Security Cardiff
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Security Installers Cardiff
SECURITY & FIRE
  Frequently Asked Questions
  Tel | 02920 290 999
  Email us | mail@todsf.co.uk
 
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Frequently asked questions
 
  • FIRE SAFETY
  • INTRUDER ALARMS
  • CCTV systems
  • access control
  • automated gates

How many fire detectors do I need in my building?
The law requires there to be adequate means for detecting a fire which will usually involve installing a number of automatic detectors linked to the fire alarm system. The number of detectors required and the type of detector for different areas of the premises will be determined by your fire risk assessment. If you do not have one of these, we cannot guarantee the system quoted will be sufficient

What is British Standard 5839?
This is the British Standard that governs the service of a fire alarm system in the UK and forms part of English law.

Why do I need a Fire alarm service contract?
This is a requirement of BS5839, the Fire Risk Assessment of your Premises and your legal requirements to your insurers.

What benefit does the service contract give me?
Full compliance to your legal obligation and insurance requirements; along with total "peace of mind".

How do I test my fire alarm system?
Your fire alarm system must be tested at least once a week to ensure it operates correctly. This is done by operating a manual fire alarm call point with a test key and checking that the alarm sounds in all parts of the premises. If your alarm is monitored or linked to an Alarm Receiving Company (ARC), always ensure that you contact that company in advance. You need to make them aware when the testing will be taking place, otherwise the fire brigade could end up attending your site unnecessarily.

What do I do if my fire alarm goes off?
React as if there is a real fire – never assume it is a false alarm. Go to the fire alarm panel and check to see where the fire is. Call the Fire and Rescue Service if required. The law requires you to have an Emergency Plan which specifies the actions to be taken if an alarm is raised. Always record the reason for the activation of the alarm in the fire safety log book.

How do I silence my fire alarm if it goes off?
Do not silence your fire alarm unless you are absolutely certain it is a false alarm. There are many different types of fire alarm panels in use and the method of resetting them varies. Ensure the cause of your activation has been identified and removed. Turn your enable key to "enabled" or enter your user code. Pressing silent followed by reset should reset the system back to normal working mode. Call Tod Security and Fire if for any reason you have any issues. 

How long does the external alarm sounder ring for? Do I really need one?
An external sounder must switch off after ringing for a maximum of 15 minutes to comply with UK noise pollution laws. On some systems it may not be a requirement to fit an external sounder, however check with your insurance company first.

I have pets – will the system still work?
Pets are likely to activate standard movement detectors, however, pet tolerant detectors can be fitted that will ignore animals below approximately 24kg in weight. Please note, siting and configuration of pet tolerant devices is critical to obtain the best results but does not guarantee immunity from false alarms

What happens in the event of a power cut?
In the event of power failure, the internal battery located within the end station will take over until power is restored. The battery should last for around 12 hours (depending on the grade of system) and will recharge when mains power is restored.

What can cause false alarms with movement detectors?
Passive Infrared (PIR) detectors can be affected by any source of heat, such as: convection currents from radiators or open fires. Swaying curtains or decorations can also cause problems; therefore ensure that all windows and doors in the area are closed and that there are no draughts to minimise the risk of false alarms.

What can cause false alarms with smoke detectors?
Harsh or dusty environments can cause a false alarm with smoke detectors. Additionally, at certain times of year (usually around harvest time) tiny insect can penetrate the smoke chamber, which may also cause false activations. To minimise this, ensure that detectors are kept clean by vacuuming them at least once per year.

What is the advantage of having wireless smoke detectors connected to my security system?
Stand-alone smoke detectors warn you of a potential fire at your property by sounding when they detect smoke. Smoke sensors connected to a security system can be configured to warn you by sending a Push Notification or signal to a monitoring station. Should a potential fire occur when you are away from your property, you will then be notified and take the necessary action.

Can I get a discount on my home insurance if I have a security system fitted?
With some properties your insurance company may insist that you have a security system fitted before they will cover you. In the majority of cases however, a discount may be available on your annual premium. In such cases you would typically be expected to have the system professionally installed by an installer that is a member of one of the industry inspectorate bodies and have the system regularly maintained. Contact your insurance company for specific details.

How reliable are wireless security systems?
The reliability of wireless devices has improved significantly in recent years and with regular maintenance a wireless system provides a reliable and effective alternative to traditional, wired systems.
Wireless systems also have the advantage of being extremely quick to install with minimal disruption to a property.


Is it necessary to have my security system maintained?
We would always recommend that you have your system maintained, particularly with respect to wireless systems that may require batteries to be checked and replaced.

How do I know when the batteries in my devices need replacing?
When a battery reaches the end of its life, the device will send a ‘Low Battery’ message or a ‘Supervision Fault’ will be indicated at the panel, warning you that the battery requires replacing. We recommend that batteries are replaced routinely after two years (one year in the case of shock or door sensors).

What is the advantage of a monitored system?
If activated, the alarm will call our 24 hr NSI Gold approved Alarm Receiving Centre. The operator at this monitoring station will then call your nominated list of keyholders.
Our monitoring station is able to inform keyholders of minor faults such as power cuts to "confirmed" activations whereby at least two alarm sensors have been set off. 
Monitored systems can usually be paid for on a monthly or annual basis.

How does Police response work?
If a confirmed activation is sent to the monitoring station they will use your unique reference number to notify the police.
Police response regulations require at least 2 keyholders within a 20 mile radius of the premise, in all situations one of the keyholders can be included at the property owner. 
Police response can be easily added to most monitored systems, all we need is a  police response application form to be filled in and returned. A one off fee of £52 incl Vat will be charged.

What is CCTV?
CCTV stands for Closed Circuit Television and refers to one or more cameras linked to a monitoring point and/or recording device.

What is CCTV used for?
 
CCTV is used for cameras to view an area for the use of Security, Safety or Monitoring.

How will I know what system I need?
The type of system should be designed with the purpose in mind along with environmental conditions. Our surveyors are trained to match the correct equipment to your system’s needs.

Can I view images remotely?
Yes, all Recorders these days include remote viewing software. All you will need is an Internet connection.

What is Remote Monitoring?
Remote monitoring is the linking of your site to our Video Control room where they can see and control the CCTV whilst having the ability to issue warnings over a speaker system.

How is CCTV affected by the Data Protection Act?
Every commercial CCTV system should be registered with the Data Protection Registrar and the rules and guidelines followed.

What happens when the work is complete?
Once we’ve completed your installation, we’ll give you a full demonstration of its capabilities and provide you with access to a user manual. You’re more than welcome to call us at any time after you installation should you require any assistance whatsoever.

What Happens if I Catch Someone on Camera?
The chances are that you’ll want to get that evidence into the hands of the Police.
Footage can be saved to a memory stick and then transferred to CD/DVD to give to the police as evidence. If your system is networked, you can download the evidence remotely and send the police a secure and compliant copy of all footage retrieved. If your system is not networked, we can arrange a visit from an engineer to remove footage for you. There may be a charge for this service.

How long will my system record for?
The short answer is as long as you want. All data is recorded to a built in hard drive, the bigger the hard drive, the longer your images will be saved. A 2TB hard drive should record four cameras (depending on frame rates) for one month. Therefore, it will record one camera for over four weeks.

What happens when it’s full?
Nothing. Your Recorder will record over old images when the hard drive is full. So if you have capacity to record for 30 days, on day 31, day 1’s recordings will be deleted to make room on the hard drive for day 31 recordings.

Can I make it record for longer?
Yes, you can switch on motion detection so that your Digital Video Recorder records only when motion is detected.
In a normal domestic situation, using motion detection could add weeks to your storage time, but there’s a price to pay. You’ll need to have the sensitivity on your motion detection quite high to ensure that you don’t miss anything. Increasing the sensitivity will mean that you will also record rain and possibly wind, especially if your cameras point to anything that moves in the wind.

Do you have cameras that can see in the dark?
Yes. All of our cameras have infrared capabilities, depending on your budget you can buy cameras which give a better quality at night/dark, see a further distance and sometimes even see in colour!

What is CCTV?
CCTV stands for Closed Circuit Television and refers to one or more cameras linked to a monitoring point and/or recording device.

What is CCTV used for?
 
CCTV is used for cameras to view an area for the use of Security, Safety or Monitoring.

How will I know what system I need?
The type of system should be designed with the purpose in mind along with environmental conditions. Our surveyors are trained to match the correct equipment to your system’s needs.

Can I view images remotely?
Yes, all Recorders these days include remote viewing software. All you will need is an Internet connection.

What is Remote Monitoring?
Remote monitoring is the linking of your site to our Video Control room where they can see and control the CCTV whilst having the ability to issue warnings over a speaker system.

How is CCTV affected by the Data Protection Act?
Every commercial CCTV system should be registered with the Data Protection Registrar and the rules and guidelines followed.

What happens when the work is complete?
Once we’ve completed your installation, we’ll give you a full demonstration of its capabilities and provide you with access to a user manual. You’re more than welcome to call us at any time after you installation should you require any assistance whatsoever.

What Happens if I Catch Someone on Camera?
The chances are that you’ll want to get that evidence into the hands of the Police.
Footage can be saved to a memory stick and then transferred to CD/DVD to give to the police as evidence. If your system is networked, you can download the evidence remotely and send the police a secure and compliant copy of all footage retrieved. If your system is not networked, we can arrange a visit from an engineer to remove footage for you. There may be a charge for this service.

How long will my system record for?
The short answer is as long as you want. All data is recorded to a built in hard drive, the bigger the hard drive, the longer your images will be saved. A 2TB hard drive should record four cameras (depending on frame rates) for one month. Therefore, it will record one camera for over four weeks.

What happens when it’s full?
Nothing. Your Recorder will record over old images when the hard drive is full. So if you have capacity to record for 30 days, on day 31, day 1’s recordings will be deleted to make room on the hard drive for day 31 recordings.

Can I make it record for longer?
Yes, you can switch on motion detection so that your Digital Video Recorder records only when motion is detected.
In a normal domestic situation, using motion detection could add weeks to your storage time, but there’s a price to pay. You’ll need to have the sensitivity on your motion detection quite high to ensure that you don’t miss anything. Increasing the sensitivity will mean that you will also record rain and possibly wind, especially if your cameras point to anything that moves in the wind.

Do you have cameras that can see in the dark?
Yes. All of our cameras have infrared capabilities, depending on your budget you can buy cameras which give a better quality at night/dark, see a further distance and sometimes even see in colour!

What is access control?
Access control is a scalable method of being able to control entry, which can range from a front door of a small building to every department of a large industrial unit. A small system might comprise of a simple magnetic lock with an entry keypad. This is ideal if only a few staff members use the entrance.
Larger systems can have an almost infinite number of doors and users. With these systems specific users are enrolled separately giving full control over who can use each door.

What are the available methods of opening doors?
Keypads can be used when only a few users need access. For larger systems we recommend a fob system. That way a report can be run of which user is using the door and when.
For high security systems or where fobs are likely to be lost, we recommend a fingerprint reader at each door. A fingerprint reader is usually more expensive to purchase but can save cost in the long run as there is never a need to buy cards or fobs. It also ensures that fobs can never get mixed up giving false results. 

What happens in the event of a fire?
If you have a fire alarm installed, you will need your access control system linked to it. This is so in the event of a fire alarm activation all doors will be released for safety.
On smaller buildings where no fire alarm is installed a resettable green call point will be installed. When pressed this will release power to the door lock allowing access in an emergency.

Can my existing manual gate be automated?
Yes, usually an existing manual gate can be automated. As long as the gate is structurally sound and can withstand the strains that automation place on the gate, either under gate or ram type automation can be fitted to allow the gates to move automatically.

Can I have a sliding gate?
Of course, as long as the driveway isn’t on a slope (so the gate is not moving up and down a hill during travel) and you have enough room for the gate to open, a sliding gate is a great option if you have limited space on the driveway.

How can I open the gates?
There are many options for commanding the gate to open. Remote controls are usually provided as standard and are the most popular way, as these can be used from within the car and are small enough to carry around on your keyring. Coded entry keypads, video or audio intercoms, proximity readers and ground loops are also available to suite your requirements. Our surveyor will be able to explain each option so you can decide which methods are appropriate for you. All of the command methods can be retro fitted if you need to change how access is granted in the future.

What will stop the gate closing if I’m driving in or out?
We install various different safety devices onto the gates, to protect both pedestrians and vehicles moving in and out of the gateway. Safety photocells and safety loops will stop the gates from closing onto the car (as long as you are within the detection area) and safety edges stop and reverse the gate upon detection of an obstacle. Our engineers will explain how the system works at handover and will show you where the detection areas are.

How will visitors enter the property?
There are various methods for your visitors to gain access or deliver post/parcels to you. A letterbox installed on the gate or fencing is a great option for the postman and maintains the security of your property. You can have a timed trades button to allow access at predetermined times each day. Gardeners/cleaners can be given a code for the keypad. Our surveyors can discuss with you and offer the most appropriate solutions.

What happens if there is a power cut?
If the power is cut to the gates, then there is a manual release mechanism on all motors. These allow you to disengage the motors and move the gate manually during the power cut. Once the power is restored, the motor can be re-engaged and the gates will work automatically again. It is essential that these manual release mechanisms are regularly serviced, to prevent them from seizing and not releasing, which could lead to you being stuck in or out of your property. At handover of any new installation, the engineers will hand over the manual release key (which should be kept in a safe place) and will show you how to use the manual release. If you loose the manual release key please contact us for a replacement.

Do I need to service my gates?
All automated systems need servicing, just like your car, to maintain the performance, safety and reliability of the system, and to extend the life expectancy.

A maintenance contract is a good way to ensure that the gates are regularly serviced. Maintenance contract customers will also receive priority service over non-contract customers, to ensure the minimal disruption and speedy repair should the gates fail.

 
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