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CCTV Maintenance Contracts for Commercial Buildings

Imagine having a CCTV camera installed on your property only to realise that when you needed the recorded footage for security purposes, the system didn’t record the footage at all.

What’s the purpose of having a surveillance system then, right?

CCTV cameras are an integral part and one of the most effective forms of security in commercial buildings. They are not just extremely useful in deterring crime but also for recording evidence and providing a sense of safety and security.

However, a CCTV camera is only effective if it can be relied upon for non-stop and fault-free surveillance.

When it comes to CCTV cameras, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. The lens might break, there may be issues with the recording feature, or there might be power disruptions causing the system to shut down unexpectedly.

With the unmatched benefits of CCTV cameras and so much at stake due to a faulty system, it is crucial for business owners investing in them to also have them regularly serviced and maintained.

One of the best ways to do so is to get a maintenance contract from a reliable security company so that all the system’s servicing needs are taken care of.

Read on to find out all about CCTV maintenance contracts for commercial buildings, what must be included in them, and how often servicing needs to be carried out:

CCTV MAINTENANCE CONTRACTS FOR COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS

CCTV maintenance contracts are signed documents between the security company and the CCTV owner that ensure the system will be looked after and all its servicing needs will be taken care of, leaving you, the owner and user, carefree and at ease.

A maintenance contract will put you and your CCTV system on top priority in case of an unexpected fault and also during emergency callouts.

The duration of the contract, the price, and other details may vary between contracts and companies and you may set up a custom maintenance contract as per your requirements and budget.

Some maintenance contracts also include professional CCTV monitoring services for added security and protection.

The benefits of a maintenance contract include:

  • A regularly maintained system by professionals,
  • 24-hour coverage,
  • Reduced call-out and labour charges,
  • Reduction on insurance premiums.

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN A CCTV MAINTENANCE CONTRACT?

All CCTV maintenance contracts are different and drafted keeping the customer’s requirements in mind. Depending on the size and complexity of the system, the contracts may include various forms of inspections and testing.

An average CCTV maintenance contract includes remote and on-site service calls, emergency calls, and on-call support for the following list of services:

  • Cleaning the camera and checking whether the lens is focused and adjusted properly,
  • Checking the field of view and removing any obstructions,
  • Checking the sensors and detectors, if any,
  • Checking the batteries and replacing them every few years,
  • Using the controller to check the various functions such as panning and zooming,
  • Checking the wiring and connectors for any wear and tear,
  • Checking if the transmission is clear and without any distortion,
  • Checking the equipment settings on the DVR,
  • Checking the security of the wireless connection and making sure it is safe from hackers,
  • Agreeing to repair any minor faults where necessary,
  • 24/7 CCTV monitoring, if applicable,
  • Training and retraining the users on the use of the CCTV system,
  • Providing a report on the condition and logging all the results,
  • Advising on the latest technology and security recommendations,
  • Advising on the latest data protection and security legislation.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD A CCTV SYSTEM BE SERVICED?

According to the CCTV code of practice with respect to installing CCTV cameras in buildings, the systems must be regularly maintained and reviewed to ensure that they are working as they should and are compliant with all the CCTV camera laws.

The amount of maintenance and its frequency is dependent on the type and size of the CCTV system and how complex it is.

As a general rule of thumb, it is recommended to have the systems looked over at least once every month to ensure that they are functioning properly and providing you with the maximum level of protection.

A thorough in-depth check is recommended once every year by a professional service to assess the overall health and condition of the system and rectify any potential problems before they turn into actual issues.

HOW MUCH DOES CCTV MAINTENANCE COST?

Maintaining your CCTV security system will repay your investment in it by working effectively with minimal disruptions.

Annual servicing is recommended to keep your CCTV security system working as it should. You must maintain the system yourself too and keep it clean and dust-free. On average, a maintenance visit would cost you around £75-£125.

The cost for a maintenance contract may vary considerably and constitute basic servicing to in-depth repair services as well. Some contracts are also made according to the individual customer’s requirements and are, therefore, tailor-made according to their budgets.

IMPORTANCE OF A WELL-MAINTAINED CCTV SYSTEM

A properly installed and maintained CCTV system provides a range of benefits to business owners and is highly effective in scaring away intruders.

Here are all the reasons why well-maintained CCTV cameras are so important for commercial buildings and the people inside them:

Crime deterrence

No one would want to commit a felony and get caught on camera, and this holds for all kinds of criminals including burglars, intruders, and vandals.

Just the very idea of being monitored and recorded is enough to scare away intruders trying to break into your property, which is why they will always try to stay away from commercial buildings under CCTV surveillance.

Some individuals might believe that they can make do with faulty and broken systems since sometimes even the mere sight of a security system is enough to ward off criminals.

However, one must bear in mind that an intruder trying to break into your property will first scope it well to find out vulnerabilities and for a professional criminal, it is very easy to spot a dummy/broken CCTV system from a well-maintained one.

Therefore, it is best to not risk it and have a good quality CCTV system installed on your property and also have it properly maintained.

Recorded evidence

A well-maintained CCTV system will not just scare away potential criminals but also provide evidence if they commit a crime.

With the camera’s real-time and recorded footage, suspects can easily be identified increasing the chances of them getting caught.

This ease of evidence and the trail that burglars leave behind can work to their disadvantage, should they try to burgle a CCTV monitored premises.

CCTV cameras don’t just protect from external threats such as intrusions, burglaries, and vandalism, but also internal threats such as the damage and theft done by disgruntled occupants and employees.

Remote monitoring

Many CCTV cameras that work using the internet offer remote monitoring that allows the users to access the recorded footage both in real-time and as a playback feature from a remote location.

This gives them the benefit of not having to be physically present on the premises to keep a check on what’s happening.

Also, remote monitoring is used by professional monitoring services who monitor your premises 24/7 and stay alert for any suspicious activity and, in the event of one, inform the owners and the authorities right away.

This connection is possible through uninterrupted signalling services which may be disrupted by faults and oversight on your part as a result of a lack of proper maintenance.

Safety and security

Employees are the backbone of any business and their safety must be of utmost importance. A well-maintained CCTV system not just protects them from outside threats but also encourages good overall behaviour.

Knowing that the owners care so much about them will motivate the employees to work better and be more productive.

Also, constant surveillance promotes a healthy working environment where everyone feels safe and offences such as violence and sexual harassment are kept in check and under control.

CCTV LAWS FOR COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS

While every commercial property is permitted to use security systems such as CCTV cameras to ensure their safety and security, they must operate them responsibly.

Certain laws govern the use of CCTV systems in businesses and adherence to said laws is mandatory. They include The Data Protection Act (DPA), The Freedom of Information Act (FOI), The Protection of Freedoms Act (POFA), and The Human Rights Act (HRA).

According to the CCTV code of practice for commercial buildings, the owners must:

  • Have a legitimate reason, such as security risks, for using CCTV cameras, which is possibly the most important aspect of legal compliance.
  • Register with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) as a CCTV operator, which includes paying a data protection fee (unless you’re exempted).
  • Establish clear responsibilities and procedures, along with documenting all aspects of data control.
  • Ensure that the data is stored securely and can only be accessed by authorised personnel.
  • Inform everyone in the area that they are being recorded, which can best be achieved by putting up clear signage or communicating with the people involved.
  • Monitor staff as long as they have been made aware of it in writing and explained the reasons behind it.
  • Not install CCTV cameras in private areas of the workplace such as toilets and changing rooms.
  • Disable audio recording on all CCTV systems since it is a huge invasion of privacy and is largely discouraged.
  • Ensure that the recorded data is provided, within one month, to individuals who have been recorded on the system, if they request to access it.
  • Store the data only for as long as it is needed, the duration for which varies from business to business.
  • Share recorded images and video footage with the authorities, such as the police, if they ask for them.

And of course,

  • Regularly maintain and review the system to ensure it’s working as it should and is compliant with all the CCTV laws.

CONSEQUENCES OF BREAKING THE LAW

The aforementioned CCTV laws for business are taken very seriously and a violation can lead to criminal charges and the owners facing huge fines of up to £500,000.

In addition to jail time and fines, businesses might end up losing employee and client trust since using recording equipment without their knowledge is a serious invasion of privacy.

The inability to put up signage for the general public to know that they are being monitored can also tarnish the reputation of a business or commercial property owner.

CONTACT CALDER SECURITY

At Calder Security, we offer a comprehensive range of CCTV services for commercial buildings ranging from professional installation to monitoring, maintenance, and repairs.

Commercial CCTV installation

CCTV installation is a specialist trade and one that is best reserved for security industry professionals. While many general electricians may offer this as a service, they simply do not have the specific knowledge and experience to offer the same level of expertise.

In addition to the physical installation of the equipment, there are many factors to consider such as optimum positioning of the cameras, setting up the DVR, integration with other security systems such as burglar alarms, and the settings of the system itself.

We know the market better and can make informed recommendations on the specifications of the system such as whether it should be IP or analogue HD, the number of cameras you need, where to put them to minimise interference from weather conditions, and full training on how to get the most from the system.

Commercial CCTV maintenance

Three factors will generally determine the effectiveness of any electronic system: the quality of the equipment; the skill of the installation; and the way that the system is maintained and looked after.

During a maintenance visit, our specialist engineers will conduct a visual assessment of all equipment, check all connections and cabling, clean the cameras, lenses and housing, check the positioning of the cameras, assess playback and recording quality, and even re-familiarise users on proper operation of the system.

We are SSAIB approved contractors and can also take over servicing of an existing system not installed by us.

Commercial CCTV monitoring

CCTV monitoring means that security breaches can be detected as they are in progress and the appropriate action taken even when the premises are empty.

Professional monitoring services can add an extra layer of protection knowing that your property is being watched by security professionals around the clock.

Fast action can make all the difference; not only in the case of a break-in but also fire, flood, or any type of structural incident.

Commercial CCTV repair

As discussed above, CCTV systems can malfunction for several reasons: weather conditions, compromising cameras, loose connections, cabling issues, power surges, or general wear and tear.

Whatever the issue, you need to resolve them quickly by an engineer who knows what they’re doing. All our engineers are security industry specialists and carry a comprehensive range of parts, equipment, and service kits on their vans to ensure that fixes are dealt with efficiently because burglars don’t wait until the repairs are done.

NATIONWIDE CONTRACTS

We have the resources and capability to manage national contracts for multi-site companies and can offer all of the following services throughout the UK as part of a national contract:

Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 9799 for more details about our security services and contracts.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash