There is point of having a CCTV system if it won’t help you when you need it. This is the main reasons why many business and organizations find the need to regularly perform CCTV audits to determine the functionality, performance and effectiveness of their system. A CCTV audit is basically a keen look of the system to identify the areas that need improvement or changes. This will ensure the system will perform well when it is needed and probably save the day. A CCTV audit is always a holistic process and at looks at different aspect of the system.
Here is how to do a CCTV audit:
Location of cameras.
This is the very first step when carrying out a CCTV audit. Cameras should be located in the correct places in order to achieve maximum benefits from the system. Other gadgets that should be correctly placed include sensors and detectors. Location of cameras should be in such a way that they meet the different needs of the business. When looking at location of cameras it is important to ask yourself if location of the cameras meets the needs of the organization. This will help you determine if the location needs to be moved or they should remain in the same location.
Alarm detection and response is something that is important for a proper functioning CCTV system. If alarm response system is not proper functioning the whole system may not be helpful at all. Many CCTV service provider may offer a trial for alarm response by it may not actually work in the long run. When doing an audit, make sure the response is appropriate when the alarm triggers are activated. For example there are specific zones in the business or organization that should trigger an alarm response when activated. This is a good way of finding if the alarm response is working appropriately.
Broken and malfunctioning equipment.
An audit should always check if the equipment in place are functioning in the right manner. Sometimes it is difficult to identify broken and malfunctioning equipment without carrying out a proper audit. A proper audit will always point out the broken equipment that need replacement and malfunctioning equipment that need improvement, change or require an upgrade. Some of the equipment that need to be checked for breakage or malfunctioning include cameras, sensors and the alarm system.
Equipment that do not serve intended purpose.
There are equipment that are part of the CCTV system but do not meet the right purpose. These are equipment that were installed initially but with time their use becomes irrelevant or they no longer perform their intended purpose. An audit gives you an opportunity to point out such equipment and determine whether you need them. During an audit, you may decide to remove equipment that do not perform their intended purpose or you may decide to replace them with the right kind of equipment. This will make your CCTV system to be a functional unit.
Wiring and cables.
Wiring and cable of the system should be assessed when doing a CCTV audit. There are several factors that should be checked when assessing wiring and cables. For instance during assessment, you should check wires and cables for tear and wear because this affects their functionality. It is also important to check factors like loose wires, proper insulation and also make sure the connection points are intact. For wiring and cabling, you may need the help of a professional because this area of the CCTV system is always complicated and sensitive.
Checking the control equipment.
Control equipment are sometimes forgotten during an audit. This may be because many people think they are not important. Control equipment involve all equipment that help you see what is going on. They include equipment like screens, monitors, control panels, keyboards and other equipment. These are seen as the least technical aspect of the CCTV system but they are equally important for the system to give accurate results. For example during an audit, it is important to check aspects like brightness and contrast of the screens and monitors. Working of the switches, keyboard buttons and proper connection of the ac plugs.
Documentation of the results.
Every audit should be followed by a documentation and a full report of the results of the audit. Documentation should be done in an orderly manner covering all areas of the audit. For instance if in the area of wiring and cabling, it is important to check the functioning and award that area in terms of performance. Documentation can be done by awarding marks in terms of performance and functionality of different areas of the CCTV system. Marks can be awarded and this is what will be used to make recommendations based on performance.
Recommendation from the results.
The results of an audit are used to give recommendations of areas that need replacement, improvement or complete change. Each recommendation made should be supported by facts based on results. After an audit the areas that performed poorly are usually the areas where recommendation is always made. Recommendations are rarely made on the best performing areas of the CCTV system. In a good and transparent audit, weakness of the system should be clearly outlined because rarely will you find a system that is 100% accurate. Recommendation should outline the exact steps that should be made towards improvement.
Implementation of the audit.
A good audit should always end with proper implementation of the suggestion made. The recommendation made should be followed and implemented to the latter. The main aim of an audit is to foster better change and change cannot happen if proper implementation of the recommendation is not done. CCTV audit is important because it determines the security level of the organization. Security is always an important aspect of the organization so it is important that the audit is done by qualified persons as well as implemented by people who are really passionate about security otherwise there is no need to continuously do CCTV audits that do not achieve results