Tampa Based DIY Alarm Company My-Alarm is Ahead of the Curve on Wireless Security

Why Wireless Works Well for Intrusion

More robust technology coupled with the elevated need for installing companies to reduce time/labor costs associated with hardwired devices and systems has made wireless a profitable, efficient and effective proposition. Three security integrators explain the positive impact of wireless intrusion solutions.

 
 
 
By Leon Langlais | September 04, 2012 | Comments (0) | Post a comment
Photography ©istockphoto.com/tombaky

Photography ©istockphoto.com/tombaky

Wireless intrusion systems have become an important part of the security industry. Offering ease of installation and the ability to be installed virtually anywhere, these types of alarm systems have been embraced by the security market and consumers alike for the many benefits they deliver.

With wireless, installers have fewer holes to drill and fewer wires to pull. As a result, less installation time means more installations completed throughout each day and ultimately more installation and monitoring revenue to the installer. Consumers, on the other hand, see value in a quick installation and the reduction in the number of holes that need to be drilled into their walls and ceilings.

Research supports the premise of wireless intrusion more frequently being deployed within premises. According to SSI’s 2011 Installation Business Report, almost half (48%) of intrusion alarm systems now include some wireless devices and one-quarter are exclusively wireless. The latter figure has increased 25% since 2010.

As a result of the growing implementation of wireless intrusion systems, security manufacturers have invested heavily in developing wireless solutions that offer greater reliability, longer range and smaller, more aesthetically pleasing devices when compared to their counterparts a decade ago.

Hybrid intrusion solutions offer installers the opportunity to combine the benefits of wired devices with wireless. By using a modular approach, this offers a balanced blend of hardwired and wireless support, allowing companies the flexibility to pick and choose how to quote and specify a system based on a consumer’s budget.

It’s apparent that wireless is here to stay in the security market, but how are security installers using wireless intrusion systems as part of their business and what benefits have they experienced firsthand? Following you will find three profile stories of installers in North America who rely upon wireless intrusion systems as in integral part of their product and technology portfolio and how they first began installing this type of system.

Installations Take 1 Instead of 3 Days

Eric Myles, president of Alarm Source, a company that has been in business for 23 years based in Toronto, clearly remembers the first wireless intrusion system he installed.

He was working on an older home in a Toronto suburb where many of the homes are constructed with plaster walls. This home also had a finished drywall ceiling in the basement, which added to the difficulty of installing a wired intrusion system. “This particular job was going to be impossible,” says Myles, “so I investigated wireless and took the brave step of trying it.”

That was 15 years ago. Today wireless intrusion is an integral part of Myles’ daily business, where he has proudly installed thousands of alarm systems. Wireless has cut installation time down to one day from three days or more for an individual project. Saving time, ease of installation and reliability are three main reasons that Myles relies on wireless intrusion systems for his residential security customers.

Since he first began installing wireless, these systems have experienced several major advancements. The introduction of hybrid intrusion systems enables him to hardwire some devices and rely on wireless peripherals for door contacts and motion sensors, for example. Lithium batteries that last between five to seven years have also made wireless a solution of choice for Myles, whereas a few years ago batteries only lasted a couple of years before they needed to be changed.

“The size of the product has also improved,” says Myles. “Twelve years ago, not only did customers have to continuously change batteries, but wireless intrusion devices were large, about 5 inches long. Today, some of those same devices measure 1 inch by less than 3 inches wide.”

While customers appreciate the smaller profile and overall aesthetics of today’s alarm devices, installers like Myles appreciate the ease of installation they afford. Depending upon the alarm system used, enrolling a wireless device can be a relatively simple process. Each wireless device contains an alphanumeric serial number. To make enrolling wireless devices into the system easier, some keypads on the market today have a learn mode feature. This allows you to take the wireless device, place it close to the keypad and it will automatically detect the alphanumeric serial number.

“If you have to install 20 devices, with this setup, you could install those devices in 5 minutes,” says Myles. “Previously, it took more than an hour and you had to manually input each serial number, making it a tedious process.”

Devices Become Small and Discrete

Wireless intrusion systems provide many benefits to Kevin Gilligan, owner and president of Nightwatch Protection Inc. in Salem, N.H., but perhaps the most notable is the fast installation time it affords his company and customers.

“We have no problem with a next-day install,” says Gilligan. “We’re able to do that on a regular basis and we’ll have it in within two to four hours, at the most.”

Gilligan first began installing wireless intrusion systems in the late 1990s, recognizing that installing a wireless security system took up the least amount of time for both his customers and technicians. Confident about the reliability of wireless, he did not hesitate when it came to using wireless when he started his company. He knew the system would be a safe choice for most consumers because wireless intrusion systems are monitored via the panel and the panel would alert customers of any problems.

Today, wireless intrusion accounts for 95% of Gilligan’s residential business. His customers appreciate the small size of wireless devices, such as the vanishing contacts designed for windows. These devices are now so small that they are barely detectable unless a person is next to the window.

One of Gilligan’s customers recently asked him to install an intrusion system in an extra garage at the back of his property where the homeowner houses antique cars and snowmobiles. Because the homeowner had an existing wireless intrusion system in his house, Gilligan was able to install an additional wireless keypad in the exterior garage and connect it to the system in the home. This eliminated the need for an additional phone line for the system in the garage and simplified the overall project. 

“The homeowner wanted the detached garage behind the house protected and because of a wireless intrusion system, we could easily do that,” says Gilligan. 

Add-Ons Are Easily Accommodated 

A relatively newer installer of wireless alarm systems, David Allen, operations manager for London, Ontario-based Canadian Security Concepts, has immediately embraced the benefits wireless intrusion systems have to offer. The six-year-old company, which focuses on residential and small business applications, began installing wireless intrusion systems four-and-a-half years ago. 

“At that time we were only doing one install a day,” says Allen. “So the biggest advantage of adding wireless was that we could complete two systems a day and double our production.” 

With many homes today having a finished basement, which makes it more difficult to pull wire, wireless is often the ideal choice. 

“In the case of a finished basement, you would have to install wire mold, molding that is used to hide wires, or not be able to do it at all,” says Allen. “Plus, it would be tough for a technician to wire every single zone.” 

One of the most significant advantages is the ability to offer homeowners more systems and services as part of their alarm system. Keyfobs, sump pump monitors, additional smoke detectors and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are popular add-on items that Canadian Security Concepts can sell to customers thanks to wireless. 

“The ability to turn on and off the system without touching the unit is a huge selling feature,” says Allen. “About 90% of our customers want the keyfob and sometimes we sell multiple keyfobs with one going to the husband, the wife and the teenager.”

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