Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15

Thread: false alarms

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #1
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    planet earth
    Posts
    2,351
    Thanks
    107
    Thanked 196 Times in 171 Posts

    false alarms

    So i decided to upgrade my alarm system... separate my garage and outbuilding ...got a quote from an alarm company ...for just under R 20 000 for a keypad ...an expander and a couple of PIR sensors ... i could rewire my whole house for that amount of money ( not really).. i decided to go do a basic and advanced training course on how to do it myself... so far it has cost me R4000 in total for the latest top of the range modern system which even allows me to control my wifes hair iron which she forgets to switch off... from anywhere in the world ... so long as there is sun to charge the batteries or the the power hasnt been off longer than 3 days or telkom line hasnt been stolen again or the LTE sim dongle isnt connecting ...you get the idea.


    Back in the day... alarm systems came free with the armed response (thats what they advertised) it was included in your monthly contract... nothing is free in this life ...they would fix and maintain it for "free" ...unfortunately this is no longer the case ...i have customers who have paid in excess of R30 000 for an alarm system to be fitted and a monthly fee which grows annually to a point ...that unless you approach the company will just keep growing... until you notice specials running for R350 and realise you are up to the R900 per month mark because you have just been paying by debt order worry free... mine has just been reduced back to R380 per month.

    False alarms... something that is more common than hijacking... house invasion.. and murder all put together... it is one of the most complained about topics with regards to alarms systems... in fact to a point that i have customers who have just given up and switched the system off.

    Which takes me back to all my issues and how the technicians tackle the issues... i am yet to see a technician run a "soak test" ... do a wire resistance test... never mind pull out a laptop and link a serial cable to the main board to download and view the event log ... it more like a doctors visit ...take this and if it doesnt work we will bill you for another visit and try something else...eventually we will find the problem and still send you the bill.

    Something else i hear often... we will get the office to update the system.. due to the lack of experience or knowledge of what is becoming more technical advanced system ...which requires the technician to sit in training for at least half the course ... where you cant just rely on a default setting. ...sometime we find simple issues like a PIR which requires being changed to entry /exit or follower zones for example where something (a wall) has been moved and now the PIR detects movement when the away alarm is set on the keypad.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    planet earth
    Posts
    2,351
    Thanks
    107
    Thanked 196 Times in 171 Posts
    Interesting... i see there is an association which regulates and manages the standards ...SAIDSA ...i am going to stop right here... before i get myself into trouble again

    For those who are not aware ...a company which performs any type of installation ...maintenance or response etc (bylaw 25)...must be registered with SAIDSA ...if not your insurance claim could be rejected (another excuse for insurances to get out of paying claims )
    Last edited by ians; 12-Sep-19 at 06:47 AM.

  3. #3
    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    5,371
    Thanks
    358
    Thanked 836 Times in 669 Posts
    Interesting. I had a new alarm fitted about a moth ago. We have 9 cats and the cats trip al the PIRs. I looked the manufacturer up and it seems that they supply different PIRs for houses that have animals. The PIR is not supposed to be triggered by a 23kgdog. I looked at my sensors but there is no way to tell which model was fitted by looking at the casing (they all look the same) I asked the installer to come sort it out but they are missing in action. I also hate the keypad - we now live in a world of touch screens and there should be no need to program an alarm with beeps and bleeps and flashing leds.

    Don't get me started on technicians - so called car mechanics, laser technicians, cnc technicians ... you name it - there are very very very few who actually know what they are doing. I had a "refrigeration technician" come look at my fridge one day. He cut the compressor pipe and let all the refrigerant out to see whether the refrigerant had leaked out. After her refilled it he started opening up the wiring junction box and then asked me if I had a pice of flex and a plug. I asked him what for - he said that he was going to wire the compressor up and plug it it to see if it works. I decided at that point to ask him to put everything back as he found it and to hit the road. They guy didn't have a voltmeter (I don't think he actually what it is) - he didn't test the thermostat or anything - just started destroying stuff.

    I have a 1300 B3 Ford Laser that nobody seems to be able to fix either. It spent months at Motolek and they can't get it working. A couple of people have looked at it and nobody seems to know whats wrong with it. The car doesn't want to start - we changed the distributor, plug leads, plugs and even removed the immobilizer relay. I can't find the original transformer coil and a bottle coil doesn't work. Motolek said that if they pulse the coil then it runs. I think that it must be a faulty crank position sensor. My Clio does the same thing when the crank sensor gets dirty but nobody has been able to confirm this and I can't work out if the car has a hall effect crank position sensor and where it is located.

    Anyhow - I long for the days when you could take your device to the technician down the road and he not only knew what he was doing he also loved his work. Today everybody grudgingly do as little as they can get away with....
    “Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
    ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

  4. #4
    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Johannesburg
    Posts
    2,877
    Thanks
    104
    Thanked 581 Times in 495 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by adrianh View Post
    I also hate the keypad - we now live in a world of touch screens and there should be no need to program an alarm with beeps and bleeps and flashing leds.
    I think you are being overly optimistic here , would they be able to understand the screen prompts?

    The problem with touch screens is the cost. Still not low enough for general purpose use.
    Don't confuse cell phone screens (billions sold) to industrial equipment, they do not fit the same environment.
    Also the companies are making big fat profits on the equipment they sell, adding a touch screen would reduce the sales due to the high end price.
    Victor - Knowledge is a blessing or a curse, your current circumstances make you decide!
    Solar and LED lighting solutions - www.microsolve.co.za

  5. Thanks given for this post:

    adrianh (12-Sep-19)

  6. #5
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    planet earth
    Posts
    2,351
    Thanks
    107
    Thanked 196 Times in 171 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Justloadit View Post
    I think you are being overly optimistic here , would they be able to understand the screen prompts?

    The problem with touch screens is the cost. Still not low enough for general purpose use.
    Don't confuse cell phone screens (billions sold) to industrial equipment, they do not fit the same environment.
    Also the companies are making big fat profits on the equipment they sell, adding a touch screen would reduce the sales due to the high end price.
    R900 gets you a network module which connects to an app which allows you to control your alarm system from your smart phone tablet etc (touchscreen) ...you could mount a tablet against the wall and link it to your network.

    The new remote access and ease of use comes with price ...so you can arm and disarm ...trigger gates ...security lights ...even switch your pool pump on and off from your alarm system...just make sure the firmware is suitable (especially if using and old tablet)

    however TAKE NOTE THIS IS VERY VERY IMPORTANT ...it also comes with the ability to bypass zones...so you sleeping and have your stay arm on ...the cat jumps into the garage and sets off the PIR ...not problem you pick up your phone open the app ...see zone 3 has been violated ...you bypass it reset your alarm and go back to bed... your garage is cleaned out ...your vehicle broken into...bicycles stolen off the wall etc etc ...no problem you have insurance ... the insurance company send the assessor who requests the event log from your response company... sorry for you mate.

    You away on holiday ...2 days into your holiday ...you get a call from the armed response company...they check...all clear ...an hour later ...again they check...all clear...and so it goes on ...you have a smart app the armed response company was so proud to offer you as part of a deal...you go onto the app ...bypass the zone ...get home after your enjoyable holiday... your safe have been removed ...the house has been robbed ...no problem you are insured... assessor requests your event log... oooops.

    We went on holiday ... i got the insurance company to send someone around (you pay them to every month for the service use it) to go through my house and advise me of anything that might be wrong ...ie alarm system type ...armed response company (we even tested the system to make sure the response company sent a vehicle and found my house)...security gate type and location...locks on the doors ...you name it we went through everything... i had to make a few adjustments...and notes ...for example where there are no secuirty gates the alarm had to have door magnets and PIRs. and armed.

  7. #6
    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    5,371
    Thanks
    358
    Thanked 836 Times in 669 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Justloadit View Post
    I think you are being overly optimistic here , would they be able to understand the screen prompts?

    The problem with touch screens is the cost. Still not low enough for general purpose use.
    Don't confuse cell phone screens (billions sold) to industrial equipment, they do not fit the same environment.
    Also the companies are making big fat profits on the equipment they sell, adding a touch screen would reduce the sales due to the high end price.
    Yes I suppose you're right. Maybe I just get annoyed because I have to deal with another manual filled with codes and nonsense when I want to perform basic tasks. I'm getting to old to study badly written manuals - I want to have simple interfaces, touch, go and forget :-) (I conned my wife into learning all the appliances with that one - I "could never" work out how to operate the washing machine or the stove...)
    “Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
    ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

  8. #7
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    planet earth
    Posts
    2,351
    Thanks
    107
    Thanked 196 Times in 171 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by adrianh View Post
    Yes I suppose you're right. Maybe I just get annoyed because I have to deal with another manual filled with codes and nonsense when I want to perform basic tasks. I'm getting to old to study badly written manuals - I want to have simple interfaces, touch, go and forget :-) (I conned my wife into learning all the appliances with that one - I "could never" work out how to operate the washing machine or the stove...)
    The old days of having to setup up new devices using port forwarding etc are long gone... everything in this day and age is simple and easy to setup... if i look at what was involved in setting up a cctv system for remote viewing a couple of years ago ...compared to the modern apps etc... even my grandmother could do it if she was still alive today... it just gets easier by the day...and affordable.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    planet earth
    Posts
    2,351
    Thanks
    107
    Thanked 196 Times in 171 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by adrianh View Post

    Anyhow - I long for the days when you could take your device to the technician down the road and he not only knew what he was doing he also loved his work. Today everybody grudgingly do as little as they can get away with....
    edited...



    Fortunately i have one of those technician who lives down the road ...he is an elderly fella and knows everything about everything... from fixing his car to repairing sensors on his gate and lots in between...in fact we are busy looking into a few problems at the moment where an insurance company has rejected a claim for a power surge ...blown crap out of everything...small print on both properties dont include power surges only lightning (it doent surprise me ...we talking about insurance companies who pay more money to claim assessors than they do in claims) something i have learnt ...take note ...an assessor is sent to find an excuse to get out of paying the claim...beware of what you say to them...they record what you say and anyone else in the area at the time... you will notice they take pics of the stuff and collect telephone numbers of others around and will use it against you
    Last edited by ians; 12-Sep-19 at 08:16 AM.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    planet earth
    Posts
    2,351
    Thanks
    107
    Thanked 196 Times in 171 Posts
    A few things i have noticed in this industry looking from the outside...there certainly is no ethics or standards when it comes to on site installations.

    To give you an idea of a site visit...a list of a few things noted.

    Starting with the control panels...

    they are installed full of holes ...easy access for bugs...ideal warm spaces for bugs to breed and lay eggs... which cause short circuits on the PC boards.

    No grommets or glands used to protect cable at entry/exit points to the panels.

    they make holes in the ceiling boards and dont patch holes... once again easy access for bugs.

    securing wiring in roof spaces is none existent ...however this is not a big deal because generally the installer will run the wiring between the roof tiles and rafters...(other than the extreme high temperatures which i assume dont affect alarm wires other than making them brittle) however hanging wires across a ceiling space as many do...it cause a problem for other services... who sometimes damage the cabling...resulting in an expense to the customer... i just cut the wires if they restrict access to services which require my attention... especially if installers dont have any consideration for other services...it is bad enough having to tolerate the heat and restricted spaces etc and then still having to try work around some inconsiderate installers rats nest.

    bad connections... a huge problem in this industry... twisted wires with no solder or form of secure termination... or even a bit of tape to at least cover the open termination... just had an incident where the open wires are touching on a steel beam causing false alarms... had another where the open wires where exposed to the elements which resulted in bad connections causing high resistance ...resulting in volt drop below the rated value of the unit it supplied...causing false alarms.

    locations and height of equipment installed...another factor which will impact the reliability of the units installed... there are many factors to take into consideration... beside the manufacturers recommendations.. like sensitivity... distance...type of terrain... obstructions... ...reflection ... animals...birds... the list is long... an experienced installer should be aware and take everything into consideration

    Then we go on to the setup... if the default setting on a very basic unit is used... there generally shouldnt be any problem... however as soon as more advanced or expanded systems are used... i would expect the installer to arrive with a laptop and a serial cable to download the system configuration save it and view it to verify all the values are correct... or if the system is new...at least down load the configuration to verify it is in fact correct... this is one of the problem i have experienced on the few system i have checked... incorrect parameters/values for zones etc.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    planet earth
    Posts
    2,351
    Thanks
    107
    Thanked 196 Times in 171 Posts
    Make sure you get a copy of the commissioning sheet (like a coc) from the alarm installer ...with all the details about your alarm... right down to the volt drop check at each device ...cable resistance tests... they should be verifying your system is installed correctly and all the tests have been carried out

    if you own the system and it is not on loan from the alarm company ...you can request every detail about the alarm ...including the installer code and download code.

    if you have a false alarm issue ...make sure they link the alarm to a laptop via a serial cable (if a serial plug is available ...most new system do) ...and check the system is functioning correctly... check that the technician has done a soak test to prevent future false alarms ...make sure they test the cabling etc etc.

    make sure the technician/ company is registered.

    Hopefully a person who is experienced in this field can correct me and steer us in the right direction if any statements i have made are false or misleading.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. [Question] Need advice- false charges
    By JennJenn in forum General Business Forum
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 16-Feb-18, 11:00 AM
  2. [Question] False Accusation!
    By BJH in forum General Business Forum
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-Nov-17, 09:59 PM
  3. Evacuation alarms
    By WayneB in forum General Regulatory Compliance Forum
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 03-Aug-13, 07:29 AM
  4. False positives on spam filters
    By Dave A in forum Technology Forum
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 29-Oct-08, 05:54 AM

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •