Security and aesthetics in one

Residential Security Handbook 2021: SMART Estate Living Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection

One of the demands from consumers regarding security system installations in residential estates – after being able to effectively detect and deter intruders – is whether they will complement the overall aesthetics of the environment.

“Residential estate owners are extremely discerning customers. They have paid for and expect a certain standard of lifestyle. Not only do they want a security system that provides them with the assurance of personal safety, but they do not want an obtrusive system that clashes with the look and feel of the estate in general, and their home in particular,” says Ingo Mutinelli, head of sales in southern Africa for Ajax Systems.

Ernest Mallett, sales director at Elvey Security Technologies (distributors of Ajax technology in southern Africa), adds that not only does a totally wireless intruder detection and monitoring system eliminate the need for unsightly wires and cables, but it also makes physical installation much faster and easier, thereby providing an attractive time and cost saving on the required labour.

Mutinelli cautions that installers need to be sure that the wireless intrusion detection system they install is secure and cannot be jammed and/or hacked. “If the very system you are installing is not secure in terms of outside interference, then it could make the environment very insecure. The key here is to choose a system that provides encrypted transmission of signals and data.”

Integrated visual verification

In addition to providing early detection of possible intrusion, a residential security system should come with automation products as well as visual alarm verification, all accessed through an easy-to-use mobile application. Another useful feature would be integration between intrusion and video solutions, through one application.

“This is a trend that is increasing in popularity. Such an integrated value-add creates greater appeal for the system because you now have professional intrusion and video security with the further benefit of being able to switch devices in the home on and off remotely from your smartphone or other mobile device, using an app,” says Mutinelli.

A system that furthermore offers visual verification is a boon for homeowners. “It’s great being able to see via picture clips if the person who has activated your alarm system is somebody that should be on your premises or if they are an unwanted criminal. More than 90% of all alarms are false alarms so having such an early warning facility could effectively cut the rate of false alarms, saving time, money and headaches.”

Integrated fire and flood protection

The cherry on top, says Mutinelli, is to have a system that also incorporates both smoke and fire detectors, as well as flood detectors. Mallett cites Ajax’s FireProtect and FireProtect Plus fire detection devices and its LeaksProtect flood prevention detector as perfect add-ons for the homeowner.

The fire detectors promptly react to smoke or a sharp temperature rise and FireProtect Plus can also prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. The corrosion-resistant LeaksProtect identifies pipe breakages, as well as geyser, washing machine or dishwasher leaks – not to mention a myriad of commercial applications – and raises an alarm at the first sign of moisture.

“In summary, homeowners need to be able to monitor and interrogate their alarm system as well as receive push notifications on the status of alarms as a standard offering. And, if at all possible, their security system should provide visual verification of alarm events and have the ability to switch household devices on and off,” says Mallett.


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