Our preferred brand type that we install is HKC intruder alarm systems. They are very user friendly for the customer and they look good, have high-quality equipment and brilliant tech support. If customers have any issues, we offer tech support and can help them over the phone.
An average house would use about five motion detectors, which are known as PIR sensors. They come either wired or wireless and they both look the same. We use the HKC system as it’s hybrid so we can use both wired and wireless sensors. We would usually put in five wireless sensors or five wired door contacts. If the wire is not at the door or the wire is not in the right place near the door and it doesn’t look well. In a new house however, we could offer a wireless sensor.
The batteries in a contact can last up to five years, while the batteries in a wireless PIR can last between two and four years. In the front door, we would use a HKC keypad. HKC wireless Fobs allow you to operate the system remotely through your Fob, so you can arm or disarm it. There is an internal sounder and a Bell box with a strobe light that flashes over and back. The Bell box can be wireless, so can the internal sounder so we can use either wired or wireless. And all products look the same, so the result looks the same and operates the same.
It is then monitored by what we call the HKC GSM WiFi module, which is a small little circuit board that’s plugged into the intruder alarm panel. The customer can then download an app and they have a virtual keyboard for the intruder alarm system and that then can be operated anywhere in the world. The panel also has options for smart home options. For example, turn on your heating, open your automated gate. All these types of products can be connected to the system.
The system installation would take, on average, about a day for one engineer. He goes from initially installing all the PIRs, the contacts on the doors if they want vibration sensors, then the panel itself is installed and the Bell box is installed, the internal sounder is installed and the keypad is installed. Then once it’s all fully installed, we then commission the system, identify each zone, give them names, and then configure the system for “part set” so that at night-time you could set the alarm system, which would arm downstairs but not arm upstairs.
And then we would hand over the system to the customer. We would download the app and set up the site on their phone so they have remote communication. The other bonus of that system is that we also have an engineer’s login app, which if they have any trouble with the alarm system, they can call us. We can log in to the system and we can diagnose a fault very quickly and disable it so that they can use their system as normal until an engineer can get out and fix the system.
The bonus of having our system versus other suppliers out there is that our system, once installed, can be a standalone system, meaning that there is no service and maintenance contract. So it’s a one-off payment for the installation and it can work away. The second option we’d have is that you can pay for the HKC app, which costs €5.99 a month, which is well worth it. It’s a very small price to pay to have the luxury of remote access to your intruder alarm system, because if you’re away on holiday and you can let somebody in our disarm the system remotely. If there’s a false alarm, the engineer can log into it, so it’s worth paying that €5.99 a month. But the difference then between paying €5.99 a month and have another security supplier install your system is they’ll put in the system very cheap. But in the long term, you will pay for that system over and over again, because they would be charging you between €35 and €40 a month every month for maybe ten years. If you add all that up, that’s a big price difference.