Interrogate The Integration Expert: Preventing Pitfalls

Oct. 27, 2008
Proximity Reader Tips

A: Proximity readers are available for a wide variety of installation applications. There are a few important considerations when selecting and deploying them.

• Mounting: Be certain that the reader is securely mounted and that the surface upon which it is mounted will not degrade the read range of the particular unit. If you are placing the reader where it will be exposed to the elements or other conditions, be sure your reader is rated for that type of environment. Also be careful not to alter the unit’s physical integrity while mounting it (in other words don’t crack, puncture or otherwise alter the housing while installing).

• Voltage: Next be sure you have the correct voltage present at the door. Excessive wire runs and cabling which is entwined around lighting fixtures or near interference-producing equipment may result in excessive voltage drop, cause misreads or actually damage to the reader. A locking device can generate electrical noise or fluctuations that also could adversely affect the reader. In some cases you may have to use signal conditioning or a booster for the data, or have to locate an auxiliary power supply adjacent to the reader to achieve proper performance.
Also be sure that you are using cabling that is the right type for your application. Shielded wire is commonly specified and plenum rated is usually recommended.
Also take advantage of the cable’s shield to help your data. Don’t just clip it off immediately to get it out of the way of the “important” wires and don’t cut off any spares, they might come in handy.
The shield should “float” at the reader end (not be attached to anything, and ideally be prevented from touching anything with insulating tape. The shield (also commonly referred to as the drain wire) may be connected to earth ground at the controller end of the cable.

Avoiding Litigation

Q: I am hearing about several companies in lawsuits related to consumer fraud. What can I do to protect my company?

A: For old school security dealers it just makes sense to treat our clients as we would our own family. The reality is, however, it is a tough business environment. You may be subject to legal actions arising out of the following business practices.

• Telemarketer Registration: Does your state have a no-call list or require that you register if you engage in telemarketing? It’s on you to stay informed and in compliance.
• Consumer Protection: Watchdog groups may target you. Take steps to be sure
your company uses plain language contracts.

• Contract Font Size: You reduced your font size to fit everything on two pages? Not so fast there, Guttenberg. Individuals can claim they were entrapped by the fine print on your contract.
• Automatic Renewal Clauses: These seem to anger judges. To avoid a possible adverse court action, send out a reminder to your accounts giving them a clear choice whether to renew or not.
• Better Business Bureau and Other False Advertising: Before you plaster logos on your ads and stationary be sure you’re actually a member. Do not claim false state certifications or association memberships either. Your state may also have requirements relating to registration of your company and the way you display your registration number on your contracts, advertising and vehicles.

Security Dealer Technical Editor Tim O’Leary is a 30-year veteran of the security industry and a 10-year contributor to the magazine. O’Leary’s background encompasses having been a security consultant since 1986 and an independent security company owner/operator, in addition to his research and evaluation of new technologies and products introduced to the physical and electronic security fields. He is a member of the VBFAA (Virginia Burglar and Fire Alarm Association); certified for Electronic Security Technician and Sales by the VADCJS (Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services); and, has served as a judge for the SIA New Product Showcase. Send your integration questions to [email protected].