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X-Ray Baggage Scanners
(Chapter 3   Metal Detection, Continued)

Maintenance and expected lifespan

Most companies offer extended warranties or maintenance contracts for x-ray baggage scanners. Service contracts are generally more expensive than what you can expect to spend over the life of the equipment for repair. However, depending on the fiscal arrangements at each facility, some schools may want to establish a service contract up front, when they have the funding available. (Schools can never be certain what their budget will be in subsequent years, and coming up with $5,000 for a repair bill 3 years from now may not be possible.) In the absence of such a contract, schools should contact the factory when repair is needed.

Most x-ray baggage scanners will have a life of 10 years or more. Technology advancements are more likely than failure to render them less useful. Over the course of this time, there is a reasonable chance that a facility will need to replace the vacuum tube that is the source of the x rays.

There is little regular maintenance required for this equipment. The largest moving part, the conveyor belt, often is self-oiling, and the facility may only need to add oil to a reservoir occasionally. Individual vendors may recommend certain procedures be run periodically (once a month or so) to test for radiation leakage, even though the chance of such leakage in modern x-ray detectors is small. Heavy damage, malicious acts, or purposely holding the shielding flaps aside while the machine is in operation would normally be required to allow radiation leakage.

 



Research Report:   The Appropriate and Effective Use of Security Technologies in U.S. Schools