HELP & ADVICE

Frequently asked questions and information regarding our systems

Get help and advice for our security systems 

Why use an approved company installer ?

Most Insurers and the Police will recommend that you use an ‘Approved Installer’ when having a security system or locks installed. All approved company installers have to undergo rigorous inspections to make sure they are adhering to the correct standards with the correct insurances. We are approved members of the SSAIB and Master Locksmiths Association (MLA). See the web links to their websites for more information. www.ssaib.co.uk & www.locksmiths.co.uk.

Intruder Alarms

Setting An Alarm System

When setting your intruder alarm from the main keypad. First remember to make sure the relevant doors and windows are closed. In the summer open windows can set off passive infra red detectors. Also make sure any pets are secure from protected areas. Why Is My External Bell Box Beacon Flashing ?


Why Is My External Bell Box Beacon Flashing ?

Remember if you see the external bell box strobe light flashing your alarm has been activated and caution needs to be given when entering the property. You will need to enter your code then re-enter it again to reset the panel.


Intruder Alarms – Wired or Wire Free

This is a question we are asked all the time. Until recently we would have said that wire free systems were mostly unreliable and long term not worth the additional expense. However in recent years there are now newer breeds of system which are proving to be very reliable and much more convenient to install. The upheaval element to your home or office is also vastly reduced.

Where you have an existing system that needs to be upgraded/repaired and the existing cable network is all still operational, we would then normally recommend a wired replacement be considered. However should you wish to have additional detection devices installed or perhaps the existing cable network is suspect then a wire free alternative would now be the preference.

There are now various ranges of ‘Hybrid’ alarm panels that can combine both hard wired and wire free solutions that offer the best of both worlds. In a lot of cases you can continue to use the existing detection devices from your old system provided they are all operational, yet still combine new wire free detection devices without the upheaval of having cables installed.

The intruder alarm market is fast becoming quite innovative in its system design and there are many solutions to most environments both domestic and commercial. Please ring us and discuss any concerns that you may have about either type of system. We provide a FREE no obligation design and quotation service.


Central Station Monitoring – Is It For Me ?

In the past ‘Central Station Monitoring’ was considered necessary only for businesses or country houses, not anymore. A central station is a person/s in a building which could be anywhere in the country. Your alarm is constantly being monitored via your telephone line for a possible activation. If this should occur they will get a signal from your alarm. The operator will then telephone the relevant prearranged keyholders to alert them that the system has been activated. In the case of a system that needs Police response the operator would then ring the Police accordingly.

You will be asked when setting up a monitored system for contact telephone numbers, both landline and mobile. A password will also be required which will identify you correctly to the operator who could ring. If Police response is required we would also on your behalf obtain a Unique Reference Number or URN. This too identifies to the Police the system they may need to attend to.

There are different types of monitoring, standard ‘Digi’, RedCare, RedCare GSM, DualCom and DualCom Plus. There are also some IP internet based monitoring services now like Emizon appearing on the market. With regards to RedCare & DualCom we always recommend that you consult with your insurers in the first instance to clarify which service they require you to have installed. There are obviously costs attached to all these services which can be explained to you when you contact us.

So the question is, is it for me? Sometimes it will be specified by your Insurers thus you will not have a choice. However it may be that you like the fact that someone is keeping tabs on your alarm when you are at work or on holiday. What happens if you are away and cannot get back to check your property. With nominated keyholders being alerted this worry is diminished.
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Fire Alarms

Fire Risk Assessments – Guidance Only

By the Regulatory Reform Order 2005  a ‘Fire Risk Assessment’ should be carried out by employers or business owners at any workplace premises. There are five steps that need to be taken. 
Step 1)             Identify fire hazards – sources of ignition – fuel – work processes. 
Step 2)             Identify the location of people at risk. 
Step 3)            Evaluate the risks arising from the hazards and decide whether the existing fire precautions are adequate or whether more should be done to get rid of the hazard or to control the risks (e.g. by improving the fire precautions). Check existing fire safety measurers are adequate  and improve if necessary. Consider for example adequacy of Fire Detection/Warning Systems, Emergency Lighting Systems for escape routes and Testing, Service & Maintenance of the Fire Precautions. 
Step 4)             Record findings and any action taken. Prepare an EMERGENCY PLAN and train  all employees. 
Step 5)             Keep the risk assessment under review, Revise regularly, or if the situation changes (e.g. the use of room or premises changes).  
These five steps shown above have been taken from the publication, Fire Safety Risk Assessment In Offices & Shops. This guide and 10 others are obtainable from the www.communities.gov.uk website and from the Stationary Office. If in doubt consult your local fire officer. 
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CCTV Systems

Why Is My Camera Image Fuzzy ?

In a lot of cases CCTV camera systems never get serviced and maintained and with the case of external cameras they often lose focus and clarity. Firstly check that there are no cobwebs over the camera lens this will deflect light and give the appearance that the picture is fuzzy. Also periodically clean the lenses. Rain water, snow, frost and dust will very much diminish the quality of the pictures you obtain. These are all simple things to rectify and ultimately keep your system working to an acceptable standard.


I Don’t get A Picture From My Camera !

There are many reasons why a camera is not showing on the monitor. First make sure that there is power to the camera as power supplies do sometimes fail. Is the BNC Plug connection loose or been disconnected by accident on the rear of the control equipment (DVR/Monitor). Is the monitor or digital video recorder (DVR) turned on at the mains, are there lights showing on the front panel. If you have checked these potential reasons first then please contact us for a site visit by one of our professionals.


I Need To Transfer Data From My DVR ?

There are many different DVR’s on the market today. Some are very easy to use, some however are quite complicated if your not use to them. Most of the better DVR’s have an inbuilt CD or DVD Rewriter which allows you transfer any important images to a disc. Others use a PC type memory stick or compact flash type data transfer facility. 
In the case of the Videcon VXM, VXH, Viola and Alien Digital Recorders which we use, please see the relevant user manual in our ‘useful download section’ which outlines an easy to use step by step guide. Alternatively please ring our offices to speak with one of our helpful engineers. In the case of other type DVR’s it would be best to arrange for one of our professional engineers to visit and help you.


I Want Facial Recognition and High Resolution Images!

Facial recognition for any CCTV system will depend vastly on the quality of cameras purchased and quantity of cameras connected to your system. Lighting is also a big problem in identification of images especially at night. When we design a system we always asked what is required. What are you expecting from a system. Also more obvious questions like budget as this will affect the quality of system quoted. We will often if asked provide both high quality professional system and budget system costs. This will show the differences of CCTV system type and price!
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Mechanical & Electronic Locking

Why Doesn’t My Code Work On My Digital Lock ? – Lock Type A 

When operating a Codelock mechanical digital lock always remember to first push the clear button normally marked as ‘C’ before entering your code.


Why Doesn’t My Code Work ? – Lock Type B

When operating a Unican mechanical digital locks turn the knob/handle first to clear any wrongly input codes. Then enter your correct code.


Combination Lock On Safe

When dialling in a code on your three or four wheel combination safe lock, turn the dial an extra turn on the first number to make sure that everything is operating in the right direction. In the case of a three wheel lock turn the wheel a fifth turn anticlockwise first not four. On a four wheel lock turn the dial a sixth turn clockwise first not five. Then follow instructions very accurately.


Why Is My Electronic Lock Not Locking ?

When reporting a magnetic door lock on a door entry system that is not locking. Have you first checked that the power has not been turned off and secondly has anyone activated the emergency breakglass device adjacent to the press to exit button. Also is the door closer (if fitted) returning the door correctly.


Why Won’t My Key Work ?

Unfortunately all locks need a service once in a while. If you have tried to operate your lock with your key and it does not work. First try WD40, dry graphite or similar to lubricate the mechanism. In the case of a cylinder key (Yale type) carefully work the key in and out of the keyhole, whilst gently trying to turn it. 
With a mortise lock (large old style back door type key) gently rap the key backwards and forwards in the lock to try and free the levers. In 95% of cases this eventually works quite well. Also check to see that no steps have broken off the key bit. If in doubt pop on and see us at the Old Brewery Site. 
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Get a free site survey and no-obligation quote on your CCTV installation. Simply complete the contact form and our Kent-based team will get back to you shortly.

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