So, you have hired a security company to install a state-of-the-art security system, the install is done, and your location is secure. Time to kick back and relax, mission accomplished! In a perfect world yes, but the reality is that without monitoring your system and maintaining it, you could miss having the data or coverage required when you need it the most. All security systems require some level of monitoring and maintenance.
An alarm system requires regular testing to ensure that it is working properly. From zone tests, verifying your alarm system is communicating correctly with the central station, to verifying that your employees are arming and disarming the system correctly and at the right times, there are several things that need to be monitored. You will also have to be able to audit users, deleting terminated employees and creating new codes to issue to new employees. Depending on the frequency of testing your company requires and the amount of employee turnover, it can be a lot to keep track of.
Here are some helpful tips on maintaining your alarm system:
- Pay close attention to all keypad messages. Your keypad is not only a means of
giving commands to the system but is also a way for your system to notify you of
Think of your keypad like a check engine light in your car; your keypad will
warn you when something is not functioning properly.
- Perform regular alarm system tests. We recommend a minimum of monthly. Some of our customer do it weekly. Test all zones and verify proper communication with the monitoring station. Make sure to put the alarm system on test first!
- Stay on top of removing users that are no longer with the company. Too often we see companies request their user list only to realize that people that have not worked there for years still have valid alarm codes.
Video systems also require some level of attention to ensure the recording is there when you need it. There is nothing worse than having an event occur where footage is needed only to find out that the hard drive failed a month ago and no one noticed. Scheduling time to routinely check your system can ensure it is there for you and working when you need it.
- We recommend checking your system weekly at a minimum to make sure it is functioning and recording video.
- Verify all your cameras are showing video and all the shots look correct.
- Look to see how far back recording goes to make sure you are getting required video retention. Very often we see cameras that were configured for motion recording and then the layout changes, or a new sign that swings a bit is put up and causes the motion to record continuously, sucking up precious storage and ruining the retention time that had been planned for.
This all seems like a lot of work to stay on top of, but there is another way! Let us help you with some of these tasks. Reach out to your NAVCO account representative to discuss our Remote Admin Services. Let us take some of the responsibility off your plate.
About the Author: Jim Barthmus started his career at NAVCO in 1999 as an Installation Manager. After demonstrating his technical expertise and great rapport with our customers, Jim moved up into the role of Project Manager where he was in charge of scheduling and managing all of the installations in the NYC metro area. Today, Jim oversees the entire North Eastern region, from Maryland and West Pennsylvania to Southern Maine for all service and installations as a Group Operations Manager.