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How often to check cameras?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by N. A. Corbier View Post
    This should be interesting.

    On another tangent, why do agencies and companies have un-monitored cameras? There's no response if something happens.

    Each CCTV system has a different function that has to be considered during the design process. There are essentially three major functions in my estimation:
    1. Surveillance - an operator physically watching a monitor or bank of monitors.
    2. Event driven alarm assessment- When integrated with an access control system, various alarms can cause a camera to be called to the operator's screen so the he/she can assess the alarm in real time.
    3. Post incident assessment- Unmonitored cameras are used to discover what happened after an incident was discovered. This is why most users have a policy outlining how long they retain CCTV images.

    "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." G. Orwell


    • #17
      Originally posted by burley View Post
      All of your comments regarding CCTV maintenance are interesting but what about systems where there are upwards of 1000 cameras with more to come? Yes my organization has a Communications Section but the best they can do is check and maintain the cameras every 3 months, and to add to the complexity of the problem - the CCTV sites are spread throughout a major city.

      You can imagine the state of strictly "recorded not monitored" camera images when we pull them for a criminal occurrence - real lunch bag let down. Any ideas on how to create a more effective way of managing a massive surveillance program where costs are publicly funded?

      BTW - I'm the person who requests the installation of the camera system and I'm not techy so any advice is appreciated.

      Haven't you heard that size doesn't matter!

      Only kidding but remember whether you have two cameras or 5000 cameras, there still has to be an effective policy for checking CCTV images. If your organization does not have the staffing for that, perhaps you should consider using a third party to do so. I like seeing daily camera checks, but in your case weekly may be more appropriate.

      If you are using a matrix switch, either analog or virtual, the system can be programmed to "salvo" the cameras one after the other so that the operator can sit there and review the images more easily.
      "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." G. Orwell


      • #18
        don't be naive...size always mattered but some people just didn't complain


        Thanks for your insight. Some government organizations don't want to budget for the intangibles like maintenance, hence we end up with crappy images after a homocide occurs and then they look to me as if I planned an ineffective surveillance system. Government funding for crime prevention efforts in Canada is like pulling teeth.


        • #19

          One suggestion may be to set up a general preventive maintenance type program. Set up that officers are required to check X amount of cameras weekly.

          I used to work at a Vets Facility where are job was both Security and Fire Prevention/Suppression. They had hundreds of extinguishers that we were required to inspect monthly. So we divided up the campus. One week we checked all of them in Building X, next week we checked all of them in Building Y, following week we checked them in Building Z, and so on.

          My. 01 (Hey I work Security can't afford 2 cents )


          • #20
            I work in a psyciatric facility and the biggest problem i have is cheap cameras installed by unqualified people. The cameras seem to be able to perform every function (tilt, pan, zoom etc,etc.) but we have no control centre for these functions.
            We have a dvr which can hold 4 months of footage with 16 channels (pacific communications) but cannot use it to it's full advantage.
            It seems to me unless you know what you are looking for and at, you shouldn't install cameras.

            We haven't had a break-in for a while, let's cancel security!
            We haven't had trouble for a while, Let's cancel security!