Our president, Brian McAuliff, was recently interviewed by LI Pulse Magazine to shed some insight on home security, as well as other advancements in the technology industry. If you’d like to read the published article, click here! Or, if you want to read the full uncut interview, see all of his answers below!
1. What are some of the best advances in home security you have seen over the last year?
Brian: “As technology becomes more and more prevalent in people’s lives, people are becoming interested in connecting their security system to all aspects of their life. Clients are expecting full control of their systems from their smart phones and devices. Our firm has been offering phone based control for over a decade but the new systems are easier to use and have features that bring up the alarm log and see what actually is going on. Also, adding control of door locks has been popular as has connection to automatically shut off water main in the event of a low temperature detection. Another advancement that we offer at our firm is an oil level sensor, which notifies a client if their oil level is low, and I consider this another huge advancement in our industry.”
2. What are upcoming home security trends you are most excited about or think your customers will be excited about?
Brian: “Although there are a plethora of new security trends, I am the most excited about continued movement to more integration and home automation, control of lights, thermostats and viewing of cameras all from one app on the smart phone. When done properly, this can give clients a great peace of mind. Our firm had offered these features for years using premium components and expert installers.”
3. What do customers need to keep in mind when they start shopping for home security systems? What do they need to keep in mind about installation?
Brian: “Customers really need to remember what they are protecting. Life safety should be first – smoke and Carbon monoxide detectors that are connected to the system and dial a central station are of the utmost importance. Next is personal security, entry points like doors and windows keep intruders out and protect home owners. Property Protection such as interior motion detection has gotten very good; now detectors can see motion and heat and insure there are few false alarms. Finally, cellular radio back up – many clients have switched to internet or cable phones, these services are great but nowhere near as reliable as the old phone system. There are routers and power supplies that fail in a power outage and other weak links. The old phone system was all powers by the central office. A cellular radio back up allows the alarm to communicate with the central station even in a power loss or internet connectivity issue.”
4. If you could only recommend one kind of security to your customers, what would it be?
Brian: “Life safety is a must, then good physical protection, followed by dead bolt locks and good window latches, and finally door and window contact. Lighting is always a deterrent as is a security sign. Once that is set, I would recommend temperature alerts and auto water shut-off to protect the home. Cameras are also a deterrent but deploying enough of them and recording high enough quality images to catch an intruder is a lot more involved and should be thought out. Cameras that can be remotely viewable can bring a homeowner great peace of mind when away.”
5. What is the typical range in price for a full home security system? (If there isn’t an average, is there a baseline of coverage you recommend to homeowners in Long Island?)
Brian: “If you do not spend at least $3000, you are not likely to get considerable protection in a typical home. Low cost systems use the cheapest components, are typically wireless and installed with the mindset to be the quickest possible. Clients should remember they are protecting the most valuable things in their life, many irreplaceable. A wired system professionally installed will provide decades of protection. If these systems have some wireless devices that is fine, but a home full of wireless battery dependent devices can a service headache. Clients should also be aware of low install costs when followed with a high monthly charge. Over time this can be the most costly. Select a local based company that has at least a decade of history that has the latest proven technology, like automated locks and smart phone connectivity.”
6. Anything else you think it is important for our readers to keep in mind?
Brian: “The mass market is catching up with security devices, wireless offerings and economy components, and when mixed together and installed hastily, the client’s excitement will turn to frustration. System failures, inconsistent operation and false alarms will all reduce the client’s confidence. Clients should stick with name brand components and buy from a local authorized installer who has the staff to provide the service. No matter how well designed and installed, technology will need service, so customers should chose a company with good customer service even if the initial install price is high. Using better quality equipment will pay off in the future if future upgrades are in the plan for the homeowner. Our firm was able to add iPhone control to systems installed over a decade ago because these were premium systems. The base models did not have this upgrade capability and those clients must replace the panel in order to upgrade which is much more costly.”