House & Home

No Touching! New Insights for Security in a New Age

Intelli-tec talks about security in the era of social distancing.

Intelli-Tec’s Jeffrey W. Hausner talks about current trending security measures, the advent of touch-free keypads and more.

What type of work has Intelli-tec been mainly focusing on during the pandemic in the commercial sector?
As an essential business, Intelli-tec has not shut down operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Office and sales staff that can work from home are doing so. Normal routine entry to the building has been restricted and cleaning and sanitizing stations are set up outside two building entry points. As for all of us, this is new and uncharted territory.

Intelli-tec has served Northwell Health for more than 15 years. Close to 65% of our staff have never stopped working, as Northwell’s needs for our solutions increased exponentially during this crisis. So, between this client and a few private schools that were released from restriction, we have had a daily patchwork of work sites and service calls for the balance of non-furloughed staff. We look forward to making the entire team whole again.

What changes in the types of security being requested have you seen over the past few months?
Remote services. Clients need the ability to check on their homes and or business from an app on their smart devices. Being able to arm or disarm the security system with a few swipes on your phone is not only useful, it is now another “tool” that helps cutdown the spread of many nasty things. You are not required to physically touch and enter digits at the system keypad. It also helps cut down on false alarms, which can come with some hefty fines. The other very popular app uses remote video. Being able to see your home or business from a smart device is priceless. Once you have it, you will never understand how you lived without it.

What are some important residential security measures people need to consider?
First, if you have a system, when was the last time the panel’s battery was changed? This is the simplest thing that can be done to help with false alarms. These batteries last between three and five years. If you live in a section that loses power a lot in the summertime cut that lifespan in half. Second, if you have a wireless system and you start getting low battery troubles from sensors, do not just change the one that alerted you. Odds are another one will go low in the coming weeks so change them all at the same time. Wireless systems are much less expensive to install but you need to maintain them. Changing the batteries will help stop those 2 a.m. beeping alerts! Most can be done by the homeowner. Just be careful not to break the plastic transmitter housings. A butter knife is not a tool and is not the same thing as a small screwdriver!

A security system is not just window and door alarm points. Many systems we install monitor conditions like water leaks and temperatures. We have installed thousands of devices in attic HVAC pans, interior pool filter rooms, and wine rooms. We also provide and install 24-hour Asset–Art protection with the use of a product called ArtGuard. Many insurance companies like CHUBB require these systems for active policies. One client required us to monitor the temperature of the very large saltwater fish tank that is part of an exterior wall. That was an interesting challenge and solution!

Can you share some details on touchless keypads?
One product manufacturer that we are proud to be a dealer of is DMP. Made in America and used in the Banking and ATM markets, this company consistently develops leading edge products. Their network security transmission of data is by far the best on the market. They have developed a keypad that can be disarmed with a FOB or access card credential. Hands-free control and very secure. You don’t need to provide a code to a staff member to disarm your system.

The old saying “loose lips” is removed from the equation since codes cannot be passed on to others. Unless you physically have that credential you cannot disarm the system. We recently provided this solution to a yacht club. There were continuous problems with members forgetting codes and creating false alarms. We installed this DMP solution and honestly, it has been working without fail.

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