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Wireless Cameras Creating Opportunity in Security

Wireless surveillance cameras are allowing integrators expand their businesses and profits.


Jessica Camerato · January 28, 2011

The security industry has presented money-making opportunities for dealers even during the tough economic times. Bob Neely, executive director of the Alarm Association of Florida (AAF), has seen electronics professionals expand their businesses and increase profits with the latest security trends.

Neely has noticed the interest in wireless cameras surge in the last year alone. From outside surveillance to cameras inside the home, video monitoring technologies are expanding to both residential and commercial markets.

“The video market has just been a huge bonus for our industry. And it’s only on in the home, but in commercial applications as well,” says Neely. “Wireless cameras are a terrific way to enhance an existing security system. There are always opportunities there to expand it. As a business, you couldn’t ask for something better.”

The convenience afforded by wireless cameras allows consumers to check in remotely, whether they are at work or on vacation. These capabilities for customers lead to profits for dealers.

“It’s a significant source of security income for the dealers,” says Neely. “If you couple that also with the benefits of, for example, online monitoring, being able to monitor your home cameras from your cell phone or laptop at work, is a really boom for the homeowner because they can verify if there’s a problem there or not. It’s quite a plus.”

Learn about Security at EHX
Security is one of the growth opportunities featured at EHX: The CE Pro Event, March 17-19 in Orlando, Florida. Security-focused sessions include:

Getting Started in Security and Monitoring
Combat Xfinity with IP-Based Security Solutions
Profit Add-Ons for Security Dealers
Magnetic Contacts – Burglar Alarms’ First Line of Defense

With these new technologies come new questions as well.

“You need to be aware of the technical limitations of some of the products that are out there. You don’t want to promise something you can’t deliver in terms of an installation,” says Neely. “A large part of that is lighting, the type of lens to use to cover the angles, what type of coverage you’re looking for in a given application. Generally speaking, I would say 99 percent of the time that can be easily solved because the manufacturers are eager to train contractors on their products. They will provide any and all support and expertise to help the applications be successful.”

Neely also encourages security dealers to educate themselves on the liabilities involved with the installation of wireless cameras.

“I’ve seen articles where contractors have questioned a homeowner wanting to install cameras surreptitiously in all parts of the house,” Neely said. “That leads immediately to the question of, ‘How much liability do you incur if somebody is inadvertently captured on this camera in a compromising position?’ It’s a real problem legally.

“My standard answer to the contractors when they call in is, ‘You need to consult with your liability insurance carrier and make sure that you’re covered for whatever action you may take under contract with your customer.’ That’s the first and foremost basic issue that needs to be addressed.”

In addition to growing revenue through the installation of wireless cameras, security dealers are adding products from other markets to boost their profits.

Many are now coupling security with energy management. There is an initial investment, but Neely says there is also long-term potential.

“Contractors are now beginning to explore the benefits of that type of program, especially through these whole-house panels that are encompassing all types of lighting, heating, air conditioning, security, etc.,” said Neely. “It can be a fairly expensive issue to deal with. However, the long-term benefits of energy management, security, and so forth that you produce as a result of the initial front-end investment will more than offset the cost of the installation over a period of years.

“For a structure that you know is going to be long-term and you know is going to be a solid investment, it’s very worthwhile looking at. Also, they’re integrating the other aspects of entertainment systems and so forth into those same types of panels. So again, you’re looking at a cost savings by making a central technology in the residence.”

From wireless cameras and beyond, the security market continues to offer money-making opportunities for dealers during this economic climate.

“The security market, in good times and bad, has been fairly stable,” says Neely. “Security dealers that were clever enough to diversify – if they were able to install not only residential alarm systems but perhaps commercial, closed circuit television, maybe some entertainment systems, energy management – when the hard times have hit, they have been able to stay in the market even during non-growth times.”

The Alarm Association of Florida (AAF) Convention will be co-located at EHX: The CE Pro Event this March in Orlando, Florida. Click here for more information.



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  About the Author

Jessica Camerato is a web editor for CE Pro and Commercial Integrator. Have suggestions or something you want to read about? Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jessica at jcamerato@ehpub.com

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