To ensure the effectiveness of any security system, you need to perform recommended maintenance, testing and inspection for all equipment. Typically, the purchase of security products includes a basic parts and labor warranty, but it is also important to schedule and perform preventive maintenance.
Here are three common reasons that your security system could fail and what you can do to prevent it from happening:
1. Your Equipment is Aging
When you leased or built a new space for your business, you probably installed or upgraded the security system, but over time that equipment ages and needs to be maintained or replaced.
Many security devices, such as video surveillance cameras and access control card readers, are IT devices that act like small computers plugged into the network. Just like your phone or laptop, those devices need regular updates and eventually they might need to be replaced if they’ve become functionally obsolete.
You wouldn’t expect your phone or computer to last five to 10 years without maintenance, so don’t expect your security system to behave any differently.
Also, some of the critical components, such as power supplies, have batteries that keep your security system working when the power goes out. Just like a smoke alarm in your house, those batteries need to be tested at least annually and replaced when they no longer hold a charge.
2. Your Business has Changed
Over time, your business is bound to change, and with that, so will your security needs. You may find that you have new spaces or use existing spaces differently, which leaves assets vulnerable to gaps in your security plan.
Acquisitions, mergers and consolidation also create an entirely new set of challenges for your business and your security system. You could find yourself acquiring hundreds or even thousands of new fire, intrusion or card access locations with little or no documentation.
In either scenario, it is extremely critical to have a consistent plan in place to accurately document, test and inspect each system to identify potential failures before they become an issue. Even low-risk systems that may only have basic alarm reporting should be tested to ensure they’re communicating properly and that all of the areas are protected.
All site information should match with the chief reporting authority as well, ensuring each device is accounted for within the existing platform.
3. Nobody’s Watching
One area that’s often overlooked is the monitoring of the so-called “dormant points of protection.” These are points within the system that connect to the security platform that may not be activated or tripped for long periods or require power to function.
Cameras that are not regularly viewed can stop recording while no one is watching and result in missing video evidence during an investigation. Routine testing and inspection help to uncover devices that have been damaged by power surges or other catastrophic events.
In many cases, the damaged hardware may look and report as functioning normally from the security console but will not respond to system changes or provide security alerts during an actual event.
By establishing a regular testing, inspection and maintenance program – and by enlisting the expertise of a trusted, single-source security provider – business owners and facility managers demonstrate an active commitment to monitoring the health of their complete security platform, minimizing unexpected costs, downtime and ultimately the safety and security risk to employees and customers.