The article below "Cable-free route to business" is taken from the professional "security installer - The voice of installation" publication. Written by Anthony Hildebrand
There is no reason to fit a wired alarm when you can have the flexibility of a wireless alarm. For the last 7 years we have sold thousands of systems without ever having one false alarm due to interference from any other wireless device or radio interference. Now even professional installers who get paid for laying cables and wires have turned over to wireless alarms.
Cable-free route to business
Remember the days where almost every job involved crawling through lofts while trailing meters of cable, shifting heavy cabinets filled with Great-Aunt Mabel’s prized glass collection, and hunting for elusive cables hidden in walls?
As recently as two years ago, that was still the norm, despite the fact that wireless security products had been on the market for more than a decade. Now, instead of turning to wireless systems only for sites in which it was impossible to run cables, many installation companies are making a strategic decision to focus on wireless.
But taking the wire-free route is about far more than escaping those musty lofts. Rather, it’s about providing a better end-user experience, reducing costs and, ultimately, accelerating business.
Mike Reddington, MD of ADI Global Distribution, explains the drive to wireless: “Wireless equipment is a high growth market with demand and sales climbing significantly year on year compared to hard wired systems.
“Wireless is now a more stable technology option with reduced time for installation and less décor disruption that allows companies to obtain a better utilisation of their labour resources.”
Wires and consumers
Installing a hardwired security system in an existing house or flat often causes significant disruption and mess. For an average house, the process usually takes a full day.
The homeowner needs to stay home from work for the duration and put up with the mess of drilled-through walls, lifted carpets and shifted furniture. Not anyone’s idea of fun, to say the least.
And that’s when things go well. The complexity of laying cables opens the way to unwelcome surprises for homeowners. Punctured pipes, damaged walls, scrape marks on furniture, and visible wires can leave homeowners not just unhappy, but also unlikely to recommend the installer to others.
In the residential marketplace, where word of mouth is the main source of new business, a few less-than-perfect installations can significantly impact on business.
Once the system is installed and working, the occupants of the house are locked into specific behaviours: they must leave and return by the front door; and, usually, they must commit a multi-digit code to memory and remember to type it on the key pad within a few seconds every time they come inside.
For those of us used to operating alarm systems, this doesn’t sound like a big deal. However for end-users trying to enter their code in a panic before the sirens activate, it can be a daunting experience.
Fitting today’s unwired world
Locked Up Monitored Security has, since its inception in the mid-1990s, offered only wireless systems, many of them based on Visonic wireless security systems and peripherals, and integrated with other wireless systems and components such as CCTV.
Martin West, owner and business strategist, says he has noticed a real change in consumers’ expectations over the past few years.
“The most profound change we are seeing is that consumers now expect wire-free as the norm,” he said. “This has come about due to the expansion of readily available wire-free technologies that touch every aspect of their lives, from GPRS laptops to mobile phones, Wi-Fi wireless home networks, Blue tooth, Wii, and so forth.
“The new generation of broadband-enabled wire-free systems integrate security, safety, home automation and CCTV, truly converging multiple technologies to match consumers’ expectations.”
With wireless security systems, the user experience fits right in with today’s wireless lifestyle and is very intuitive.
For example, Visonic wireless home security systems can be turned on and off using a small keyfob that resembles the remote controls we all use to lock and unlock our cars. There’s no need for family members to remember a numeric code, and they can come and go from the house through any of the doors.
Accommodating new applications
UK home décor is not what it was. With changing fashions more and more homeowners are moving from the traditional carpeting to hard flooring, including hardwood, laminate and ceramic tiles.
This creates a new set of challenges for hardwired security system installations, as there is no carpet under which to hide wires.
If detached buildings, such as a garage or shed, also need to be protected, wireless systems are ideal, eliminating the complexity and cost of laying underground cables.
In today’s depressed housing market, more homeowners are renovating instead of buying a new home. With wire-free systems, integrating additions and other structural alterations is very simple.
Even if the existing system is hardwired, adding more wired components is often not the easiest or most cost effective option. Rather, installing a new wireless system for the whole house may be cheaper whilst providing a better experience for the homeowner.
There is also the option to utilise the existing components in combination with a wireless system, by using a bolt-on radio module with volt-free contacts to trigger the control panel’s hardwired zones.
Making smart use of resources
Laying security system cables is a skill that can take a year-plus of apprenticeship to truly master. And, even for a skilled, experienced engineer, it is a slow and laborious process, fraught with complications.
In today’s market, in which every company needs to expand revenues without expanding the workforce, and given the prevailing shortage of skilled engineers and the relatively high expense commanded, it doesn’t make sense to have engineers tied up running cables through homes.
With the broad offering of wireless systems and components available today, residential and small commercial sites can be well-served by wireless systems. By focusing on wire-free installations, which tend to take a few hours instead of the day or more needed for hardwired systems, installers can free more engineer resources for higher-margin, large-scale industrial installations.
Not only are wireless systems a good fit with today’s consumers; they also match the natural capabilities of today’s younger generation of engineers.
More technology-focused than those who entered the profession many years ago, engineers today are quick to grasp how sophisticated wireless systems work. And, they’re happier configuring a digital system than crawling around with cables.
Article source: Security installer