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Home Security Expert Answers All

July 2019

Home security expert Patrick Beebe from Keybury Fire & Security answers all questions you might have about protecting your home, including how to bring your alarm system up to date without breaking the bank, how you can keep an eye in your home using your mobile phone, and why owning pets does not mean you can’t switch your alarm on.


Interview with Patrick from Keybury Fire and Security

Full transcript below:

Alex: It’s great to have Patrick from Keybury Fire and Security here in the studio. We’re just going to delve into home security and really just understand this sector a bit more. Patrick thanks for coming in. Now obviously people have heard of ADT and Job and those larger companies out there but what do you guys actually do? You’re a smaller outfit albeit but what does it entail your side?

Patrick: Well we are a smaller company, but we do cover the whole of Yorkshire. We cover domestic systems, commercial systems for intruder alarm, CCTV, fire alarms, access control, fire risk assessments so pretty much everything that the big boys do but perhaps on a bit more of a personal self-service compared to ringing through onto a switchboard where you might have a faceless person, you would know who you’re speaking to when you get through to us. When we ring you back it’s the same person you can speak to, so a little bit more personalisation compared to what the bigger companies may offer.

Alex: And what do you guys do, I mean you outlined everything but effectively is it a case of if it’s a property you can put some security in it and depending on the levels that are involved you can sort of talk anyone through it?

Patrick: Yeah, if you’ve got a property that you’ve got no idea about security in at all then you know it’s a clean canvas and we would come in, listen to what your requirements may be, you may have something specific you want to cover within the property. We will go away, and we’ll take the plans away and we’ll have a look at the site and come up with some ideas on what we can propose for a new system for you. If you’ve already got an existing system, then we’re quite capable as well of taking that over from a previous company and looking after that as well so you don’t have to have a brand-new system installed.

Alex: How does it work just firstly on the CCTV side because a lot of people say well look I had some minor CCTV cameras just a couple put up back in the day, how can you get round that because again I’m always mindful of client costs and that side of things, what can you do as the workaround?

Patrick: If there’s been a system that’s been installed, and we do come across systems where perhaps somebody’s bought it from a DIY shop or something like that so it’s also cheaper perhaps in the short term but in the long term it’s not necessarily. We can come in and utilise the existing cabling that’s in place so you’re not having to take floor boards up again and start you know taking the carpets up. We have systems that would fit across all sorts of different cabling that might have been installed so some of the newer systems nowadays go in with cat 5 cable and cat 6. The older ones would have been on co actual cable but ultimately nowadays people really would like HD images, whereas you know a long time ago those images weren’t really like anything they are today so taking an old system that’s been installed, taking the old hardware out and then just put it in a new camera that would fit onto that old cabling isn’t actually quite a big task nowadays to do.

Alex: Is it not also that with the wireless options that you sometimes see on the camera side, is that ever an option where there’s been issues?

Patrick: We’ve always tended to sort of stay away from the wireless cameras. We’ve always done a hardwired system basically from a reliability point of view.

Alex: Now, I guess is there a hacking risk as well?

Patrick: There is, but also you know wireless can drop off now and again for whatever reason that might be, whereas on a wired system all the integrity is a lot more secure.

Alex: What’s the latest I suppose, security tech that’s coming out? Because I know you can get sort of some mobile phone apps and that side of things, just talk us through that and anything else.

Patrick: Mobile phones are playing a big part in the marketplace for the security industry nowadays and you know a lot of people want to integrate the camera system at their houses onto their smartphones and their iPads remotely while they’re not actually at the property so if you’ve gone away on holiday and the intruder alarm is set and the cameras are all running 24/7 recording, if the intruder alarm activated that would send you a push notification through onto your mobile phone to say the alarm had activated, you can then log on to the cameras at your house just have a look round the perimeter or internals if you had it fitted inside, once you’ve established if there’s been a genuine activation from there on you can either you know pass that through to the key holder or the police but there’s also the option if it’s somebody that you know, a relative might have come in with a key didn’t realise the alarm was set, you’ll see that and you’re quite capable as well of turning the alarm system off by your phone, wherever you may be, unsettling it, have a word with them, how they go.

Alex: Is it a standing joke as well you can look into your mobile and actually watch your house being burgled, does that happen as well?

Patrick: Well I suppose in theory it could do that.

Alex: The other point that links in with this on the alarm side of things, what is actually possible? I know we’ve just talked about things about the alarm and it’s effectively a bell in a box on the side of your house, but I think it’s a bit more than that nowadays isn’t it?

Patrick: Yes, alarm systems have come on quite a lot as well in the years. You can start at a very very basic system which, it might just be an audible only system within your property that would not frighten the neighbours of an external siren going off. There is also the options from that where that notification could then go through to a monitoring station, it can go through to your mobile phone on the app as well, you can add both so the app would notify you but you might be away and think well actually what can I do here so the monitoring station can the take control and say right well we’ve got a list of key holders here so we’ll contact the key holders, the one above, that is the police response system, so if we have an alarm activation at a property on a police system, it works slightly different in that when the alarm system is set then we would generate what’s called a confirmed alarm. So how that would work is if a burglar broke in through the kitchen and activated the alarm sensor that would send the first signal through to the monitoring station to say we have an alert at this property. If they then proceeded to go through into the hallway with our two alarm sensors activated within a time window there, so that is an instant confirmed alarm to the police monitoring station, so the police would come straight out to that one, followed on by the key holders on that system.

Alex: How does it work, say for example, pets you’ve got, could have been the pet cat gone through the kitchen and then onto the hall, can alarms tell the difference nowadays or how do you get round that or would you just have to leave your cat in a particular room?

Patrick: You can have pet sensors now that can be installed on the system designed around your requirements where the pet would stay, so there are sensors that will ignore a pet up to a certain size, a dog and a cat, so that’s workable within a system if you particularly want them to have free roam of the house. There’s also options where you may give them the whole of the ground floor for instance where we could do vibration detection on the windows and glass and glass break detection devices as well, as opposed to just internal movement sensors. Course the internal movement sensors are good, and somebody breaks in they are actually in your house at that point whereas you may be considering a perimeter protection type system as well, so there’s quite a few variations on what you could use that for.

Alex: Fantastic stuff, Patrick I can’t thank you enough some really great insight and expert tips. Now if anyone wanted to sort of talk anything through with you guys in a bit more detail, what’s the best way to get hold of you?

Patrick: Well we’re on the web, and the telephone number to call is 01423 876348 so feel free to get in touch.

Alex: Fantastic Patrick thank you very much indeed.


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