Locksmiths looking to grow their businesses in a challenging economy might want to consider installing alarm systems. After all, security starts at home, and locksmiths have been securing premises, both commercial and residential, for decades (perhaps centuries) before electronic alarm systems existed.
It’s a natural progression for an alarm installer to point out to a client the value of good locks, or for a locksmith to point out the benefits of having an alarm system to every client with whom he comes into contact.
Alarm systems have been proven to be both a necessity for many people, and that a professionally installed alarm system deters crime.
Private security in the United States began in 1851, when Alan Pinkerton founded what would become the Pinkerton Detective Agency. By 2006 private security had grown to become a $150 billion per year industry.
The market for alarm systems, sold by the private security industry, is about $30 billion annually, growing at a compound annual rate of 7 to 8 percent.
A recent AIREF Study reports that burglar alarms had a positive impact on the immediate neighborhood by decreasing residential burglaries and that a burglar alarm, as a target hardening measure of situational crime prevention, not only protects the home without displacing burglary to nearby houses, but, in fact, also provides these other houses with protection from burglars
Some 2007 FBI Crime Statistics:
- In 2007, 17.5 million property crimes took place.
- A burglary occurs every 14 seconds in the United States
- The vast majority of burglaries take place during the day, between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
- The average victim of a burglary lost property worth around $2,000.
- The burglar enters through the main entrance to the house, normally the front door, in more than a third of burglaries.
- Historically speaking, when the economy is not doing well, property crime and burglary have increased.
- Homes with monitored security systems are three times less likely to be broken into or robbed than homes without such a system.
The trends in alarm systems include wireless, home automation and enhanced reporting and control capabilities. Unlike previous times, home owners are less likely to have land lines. Advantages of wireless alarms include:
Size: New manufacturing techniques have permitted the miniaturization of wireless transmitters and receivers dramatically. Technology has also reduced power requirements to incredibly low levels.
Battery life: Modern wireless provides extended operation and battery life.
Range: Modern wireless equipment uses frequency spectrums which go further on less power. Frequencies are less vulnerable to physical and atmospheric issues. The technology relies less on line of sight.
Reliability: Besides more favorable frequency spectrums, wireless security technologies are supervised. This means that if the signal path is blocked, the system will know and can notify someone. Supervision also can provide for two-way handshaking between transmitters and receivers. Handshaking and supervision is common to hard-wired security technologies, but not ubiquitous to all wireless technologies. The introduction of supervision cleared the way for wireless in electronic security and has resulted in wireless essentially taking over the industry.
Security: Along with supervision, encryption is used to prevent signals to be intercepted, for erroneous signals to create false alarms or for other disruption of data to occur.
User Acceptance: These days, customers are demanding wireless. Demand for wireless is an important market driver, and since everyone sells it, offering wireless is not a differentiator unless you don’t offer it, in which case you lose.
New Company, New Technology
2GIG Technologies manufacturers a self-contained alarm panel with features that prevent it from being defeated. Its technology supports automation features including access control. Additionally the user interface is non-intimidating, encouraging end-users to actually use the product while helping to mitigate user error based false alarms.
Wireless security has established itself as an essential tool to the professional security industry.
Sticking to a single manufacturer offers several advantages.