Is it true that IP66/IP67-rated CCTV cameras need to be maintained in the field and can’t just be put in and ignored till they die?

A: After the standard commissioning tests have been undertaken it’s vital to conduct a proper maintenance programme. Maintenance is important even if it’s just cleaning the spiders off housing windows, checking drip loops and connections, and greasing/coating housing bolts and cable entry points.

The cadence and nature of CCTV camera maintenance depends on your location – if you have PTZs near a beach that maintenance will need to be regular, even if it’s just tasking the council gardening team to spray fresh water on the housings once a week with the pump truck while operators run the wipers.

When it comes to maintenance, you need to spend time in the control room. Operators looking at camera performance drift slowly over time will not notice things that may be apparent to you after a 6-months break You’ll need to look at focus, target framing, including depth of field required, and performance aspects like evaluation of resolution, checking on contrast and seeing if ghosting or flare is increasing (suggests dirty/UV damaged lens dome bubble/camera window).

Also important are things like focus tests and in a perfect world, you should also undertake brightness and filtration tests on lenses. A proper maintenance programme will involve recommissioning at least once a year. There’s no point us pretending this sort of commissioning happens to every camera on most our sites. Taking and storing commissioning images is an important element as it allows you to compare performance and targeting over time.

From the point of view of integrators, regular maintenance is also about building recurring revenue into your business while ensuring end users are provided with increased operational performance and reliability – these 2 things should never be considered mutually exclusive in a worthwhile partnership.

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