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Preventative Maintenance Of Alarm Systems

Preventative Maintenance Of Alarm Systems - I’d like to be able to give our installers a lesson on preventative maintenance so that they build alarm systems that are less likely to require expensive call outs.

Preventative Maintenance Of Alarm Systems To Reduce Expensive Call Outs.

Preventative Maintenance Of Alarm Systems – I’d like to be able to give our installers a lesson on preventative maintenance so that they build alarm systems that are less likely to require expensive call outs.

We often find that problems could have been avoided if the system was properly installed in the first place. What would you recommend we focus on?

A: In terms of putting in systems that are designed to resist common problems, the idea is to identify the causes of faults and work to ensure your systems are as invulnerable as possible. The most common false alarms that result from system faults are caused by opens generated by poor physical connections and/or corrosion buildup on wire terminations and terminals.

Oxidation is much more commonly found at termination points that are messy and uncovered. These are usually contact terminations twisted together or held in place by pressure screws. Moist air circulating around the termination causes oxidation that over time builds up resistance that leads to an open in a zone loop.

Preventative Maintenance Of Alarm Systems 3
Sweet terminations by Jim from VSP – the tidier your work the less issues you’ll have.

Preventing these issues may involve the use of protective sprays to lightly coat at risk boards and termination blocks and connectors, use of quality components, thoughtful siting of control panels away from moisture, the addition of ventilation holes or fans inside cabinet housings. It’s also worth sourcing an affordable moisture meter to get a sense of dampness at node zero. 

Making things harder for maintenance teams will be the fact a total resistance value in a system may be the result of a series of aging connections each contributing a barely discernible level of resistance to an overall total that causes voltage drop. Getting your connections right is the key to reliable performance with quality modern alarm panels.

Preventative Maintenance Of Alarm Systems

Correct device selection and placement is also important. PIRs can be wonderfully stable and long lasting if installed in locations of thermal stability that don’t have RFI or EMI disturbances. Installing them in sympathy with their strengths and weaknesses, as well as to take advantage of lens patterns, will ensure high catch and low false alarm rates. There may also be applications it’s best to use dual technology sensors.

Another key area is programming and commissioning. There are plenty of security systems that have performance significantly reduced because installers have not liberated their full capabilities. Then there’s alarm system comms choices. There are going to be times wireless is a perfect option, given it allows devices to talk to the panel/hub without any cable terminations at all.

Wireless is very easy to install but won’t always be perfect, especially at the fringes of its range and when stressed by building structure or topology. A wireless signal that is marginal during commissioning is likely to suffer regular dropouts and this won’t be acceptable to many users. There’s a science to getting wireless links right that needs to become part of the installation team’s field of expertise. 

It’s not a bad idea for installers to be required to put their names inside each alarm panel they install. This allows you to provide re-training if there are major problems with installation technique. At the same time, it encourages techs to do the best possible job knowing their name is connected to the system.

It’s possible to create a culture of excellence in a technical team to the extent they will find it impossible to walk away from poor work. They’ll also work together to resolve issues another team member is experiencing on a site.

You can find out more about creating quality terminations here or read more SEN news here.

“Preventative Maintenance Of Alarm Systems To Reduce Expensive Call Outs.”

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AUTHOR

John Adams
John Adamshttps://sen.news
A professional writer and editor who has been covering the security industry since 1991, John is passionate about clever applications of technology and the fusion of sensing and networking. A capable photographer John enjoys undertaking practical reviews of the latest electronic security systems.

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