10 Trusty Tools to Make Life Easier for Security Systems Integrators

Take a look at 10 tools to boost security technicians’ efficiencies.

One of the goals of Tech Talk is to keep life as easy as possible for today’s system installer and technician. Once or twice a year I like to take a moment and share with readers some tools that I have seen recently, along with some old and time-proven favorites of mine that you may have missed in the past.

Being competitive in the alarm industry is more of a challenge than ever today. Prospects and customers are more educated, with increasing awareness thanks to Internet searches and big media advertising. They are not always learning the best information, but it sure looks great to them. While we know that overall nothing will every beat a supervised wired system, it can be very challenging to convince customers who are sold on wireless.

Even Experienced Technicians Can Take Advantage

All of this has placed extra pressure on the technician to install quality systems in less time. I hope some of the tools discussed here will help installing security and alarm contractor technicians to keep pace, but at the same time have an easier installation experience. If you have any tips that you would like to pass on to your fellow readers, don’t hesitate to E-mail me and I’ll make sure to share in a future tools round-up.

One of the best places a professional security installer can go to check out and learn new installation tools and tips is a company called Labor Saving Devices. Whether online or at a tradeshow this manufacturer and its wealth of resources has always served as one of my favorite hangouts. Even if you are an experienced technician Labor Saving Devices deserves a second look. Some of my favorites are the Easy Stripper Wire Stripper, which features a self-adjusting pulling action for stripping cables from 10-26 gauge, and the Finger Protector wrench for BNC and F-connectors (see Tool Tip).

On big jobs you may find yourself carrying more gear than normal on your tool belt. This is where the 5-Alarm Leather Tool Belt Suspenders from Duluth Trading Company can really save the day. Duluth specializes in wearables, and not in a newfangled technology sense like smart watches – we’re talking about items to make your job more comfortable such as suspenders, gloves, headwear, bags, belts, outerwear, footwear and more.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

I always enjoyed carrying just the tools I needed when installing or servicing systems. Keeping it light and comfortable was the name of the game. Recently I came across the DG5101 Small Technician’s Pouch from DeWalt, which incorporates a nice variety of pockets including a handy cellphone pocket, and is made of a lightweight, durable ballistic poly material. Another source for a worthwhile line of quality rugged, lightweight Tool Holsters from Ripoffs Brand Products. Don’t let the name fool you; the company also boasts more than 200 models to hold your phones, flashlights, wirecutters, testers and the like.

Now that you have a great small pouch, you will need a great multitool to keep your reputation as a lean and mean technician. Many are familiar with the LeatherMan, which is a fine tool. However, my favorite is the Industrial Multi-Tool line from SOG Knives & Tools. Some of their attractive attributes include black oxide finish, locking mechanisms, customizable when ordering, patented compound leverage pliers and cutters, and field-repairable tools.

When feeding cable through difficult walls, check out the Wire Python – Magnetic Wire Pulling Device from BES for that extra punch. Another money saver from BES is the unheralded Restoration Kit for your worn fiberglass cable fishing rods.

Every installation should include newly sharpened drill bits for making your life easier and safer. One company you might want to check out is B&A Manufacturing as it has more than 64 years in the drill bit business. I have been to the company’s Florida plant and assure you their people know what they are doing. Check out B&A’s Bit Repair and Sharpening program. Save considerable money by gathering up your bits and regularly shipping them back for re-conditioning.

About the Author

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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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