Claire DaRe is facing a security system upgrade for the Gift Mart in suburban Minneapolis where she is general manager. The existing system includes dozens of hardwire glassbreak detectors wired in series and mounted on window mullions, plus dozens of hardwire door contacts. After several false alarms occur, she seeks an estimate for an upgrade. Technicians are unable to pinpoint the source because of the wiring in series.
The $22,000 bid she receives from her security company includes the cost of rewiring sensors for individual point identification. After receiving the bid, she attends a Rotary Club meeting and is seated next to Jon Barnett, president of EdinAlarm in Edina, Minn. When she learns that he is a security dealer, she tells him about the bid she had received from her existing security company and asks him what he thinks. He says he needs more information.
Consisting of 160 showrooms where 6,000 manufacturers display their products for wholesale buyers, the Gift Mart is a place where buyers can do business with dozens of sales representatives at a central location. Because the Gift Mart is a single-story facility, every door and window has to be monitored, from one end of the facility to the other , including roof access. The main entrance to the building is at the center of a hub from which four long malls of showrooms extend, covering a total of 400,000 square feet.
Tracking False Alarms Proves Difficult
Because of the long distances between the showrooms and the main entrance, sales representatives commonly let buyers exit the Gift Mart via side doors instead of making them walk way back to the main entrance, but doing so sets off an alarm.
The company also logs false alarms originating from the hardwire mullion-mounted glassbreak detectors. Technicians who have come out to investigate are never sure where to begin looking among the dozens of possible sensor locations and have never been able to identify the cause of the false alarms.
Client Seeks Lower Bid for Installation, Monitoring
Another point of concern for DaRe is the $800 per month she is paying for monitoring and the lease of her 12-year-old system. She asks Barnett what he thinks of the situation. He says she has a dated system, poor service, expensive monitoring, no panic protection, and no phone control.
The wireless system Barnett proposes will save her a little more than $16,000 and provide a better system
EdinAlarm Uses 2 Technicians for 2-Day Job
On Aug. 18, 1997, EdinAlarm began the Gift Mart installation. Two technicians performed both the burglary and fire alarm system upgrade.
“We ended up using all of the existing hardwire switches, because they were surface-mounted, brown, two-inch wide-gap switches,” explains Barnett.
Technicians left alone all the glassbreak sensors that were brown alone because they matched the mullion frames, and the client didn’t want all of them pulled because they would leave holes.
400,000-Square-Foot Facility Accommodated
With the repeater, EdinAlarm technicians install the panel where the client has easy access to it, instead of putting it where it will be within range of sensors. In addition, installers place both the panel and the touchpad in the same area.
When set for intelligent mode, the repeaters retransmit signals received from sensors, wireless touchpads, and intelligent mode repeaters that have been learned into the repeater’s memory. Intelligent mode is used when the sensors are more than one repeater’s range from the panel.
Each intelligent-mode repeater can learn 16 sensors/touchpads and two intelligent-mode repeaters. When set for sensor mode, the repeater retransmits all signals received from sensors and wireless touchpads but does not retransmit signals received from other repeaters.
Barnett also replaced the Gift Mart’s existing fire system. The reason was that the system had no zone annunciation. “We replaced the existing fire panel with an English-display keypad with a Silent Knight 5207 fire control panel,” he explains.
Since completing the job, Barnett says the Gift Mart hasn’t had any problems with the system. DaRe’s cost was approximately $6,550.