Building  Envelope  Security
 

Anubis security experts work with you to determine best options and practices to help address your specific project’s concerns.  What is it?  What’s the best choice?  How does it work?  How do I choose?  These are questions we will answer in the next few pages (links to these pages are provided below).  Take your time reading through the articles.  You can always email us with your more direct questions.  We will respond within a few hours of receiving your email (sometimes faster).

You can also telephone (778) 863-7147 if your concern is of a more urgent nature.

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Security FAQ
Perimeter Devices
Interior Devices

The brains or guts of a modern security/access control system is usually housed in a heavy gauge metal container or box with a hinged (often locked) cover to allow access to trained, qualified personnel only.  In no case should you attempt to open this unit or service it yourself.  Even though most common controls these days operate on a 12 volt DC bus system (this does not present an immediate electrical hazard or danger), there may be higher voltage devices usually associated with turning on or flashing the premise lights in there as well.

The system employs "peripheral" devices that act as the ears, eyes, and mouth (or voice) of the main control unit.  These peripherals comprise motion detectors, glass breakage sensors, door contacts, sirens, smoke alarms, etc. (the list is almost endless). The brain (or common control) is usually connected to a telephone outlet so that the signals it generates are transmitted to a central agency or monitoring facility.  You have to have some means of arming and disarming (turning on and off) the common control.  The means to do so comes in many guises:  from a simple key switch to a digital readout LCD, to specially encoded cards, to wireless actuators you place around your neck, or on your key fob.  They all function to turn the system on and off and can even track changes in the system and display them to you.  A stand-by battery supplies power to the entire unit (and the peripheral devices) in the event of a complete power failure or brown-out.

There are two kinds of systems available.  Most modern security systems are a compromise between these two systems (for reasons we’ll delve into later).

PERIMETER  SECURITY

In a perimeter system, the alarm provider, in consultation with the premise owner has determined that all physical access points to the premise will be protected. What this means is that all window openings, doors, vents, and louvers are secured from unauthorized entry. This form of security is the most expensive, but also represents the best way of protecting both property and individual people.  A properly designed perimeter system will allow the home-owner's family or office personnel complete freedom of movement within the protected premise, and provide an immediate warning of any authorized individual(s) entering the area.

INTERIOR SECURITY

Also termed space protection. In this kind of system, motion sensors are strategically placed in areas of the home or business that are the most vulnerable to either theft or intrusion. This is the least expensive and best means of protecting property (things with an intrinsic and genuine value).  In most cases, interior systems reflect the belief that most break-ins or thefts occur when the store is locked or the homeowners are away. The major drawback to this kind of system is the fact that the intruder actually gains physical access to the premise (he has to be inside and moving around within the protected area) for an alarm to be generated.
 


LEASE  VERSUS  PURCHASE

A Lease usually has a fixed term (nominally three to five years, renewable for consecutive one year terms), low (sometimes FREE) installation costs, which are often offset by higher than normal monitoring or service charges.  Companies most often offer to allow the customer to purchase the equipment at a fair adjusted market value after the end of the initial term.  This can be viewed as a major disadvantage in that the actual cash expenditure over the term of the lease may be higher than an initial outright purchase.  The advantage is that the installing company usually offers free maintenance (excluding damage from outside sources) for the life of the lease contract.  Leasing may also have some tax advantages.

THE  FREE  SYSTEM

Be wary of so called FREE systems.  In many (if not most)  instances accepting such a system means you are subject to a minimalist installation which comprises two (2) door contacts, a single motion sensor, a siren, keypad, and common control (sometimes a special one time only if-you-sign-today offer of a connected smoke detector is included).  While this system may be adequate for most apartments, it is totally inadequate for larger single family dwellings with multiple ground floor entry doors and lots of windows.  In the latter instance, the sales person will attempt to up sell your system or offer extended protection by suggesting he incorporate some additional devices. Some companies leave the up selling in the hands of the alarm installer whom most customers view as being more knowledgeable about what they’re installing than the geeky sales guy.  Your FREE system now comes with a hefty monthly price tag.

THE  FEAR  SELL

This type of sales technique is no longer in common practice.  When it was, it typically involved a sales person making vague (and sometimes specific) references to other break-ins or incidents in the prospective purchaser's neighbourhood.  A variation of this technique still exists today, but is largely customer driven.  If you have been the subject of a break-in, you must try to deal with your alarm system purchase objectively, and not in reaction to the event, or from fear that it may happen again. You don't have to fortify your home to the point that your security system rivals that of the one used at the Loomis® armoured car depot. 

It’s important to realize that, in most instances, your insurance provider can suggest several good alarm service companies for you to call.

VOICE  RESPONSE

We've all been subject to those radio ads flogging the latest and greatest voice response monitoring systems.  In many cases (if not all), the equipment is often sold over the telephone (you never see an actual salesperson) and the installing technician is required to up sell the customer on-the-spot if the equipment provided in the basic package is inadequate.  In addition, you’re required to sign a contract which locks you in for a period of three (3) years and the cost of any additional equipment is usually prorated into the basic monthly charge.  A single door contact and a motion detector made pet proof by mounting it up-side-down is not going to give you the level of protection you deserve! 

We can also categorically state that security control panels that offer two way voice communication with a central monitoring station have been available for a number of years and there are serious draw-backs to their use.  If you're really keen on the technology ask your Dealer if their station's receiver is capable of receiving signals from a voice activated panel.  Chances are he'll say yes as most of the central station receivers employed today have this option available and, contrary to the ads, at NO additional cost to you.
 


SYSTEM  TESTING

The best security system in the world needs to be regularly tested.  Most alarm manufacturers suggest a weekly test regimen, but this can be adjusted to a daily test should the need arise.  All modern alarm equipment is capable of transmitting a test signal, and in most cases involving a monitored system, a daily test signal is also generated to ensure the communicator and telephone line is functioning properly. The daily (or weekly) communicator test does not ensure the alarm system itself (or the peripheral devices it employs) is working.  We suggest that you consult your owners manual and follow the instructions of your own alarm provider in formulating a test regimen that will ensure you remain confident of the protection you’ve purchased.

 

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