How are you managing your security and parking system maintenance?
If you don’t give much thought to your security and parking system maintenance, you’re not alone.
A recent article in Campus Safety talked about their survey results around security camera maintenance. Over half of the respondents felt that their security cameras had “moderate to significant maintenance issues.” They also found that many had concerns with their access card controls.
“the maintenance issue is much bigger than most of us realize. I suspect it’s a case of “we don’t know what we don’t know” and that hospitals, schools and universities haven’t developed the systems and processes they need to track when their security equipment requires updates or repairs.” the article says.
Security and Parking System Maintenance
When it comes to maintenance on your parking or security system, there are two broad areas you should keep in mind. The first is the regular maintenance of hardware.
For License Plate Recognition (LPR) cameras that are installed at a fixed location, maintenance can range from checking if the camera is functioning properly to removing vegetation or other items that may have moved to impact the line of sight for the camera. LPR cameras fixed to vehicles should be inspected on a regular basis to ensure they are functioning properly and not in need of repair.
If your patrol teams use handheld units, they should also be checked frequently to be sure they are physically in good condition.
The second thing to consider is software maintenance. If your security or parking system is a mix of different software integrated with each other, software maintenance might be a bit more demanding. Not only do you have to install patches for each, but you also need to consider how patching one impacts the integration with another software. You should work with your vendors to be sure updates don’t create problems. All patches or updates from software should be installed as soon as possible.
However, if you use a single-vendor system, you should be looking for regular updates that not only improve functionality, but also keep your software secure and you have less to be concerned about with timing and compatibility. If your security or parking system is a “hosted solution” you generally don’t have to worry much about updates or patches because they can be pushed out to your system without any action from you. You can work confidently knowing you’re running the most current version of the software. At OPS-COM, when we are preparing an update that affects key workflows, we will often push the update to a “preview” space first so you and your team can test it and become familiar with it before we actually update your live system. We think it’s important that users aren’t hit with new features unexpected.
Creating a Maintenance Schedule
Most equipment or hardware should be inspected at least annually, but also when something changes that might impact its functionality. A security camera for example might get checked annually, but also after any significant weather event that might have caused damage or changed the environment around its location. We recommend that our clients with LPR cameras check the wear of all cables every 12 months, and to be aware of wiring whenever new devices are installed in the area.
Software updates or patches should always be installed as soon as possible. Our software has several releases each year with updates to features or bug fixes and we work with our clients to be sure it’s updated on all devices or systems shortly after the release.