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  • Remote alarm systems that text/call cell phones

    I have read about portable systems that can be set up to call/text a cell phone when activated. I am interested in using these systems to monitor high vandalism areas, constructions sites, and remote areas of larger sites, and have the alarm alert a patrol or central unit.

    Has anyone worked with these systems? What are the pros and cons? Can you recommend any brands/distributors?

    Thanks in advance,

    Dave
    David Tombleson
    Executive Security Manager
    Wy'east Tactical, LLC
    www.wyeasttactical.com

  • #2
    This is a recent interest of mine, too, so I've done some research on three brands. (See my 01/05 post on "Covert non-CCTV cameras.")
    Since I wrote that, I've discovered one more US-based company, Colorado Video. I'm still sorting out features vs. price, so I haven't used any of them yet. I can't recommend one particular brand over any others, but they all have some great features.

    I think it'd be worth the price of a system just to see the looks on the faces of the little tagger-goons when they get caught. "How did you know we were here?"

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    • #3
      Thanks RR. I have sent inquiries to both of those companies asking for further information. Initially however, I was considering a lower cost unit that didn't necessarily include a camera. Something along the lines of Dewalt Sitelock.

      Another issue that I need to check into is whether the use of this type of product to directly notify my officers would require them to be certified as alarm monitors. Nothing is simple.
      David Tombleson
      Executive Security Manager
      Wy'east Tactical, LLC
      www.wyeasttactical.com

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      • #4
        Originally posted by ptbeast View Post
        Thanks RR. I have sent inquiries to both of those companies asking for further information. Initially however, I was considering a lower cost unit that didn't necessarily include a camera. Something along the lines of Dewalt Sitelock.
        That's a name I hadn't heard of before; I'll go scope that out. Dewalt makes some cool tools.
        The Aussie company, Tripwire, also has the GRIP software that lets you log past occurrences of certain tags and other "anti-social behavior.". If that helps tie an apprehended offender ("caught on film") to previous activity, and they're sentenced to pay for/clean up all their messes, then it might help offset the expense of the camera systems.

        Another issue that I need to check into is whether the use of this type of product to directly notify my officers would require them to be certified as alarm monitors.
        Hmm, maybe, but I don't see it as much different from their getting a call from your dispatch. People at your state's regulatory level may see it differently, though.

        Nothing is simple.
        No, but if it was too easy, it wouldn't be any fun, right?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ptbeast View Post
          Thanks RR. I have sent inquiries to both of those companies asking for further information. Initially however, I was considering a lower cost unit that didn't necessarily include a camera. Something along the lines of Dewalt Sitelock.

          Another issue that I need to check into is whether the use of this type of product to directly notify my officers would require them to be certified as alarm monitors. Nothing is simple.
          Since the guard will be doing the verification and not the police, I don't see a problem. (Some municipalities may though. If your area has a permiting department for alarms you can ask them.)

          The sitelock is a pretty good product. We have used them to send information to our mobile video/intrusion systems.

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          • #6
            I looked over the Sitelock Web pages yesterday, and it looks like it's been around since 2005 or so. Neat idea, but it looks like the main unit needs 110V AC power. "Total wirelessness" is a must for most of what I'd be using them for.

            Another downside I saw about the Sitelock was the charges for self-monitoring. I know you'd have network charges with the GSM camera units, but I think you can put a SIM card into (at least some of) them and be up and running, so an already established cellular account could be used.

            Catching miscreants in the act is always good, but photographic evidence is better. Then you have something even if the thieves/vandals/whatever scram just before the responders get there.

            I couldn't find prices or other info for the various Sitelock sensors that are mentioned on the "Installing & Activating" page. The Door/Window Sensor and Container Sensor do provide a couple more options besides the motion detector (or magnetic sensors) that the camera systems use.
            I think that once sensors are added in, Colorado Video's basic "Lookout V" is around the same price as the Sitelock.

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