Video surveillance system maintenance isn’t at the top of anyone’s holiday list, but if you want to catch Santa on camera this Christmas it’s a good idea. If you don’t check your video cameras, network equipment, and system recordings regularly then you might not be aware of problems and malfunctions. Missing an important recording event due to a Grinchly glitch in your video system can be worse than a lump of coal in your stocking. So, before Christmas Eve do a little video surveillance maintenance using these six tips to catch Santa on camera:
Six Tips to Catch Santa on Camera
Make Sure All Video Cameras are Working
There are a lot of things that can interfere with a video surveillance camera’s ability to work well, or to function at all. Severe weather storms, animal interference, and power supply flaws are just a few. To make sure your video cameras are working, first access your video monitoring room or device. From there, confirm that each active camera is powered up. Next, make sure each one is sending a high-quality video image. Make a list (and check it twice) of cameras that are not working or capturing poor image quality. Finally, troubleshoot potential causes and implement appropriate fixes during the rest of your maintenance check.
Confirm Each Video Camera Lens is Clean and Clear
Like human eyeballs, video camera lenses get dirty and can suffer traumatic damage. Over time, outdoor dust, high humidity, and flying debris can cause poor image quality. As camera lenses become grimy, clouded or cracked, worse issues can occur. Regularly cleaning video camera lenses increases the odds of seeing Santa clearly.
Cracked video surveillance camera lenses not only inhibit a clear view, but enable dirt and moisture accumulation in the camera’s inner components. Over time, the buildup and corrosion will cause the camera to stop working all together. The jolly news is that you can save a lot of money by simply replacing the cracked lens. Repairing a cracked lens is far less expensive than purchasing a whole new surveillance camera.
Inspect Lighting and Video Camera Positioning
Unless you’re using infrared video surveillance cameras, good exterior lighting is key to capturing good video imagery at night. Rudolph’s nose and Christmas lights won’t illuminate well enough for cameras to see all the action. If your video surveillance cameras include a built-in lighting fixture, make sure the bulbs are bright enough to provide adequate light. Proper positioning of each camera determines whether video captures a man in a bright red suit, or a shadowy figure heading for the chimney. Point cameras toward well-lit areas, but make sure they are not pointed directly at lighting fixtures.
Ensure All Video Network Cables are Securely Connected
Checking network cable connections may seem like video surveillance maintenance 101, but is a frequently overlooked source of performance problems. Whether indoors or outdoors, video network cables can be jiggled loose or jostled apart. Imagine what could happen if Santa’s sleigh landed on your roof. Would he trip on a cable? Would the sheer velocity of reindeer and sleigh speed blow older connections apart? If you live in an area with high winds, powerful storms, sonic booms, or earthquakes, then check cables and connections regularly.
Good Wi-Fi Signal and Internet Bandwidth
Video loss or signal loss on Wi-Fi security cameras and systems are sometimes caused by a weak Wi-Fi connection or low internet bandwidth. Like Santa’s elves, the closer video cameras and routers are to each other, the better they can communicate and work. So, if your Wi-Fi signal is weak, try lessening the distance between your video cameras and your router. Avoid placing the router in basements and on floors, and make sure the antennas are pointed upright and straight. Be sure to check all router cables and connectors to confirm they’re sturdy and tight.
Brick walls, concrete floors, marble, 2-way radios, and smartphones can act as Wi-Fi signal frequency barriers. So, find an area with the lowest number of barriers, and keep your router away from 2.4 Ghz (smartphone and Bluetooth) band devices. If you have a lot of devices using the 2.4 Ghz band, try switching your router to the 5 (5.8 Ghz) band. If these options don’t help, consider asking Santa for a Wi-Fi range extender.
Enough Storage for Recording
Unlike Santa, who never gets full of cookies and milk, home and business digital video storage space can fill up quickly. When that happens, like an old VHS tape, your system abruptly stops recording. Digital Video Recording (DVR) surveillance systems typically store data to a hard drive, so make sure to delete old footage. Professional home and business video surveillance systems that utilize cloud storage, rather than a computer or external hard drive, are less likely to run out of storage. Remember, Santa’s a big guy, so regularly deleting unneeded video files ensures enough storage for recording.
Maintain Ongoing Video Surveillance Maintenance Checks Every Holiday
Consistent video surveillance maintenance checks are a good idea year-round. With holidays happening monthly, take advantage of the free time to keep your network healthy and your home or business secure. After all, you wouldn’t want to miss getting Father Time, Cupid, the Easter Bunny, or the Great Pumpkin on video too!
If your business or commercial property has an outdated video surveillance system that can’t catch Santa, Resolute Partners can help. We offer Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS), AI-based video security systems, and managed video security network solutions. To learn more, Contact Us or Request an Assessment.