Maintenance is the cure

June 2012 Surveillance, Security Services & Risk Management

A recent upgrade of the CCTV system at one of our clients provides an excellent example of why it is so important to have a scheduled maintenance programme for a CCTV system.

Our client’s building, which was originally built in 1969, comprises 75 500-square-metre offices spread over 34 floors, with basement parking and shops, restaurants and a fitness centre at ground floor level.

When Secure was appointed to manage the building, it was discovered that the existing CCTV system had not been properly maintained for some time. We very quickly established that there was not a plan in place to ensure that the 250 cameras were checked on a regular basis to ensure that that they were working satisfactorily. Our audit confirmed that very few of the cameras were operating properly, although in most cases the camera lens just needed cleaning or refocusing.

Even more bad news was discovered when Secure took a look at the building’s video recording system. Apart from the fact that anything which had been recorded was mainly unusable from an evidence point of view because of the poor quality images captured by the cameras, the recording system also did not have sufficient capacity to simultaneously record images from all of the cameras at the same time. The recording system clearly had the potential to do everything we needed it to do, but like the cameras, it had not been properly maintained or upgraded to reflect the number of cameras which had been installed.

A complete overhaul of the CCTV system was in fact a relatively simple process to improve the system so that it was fit for purpose. Simultaneously to testing and servicing each of the 250 cameras, we worked closely with the manufacturers of DVR software to ensure that its recording system was upgraded.

The functionality of the upgraded recording system also enabled Secure to build a stand-by crisis management room where the CCTV system could be monitored and controlled should the building’s main control room become inoperative for any reason.

As a result of Secure, the building now has a CCTV system which can be used to identify any suspicious activity, initiate an appropriate response and record high quality video of the evidence for post incident investigation. Fortunately, there have not been any major incidents but we are of course always aware of the need to ensure the safety and security of everyone who works at the building. Although, no major emergencies have occurred, in recent months there have been several instances where the CCTV system has done its job.

For more information contact Secure Group, +27 (0)12 667 2323, [email protected],

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