Is Your Video Surveillance System Ready for a Crisis?

Is Your Video Surveillance System Ready for a Crisis?

Knowing whether a video surveillance system is functioning properly is key to ensuring the safety of staff and patrons, maintaining efficiency and being able to react quickly when issues arise.

Increases in violent crimes and assaults have prompted transportation departments, school districts and other public spaces to increase security efforts, from adding physical security personnel to installing more cameras. In some cases, it was reported that surveillance systems weren’t working properly at the time a crisis happened. Without ongoing maintenance and monitoring of security equipment, video may not be usable when a critical incident occurs.

A study by Axis Communications and the International Association of Public Transport found that the average number of cameras per system increased by nearly 70 percent from 2015 to 2018, and more organizations were sharing videos with third parties.

Placing cameras in an optimal location for complete coverage is one step toward protecting a site, but being able to manage those cameras and know whether they are functioning properly is crucial. Using proactive health monitoring solutions help make sure a camera is active and transmitting video.

“Active health monitoring by a trusted cloud service is critical to ensuring a video system will function as expected in a crisis. If the performance of video devices are not actively monitored in real time we should assume they are inoperable,” says Rick Sheppard, CEO of OpenEye, the cloud video platform company.

Systems that are deployed over multiple sites, such as a series of subway stations, can be complex to maintain and manage. Having a robust video management system and following preventive maintenance best practices will help ensure a system is functional in a crisis and will enable organizations to provide law enforcement with evidence in a timely manner.

Incidents are not limited to catastrophic events. They can include organized theft or vandalism, which can cost businesses tens of thousands of dollars. Critical events don’t always happen when someone is watching the monitors. Integrating a system with third-party solutions like gunshot detection and video analytics, enabling alert notifications and reports and providing reliable remote access from a PC and mobile devices provide a proactive way to be informed and manage a VMS.

“OpenEye is committed to providing a scalable, secure open-cloud platform that simplifies operations and management, is easy to deploy and use, enhances safety and reduces the burden on IT,” Sheppard says.

OpenEye Solutions

OpenEye offers cloud-managed video security software, IP cameras and recorders that combine the reliability and performance of local recording with the flexibility of the cloud. The OpenEye Web Services (OWS) platform combines and analyzes event data from video, alarm systems, access control, sales transactions and internet of things (IoT) devices and transforms it into actionable insights.

It significantly simplifies the deployment, use and management of multi-site video surveillance with system health monitoring, centralized user management, remote software updates, automated reports, alerts, online clip sharing and more.

System Health Monitoring

OWS’s system health monitoring service proactively addresses issues such as offline cameras, hard drive failures or exceeded storage levels. Users can receive alerts via mobile or email and reduce system downtime. Read more here.

Clip Sharing

With the system’s video clip sharing feature, in minutes, users can search video and export password-protected clips to the cloud then share them via email with other users, insurance companies, local authorities or others. OWS streamlines the export and sharing of clips by moving the entire process to the cloud, making it faster and more secure than using physical media. The feature’s remote client option is included on the Command Station desktop client and OpenEye Mobile app for iOS. Read more here.


OpenEye’s open platform provides the flexibility to work with value-added integrations like access control, visual verification, alarm events, video and audio event detection, identity management, point-of-sale and more. Visit for a complete list.

Case Study

In Hellam Township, Pennsylvania, the combination of community relationships and video surveillance systems helps local law enforcement investigate crime. The Hellam Township Police Department employs 12 people and serves the Hellam township, Hallam Borough, and Wrightsville Borough, which have a total population of about 10,000 people.

Advantage Security Inc. has been providing intrusion, video, access control and fire alarm systems to the region for more than 30 years. It has installed equipment in sports complexes,  hotels and government buildings, including Hellam’s new municipal building.

“It’s a big factor for us for accreditation to have cameras constantly monitoring our evidence room and at every access point through the building,” says Lt. Drew Heistand, who has been in law enforcement for 20 years. “OpenEye is huge for us.”

The department has been able to use footage from a number of cameras throughout the town to help investigate crimes, thanks in part to its partnership with Advantage.

About OpenEye

OpenEye, the cloud video platform company, provides solutions for video security, business intelligence and loss prevention. For over 20 years, it has been committed to developing an easy-to-use, comprehensive video management system backed by heroic customer service and support. OpenEye’s solutions are available globally through a trusted network of certified service providers. Visit

OpenEye is developing the future of surveillance in Liberty Lake, Washington