Technical Assessments – Installation and Maintenance Issues

Dana Frentz, CHPA, PSPSecurity Assessment, Security System Lifespan Management

This is the first of three blogs concerning the installation and maintenance practices we have found when conducting technical assessments.

There are three principal parts of an integrated security plan: people, processes, and technology. As a result, each of these components serves to augment the effectiveness of the other.

Looking at technology, there are dozens of electronic security management systems and integrations available to provide physical security for the places where we live, work, and play. While each may have unique capabilities, the basic premise of each includes hardware driven by software. This can include access control, video surveillance, intrusion alarms, communications, and more.  Based on the programming in the software, the hardware provide information accordingly. 

There are a plethora of books and articles on the various hardware components and their installation.  I would like to review a few of the common encounters we have found while conducting technical assessments.   The person charged with physical security typically relies on a service contractor or integrator to install and maintain the security hardware.  However, rapid and significant growth of the systems many times outpaces the ability to conduct the necessary quality assurance measures to keep the systems in the best operational condition.

Enclosure Conditions

poor maintenance

After maintenance or installation, are the enclosures clean? For example, dust, dirt, and debris can factor into the over-heating, malfunction or premature failure of components.

Assure those working on your systems recognize your expectation of leaving the enclosures clean.

Panel/Board Installation

panel installation

Do boards and panels have the appropriate mounting hardware?  Firstly, sticky backed tabs rarely withstand the test of time.  Likewise, failed installations can cause displaced wire, shorts to the system, and damage to the boards.

Assure the enclosure utilizes the appropriate standoffs for the boards and panels you are using.


disconnected battery
battery wires

Are there backup batteries in the security and power supply enclosures? Have the batteries been connected? Are they in good condition? Is the battery installation date visible?

All security panels and power supplies should have a connected backup battery.  This prevents loss of function if there is a drop in voltage or power loss. Batteries should also be on a preventative maintenance schedule to be replaced at the manufacturer’s recommended interval.

Cable Management

cable management
cable management
cable management

Are the cables neat, tied off appropriately, and labelled? Or does it look more like a bowl of spaghetti?

In short, cable should be brought into the enclosure in an orderly fashion, using cable management ties and properly labeled with device information

We have seen all of this (and more) inside enclosures!  Look for an upcoming blog concerning field device installation do’s and don’ts.

Plan. Protect. Prosper.

Protus3 specializes in security system design, security consulting, corporate investigations and other investigative services. Partner with Protus3 and we will examine each situation to identify threats and develop solutions for your best outcome.

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