Tips for CCTV Long Life & Health
We very much appreciate your business and support. Let’s start the new year with some good security practices to insure your security system stays up and running and doing what it supposed to do.
We are supplying you with some helpful tips to keep your video security system up and running well. A little prevention or self help can save you money and keep your system healthy.
Check your DVR hard drive(s) regularly
- An easy way to check your hard drive is to simply playback recent video.
- Check your playback to make sure that all your cameras are recording. Filter through dates and times is a good way to ensure proper recording.
- Make sure you are getting the recording duration you anticipate. Suddenly seeing that you are only getting a few days of video recordings when you previously had weeks or months is a sign that something may be wrong.
Maintaining your DVR and Cameras
- DVRs tend to build up dust from the cooling fan that sucks in cooler air. The accumulation of dust can cause damage to the fan and cause the DVR to overheat. An easy method of cleaning is to use a computer dust spray. Simply aim it at the vent areas. Computer air sprays can be easily found at many computer stores as well as Best Buy, Target, Walmart etc. Although our new line of High Definition DVRs and NVRs have a 3 year warranty on hard drives and recorders, this practice will give your DVR and hard drive extra longevity.
- Spiders and bugs love the IR (infrared) lights on your security cameras. Spiders build webs around the cameras to catch the bugs that are often drawn to the light. A small spider web can render your cameras night view useless. Play back or check live view when it is dark outside to see which cameras are affected. Sometimes, when the spiders are so ambitious, it may be better to use a camera without IR and simply use another separate IR light source that is not attached to the camera. This will alleviate the problem completely in most cases.
- Dusting and lightly cleaning the camera lens with a soft cloth or a wipe helps to clean debris. Using a dust mop with a long handle will help reach the high mounted cameras that are typically out of reach without a ladder.
Monitor your Day and Night Recording
- Over time camera sensors and other parts can ware out. We warranty our new cameras for 3 years but many will last more than 10. Eventually, like any electronic device, they will need replacement.
- Camera connections, especially outside, can need maintenance. Heat, cold and sometimes moisture can affect the connections. While we don’t ask our customers to check this, we do recommend that looking for signs of connection issues. Lines in the image, flickering or other image issues are telltale. Addressing these issues right away is the best way to prevent total image loss.
Quick Tips to Avoid a Service Call
Issue: Cameras are out but the DVR is working.
Fix: Restart the camera power box as this usually cures the issue. Make sure the power box has power. Look for lights on it that are sometimes inside the box and may be difficult to see. Many larger boxes have fans so look for signs of life. Power poxes sometimes go bad but it is rare. If this does not work, arrange a service call as it likely is a power box issue.
Issue: DVR or NVR is not reachable by Internet, in other words, no phone or computer access.
Fix 1: Did you reset your router to default or get a new one? If yes, then there is nothing you can do on your own and you should call us for either a remote service call (a lower cost to you) by TeamViewer support accessing a computer in the same network as the DVR or by having a technician come to your site to repair this.
Fix 2: Try restarting your DVR and router as well as any other network devices such as network repeaters, adapters. See if this resolves the issue. If not, you may need our assistance.
Fix 3: Check all connections. Make sure that the Internet connection is firmly in place behind the DVR as well as in the router. These can come loose especially when cleaning around the DVR or relocating something nearby that may have pulled the CAT5 cord out.
Issue: DVR is not playing back video.
Fix: Try rebooting the DVR. Are you seeing a theme here? This is the rule of thumb for any issue with electronics. So many service calls can be prevented by simply rebooting an electronic item. This goes for your smart TVs, computers and anything else that has power and smart technology. If this does not cure the issue, it may be a bad hard drive. Check your DVR and see if the hard drive is showing up in the settings. If not, then this is a definite issue and you will need to replace your hard drive.
We recommend that you keep these tips handy and to create an appointment reminder to yourself to check your Security System monthly. You can also sign up for our Email Notification Service setup that will send you an email or text when your DVR and cameras are having issues. The service costs $40 per year, a little over $3 per month for some automated peace of mind. This is will cover and will alert you to most issues as soon as they arise.