It’s all about maintenance! Why servicing your security system is important

25 Mar 2022
BY Dave Salisbury

It’s all about maintenance! Why servicing your security system is important

As with any significant investment you make, when you’ve spent money on a smart integrated security system, you want to look after it. Depending on the security discipline involved there can be mechanical moving parts that need to be kept healthy, or lenses and screens that should be kept clear and clean. Ultimately, neglecting the system can not only reduce the longevity of the hardware, but it can also put your business at risk. Here’s how to keep your security system happy and healthy.

Which security disciplines need servicing?

The simple answer is all of them, but there are certain ones that come with a legislative requirement for frequent maintenance. To run through the disciplines: CCTV, gates, barriers and turnstiles, the access control system, intruder alarm and fire alarms all need servicing. However, fire alarms have a mandatory service cycle of every 6 months and that’s legislation for all commercial buildings with a staff size greater than thirty people. Intruder alarms – if they’re monitored – are required to have, under the British Standard (as laid out in the NSI guidelines), bi-annual servicing. CCTV systems require annual servicing. If you’re unsure of the frequency for your own system, always get in touch with a security and surveillance systems company; they’ll be able to explain what you need.

How are the different security disciplines serviced?

If we look at access control first every form needs maintaining, from key card access to facial recognition. The primary concern with electronic access control is making sure that the latest software updates and firmware patches that are rolled out are installed and working well with the system. Electronic locks are also an integral part of the service procedure; during the maintenance we offer for our clients we check the integrity of the lock, make sure they’re securing properly and that the holding force is correct.

With CCTV, the most important part of the service is cleaning:

  • The lens needs to be clean so the clarity is not affected
  • It needs to be cobweb free. In the daylight they’re invisible, but when the infrared LEDs come on at night, they can really affect the image clarity. We use a peppermint based repellent during the service to encourage spiders to find a different home.

Gates, barriers and turnstiles are tested to make sure that they’re opening and closing properly, they’re securing as they should, and that all the moving parts are cleaned and greased. In terms of service frequency, we recommend a bi-annual check for those with high traffic or footfall. If they’re less busy, then we’d say annual, but it all depends on cycle life. All gates, barriers and turnstiles have in-built cycle counters so we know how often it’s used and that affects the recommended service schedule.

What happens if they’re not regularly maintained?

The biggest repercussions for not regularly servicing your CCTV, access control, intruder alarms and fire alarms are that your buildings, site and assets are left vulnerable, and your people are put at risk.

With gates, barriers and turnstiles, it’s all about preventing the breakdown of the equipment by having planned performance maintenance (PPM). If you don’t service regularly and there is an equipment breakdown, the cost for repairs is likely to be far higher than paying a regular maintenance fee. This particular discipline also has the potential to be compounded even further if it is a high-traffic, high-footfall piece of equipment – a malfunction in this situation can cause a backlog of traffic or a bottleneck of people. Believe me, that’s a situation that doesn’t make a local business very popular!

Who does the maintenance?

We would recommend using a regular security company for your maintenance contract rather than trying to find contractors ad hoc. If you have everything in one place the cost is reduced, you receive regular reminders about when your servicing is due, and you can trust that the maintenance is being conducted properly and within the required frequency.

If you don’t have a maintenance contract for your security system, please get one; it’s well worth the fee. If you need advice, a member of the Zicam team will be happy to help. Just give us a call.

Dave Salisbury, Managing Director, Zicam Integrated Security Limited.

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