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Solar Powered Surveillance

Posted by wholesalecameras on July 19, 2012 at 1:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Offer new protection for remote locations...

Once upon a time surveillance design, sales and installation professionals faced a special challenge when looking to setup surveillance in remote locations where running structured cabling and access to electric (to power equipment) posed a problem.

In the past, unless you were NASA, on-site surveillance options at remote locations were few and far between. This created a real dilemma for security directors, builders, and facility mangers and a real opportunity for thieves who often target their equipment and facilities located in remote areas. As a result equipment theft and burglary at remote sites and facilities cost industry millions of dollars every year.

Designed to bridge this gap is Netvision solar powered mobile trailer and pole mount surveillance cameras. These self contained units , include cameras, cabling, recording devices, routers and power for the system all in one unit; enabling surveillance set up, on location, anywhere, in just minutes!

Though pricey at $14K for pole mount systems and $49k for trailers, it’s an easily justified investment for operations needing to protect valuable equipment in the field. Many customers are investing in mobile surveillance equipment as an alternative to hiring guard services which helps to offset the cost of the cameras and the units to pay for themselves overtime.

Due to their IP addressability the Netvision Cameras can be monitored live over the internet allowing customers 24 access to any location. Meanwhile multiple surveillance monitoring companies are emerging offering live monitoring of mobile surveillance systems much like alarm monitoring companies monitor commercial and residential alarms systems.

Additional options for monitored systems, designed to deter intruders, include sirens, strobe lights and audio messages that command violators off of the premises; which monitors can activate when they observe a trespasser.

Netvisions portable surveillance systems are gaining popularity amongst police agencies who can use them to monitor high security areas and special events; Security Directors with facilities remotely located and construction companies who store heavy equipment on site. All can now setup surveillance in minutes and access it from anywhere in the world, over the internet over their computer or smartphone.

This new valuable surveillance capability and technology is sure to change how CCTV and security cameras are used to protect equipment stored on site along with projects and facilities located off of the beaten path.

Is An Alarm System Really Neccessary?

Posted by wholesalecameras on June 11, 2010 at 12:31 AM Comments comments (0)

   As a Security Consultant who has sold hundreds of them , I'm obviously a little biased, but my answer to the question is always "definitely"! Something I often explain to customers is an alarm can't stop someone who wants to enter your home from making entry-- it;s designed to be a deterrent.

   Often the screaming siren of the alarm system is the difference between you loosing a couple things in a break in and being completely wiped out. An alarm actually helps to minimize your loses in a burglary.

  Another important thing an alarm is design to do is to help you and members of you family avoid a confrontation with a burglar by walking in during the event. When you have an alarm system you're notified within a minute or two when an unauthorized person is inside your home. Wouldn't you rather a loved one not walk into your home while an intruder is inside. being forewarned in a situation such as this, alone, makes an alarm alarm system worth it's weight in gold! Equiptment and design play a big part in the effectiveness of an alarm system. I discuss this issue extensively in the next article "Company Offers Do It Yourself Alarm Installations" enjoy.



Company Offers Do It Yourself Alarm Packages

Posted by wholesalecameras on June 4, 2010 at 1:44 PM Comments comments (0)

And Big Savings To Customers



Thanks to the introduction of wireless burglar alarm systems, and some pretty innovative packaging by a Texas alarm company, home and business owners across the country are now installing their own alarm systems and saving a ton of money in the process. With complex drilling and wiring being removed from the installation equation, customers are installing their own alarm systems with, practically, the same ease as setting up Internet service.

Protect America Security (PA) of Round Rock, Texas, who in recent years introduced customer installed alarm packages nationwide, has completely revolutionized the way alarms are being sold and installed in the marketplace.

Historically, when a customer is looking to purchase an alarm they'll usually go through their local yellow pages and contact an alarm company or two. Afterwards, they'll schedule a walk through of their premises with a field representative or salesman.

During the walk through, the representative, who is usually paid on commission, is assessing the property to evaluate what type of system and equipment will best suit the customers needs. Unfortunately, far too often, during this process the salesman is thinking more about his commission than the system design that is going to best serve the customers needs.

The general rule of thumb in alarm sales is the bigger the house the bigger the commission. Most salesmen who pull up in front of a home that is three thousand square foot or larger are practically drooling on arrival as they begin calculating the big commission they're going to earn on all the window and door contacts, and other extras, they're going to sale.

Protect America's customer installed alarm packages have changed all of that by offering extremely affordable wireless packages that will fit in into any budget and can be order over the phone or via the Internet (which offers even more discounts).

What Homes Are Best Suited For Wireless Alarms?

Generally, their are a couple types of structures where wireless equipment will, absolutely, be necessary: 1) Two story and split level homes or buildings, with finished basements or no crawl space or 2) A one story structure that is built on a slab.

Two story/split level structures with finished basements or no crawl space These structures will almost always require wireless equipment exclusively. This is because when buildings are being wired for a security system, most of the wire is run through the attic of the structure down to the doors and windows (and other components) on the main floor. It's impossible to drill from the attic of a two story structure down to it's main floor; so wireless equipment is utilized in this type of installation.When a structure has an unfinished basement or a crawl space, a technician can run wire up to the windows, doors and other components.

One story structure built on a slab, When a building is one story and built on a slab while the doors and other components can be wired in the structure, the windows cannot be without exposed wiring. Window contacts are usually installed at the base of windows. When a home is built on a slab there is no way to drill upward. In some instances technicians will run wire under carpeting through the baseboard, using a method called wire fishing, to get the wire up behind the wall to the window seal. Over time wires run under carpeting can go badly because of the wear and tear of foot traffic on the carpet. So, most companies will opt to install wireless window contacts rather than run wires under carpeting.

In a situation where a one story structure on a slab has multiple windows in a single room, the customer may want to consider a strategically placed glass break detectors or motion detectors to cover multiple windows to keep cost down while providing them the protection they need.

Choosing The Right Equipment

Putting together the right alarm design to protect a property is pretty easy. Determining what equipment that is needed is as simple as counting the doors and windows that can be accessed from the ground level of a property and then placing contacts on those openings. If a customer doesn't want to install a contact on every opening of a property, which can be expensive, they can install a single motion detector or glass break detector to cover multiple openings, in the same room, within a 25 foot radius. 

If there's a sliding glass door it's a good idea to install a glass break detector because if an intruder breaks the glass in the door to enter the premises, instead of prying it door open, it will not trigger the alarm.

Motion Detectors Versus Glass Break Detectors

In my years as an alarm salesman in the field, customers would often ask the difference between a motion detector and a glass break detector. The difference between the two is pretty fundamental yet critical. A standard motion detector uses an infrared beam, good for about 25 feet, to detect body heat and movement of an object 50lbs or heavier. If a burglar enters a premises by breaking a window or cutting through the roof (which is not uncommon) movement inside the premises will set off the alarm. This will prompt the alarm company to call the home or business owner and the police if warranted. On the other hand a glass break detector is designed to detect the vibration in the air that is created when glass is shattered.

Glass breaking produces it's own unique sound and feel in the atmosphere and shattering glass, and that alone, is what a glass break detector is engineered to detect.

When it comes to protecting glass I recommend glass break detectors because most standard alarm packages don't offer them and include motion detectors instead. A glass break detector will usually add $50.00 to $100.00 to the cost of an alarm package depending on the brand of the unit and whether it's wired or wireless

Why Not Use a Motion Detector To Protect Glass?

Both motion and glass break detectors provide substantial back up to door and window contacts in the event an intruder enters a window or door by breaking their glass without prying it open.

The traditional window or door contact has two rectangular 3"x1" parts: one half of the contact is mounted on the door frame while the other half, which has a magnet inside, is mounted beneath or beside it on the door itself. When the alarm is active if the door or window is opened; it separates the two parts of the contact and sets the alarm off . Door Contacts

If an intruder enters a window or door by breaking it's glass, this doesn't separate the two halve of the contact, thus bypassing it, and prevents the activation of the alarm. Again, this is where the motion or glass break detector will act as a backup.

In this type of intrusion, I prefer the protection of a glass break detector because it sets off the alarm immediately when the glass is broken--and before the premises is entered. In this type of incident when the glass is broken the 92 decibel siren starts screaming usually scaring off the intruder before he can enter the premises or get his hands on anything. Whereas, with a motion detector, an intruder has to enter the premises, where he can grab an item or two, before the alarm is set off--which violates the intended purpose of an alarm system.

The objective of an alarm is to deter an intruder from entering your home. A motion detector allows a burglar to enter the premises before tripping the alarm while a glass break detector sets off the alarm the instant a glass is broken and before the intruder has access to the premises or the valuables inside.

Installing A Wireless Alarm Is As Easy 1-2-3

Protect America makes it extremely easy to install their alarm system by providing an easy to follow instruction manual and installation CD, as well as live tech support to guide customers through the installation process .

Door and Window contacts, depending on the surface they're being mounted on, are either secured by an adhesive strip, located on the rear of contacts, or with screws. Additional components like motion detectors and glass break detectors are mounted the same way.

Protect America uses the GE's consumer award winning Simon Wireless Alarm System, which houses the control panel, or brain of the system, and keypad all within in one desk top, or wall mounted, command center.

Each of the components are individually installed and programmed into the system. A PA tech support representative guides the customer through the programming process which takes about 10 to 15 minutes...depending on the size the package purchased. The many hundreds of dollars customers save by installing the alarm system on their own makes the time investment well worth their effort.

What Structures Suited For A Protect America Alarm System?

There are only a couple of scenarios or customer types that aren't necessarily the best fit for Protect America.

1) Customers who's properties are already pre-wired for a wired alarm system. Most companies will give up to 10 or fifteen free door or window contacts when a property is pre-wired. They'll also sell the additional motion and glass breaks detectors pretty cheap, $25.00 to $50.00 each, when the wire is already in place.

Because of ease and low cost of installation, a building that has been pre-wired should have a wired system even though some less than scrupulous companies install wireless systems in homes that are pre-wired to save money on labor and improve their bottom lines .

2) Properties that already have alarm systems installed that merely need activation. If a commercial or residential property has a functional alarm left by the previous tenant most companies will activate the system for a $50 to $150 activation charge (sometimes free). After the system is activated customers will be charged $12.00 to $16.00 per month depending on the negotiation skill of the customer.

The Cost Of A Self Installed Wireless Alarm System

There are two ways to pay for an alarm system. Either you sign a contract and pay a small down payment and have a higher monthly payment; or pay a higher down payment,with no contract (purchasing the system outright) and get a lower monthly payment.

Between wired and wireless systems, wireless systems are much more expensive. A wireless system, requiring 10 to 20 door or window contacts, could run from $500.00 to $1000.00 and even more. However, if a customer invests in one of Protect America's customer installed wireless packages they can expect to save around 50% to 80% on installation while getting the same guarantee, warranty and level of service.

To see different company comparisons for wireless alarm packages go 



Louis Blackwell is the Publisher and a Security Systems Broker  specializing in residential and commercial alarm, surveillance and low voltage solutions.


Why Install an Alarm System?

Posted by wholesalecameras on October 5, 2009 at 7:22 PM Comments comments (0)

Over the past eight years, working as a security systems salesperson I've heard any number reasons why people won't invest in an alarm system.

Here's a few of the more popular reasons not to invest in an alarm system:

  • I live in a nice neighborhood.
  • I can't afford an extra bill.
  • An alarm can't stop burglars from entering my house so why install one.
  • I don't need an alarm I’ve got a shotgun.
  • I've got Dogs.
  • God protects my house and family.

Seemingly, all of these are good justifications for not installing an alarm system. However, they don't negate or trump the value that installing an alarm system adds to a home or business.

The most common of these, "I live in a nice neighborhood" is one of the most false notions that homeowners use to justify not installing an alarm.

I remember once meeting with homeowners whom had just moved in their 2500 square foot home, in a new upscale subdivision in Buford GA. The home was burglarized the same week they move in. Needless to say, the wife was distraught and justifiably so.

“We thought we moved into nice neighborhood” she sobbed, to which I replied, “You did, burglars prefer nice neighborhoods. There’s nothing to steal in poor less desirable neighborhoods. The customers thought this was funny and made sense.

When customers say they can't afford an alarm or an extra bill I usually remind them how much more they're paying for Homeowners Insurance due to not owning an alarm. Most insurance companies offer significant discounts to homes that have alarms. The discount is usually substantial enough to offset the cost of the alarm and eventually, over time, pay for it.

To the gunslingers who use the I've got a gun reasoning for not investing in alarm I say, “An alarm system works arm and arm with your Smith & Wesson”, which usually gets a good laugh. If your alarm goes off in the middle of the night and you've got a keypad in your bedroom the alarm will tell you practically where to point and shoot. Most keypads have zone indicators on them that will tell you which zone of the alarm (living room door, basement window etc.) was violated. Again ready aim fire.

For the faithful who depend on God for protection I give a big amen ( as I too am a person of faith) and remind them that God helps those who help themselves. The bible suggest that “Faith without work is dead”. This says that some action on our behalf is expected in conjunction with our faith. Moses spent forty years in the dessert with the people of Israel before they reached the promised land. They’d have never reach it if they'd have simply sat around waiting for God to deliver them.

I'm a huge dog lover and think they're a great deterrent to burglars. No burglar wants to come face to face with a snarling, growling pitbull or rotweiller who hates everyone but their master. Again they're great deterrents. However, in a medical emergency or fire they can't be much help. Unless of course you have Lassie the wonder dog who can crash through windows, run for help, find it, communicate the crisis and return to the scene with assistance.

If dogs could be taught to use phones they would replace alarm systems and at that point I'll start selling them. However, they can't pick up a phone and dial 911 (due to the lack of hands or fingers) And oh yeah they can't talk, which is required to report a medical or fire emergency to a 911 dispatcher, unless the dispatcher happens to be NAMED "The Dog Whisperer."

All these reasons for not buying an alarm on the surface seem logical enough. However, as I've pointed out, the value of the investment far exceeds the reasons not to.

I often say to customers, that an alarm investment is a lot like an insurance investment: better to have and not need it than to need and not have.

Regarding whether or not an alarm can stop a burglar from breaking into your home…it can't. If a burglar wants to kick in your door or break a window to get in an alarm can't stop him. However, more often than not, an alarm is the difference between you losing a few things versus everything. When an alarm is set off due to a opened door or window the alarm siren starts sreaming. Usually this startles the burglar who will flee…as often depicted in security television commercials. This is why the FBI reports that most burglars they interviewed said that they avoided homes with alarms. They like houses they can break into with no dramatic occurrences, screaming sirens, so they can watch television, cook lunch and even spend the night (you’d be surprised how bold they can be). However rest assured that none of this is going to happen with an alarm going off. This is why burglars avoid homes monitored by alarm companies.

In a nutshell there's two key things that you're paying for when you purchase an alarm system:

1)You're paying to know if someone is in your home and to know that if someone enters your home that you and the police will be immediately notified. When an alarm goes off you the homeowner receives a call from the monitoring company alerting them of the situation. This “heads up” can be the difference between you or a member of your family walking in on an incident thus avoiding a potentially dangerous confrontation with an intruder. Once the alarm has been verified the police are called by the monitoring company and…

2) You're paying to take 911 dispatch out of your emergencies. An experience a colleague of mine had during a medical emergency sums up this issue pretty well.

His wife was having a seizure and he frantically placed a call to 911. As his wife lied convulsing he gets a dispatcher on the phone who follows their standard protocol. She asked him to calm down, which I don’t know many husband's who could be calm during an incident such as this one. He said the dispatcher went on to ask him if he could get someone on the phone who could speak calmly.

As a father of two young sons there was no-one other than him who could place the call. The most a monitoring service representative would have done, during such an incident, would be call to verify, the medical emergency, minus the interrogative procedure, and dispatched the local fire department or EMS …saving precious time. Thankfully his wife eventually got the medical attention she needed.

Had he been thinking clearly, which he wasn’t, he could have pressed the medical emergency panic button on his alarm which would have gotten a quicker response from authorities minus the dispatch interview.

Now I’m not knocking 911 dispatchers; they probably some of the most overworked, under appreciated public servants in society. However, occasionally, they drop the ball as in the recent case in Atlanta where a woman died when EMS was dispatched to the wrong address.

Lastly buying an alarm is an easily justified expenditure, which on average is about .50 to $1.00 per day depending on whether or not you purchase a warranty. I usually ask customers; if they could pay someone $1 per day to watch their homes while they’re away and notify them (and the police) if a stranger entered their home would it be worth it. They always agree that it would be. I also ask them if it would be worth that same dollar to be able to summon the police, fire or ambulance with the touch of a button, without calling a dispatcher, which they also usually reply affirmatively.

Most of us would pay three to four times, what an alarm cost, if we knew that it was going to save us from a tragedy. Fortunately, at today's prices, when you think of all that alarms do in protecting homes and businesses they're an easily justified expense.