This article provides a quick review of steps to follow when preparing for a new system installation. Here are some pointers to help you organize your day and prepare for a new installation!
Step 1: Plan Out the Installation
The first thing you need to do is make sure you have all the materials needed to complete the day’s work. This includes major items like sensors, and smaller items such as screws, tape, anchors, staples, cable and whatever other materials are needed.
The best way to approach this stage of the preparation is to walk through each step of the installation and think about the items you might need to complete each individual task.
Step 2: Make Sure You Have Everything You Need
The next step is to check and make sure that you have all the tools necessary to complete these tasks. This can include power tools, the right kind of drill bits, wire snake, test devices, and whatever other items might be required.
Step 3: Pre-Install Survey
When you arrive on the site it’s time to perform a pre-installation survey. This includes siting possible locations for the control panel, mounting of sensors, and routing of cables.
When choosing your placement for the control panel it’s best placed in an area with limited access - and if possible, behind a locked door. If it is a commercial location, it is important to consult the owner on the panel location, the location of the remote keypad, and obtain their permission to run cables exposed in certain areas.
Step 4: Install the System
Next mount the control panel followed by the individual sensors and annunciators. Now connect the cables to the sensors and route them back to the control panel.
At this point it is recommended to test each sensor by connecting a volt ohm meter, or sounding device, to insure their proper operation and circuit continuity back to the control. This is an important step because the last thing you need is to get to the end of the installation, only to find that certain sensors are not operating correctly or that there are faulty cables.
Quick Note: regarding the installation of sensors, it is very important to know if there are any elements in the environment that might lead to damage of the sensors or false alarms.
Step 5: Test the System
In addition to completing your technical assignment, it is equally important to leave behind an installation that is sound and resistant to false alarms. Once you have completed your installation it’s time to power up the control panel and test the system as a whole. You want to be sure that everything from the control panel to the sensors is operating correctly and that the system properly communicates alarm codes to the central section.
Step 6: Document the Work
When the installation is complete, you need to create system documentation. This may include drawings or notes that will provide direction to the next person servicing the system. Documentation can consist of anything from simple markups on the alarm panel schematic indicating where various cables terminate, to original drawings. Depending upon the complexity of the installation it may be necessary to create “as-built” drawings that depict the final location of sensors, control panels, and other ancillary devices – which may differ somewhat from the proposed layout.
Be sure to leave the site clean and the system ready to operate. Doing everything well will earn you praise and the satisfaction of a job well done.
Step 7: Teach the Customer
The final step, of course, is teaching the customer to use the system properly - ensuring their comfort with its operation.
A few minutes of thought before beginning a new installation can make your day more productive, helps to avoid future issues, and leaves behind a more satisfied customer.
If you would like to learn more, we recommend the following courses:
Designing a Functional and Reliable Alarm System
Intrusion Alarm Systems: Installation Techniques and Best Practices