A CCTV security camera system can be a huge financial investment. Taking a proactive stance in protecting this investment should be a no-brainer. There are several things you can do to ensure and prolong the longevity of their newly purchased CCTV security camera system.
Preventative maintenance is the number one thing you should look into. As the name implies, preventative maintenance refers to the things you can do right away to protect your security camera system from having issues down the road. There are different methods in protecting your camera(s) depending on the environment it’s going to be placed in and the manner in which it is going to be used.
In addition to the factory weatherproofing, thread locker (i.e Loctite) or marine sealant can be applied to any screws, housing, or exposed crevices. This will give the security camera an extra level of protection from liquids and guarantee solidity. Cable can be run through conduit to prolong it’s longevity. This will further protect it from the elements as well as critters that enjoy chewing on it. Using heat shrink wrap or electrical tape to cover up the connectors on the camera’s pigtail is also a very good and often overlooked idea. Corrosion on these connectors will almost always cripple any security camera.
When focusing on preventative measures for your CCTV security camera systems, it’s equally as important to pay attention to where and how you’re installing your security cameras. For example, an outdoor camera would best be placed under an eave or overhang. If being used indoors, the camera should be placed in an area that will prevent it from coming into any harsh physical contact. A DVR would work best in a climate controlled environment and away from any heating source such as a vent or duct. It’s also important that it not be placed in an area that is known to collect moisture or may be exposed to moisture in the future.
CCTV security cameras that are going to be used outdoors will obviously require much more thorough preventative maintenance and additional maintenance down the road. Outdoor security cameras are built to withstand the elements to a certain degree. This is usually evaluated using the IP rating system. "The IP rating system or, ingress protection rating system, is a scale that is used to rate the degree of protection from water and other intrusions in mechanical casings and within electrical enclosures."
Outdoor security cameras typically carry a rating of IP66. The first digit of the this two-digit number defines the level of protection against solids. The second digit defines the level of protection against liquids. In this case, an outdoor camera with a rating of IP66, is protected against the ingress of dust and the ingress of water. A detailed chart explaining different ratings can be found below.
Courtesy of: http://www.pyiinc.com/sonihull/IP_Rating_Chart.pdf
Once preventative measures have been taken, it is important to develop a maintenance schedule and stick to it. It’s a great idea to check your entire security system once a month, once every two months, or as often as desired. Starting with the camera, check to see that the lens is free of any dirt or debris. While doing this, you can also check on any Loctite or marine sealant you may have added to the camera and add more if needed. You’ll also want to confirm that there isn’t any corrosion or visible moisture forming inside the camera just by looking through the glass. If you’re able to access the connectors on the pigtail, it would be a good idea to check those for corrosion as well.
Moving away from the camera, the next step is to check the cabling. First, make sure the connectors from the camera are securely connected to the cabling. Next, follow the cabling from the camera to the DVR (if possible) and check it for any kinks, cuts or fraying. If it’s damaged, replace it right away to prevent any further complications down the road.
Finally, complete your maintenance check-up by inspecting the DVR. Check all connections running into the back for a good fit. All DVR systems will collect dust and debris over time so it’s a good idea to open the DVR (while turned off) and clear anything you may find using a can of compressed air. If you do decide to do this, make sure you turn your DVR off and disconnect the power source to avoid damaging any of the internal components. If you attempt to this while powered on, you will risk damaging the hard drive or shorting out the motherboard.
Performing preventative maintenance and scheduled inspections of your CCTV security camera system can greatly increase the longevity of your investment. This will ensure that your system provides you with the best security for many, many years to come.