Key Products by GRI That Can Benefit Professional Installers

Alarm dealers and installers should always be on the lookout for ways to add on to services they offer. Here are a bunch to take into consideration.

One of the key attributes that sets a professional alarm dealer apart from amateurs is their knowledge of specialized products and the skills to apply, install and service.

Recently I have noticed many DIY amateur projects which confirms my belief in this lack of special product knowledge.

In an effort to keep our professional installers informed, I thought it would be good for me to periodically take a close look at certain security manufactures.

It is not always easy to take time out of our busy days to review the many products a manufacturer may offer.  These are companies that over the years I have grown to appreciate for their specialty products and services.

This time we are going to take a close look at George Risk Industries, or better known in the trade as simply GRI. They have been around since 1965.

Their products are made in USA with their headquarters in Kimball, and satellite plant in Gering, Neb. Over the years their product line has evolved to meet the unique demands of the security trade.

Let’s take a moment now and look at some of my favorite products and what you might be able to do with them.

Pull Apart Magnetic Switch Sets

GRI Pull Apart

The use for these switches are endless.  You loop a supervised cable loop with a special magnetic socket. This allows one to remove the loop end, put it through a part of the device to be monitored and then back into the switch’s socket.

Marry these switches up with a wireless alarm transmitter and you can easily remotely monitor boats, outdoor RV’s, or anything you can loop the cable through.

Another use is if you have one of those really beaten up overhead doors, you can loop this through to supervise illegal opening.

Pool Alarms

Did you know that in most jurisdictions, homeowners need to have pool alarms installed?GRI DPARM Pool Alarm

If you are installing a home alarm, why not provide the pool alarm as well?

The GRI DPARM – Closed Loop Pool Alarm often exceeds code requirements. The unit can be either battery or externally powered.

Roller Ball Switches

Installing standard two part door security switches, often called door contacts, can be a real hassle for many, especially when making sure they are aligned properly.

The roller ball contact is only one piece with no alignment. The switch is sealed just like other door security contacts.

Just place them in the door jamb, connect the cable, and you are set to go. They have a low profile and can also work nicely with wireless transmitters.

Overhead Door Switches

GRI Miniture OH ContactsThe overhead door contact has been a mainstay in the professional alarm installers kit for years. They are specially designed for overhead doors and curtains.

One of my favorites is the GRI Miniature Overhead Door Switch Set. I like the low-profile and small size. Some other types get bent by people placing their foot on the larger magnet bracket when closing.

Did you know that any of the GRI contacts can be ordered with the End-of-Line (EOL) resistors built in for extra tamper resistance?

Concealed Contact Hinged Door Positioning Switch

Looking for that extra professional covert security on your door contact installation?  Then you might want to a look at the GRI Concealed Contact Hinged Door Positioning Switch.

On the surface it looks like a standard screw head, but it is really a recessed door contact with the matching magnet in the matching hole on the other hinge side. These were also tested in this application and passed a 3 hour burn test.

“Vane” Type Latch Switches

GRI - Vane Type Latch SwitchesThe GRI Latch Switch is the perfect fit for overhead and curtain type doors that use a latch type lock. This is also known functionally as a “vane” switch in that the latch blade swings between the two sensors.

This effects the magnet’s influence on the sealed reed switch. These are perfect for many roll-up type door channels such as in storage units.

Simply, the vane switch will not allow the storage unit alarm system to arm unless the latch blade is in the locked position.

Garage Door Monitor

Did you ever leave the house and wonder, “Did I shut the garage door?” The GRI Garage Door Monitor will keep track if the garage door is left open and automatically closes it after a preset delay time period.

It can also interface with your alarm system. The module is easy to install with simple hand tools and comes with all necessary parts including overhead door switch. Another specialty item to sell you customers.

Window Channel Magnets

GRI Channel Magnet GripperAnother nasty installation task can be placing recessed alarm contact magnets on aluminum sliding doors.

You can now put the glue away. The GRI Window Channel Magnet is a good example of how over the years, GRI has met the needs of professional alarm installers.

This special flexible device holds a rare earth magnet in place in the door track. The built-in grippers do this job.

Timed Electronic Shunt Switch

GRI Delay Shunt“Shunting” is the act of electrically voiding out alarm door contacts so that one may exit a door without tripping an already activated perimeter alarm system.

This can be something as simple as a toggle switch. However, what if someone forgets and leaves the switch in the shunt position?

If forgotten to reset, the door is left shunted and anyone could enter the premises through that door and not trip the perimeter alarm.

This is where the GRI Timed Electronic Shunt Switch comes into play. The device has preset electronic time delay settings (15-120 seconds) to allow someone to simply press a button and exit a door during the delay period, after which the temporary shunt action is reset after the time delay has expired.

An LED indicator indicates the shunt status. This will allow people to exit an opening or area without the need for a passcode or key.

TECH TALK: Check Out Bob Dolph’s Monthly Column Here!

Latching HUA Switches

GRI HUA SwitchHold Up Alarm (HUA) switches are one of the most scrutinized security devices.  Since a hold up alarm is typically silent, great care must be used by employees to not generate false alarms.

On the other hand, since an HUA signal is often considered a life safety emergency, the device must operate reliably every time.

The GRI Hold Up Switch has many nifty features. It is silent, with no moving parts and has dual sensors to help in eliminating false alarms.

I especially like the latching function to help identify which employee may have pressed the HUA switch. There is an LED indicator to show the alarm unit has been tripped.

Shock & Tilt Switches

GRI ShockgardAlarm sensors are also known for being able to detect physical phenomenons such as someone breaking through a wall or window.

Another would be the unexpected movement of an object that is about to be removed or moved. These requirements can be filled by two special GRI  sensors.

The GRI Shockgard USA is a solid state piezo electric sensor. It can be surface-mounted on anything including a brick wall, concrete, wood, steel or glass.

There are bi-color latching LED indicators for visual confirmation. They can be adjusted for pulse count or gross attack.

The next device is the GRI Omni-Directional Tilt Sensor. This handy little switch will detect a tilting action of 15 degrees or more, and in any direction.

Again marrying this device with a Normally Closed (NC) wireless alarm transmitter can provide remote monitoring of any valuable item that is being moved.

Venting Switch Set

GRI Venting SwitchThe GRI Venting Switch Set is another good example of the manufacturer filling a need for a particular security application.

Alarm installers wanted a window switch that would allow windows to open up four to six inches without an alarm being activated.

With this device customers can open their bedroom windows a crack at night without setting of their alarm and creating a possible false alarm scenario.

Window Bar Switches

GRI Window BarWhat easier way to provide security to small windows and openings than with a GRI Alarmed Window Bar.

One good application use might be basement casement windows. The GRI sensor will detect if the bar is removed. The bars are adjustable and made of reinforced extruded aluminum.

They can be quickly removed in case of emergency. They can also be connected via cable to an alarm panel or to a wireless alarm transmitter.

They are designed to work on windows 30 – 42 inches.

Pre-Wire Plugs

GRI Pre-wire plugs

Well I have saved one of the best installation goodies until last. Pre-wiring alarm installation can often be a hassle. Cabling may be pulled out door frames, but the alarm system has not been completely sold yet.

You can’t leave the wire hanging out of the door frame as it will get mashed and cut off. So many often end up stuffing the cable back into the recessed contact hole only to have to fish it out later, if they are lucky.

A very handy tool for these installation dilemmas are the GRI Pre-Wire Plugs. (As seen as the Tech Talk Tool Pick – September 2013)

These are recessed alarm contact caps with a wire loop. You pull the cable, strip the end and wrap through the plug loop. Then place the temporary plug back in the hole.

When you are ready to install the system, just pull the plug out, remove it and terminate the alarm contact. Insert the newly terminated door alarm contact back in the hole. What could be simpler? Thanks, GRI.


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About the Author

Bob Dolph

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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