The introduction of wireless intrusion systems has simplified the installation process for security systems both large and small. Independence from cabling results in lower installation times and allows security installers to access a larger base of residential customers, when compared with their traditional hardwired focused counterparts.
Wireless technology provides the freedom to mount a device on nearly any wall or ceiling location, which is especially important in older homes and buildings where installing a wired alarm system could involve drilling through stucco walls or concrete cinderblocks. In addition, many wireless intrusion systems offer a quick enrollment installation feature that enables the security dealer to set the keypad in auto-detection mode to discover each device and add it to the system.
The benefits of installing a wireless intrusion system are many, but there are still several things that security installers need to keep in mind to ensure they maximize the system’s full capabilities.
Tip 1: Select the Proper Mounting Location
The location at which a security installer mounts a device is one of the most important aspects of installing a wireless intrusion system. Where a peripheral is installed can impact that device’s ability to transmit information back to the panel. And there is nothing worse than for an installer to climb a ladder, mount a device and then find out later that it is out of range and does not adequately communicate with the control panel.
So, what’s an installer to do? Technicians should perform a placement test to ensure the panel can communicate with a particular wireless device, such as a keypad or motion detector. These checks are now as simple as pushing a button to test the device while it is held up near a specific location. Today, some devices now come with an LED light designed to glow green to affirm mounting location or red if it does not have optimal placement.
Tip 2: Take Interfering Sources into Consideration
In addition to the mounting location, if a device will be located in a smaller home or in an area with an abundance of radio frequency signals, it is important to understand that additional RF noise can impact the overall range of the wireless device.
WiFi devices, such as smartphones and tablets, can interfere with a wireless security device’s ability to communicate back to the control panel. Also, security installers should stay clear of mounting a wireless device on or too close to an electrical box. The alternating current can interfere with the device, while the metal surface of the box can alter the characteristics of the antenna on each device, thereby reducing range.
If the placement test indicates that the location is not ideal due to interference, then an installer can purchase and install a wireless repeater to increase the range and transmission capabilities of the wireless intrusion system.
Tip 3: Know the Environment
Today, home and small business owners like to think outside the box when they look to install a security system. While the traditional installation location has typically been inside a main structure, such as a residence or small office, these boundaries have expanded to include additional structures, like the pool house, the shed and even the garage.
That’s all good—extending the range of the protected premises—but while a homeowner might want to install a wireless intrusion system in the garage where a valuable collection of antique motorcycles is located, the installer needs to still take into account the environmental characteristics of a device and if it is rated for outdoor use.
For example, some devices are not rated to operate in extremely cold weather environments where a minimum temperature is not maintained. If a wireless motion detector is not rated for use where the temperature drops to 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 Celsius), then it should not be installed in a garage without a heat source.