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What is a contact?

 

Burglar Alarm technology has been around for over 100 years.  While technology has advanced, some of the terminology still in use by dealers has not, and the use of door and window “contacts” is common to our industry.

A contact is a device that is typically attached to a door, window, or other entry point that would be opened or moved if someone tries to gain access during a burglary or “intrusion.”  It is a very effective means for determining if a door is open, closed, or has moved.

The terminology refers to an early means of this detection.  Most alarm technology involves establishing an electronic “circuit” by means of establishing a closed “loop,” and interrupting that loop.  Back in the day a metal (usually brass) bar was placed on a door to complete the circuit by pressing against the similar parts connected to the wiring, thus completing the circuit.  If the bar no longer made “contact” to complete the circuit then the zone was “open” and would cause an alarm or trouble condition so the alarm could not be “set.” 

With the invention of the reed switch a magnet could be placed adjacent the switch to cause the reed to “close” and complete the circuit.  If the door opened then the magnet moves away and can no longer keep the switch closed.  This was a critical advancement because the brass bar could be damaged or corrode over time and cause troubles or false alarms.

There are now literally thousands of switches or contacts available to alarm industry professionals.  One of the older companies, GRI (http://www.grisk.com/) located in Kimball, Nebraska supplies these Made in USA products world-wide.

Wireless technology uses this method for door and window protection without the use of physical wiring from the control panel to the door switch.  These small devices have embedded serial numbers that help identify them to the control equipment, and are programmed into the control panel so they don’t get confused with other devices within range.  They are also supervised so if one goes missing or is altered (damaged or the device is opened for battery replacement) the control panel notifies the alarm company.

Advancements in alarm technology help reduce false alarms and make alarm systems user friendly, and Security Professionals is part of that effort.

TL

How to use your Honeywell security system

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IMPORTANT ALERT!

Recently we had a call, from a panicked and understandably upset customer, about a very pushy technician claiming to be with our company.  If we didn’t call you in advance or you didn’t call us for service then DO NOT let them in.  You are always welcome to call us and ask if we have sent a technician to your location.  More likely than not it isn’t one of our technicians.  

This “technician” claimed to have appointments, and when our customer didn’t open the door to let him in he walked around the house, presumably looking for another way in.  Kudos to her for not letting him in and locking herself in the house.  You can call the police and report this behavior.  It could be someone trying to get into your house to see if you really have a security system and what’s worth stealing.  Or worse, someone attempting a home invasion. He will probably move on to another home, so your call could prevent this, or help police catch him that much faster.

Please call the police or hit your panic button on your security system or key-fob if you are approached while outside.  Try to get a good description of the person to give to police so they know who they’re looking for.  Follow your instincts; even if you don’t know why your “spidy senses are tingling” or you feel silly don’t second guess yourself.  Analyze what happened later and I’d bet you’ll find something said or done that triggered your instincts.

I have talked to the detective investigating the case of the man trying to enter one of our customer’s homes pretending to be one of our technicians.  This is not the only rues he is using.  He carries a clip board and could claim to be just about anyone to get you to open the door.  So please be wary of strangers approaching you or knocking at your door trying to get your confidence so you’ll let them in.  Ask for their card (through the mail slot) or the phone number to the company they work for so you can call and verify their identity.  If they are legitimist this should be no big deal.  Follow through with the call though; they could be calling your bluff.

Parents, be aware if your children are home alone our technicians won’t even enter the home and neither should any other company.  Remind them not to open the door to strangers.  Teach them about the panic buttons on the keypad and how they work, you can always put the system into test and have them and you practice. I recommend this because it’s loud and scary sounding and you don’t want to freeze up.  Teach them how to dial 911 and why.

If while you’re at work and someone comes in claiming they have permission to install a security system and you have no knowledge of it, call your supervisor or the owner.  Last year a security company came into a business, belonging to a friend of mine, installed a security system while the owner was out tried to charge him for the work and monitoring and claimed he now had a 3 year contract with them.  He called the company and gave them a piece of his mind.  They removed the system, but he was left with a big hole in his wall where they had installed the keypad in his customers waiting area.

Yes, these are true stories.  This is a scary subject and it would be nice if we didn’t have to worry about these things, but since we do let’s be prepared.  We are sending this out in hopes to save our customers and whoever they share this with from becoming a victim of criminals, as well as unethical, and unscrupulous companies.

Sincerely,
Security Professionals

Video Verification – Use your existing camera system?

Did you know that you can use your existing video surveillance system to verify alarms and reduce unnecessary police response?

Many of our customers have Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) video surveillance systems for their business, and more people are adding exterior cameras to their home security systems all the time.

Honeywell now offers wireless cameras for interior or exterior use that can be viewed over the Internet, on a smart phone or even some of the new tablets.

Many of our existing security systems can be programmed to send a text message or e-mail to notify you of an alarm or other activity, such as your school-aged children arriving home when you’re away or at work.  With your camera system connected to the Internet, as with most DVR’s, you are just a few clicks away from checking live or recorded video so you can confirm those events.

And sometimes you just want to check things out.  This can be especially comforting with elderly parents, pets and of course children.

But that unexpected alarm on the weekend or at night might be the real thing.  You have just been notified of that alarm, and from your cell phone you can see your cameras within seconds, and cancel police response or hurry them along.

Security Professionals has been providing services like this to our customers for years, and we can talk to you about several different options that balance cost and effectiveness.  It’s all about peace of mind for you and family.

As always, our consulting for your home and business security needs is no cost or obligation.  Just our way of saying thanks to our many satisfied customers.  Almost all of our new business comes from your referrals, and we appreciate it.

Thom Livengood

Sales Manager

Landscaping With Home Security in Mind

Everyone likes a nice yard.   When you’re planning your yard’s layout, give some thought to your home’s security.   There are some things you can do to help deter would-be intruders from choosing your house as their next target.   Keep existing bushes around the house trimmed so someone can’t use them for cover to enter your house.  Under windows that are easily accessible from the ground, plant bushes that have thorns or needles.  Rose bushes and barberry bushes are not only pretty; they are painful to get through.  Decorative rocks can be used around the house as well.  Small rocks often make a crunching noise when stepped on, while larger rocks can create an uneven surface that is difficult to traverse, especially for someone that isn’t familiar with your yard.  Talk to your local nursery professional on what will work best for your areas climate and your yard.

Outdoor motion detection lights are also an important part of home security, and can be decorative as well.  The newer solar lights stay on all night and are an economical way to light your yard.  A well-lit yard is less inviting then a dark yard.  This combination of a security system, well displayed security signs, motion lights, solar lights, and landscaping tips let intruders know you take protecting your home and family seriously.  Make safety a priority.

 

 

Security Professionals LLC, Security Control Equipment & System Monitors, Vancouver, WA