CCTV Fault Finding Guide: How can you understand if your CCTV and security systems are working effectively?

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‘How do I know if my security system is still working? And how can I find out about faults with my CCTV system?’ These are common question for us here at Farsight, and so they should be.

If your security system and CCTV is faulty, then you need to know about it. Without such knowledge you and your security maintenance team can’t take action. If faults are left unnoticed then your security won’t be optimised and your site could be left vulnerable.

This CCTV fault finding guide is specific to security systems that are remotely monitored by Farsight. Of course, prevention is always better than cure – so why not have a read of our CCTV and security system maintenance guide too? Packed with advice on how to keep your security systems in full working order, the maintenance guide will help you to keep your security optimised around the clock.

Installers if you’re installing a remotely monitored security system, then this CCTV fault finding guide will help you to understand the benefits of the YourSight fault ticketing system – in turn helping you to communicate how to use the platform and why it is so important to your clients.

CCTV fault finding guide

The key to understanding the health of your security system lies in the system in place to identify faults and notify you of them. From there, there are several best practice techniques that can help you make the most of the system and resolve faults as quickly as possible.

With remote monitoring you’ll benefit from experts monitoring alarms raised from your site, which means they are also able to monitor the health of your security systems. (Find out more about what remote CCTV monitoring is in our video).

The first stage of finding faults with your CCTV system is to make yourself familiar with your remote monitoring station’s fault ticketing platform:

YourSight – Farsight’s fault ticketing platform

At Farsight, we’re able to monitor how your security systems are performing and if there are any faults through specialist, bespoke software called YourSight (previously known as the fault tracker and web portal, which is accessible via Farsight.co.uk).

YourSight is Farsight’s state of the art cloud based fault ticketing system. From this ticketing system, Farsight keeps a record of your site’s health.

Clients can access YourSight at any time, providing them with complete transparency about the performance of their security.

What a fault ticket from Farsight means

A fault ticket is a message entered into the YourSight platform by Farsight operators when they identify a fault with your security system.

Potential faults include:

  • poor lighting
  • site audio not working
  • no camera image
  • camera image distorted
  • detection triggered by foliage
  • detection triggered by overspill
  • loss of connection

The above are just a handful of the most common faults that our operators identify on a regular basis.

Taking action from a fault

What you should do when a fault ticket is raised for your site or an asset (such as CCTV camera) on your site:

YourSight will notify clients automatically when operators at the Farsight Observatory identify a fault with your system and issue a fault ticket. Depending on your remote monitoring service level, this will be sent to you via email or via SMS.

The notification you receive will detail why the operator has deemed a fault with your security system as detrimental to its effectiveness.

When a ticket is raised you will receive an email or SMS with details of the fault with your site’s security system. Receiving this notification is not an instruction for your maintenance company to attend your site to rectify the issue; instead the notification is simply Farsight’s way of informing you that there is a problem.

It’s important that you are familiar with the terms and conditions of your maintenance contract, as this will determine how the ticket should be responded to and when.

However, some faults are more urgent than others. If a fault is deemed urgent, it will always be flagged up in the fault ticket. For example:

  • Urgent: Loss of connection to site
  • Urgent: No alarms are being received from site

I have received my notification, what next?

Log in to YourSight and check the ticket for yourself.

From there you can read notes on the ticket and add to them. You will be able to see notes from both your security system’s maintainer and Farsight.

You may wish to inform Farsight that the issue is being investigated or give us further relevant information. Alternatively, you may like to inform the relevant parties to help correct the fault – for example, grounds maintenance teams may be called to cut back foliage or you may want to speak with your security maintenance team to understand more about the issue.

If you believe the issue has been successfully rectified you can resolve the ticket. Resolving the ticket will notify Farsight to check the system again for the same fault.

If the Farsight operators see the issue has disappeared, then we will close the ticket. However, if the issue is still there the ticket will be reopened to request that it’s investigated again.

Deciding whether your CCTV or security system fault requires support from your security maintenance company

A common question we receive from clients is whether a fault requires further escalation to your maintenance company. In the majority of instances, your maintenance team will also be notified of the fault via YourSight – meaning they will also have been made aware of the fault.

As each individual will have a different contract and service level agreed upon with their maintenance team, it is impossible to say whether your maintenance company should respond to the fault. Again, you should refer to your terms and conditions.

What can you do to keep your CCTV and security systems free from faults?

You can help Farsight and save yourself time and money by carrying out a few, simple checks. These checks will help reduce the number of faults raised for your site, improve your security and save you having to escalate faults to your maintenance company:

  1. Make sure all bills are paid and up to date, especially broadband and telephone lines. We may have lost connection to your site simply because someone forgot to pay the broadband bill this month.
  2. Check that the security system has not been tampered with and nothing apears to be missing.
  3. Visually check that the security system and communication equipment has power to it.
  4. Check with your IT department that nothing has changed, for example a new firewall being installed.
  5. Keep on top of your site’s maintenance: control vermin; cut back foliage, and keep your site tidy.
  6. Proactively walk test your site yourself. Farsight encourage sites to walk test their security system to make sure it is all working as they expect. You can conduct walk tests without appointment Monday to Friday 9am-5pm, simply call the Farsight team on 0845 371 0101 at a time that suits you.