Why you should never wait until after your new home is built to install a security system
If you are a homeowner or a contractor planning a renovation or new construction, then we have some suggestions to consider before you finish closing in your walls.
It's understandable that you might not see any reason to incorporate a low voltage plan that accommodates Internet, home automation, security, and audio/visual components. After all, isn't everything wireless now?
Waiting to install these systems until after you build your home can cause you all sorts of needless costs and headaches. By planning ahead, you will create an improved home living experience and less exposed cables and wires to try and hide later on.
In this post, we are going to share some of the problems that usually arise when you don’t have a low voltage plan from the very beginning and why you'll be much better off when you do.
If everything is wireless, why do I still need access to the walls?
Today’s wireless technology is truly amazing, and it provides you with an incredible amount of added flexibility and convenience. It enables you to place devices in locations that may not have been possible, or at least practical to get a wire placed. Our wireless technology opens all kinds of conveniences for you, such as the ability to monitor security cameras and unlock doors from anywhere simply by using an app on your phone. It's fantastic and we install literally thousands of wireless components.
But today your home will likely be a combination of wired AND wireless technology. We all love the convenience of using our mobile devices and laptops all over our homes and backyards. That requires solid wireless signal strength and if you want to avoid ugly wires and cables after the home is built, then pulling a few wires ahead of time for a solid Internet streaming experience is a good idea and an inexpensive investment towards “future proofing” the home. From our perspective, adding battery operated cameras afterwards is an example of a poorly advised low voltage plan. Worse, if you’re trying to keep an eye on your pool, driveway, or front door with a battery-operated camera, you’ll be disappointed when the batteries fail in cooler weather.
While you’re picking out floor finishes and bathroom fixtures, we are looking at your home as an entire SYSTEM. That means devices work together and we integrate them in such a way that they become a seamless part of the home. Something you don’t need to think about or get frustrated by when something’s not right.
Our belief has always been that all the systems we sell (security, life safety, environmental detection, video surveillance, networking and audio/video) are installed in a way that doesn’t impede your lifestyle but rather it enhances your entire new home living experience.
Don’t rely on your electrician for Life Safety expertise.
Quite a few times during the year, we get a frantic call from a homeowner AFTER they’ve completed a renovation or new construction project. Due to the increased value of the home, their insurance company now requires that the smoke detectors in the home must be monitored by a central station and they require proof from an alarm company. That means replacing all those new smoke detectors with sensors that are compatible with an alarm system. And that will require different wiring. Contrary to a commonly held belief (primarily told by electricians), our smoke detectors meet the requirements for the building code in New York State when installed properly.
The primary function of a smoke detector is life safety – getting everyone up and out of a home in case of a fire. A secondary function (and this is where we come in) is property protection – the ability to notify firefighters as quickly as possible, thus reducing the amount of damage to a home. And that is why insurance companies will often insist on monitored smoke detectors.
But wait, there’s more. Our smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are “supervised.” That means we know when someone removes a detector and we know when they require cleaning. An old dirty smoke detector has a 30% chance of NOT detecting smoke and missing smoke detectors are a significant contributor to household fire deaths. How old are your smoke detectors and when were they cleaned and last serviced? Did you take one down because of a beep and didn’t replace it. With our smoke detectors, we’ll know when there’s a problem.
As you can imagine, this can get expensive when not planned early on, leaving you wondering why you didn’t call us sooner.
Planning for security cameras.
More than ever, we are installing security cameras on residential properties and the reasons for this are varied and creative. You may want to consider cameras for verification of package deliveries or for property management (did the landscaper show up or did the pool get cleaned). Or you may want to keep an eye on loved ones such as your pet, a child, or an aging at home parent.
While there are cameras that are completely wireless, our experience has shown them to be considerably inconvenient to charge batteries (especially in cold weather) or maintain a consistent connection. A better solution is a camera with a wired network connection or at least a camera powered by a wire and transmitting a video signal over a secure WiFi connection.
You will be pleased to know that in a recent Consumer Reports article, the testers could not hack our Resideo brand cameras while competing cameras from Ring and SimpiSafe were easily compromised and could place your privacy at risk.
Planning for convenience and ease of use.
We have said it before and it’s worth repeating. Any planned system should not burden you with difficulty and hassle. Our goal is to place devices in convenient places that serve their purpose when and where you want them. Some of those devices work best with a wire and consistent power. Others work great with a battery or when walls are closed and your needs change.
Regardless, if you’re building a new home, it is to your benefit to sit down with us in the early planning stages and create a plan that works. You may be surprised by what we present and what you forgot to consider.
It's clear when you're building a new home that there are tremendous benefits to inviting us in early during the planning phase to help design the right infrastructure needed for the security and monitoring system. The longer you wait, the bigger issues and costs you will encounter.
In the end, it’s all about creating the best experience in the home using a broad range of technologies designed to work together. It’s what we do best, every day.
Whether you are the homeowner or the home builder, if you’d like to talk further about us helping you plan, install, and monitor your new home, feel free to contact us.