Environmental Characteristics to Consider
Today, home and small business owners like to think creatively when they look to install a security system. While the traditional installation location has typically been inside a main structure, such as a residence or small office, these boundaries have expanded to include additional structures, like the pool house, the garden shed and even the garage.
While a homeowner might want to install a wireless intrusion system in the garage to protect a luxury automobile or other possessions, the installer needs to still take into account the environmental characteristics of a device and if it is rated for outdoor use. For example, some devices are not rated to operate in extremely cold weather environments where a minimum temperature is not maintained. If a wireless motion detector is not rated for use where the temperature drops to 14° F (-10° C), then it should not be installed in a garage without a heat source.
The same rule of thumb holds true for a wireless window or door contact. If a contact is designed to be installed inside, mounting it on the exterior door of a backyard shed where it will be exposed to rain and moisture will eventually impact its ability to function.
Wireless intrusion systems have greater capabilities than ever before, which include the ability to cover buildings of several thousand square feet. While the overall range of wireless systems has increased significantly in recent years, it is still important to know the range limitations of the specific system you plan to install. Can it adequately cover the space in which you plan to install it or are there interference issues that need to be considered with the placement of such things as PIR sensors?
A wireless intrusion system rated for an area of less than 3,000 square feet will not be adequate for a 5,000-square-foot home. The range of a device can also have an impact on the mounting location selected. If an installer mounts a PIR sensor and a large picture window is in its field a view, the alarm could potentially sound if someone walks by the window and those people or objects are within the range of the sensor. This constant activity can also serve to drain battery life of peripherals very quickly.
Opportunity Rising on the Horizon
Understanding peripheral opportunities can also be key to the success of selling and installing wireless intrusion in the residential market. One of the biggest demands for wireless products is coming from lifestyle-related sensors, which control energy management, lighting and other home automation functions. These sensors not only satisfy the “cool factor” for end users, but also offer dealers an opportunity to add additional RMR to their business by selling the additional monitoring and service opportunities.
Of course, having the most up-to-date cellular communicators, key fobs, smoke and heat sensors — the core offerings of the wireless life-safety portfolio — also remains extremely important. The connected home will play a huge part in wireless technologies. Devices like lighting control, thermostats and even refrigerators and dishwashers will someday be connected to a single management system.
Today, elements such as home health-care functions, wireless door locks, Wi-Fi camera systems and security systems are already integrated and that trend will only continue. Security installers can realize many benefits from offering and installing wireless intrusion systems as part of their security product portfolio. By keeping a few points in mind, installers can ensure an easy installation process and deliver a reliable system to their customers.
Tim Myers is Director of Product Management, Strategic Product Planning, for Tyco Security Products’ intrusion brands. He can be contacted at [email protected].
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