Depending on your premises and the complexity of your system, you might be able to have an electronic security system installed in a few hours, or it could take a few days. The installers will (hopefully) try to run all the wires in unfinished basements & attics, closets, crawl spaces, inside walls, and other unexposed places. Ideally, the completed installation will leave little or no unsightly wiring or devices visible. Some installations are more difficult than others – don’t be surprised if your installer wants to runs some of the wires along your shoe moldings (preferably in a matching color), or under your window sills. Especially in an apartment, or a home with a finished attic or basement, your installer may need to leave some wiring exposed. Obviously in a store with frame walls and a drop-ceiling, exposed wires will be kept to a minimum.
If you’re especially concerned over aesthetics, discuss the proposed wire-runs with your installers before they begin the work. Don’t expect your salesperson to be especially knowledgeable – salespeople typically will promise you anything to get you to sign the contract – after that, it’s up to the installers to try to fulfill those promises. Even though you’ve probably laid out the system with your salesperson, don’t hesitate to discuss the details with the technicians when they arrive to actually install it.
Another option to consider, especially if you have a more-difficult-to-wire premises, is a wireless system. Modern wireless systems consist of supervised battery-operated radio transmitters mounted in or near each motion detector, smoke detector, window & door contact (or group of contacts), etc. The equipment cost for these systems may be bit higher, but this should be countered by a reduced labor cost. Wireless technology has come a long way in recent years, and wireless systems can be nearly as reliable and trouble-free as hardwired systems. The only big downside to a wireless system is that you’ll need to replace the batteries in each of the transmitters about every 5 years. Most systems are capable of incorporating a bit of both technologies, so parts of your system can be hardwired, and the more-difficult locations could be wireless. Ask your alarm company if this would be an option for you.
Another common question regards the decision between installing perimeter detection devices (such as window contacts and glassbreak detectors) versus interior detection devices (such as motion detectors). This isn’t always a simple answer, but here are some of the considerations:
- If you plan to use the system only while you’re away from home, you may be able to get away with mostly interior detection devices.
- If you plan to use the system while you’re sleeping, interior detection devices may be of limited use, as you’ll need to deactivate them so you can get up in the middle of the night for milk & cookies or to use the bathroom.
- Window contacts only detect when the window is opened; if a burglar breaks the window and climbs through without opening it, contacts would be ineffective at detecting it.
- It is much more labor-intensive (and costly) to install perimeter detection devices than interior detection devices. To cover a typical room would require just one motion detector … or 4-8 window contacts and a glassbreak detection device.
- Wired window screens are an attractive alternative to contacts and glassbreak detection devices, and provide detection if the screen is cut or removed.
- Casement windows are virtually impossible to open from the outside without breaking them, so unless you leave them open, glassbreak detection without contacts may be sufficient.
- If you have pets, it may be more difficult to employ motion detectors. Besides the fact that pets walk around your home while the system is armed, cats especially enjoy climbing on things, making it particularly challenging to design interior detection strategies that they won’t trip.
- Basement windows carry a unique consideration – they’re usually the easiest ones to break into, and once the thief drops into your basement, they’re usually difficult to climb back out through. If you’re home, this could result in a confrontation, so the preferred strategy is to detect the break-in at the perimeter, before the burglar comes through the opening.
The best strategy is to make use of both types of detection devices. Perimeter detection devices deter would-be burglars before they get in, but if they sneak past, interior detection devices serve as a good backup. Maverick Security, our wholly-owned subsidiary, employs trained, certified, licensed, expert consultants and installers who can help you make the best decisions for your circumstances. Call or email Sales @ MaverickSecurity.com for assistance.
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