May 4, 2013

What a Real Security System Should Look Like

The security industry has a new player in the field, Time Warner Cable. Their solution known as Intelligent Home® claims it is the latest in integrated security and they even claim to have their own central station.

Sounds and looks good on paper but the reality is their solution has its flaws and consumers should know the differences between a system from a cable company and an alarm company.

Intelligent Home® has a handheld touchscreenTime Warner's idea of security unit that looks like a tablet (see picture at right). You can control your home using this tablet. What should be disheartening is that these touchscreen looks more like a television remote control or tablet rather than a true life safety and intrusion system. An intruder should locate the tablet and destroy it upon entry into your home could destroy the unit and incapacitate your alarm system. In this image, the homeowner has the touchscreen device by a window for the intruder to see and it is plugged into an AC outlet by a power cord much like you find on your smartphone or laptop computer.

Now, we look at Time Warner’s idea of a security system. Their offering is 100% wireless. That means you have these little sensor affixed to to walls and doors in your home usually using double stick adhesive tape. But the real kicker is that the security system has no separate control panel in a metal enclosure with communicator and keypad.

Time Warner’s solution to security is cute and fancy indeed. In fact, I thought the touchscreen was neat. For my customers who want a touchscreen, we still offer a hardwired security system and can install its 6280 TouchScreenvery own touchscreen known as the TouchCenter. The TouchCenter does all what  Intelligent Home does and more. The TouchCenter is a touchscreen keypad with fancy graphics but the security system’s nerve center is still locked and hidden in a secure area of the home.

With a real security system you get better protection, reliable systems and products and service that have been around for over 30 years. Real security systems were designed from the ground up to save lives. The fancy options are secondary to life safety.

Longtime security installers will all tell you what a real security system will look like. There are many components that make of an alarm system from the control panel board (motherboard), communicator, NXD2keypad, sensors and power supply, all of which are usually installed in a metal enclosure and mounted on a wall in your home in a secured location like the basement or attic or even a closet. These components are connected together by wires that are ran inside walls cleanly and hidden from view during installation in a process known as ‘fishing’. Skilled alarm installers are deftly skilled at fishing walls and when the installation is complete, these devices are affixed to the walls with no evidence of wires.

The control panel is the brains or hub of the security system. The communicator which sends the emergency signal to the dispatch center are the most critical pieces of the alarm system and should be protected from access as some intruders will attack the control panel if they find it in an attempt to thwart the alarm from doing its job.

The other important components are the keypa6160d, siren and detectors or sensors. Sensors are strategically placed around the home to protect windows, doors and living spaces such as living room, dining room, bedrooms, den and other area. The keypad is what the owner uses to turn the alarm on or off. The keypad usually mounted by the entry/exit door. They keypad is less critical if damaged during an intruder attack as the emergency signal will still get to dispatch from the control board and communicator which is safely hidden from plain view.

For over thirty years security systems have always had these basic components. What has changed is what these components do and how reliable they have become. More bells and whistles.

The cable companies already own the cable going into the home and they are looking for additional ways to increase revenue. Their primary mission isn’t to save lives. Check out Yelp’s customer reviews here.