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There is always some confusion during the hand over of the CCTV system to the client because the process is rarely formalized. The installers feel they have handed over the system, while the end user thinks that all the problems in the system have not been rectified. This confusion can often cause bad blood and there is also no clear-cut start date for the guarantee period.
To avoid this pitfall it is very important to formalize the hand-over /takeover process. A detailed hand over document should be prepared which should facilitate the transfer process. Both the installer and the end user should tick off the items that have been reviewed and make a note of all the pending problems in the security system. When these issues are resolved then the formal transfer of the system can be completed. A typical hand over process should cover the following steps:
- System Audit
- System manuals
- Operator Instructions
- Staff training
Before testing the CCTV equipment it is important for the installer and end user to go around the site to each camera point. The end user should stand below each camera and check out the view they expect to see from each camera. After completion they return to the control room to test the CCTV system to ensure the manufacturer’s specifications and also the requirements in the tender document are met. If you are an installer, you should demonstrate the following to the end user and if you are an end user make sure you check the following:
Show/check the camera performance in all the light levels available. If the cameras are outdoors ensure the performance is checked both during day and night time.
Show/check the lens coverage for each location. If proper identification is required at a scene, then make sure the lens being used fulfils this condition
Demonstrate/check that all pan tilt cameras give the required coverage
For zoom lenses demonstrate/check they have been back focused properly. This means that the object of interest always remains in focus during the zooming in and out of the lens.
Demonstrate/check that all cameras have been properly synchronized. This means there should be no picture jumping or rolling while switching. The lack of synchronization can lead to lots of problems. First of all it is irritating for the operator to watch jumping pictures on a continuous basis and it secondly is possible this could also lead to poor quality recording such as to skipping of picture frames, picture tearing and color disorientation.
Show/check that the switchers and/or multiplexers have been programmed properly. This means:
Making sure that proper addresses and camera numbers are given to all cameras.
Ensuring that the keyboard functions are operating well.
Simulate and show/check all the alarm functions are working as per required.
Demonstrate/check the picture quality both during the day and night time.
Demonstrate/check the quality of the cable runs in the site.
Show/check that there are no exposed cables at the camera points.
Show/check the quality of BNC connections made.
Show/check the equipment rack.
At the time of hand over the above functions should be effectively demonstrated and checked.
Preparation of the installation manual is a key part of the transfer process. These manuals should be supplied during hand over. They are important as a reference during maintenance and/ or future expansion of the security system. Each manual should contain the following items.
All “as installed” drawings with all details of equipment used
Description of the system: The general description of the functions and locations of each component of the CCTV system.
The following data should be provided.
- Product catalogue
- Installation manual
- Users manual with basic faultfinding
Full instructions regarding routine maintenance should be provided.
The CCTV system will have new operators on a regular basis. To make them operational quickly it is a good idea to prepare instructions on all day-to-day and other frequently used operations, Operators instructions should be given in simple and easy to understand language. These instructions could be engraved and installed near the system keyboard.
During the hand over process it is important to train the operator and the people associated with the management of the system. It is a good idea to incorporate this into the contract. The following areas should be covered in the training:
Explanation of the overall system and the different components used
Operation of the switcher
Operation of the recording system
CCTV Site Survey Sheet:
This form is simple to use. It will help you in noting down the type of CCTV equipment you require while conducting a site survey. This is a general form, which can be modified as per requirement prior to the start of any survey.
CCTV Preventative Maintenance Feedback Form
One of the key issues after conducting a routine maintenance at any site is to prepare a report which will help the user understand the current status of the CCTV system and issues that are likely to arise in future. This type of reporting system will help the dealer / installer build a good relationship with the end user. Please note this is a general form and you can modify it to meet the requirements of your site.
Maintenance Report Card
It is always a good practice to keep a brief report card of the jobs done on the CCTV system in a pouch, maybe behind the monitor rack in the control room. Any new technician coming to the site can go through the report and get a complete understanding of the history of the system. This will help in troubleshooting and improving the preventative maintenance.
CCTV System Handover Sheet
The handing over process of the CCTV system is rarely formalized. This usually causes friction between the dealer and the end user. This sample handover sheet has been designed for a retail environment. It can be easily modified to meet your needs.