How DIY Offers Unique Opportunity for Traditional Security Dealers

DIY should no longer be treated as enemy No. 1 by security alarm dealers who now can offer consumers a variety of recurring revenue-generating products and applications.

For decades alarm dealers have looked at the do-it-yourself (DIY) alarm market as enemy No. 1. Most of these DIY products were either cheap knock-offs of the wireless systems that professional alarm companies used. Other times these products were battery-operated, standalone devices that sounded a local alarm only. And when these DIY products did include wired zones there were other issues to consider, such as no provision for 24/7 monitoring.

These kinds of DIY systems have been out there for a long time. But with the advent of the Internet, we’re seeing a lot more DIY-oriented security products – only these are products that actually work. Today, the Internet of Things (IoT) concept shows great promise of growing the DIY market using self-installed products. Many of the IoT devices that fall under this heading are built around ordinary 802.11 wireless LAN technology that usually utilizes the consumer’s own wireless router.

Consumer-Oriented DIY Video Security Alarm

Take, for example, the Nest cam, an indoor high-definition camera that provides users with 24/7 viewing of their home or business. The cost is less than $200 for the camera, which will notify the user when there is motion or sound detection. Users can receive imaged on their smartphone by MMS. Email also can be used to receive notifications.

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In this case it’s the owner and not an alarm professional who programs the camera with their email address and mobile phone number for MMS notifications. Certain areas of an image also can be selected for motion detection, thus preventing false trips under normal conditions. Once your smartphone is connected to the camera, you can also talk and listen to someone there.

Nest also offers an online archiving service where images can be saved for a specified period of time. This is an ideal feature that assures that if the homeowner missed the event in real time, they can go back later and review what happened. A 10- or 30-day retention subscription is available at a monthly cost of $10 or $100 per year for the 10-day subscription, or $30 a month/$300 per year for the 30-day plan.

Security Pros Can Also Offer DIY Video Security

Professional security companies that would rather do the installation themselves can offer a similar service to consumers. Through Security Dealer Network (SDN), launched in March, alarm dealers can provide consumer DIYers with the DragonFly video alarm system at no upfront cost. The payback comes from initial purchases and a monthly fee that the consumer pays to SDN.

According to DragonFly, dealers can begin selling the DragonFly DIY home video security system and receive recurring monthly revenue (RMR) for each customer who signs up. There is no obligation, nor are there installation or service calls associated with the program.

Alarm dealers who participate in the program are given a personalized, custom DragonFly-branded website where their customers can place orders. In addition, dealers will have access to marketing materials that will help them sell DragonFly products and monthly service.

The subscriber gets professional monitoring using up to 25 indoor and outdoor cameras that utilize long-range encrypted technology. A downloadable smartphone app allows the end user to control their video alarm system in a number of ways. For example, through the smartphone app they can control the system by turning it on or off.

“There are no door switches, no window switches, no PIRs to install. Just two flavors of cameras and they’re wireless. The consumer that buys them does the install, with the dealers help as an option,” say Bart Didden, CEO of USA Central Station and president of SDN. “For $10 a month when a camera goes into alarm a video clip is sent to the subscriber. The smartphone app shows them the video and gives them three choices. They can dismiss the alarm, they can disarm the system, or they can choose to dispatch.”

The professional version also allows the homeowner to review images stored in the system, and they will receive alerts when motion is detected. This allows the end user to determine if the person that tripped the system is a friend or foe, thus allowing time for the homeowner to cancel police dispatch.

To learn more about the DragonFly product, go to

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About the Author


Al Colombo is a long-time trade journalist and professional in the security and life-safety markets. His work includes more than 40 years in security and life-safety as an installer, salesman, service tech, trade journalist, project manager,and an operations manager. You can contact Colombo through TpromoCom, a consultancy agency based in Canton, Ohio, by emailing [email protected], call 330-956-9003, visit www.Tpromo.Com.

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