When Riverside, Calif.-based ICS Service was asked to install a security system to protect a historic building on the California coast for the Palos Verde Unified School District, wireless was the logical choice. It would have been a shame to mar the building’s beauty with hard wiring.
But as ICS Service president Jon Largent recalls, the company approached the job with skepticism. System planners were not certain whether wireless transmissions would be able to penetrate the building’s thick concrete walls. Fortunately ICS has been pleasantly surprised by the performance it has received from the XR500 panel and 1100 series wireless transmitters and repeaters from Springfield, Mo.-based Digital Monitoring Products (DMP) installed at the site.
“We figured we would need three or four repeaters, but it fired up with one,” Largent recalls.
The system has wireless sensors on about eight doors as well as about two dozen motion detectors.
The DMP 1100 Series of wireless devices feature two-way communication and include all components needed for installation. Two-way communication eliminates the need to send signals multiple times. Instead, the signal is sent once and confirmed, greatly reducing power draw and extending battery life. Each 1100 Series device has a survey LED, providing instant visual confirmation of communication between the panel and each transmitter, facilitating device placement and enabling fast, one-person installation.
Wireless Add-on Sensors Become Part of the Sale for Remote Homes
An aspect of the poor economy in the Detroit area has been the layoffs of numerous auto industry executives who previously had the costs of their home alarm systems paid by their employers. Wichita, Kansas-based security dealer Protection One has recently been contacting these executives to determine whether they want to pick up monitoring costs themselves, and has been able to use that opportunity to sell a lot of new wireless sensors to enhance the functionality of their systems.
“These are high-end homes that often are very finished and the owner doesn’t want any holes,” notes Don Gillespie, district manager for Protection One.
Previously the homeowner may have relied on stand-alone smoke detectors and may be attracted to the higher level of protection provided by a monitored system. Monitored carbon monoxide detectors are another wireless add-on that can improve life safety.
Many of these executives also have vacation homes in northern Michigan. Protection One has had success in selling wireless low-temperature/flood detectors for these homes to alert the central station of flood conditions or if the temperature in the home drops to the level where pipes might be in danger of freezing.
Honeywell’s 5821 Wireless Temperature Sensor and Flood Detector can help homes avert costly structural damages. The device detects water through use of an external probe that is typically mounted where water would accumulate. When the presence of water and/or a certain temperature is sensed, the detector initiates a chain of dealer-programmed events in response. The security system can alert the central station or, depending on the system, even call the homeowner’s cell phone.
Rooftop Is Target for Theft; Outdoor PIRs Put to Work
Creative Security Consulting, San Jose, Calif., faced a challenge 18 months ago when it was asked to secure a vacant manufacturing facility that was without power. Complicating the project was the sheer size of the building, which was 165,000 square feet, and the same amount of footage on its rooftop, which also needed to be secured.
“This was a high-tech manufacturing facility that had been targeted for copper theft,” recalls Brian Wall, vice president of operations for Creative Security Consulting. “At the point they brought us in they had sustained $200,000 to $225,000 in damage and that was just the tip of what was possible given the size of the building and the amount of equipment in it.”
The client has not had any further losses since Creative Security installed a wireless security system that the company has manufactured to its own specifications, which uses the cellular network to transmit alarms to the central station. Also critical to the system’s success were wireless passive infrared detectors from Optex Corp., Chino, Calif., which were designed especially for outdoor use, making them well-suited to cover the roof.
Since the system was installed, police have arrested several people and have documented several incidents of people who tried to break in but were scared off by the sirens and strobes included with the system.
The Optex VX-402R wireless passive infrared detector provides a 40 ft. by 40 ft. detection pattern and is weatherized for direct exposure to outdoor elements. Hardwire versions also are available.
Simplifying Residential Add-Ons
For years, some of the most innovative residential security companies from a marketing standpoint have relied heavily on wireless technology. Quick and easy installation just seems to go hand-in-hand with a marketing-centric approach.
Media, Pa.-based security company Global Services for the Home is a current example of a business taking an innovative approach to marketing. “We work through third parties such as home health care and insurance agents,” explains Global Services owner Tom Muldoon. Using that approach, he says, “You can reach deeper into the public. You can send letters and so on. You need to make it personal.”
Not surprisingly, Global Services focuses primarily on wireless system installations â€” and a mainstay of the business is the DVS1200 system from Carlsbad, Calif.-based manufacturer Linear LLC. “It’s very simple to install; we don’t have to fish wires,” Muldoon comments. “And the programming is very simple. We dial into a keypad to activate it.”
The system uses a base unit mounted on a wall or table, which receives signals from wireless door contacts, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and motion detectors, as well as emergency alert pendants. Global Services offers a commission structure that contributes to strong sales of add-on devices.
The DVS-1200 12-channel supervised wireless security console is well suited for sites requiring 12 zones of protection or less. The system features a full-function, built-in keypad with an LED display of each sensor/transmitter. The ultra-compact console is UL listed.
Partitioned System Plays the Access Control Role
With a range of farm equipment for sale, dealerships handling John Deere implements usually are quite spread out, making them challenging to secure. A dealership in Kingfisher, Okla., for example, has three separate buildings, one of which is divided in half, essentially creating four separate areas. Until recently the dealership had security only in one of the four areas.
“They wanted to protect the detached buildings and they didn’t want to tear up the parking lot and the area where they park the machines,” recalls Ross Barrick, supervisor of energy services for Cimarron Security, a division of Cimarron Electric Cooperative, also based in Kingfisher. “They also wanted to be able to track employees. Certain employees didn’t need to be in certain areas.”
The solution was for Cimarron to install a partitionable wireless system based on equipment from GE Security, Bradenton, Fla. Each of the four secured areas has either a GE Security Pro 500, 6000 or 7000 Concord series control panel with built-in receiver. Each panel receives wireless signals from door/window sensors in the same area. Each employee has a unique user code and codes are programmed into individual systems as appropriate for each employee’s job function. Only those employees who need access to all four locations can access all of those locations, and opening and closing reports for each area provide a record of where and when employees have been.
Cimarron devised a novel solution to enable all of the panels to function as a single system. The siren output from the panels in each of the outlying buildings is connected to a transmitter mounted on the outside of the building. When a door or window sensor in one of the outlying buildings is tripped, the siren activates and triggers the outdoor-mounted transmitter to report an alarm to the panel in the main building. Connectivity to the panel in the main building is supplemented by two additional receivers, one inside the main building and one on the exterior of the main building.
The system has proven to be very versatile for the client. “They were considering an access control system but now they’re using this instead,” Barrick says.
The GE Security Pro Concord series of control panels deliver integrated hardwire/wireless security. A range of models are available, providing as many as 96 protection zones, 230 user-programmable access codes with authority levels and 2300 foot open air range.