Tech Talk: How to Improve Your Efficiency, Productivity

IQ Program Urges Best Practices

As a company and a technician, how good and professional are your installations? Do you have a quality assurance (QA) program in place? If you are looking for some direction you may want to check out an industry QA program that has been around for some time now. It is the Installation Quality (IQ) Certification program.

IQ is endorsed by major security trade organizations such as the Security Industry Association (SIA), Electronic Security Association (ESA), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), Canadian Alarm and Security Association (CANASA) and Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA). Take a look at the valuable documentation on the Web site.

The IQ program states: “The program is based on a simple principle: Security and life safety systems that are properly designed, installed by trained technicians using the finest equipment, monitored correctly and operated by trained users typically function without fault, failure or false alarms for years.”

What better way to have your company stand out in your community than to have your technicians display the IQ certification patch? Let’s take a moment and look at some key IQ areas highlighted below:

  • Equipment shall be mounted securely to the structure and have a moisture barrier provided between equipment and exterior masonry walls. (We have discussed this before in “Tech Talk.” Are you doing it?)
  • All detector wiring should not be less than 22 AWG.
  • Battery to power supply cabling shall be sufficient gauge and not have greater than a 15-percent voltage drop.
  • All splices shall be twisted, ‘hot’ soldered and covered with electrical tape or secured with solder-less crimp connectors. Solder-less crimp connectors shall be crimped with a tool recommended by the manufacturer. (Do you do this or just use any old set of pliers? If given a choice by the manufacturer I would recommend a ratchet full-cycle crimper for extra efficiency.)
  • Systems using a digital communicator shall have proper telephone interface devices (RJ31X?) and within 24 inches of the control panel.
  • Test systems, including operation on backup power. (Do you deploy backup power for IP connectivity?)
  • Wires should be tagged when installed, not afterwards.
  • Wiring should be spaced 12 inches or more from other electrical wiring to avoid inductance.
  • Wiring shall follow color codes established by the installing company, with wiring lists affixed inside the control panel.
  • Installations with less than 128 points should have one device per zone.
  • Loop response time shall be a minimum of 750 milliseconds.

Bob Dolph has served in various technical management and advisory positions in the security industry for 30+ years. To share tips and installation questions, E-mail Bob at bdolph.ssi@gm
. Check out his “Tech Shack” blog.

Tech Talk Tool Tip

Here is a tool that can save manpower. What better way to increase efficiency than to have a state-of-the-art digital multimeter (DMM) with a wireless remote display?

This can allow for equipment test connections in one location and meter readings up to 30 feet away on the remote display.

Fluke is an old-time company with cool new ideas. Check out the Model 233 DMM. 





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About the Author


Bob is currently a Security Sales & Integration "Tech Talk" columnist and a contributing technical writer. Bob installed his first DIY home intercom system at the age of 13, and formally started his technology career as a Navy communication electronics technician during the Vietnam War. He then attended the Milwaukee School of Engineering and went on to complete a Security Management program at Milwaukee Area Technical College. Since 1976, Bob has served in a variety of technical, training and project management positions with organizations such ADT, Rollins, National Guardian, Lockheed Martin, American Alarm Supply, Sonitrol and Ingersoll Rand. Early in his career, Bob started and operated his own alarm dealership. He has also served as treasurer of the Wisconsin Burglar and Fire Alarm Association and on Security Industry Association (SIA) standards committees. Bob also provides media and training consulting to the security industry.

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