A guide to replacement timelines for your physical security systems
For secure facilities like SCIFs, SAPFs, and Open Storage Areas, there are several devices that are crucial in maintaining their security, though all kinds of business employ these as well. Facilities rely on these pieces of equipment working correctly, and they’re an important part of a facility’s Security in Depth (SID), but some of them may require more frequent replacement or upgrade than others to maintain security.
Most of your security equipment will only need to be replaced when it begins to malfunction. In that case, having spare equipment on hand is advisable, as lead times to purchase new equipment can be long, and you don’t want to be without your security devices. Currently, you could end up waiting months for new devices. Make sure to test your equipment regularly so you know when systems that may not be in use daily, like your smoke alarms, are still functioning.
There are two main considerations when deciding whether or not to upgrade your equipment. One is whether there have been major improvements in the capabilities of the equipment, which may be the case with items like cameras. The other is, when a device is discontinued, the manufacturer may stop offering tech support for it. If this happens and the device has issues that you can’t fix without tech support, it’s likely time to trade it in for a newer model. It’s generally better to replace a faulty device rather than try to fix it and risk your security system failing when it’s needed.
Access Control System (ACS): When it malfunctions
Your Access Control System (ACS) is not something that is likely to become outdated. Because of this, you don’t have to be concerned with upgrading your equipment unless something is malfunctioning. Biometric devices are an exception to this, as biometric technology is still being perfected, so if you use biometrics in your ACS, you may want to keep your eye out for further innovation in the field in coming years, as it is rapidly changing every few years.
Making changes to your ACS in secure facilities can sometimes be a more complicated endeavor. When changing things like the types of devices or manufacturers, you will need to obtain approval from someone like an Accrediting Official (AO) or a Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) representative prior to making the change.
Intrusion Detection System (IDS): When it malfunctions
The Intrusion Detection System (IDS) is similar to your ACS. Unless a device that’s part of your IDS is malfunctioning, you likely won’t need to replace anything. However, there is a component of both the ACS and IDS that will need to be replaced with greater frequency.
Battery for IDS and ACS: Every 3 years
Your IDS and ACS battery will need to be replaced every three years. This is what ensures the systems as a whole keep running, so it’s a key component to maintain.
CCTV: At least every 10 years
While things like your monitors don’t need to be replaced frequently, you’ll want to replace your cameras at minimum every 10 years. Cameras have improved greatly in the last 10 years, and they will continue to do so. Better cameras lead to better visibility, which ultimately means better security.
Locking Hardware: Every 5-10 years
How frequently you need to replace your locking hardware will depend on the frequency of use of the door it’s on. For a main door in a large facility, you could have to replace the locking hardware as frequently as every five years. Lesser used doors can last around 10 years without needing to be replaced.
Fire equipment: Follow manufacturer guidelines
Some components of your fire system, like the strobe lights and alarm sounder, will only need to be replaced when they stop working. For smoke and heat detectors, however, you’ll want to follow the guidelines given by the manufacturer for how frequently to replace them.
Sound masking: Every 10 years
Your sound-masking system is an easy one to test, and it’s fairly obvious to anyone working in the facility if something like a white noise machine isn’t functioning properly. This system will need replacing around every 10 years, but it will be easy to tell if it needs to be replaced sooner.
Overall, it’s important to maintain and test your equipment and make sure to replace equipment as soon as possible when it’s not functioning as intended. If you want to secure your facility but don’t know where to start, Adamo can help with your fire alarm system, ACS, alarms, CCTV and more. Contact us to learn more about getting the security your facility needs.