Security has been at the core of our company for over 33 years, daily installing and servicing thousands of alarm systems in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania area. Every system is designed and built to meet specific needs based on consultation with the client and evaluation of the property. Protection of life and property are paramount, so a properly installed and designed system is critical.
For a system to provide many years of optimal, trouble free service, devices need to be set up by seasoned installers. Many security systems are not installed properly, limiting their effectiveness. This also contributes to false alarms and functionality issues. For example, a smoke sensor placed closer than 3 feet to a duct will get dirty from the constant airflow and will trip false alarms.
Each security & surveillance system we install consists of a few core elements:
- Control panel
- Communication device
- User interface like a keypad or touch panel
Sensors can be for: window or door opening, glass breakage of windows, motion sensors, sensors for the detection of smoke and fire, and cameras for surveillance. These can include a mix of hardwired and wireless devices depending on what best fits the installation.
The security control panel’s metal cabinet gets installed in the basement or utility space. This contains the main control board, as well as housing the auto-recharging backup battery that powers the system if electric power is out at the premises.
For communication, all of our systems utilize a device called a cellular radio, which is a small box that connects to the main system and allows all communication of events to be transmitted via cellular radio signal to responsible parties and the authorities. This device also allows the user to connect to the system via their smart devices to control the alarm system and get notifications of events. Cellular technology is preferred over internet and phone service, as it is generally more reliable. Copper phone line service is slowly being phased out, and is no longer available in many areas, the alternative is voice over IP phone service from the cable company and Verizon FIOS which if they work at all can be very inconsistent.
All of our Honeywell/Resideo residential security and fire, smoke, carbon monoxide alarm systems can be controlled by your smart phone with the ability to turn on and off the system, get text notifications of events like someone turning on or off the system, or an event like a door alarm, fire or flood alarm.
With thousands of monitored systems, we provide the service and knowledge to keep systems working and running for many years. We have honed our expertise in service and installation across many brands and system types over the years. This deep experience allows us to more effectively analyze, troubleshoot, and optimize your existing installation.
Examples Drawn From Real Experience
A carbon monoxide sensor in a home in Pittstown NJ trips at 1 AM. The homeowner is now awake and our remote station monitoring personnel contact the owner while the Quakertown Fire Company is dispatched to investigate. On arrival, the firefighters find with their test devices carbon monoxide at death levels. Conclusion: customer’s life was saved through a properly installed monitored security system.
A smoke sensor in an apartment above a dental office in Somerville NJ goes into alarm. The fire department is called by our remote station to find a fire on site inside a recessed light in a newly renovated bathroom. The fire was contained and caught early enough to prevent significant damage to the property. Conclusion: life and property are protected by a property installed, monitored security system.
It’s 5 AM and a customer hears a chime off their security keypad while they are still asleep. Awoken by the sound, the customer does not hear anything else and goes back to sleep. In the morning, police knock on the door and ask if the customer had heard anything that morning. On further investigation, several next-door neighbor’s homes were burglarized at that time. The customer had their security system’s chime mode on, which alerts when a door is opened and chimes all of the keypads. The burglar had opened their basement entry door, heard the chime, and knew they were discovered – so they left the premises. Conclusion: even when the alarm was not turned on, the chime mode feature of the system prevented a more serious incident in the home.
On a cold day in December, just before Christmas, a family decides to go on vacation, leaving their home vacant. A few hours later they are notified that the fire alarm system is going off in their home. The fire department found a fire in the music room of the customer’s house, started by a lit candle sitting on top of a piano that had melted down. The home had smoke damage, but losses were minimized due to early detection by the smoke sensor. Conclusion: accidents and negative events can happen, but security systems can help in saving family and property when optimally configured and monitored.
We install a variety of surveillance systems, with cameras that work over WIFI, or on a hardwired connection. Over the years, we have tested various camera technologies from many makers and have focused in on the best products, utilizing the most reliable configurations. This is a continual process of refinement, and as technologies change, we are continually testing new devices.
Whether you choose wireless or hardwired, our systems can provide you remote live viewing, and the ability to review recordings of activity from the past, all from your smart phone and devices. Our doorbell video cameras can notify you immediately when someone is at your door, or if they rang your doorbell. All of the systems we provide can be seen from your Smart phone and remote locations using the internet.
Experienced installation is also key. A recent visit to a new customer’s home revealed that a previous company had installed outdoor cameras using mounting brackets that were not designed for outdoor use and were rusting and staining the customers home. It is vital to understand the products used and where you can use them.
Worth noting: there are literally hundreds of models of cameras on the market today, many of which are built poorly or have very short lifespans. Many provide initially very good images, but do not provide years of service.
Cameras are made for either indoor and/or outdoor use and are hardwired or wireless. Hardwired cameras come in many more variety of shapes and sizes than wireless. Hardwired cameras come in a cylindrical, dome and turret shapes. The cylindrical shapes are about 3-8 inches in length, the dome or mini-dome look like half of a globe and are 3-5 inches in size. The turret camera looks like a mini dome camera with a flat face, which allows infrared night time images to be better looking. Most cameras that we use have infrared capability, so they can see in the dark and with resolutions ranging from 2-5 Megapixels. Outdoor cameras have aluminum bodies and are rated for the harshest outdoor environments.
The newer hardwired cameras are wired with Category 5 network cable and are significantly better then WIFI cameras, as they provide constant video output to recording devices. Hardwired camera systems consist of a network video recorder, or NVR and network IP cameras. The NVR is where the images are recorded and stored for viewing in the future. The cameras are then wired back to the NVR. The NVR is connected to your internet and local network so they can be viewed remotely or on site on smart phones and devices. The network video recorder contains a large hard drive to store the camera footage, and the cameras are set up to record either by motion activation or set to record all the time. Hardwired camera systems are more reliable but can be costlier than simple WIFI cameras.
WIFI or wireless cameras consist of a WIFI camera, usually these are either in a 3-4-inch cylindrical shape or what we call bullet style for outdoor use, or in a small round or square style for placement on a counter or tabletop. The better WIFI cameras that we use do require power to operate and require good signal strength on the WIFI network. Both hardwired and wireless cameras can be viewed in real time, or previous video clips can be seen on an app on your smart device. Currently, most wireless cameras can record about 40 seconds of time out of each minute, so they are limited in how much video they can send out and record.
In applications where you want to see if a person came into your home and be notified, WIFI cameras are very good. They should not be relied on for event notification of outdoor events, as every small change in light or movement will trip an event, and dozens of false events can drain your smart phone (and patience).
Many customers have bought DIY products, only to find that the promises made in their marketing are not realistic. Camera systems need to be designed and set up properly to ensure the desired result is achieved, and this can only be done by companies with deep, real-world experience over time.