Tips for Gate Systems:
1. Check your batteries – Most current and older gate systems run on 12 VDC batteries which allow the gates to operate and also provide a battery backup system, which will open the gates within 10-15 seconds in the event of a power failure. These batteries should be checked every 3-6 months depending on the size of your community.
2. Grease swing gate bearings – This is something that should be done every 6 months. This preventative maintenance will delay the need for costly repairs, such as replacing the two bearings of each swing gate. It also prevents putting extra stress on the operating motors of your gate.
3. Know how to use the Emergency Release System – Electronics in gates can fail at times, especially during our storm season in Florida. Managers and board members should know how to use the emergency release system to open the gates, in the event of a gate failure. Your gate company can give you instructions on how to do this, which will prevent a delay in residents being able to enter or exit the community. At least 2 individuals in the community should be instructed on this procedure.
4. Check phone unit lighting – If you use a phone unit to grant guests access, you should check the unit’s lighting every 3-6 months. Approximately, 90% of phone units use a very old method of lighting the keys to operate the unit. Some of the newer phone units use LED lighting, which will last a lot longer.
5. Make sure your Fire Knox Key Switches are working – This is required by all Fire Departments. Some Fire Departments like Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens require an additional step of adding a Click2Enter System to your community gates. This system allows the fire department a fast entry into the community in case of an emergency, allowing them to use their radios to open the gates.
Tips for Camera Systems:
1. Check your camera’s hard drive every 3-6 months – Just because you spent a lot of money on cameras does not mean that they are recording. Most cameras use hard drives which can, and eventually will go bad. It is important to test your camera’s hard drive to make sure it is properly functioning.
2. Have a monitor for your cameras – Whether you have an NVR (digital high res camera) or a DVR (analog video recording), your cameras should always have a monitor where they are located so someone can visually see what the cameras can see. This will alert you to any issues with video recording. Some of the most common problems that can disrupt recording include water residue on the outer glass, which can cause a glare from the sun blinding all the cameras, a faulty power supply and a bad hard drive. That’s why it is so important to view the cameras on a monitor and to retrieve the most current day of recording to insure that all cameras are properly functioning.
By Bryce Charles Fortney, Partner, Bartlett Brothers Access Control Inc.