security system is actually recording
While there are many aspects to security camera maintenance that fall into the DIY category, there may be others – those relating to wiring and cable connections for example – that need the expertise of a licensed electrical contractor. For expert service and advice on all matters security cameras installation, get in touch with the professionals at Upside Down.