The actual installation of a standard door sensor for a modern alarm system is not that difficult. Essentially, there is a strip of double sided tape placed on the back of the sensor then it’s stuck to the door. Same process with the magnet. There are however, a number of considerations that make it more complicated. One, the gap between the sensor and magnet need to be close. Many people make this mistake and have to unstick and re-stick the sensor. This causes the adhesive bond to weaken. This may result in the sensor falling off. If the sensor falls off the door or window is not appropriately monitored or it may trigger a false alarm. Two, the design of the system. Does every window in the house need a sensor? Most DIY alarm users just kind of make and educated guess about this. That’s not the approach we take to securing your home or business. A professional alarm company is going to analyze exactly what you need, make recommendations, and consider your desired price point. Two, many doors and door trim configurations make it simply impossible to use standard door alarm contacts. There’s no easy way to get the sensor and magnet on the same plane with minimal gap. One solutions is to cut the door frame in order to place the magnet. You can do this and it works but there’s a product specifically designed for this type of situation. The recessed door contact.

Recessed door alarm contacts can be wireless or wired. The most common application nowadays is wireless. They function and communicate the same way standard door and window contacts work. The only difference is that during installation a small hole is drilled into the door and the door jamb in order for the sensor and magnet to be placed inside.

There are a number of considerations you need to make before you drill a door for a recessed contact. What type of material is the door made out of? Is the door metal?  Is it hollow. What is the condition of the door jamb? Are the sensors going to line up appropriately. When you drill for a sensor in the door then the jamb and realize they are out of alignment – you can’t just move one up or down. You need to fill both holes and start again. Luckily, we know a thing or two about doors ;)

The cities of Beachwood, University Heights, South Euclid, Cleveland Heights, and others have a lot of older doors. These doors often times have trim that makes mounting a typical sensor difficult, if not impossible. The only viable way to install a sensor on some of these doors is to use a recessed sensor.

Another benefit of recessed door contacts is that there is significantly less visible equipment. Door contacts have gotten smaller of the years but they are still noticeable on doors. They typically come in white or brown sometimes black. These colors don’t match every door color. Qolsys recessed door contacts come in white and brown. You can easily paint the caps on the sensors to match the exact color of your door. While the out of the box colors may be limited, it’s surprising how well white or black blend in with the door, especially because they are installed in such an inconspicuous place.

Well there you have it. A short explanation of the benefits of recessed door contacts. Another significant benefit of having a professional alarm company install for you!

We are a Nest partner. That includes video doorbells, security cameras, and alarm systems. Even though we are partners with NEST security we are system agnostic. Meaning we will help guide you to make the purchase that makes the most sense for your budget and needs. Some people like the brand recognition that Nest provides and choose them for their alarm system, and that’s okay.

We do however, provide a a variety of systems from different manufactures that can meet your requirements and budget. Our top tier alarm product is the Qolsys IQ2+ panel that’s compatible with PowerG alarm sensors. This panel was built from the ground up to work with alarm.com It’s the best option if you want a rich user experience and plan on incorporating other smart devices into your home security set-up.

Our more budget solution is iSecure from NAPCO. This product is truly amazing for the price and completely reviles Nest and Ring on price. Their support staff is also amazing. This system has a mobile app and text messaging. The screen is not as beautiful as the Qolsys panel and it is somewhat limited on smart home integrations. However, it’s a full professional security system worthy of being installed in a home or business.

If you’re considering a NEST or Ring alarm system and have questions please feel free to contact us. We can provide you with information and resources to make an informed decision that works for you.

Restricted key systems prevent unauthorized persons from making key copies. But what system should you choose? There’s Medeco, ASSA, Mul-T-Lock, GMS, and a several others. We’ve recently added ASSA Maximum + to our lineup of restricted key systems. ASSA Maximum + is patented until 2030. This provides an extra layer of security preventing unauthorized individuals or even other locksmiths from making copies.

ASSA keys don’t just have key cuts. They also have a sidebar. The sidebar is nearly impossible to replicate without specialized milling equipment. We can provide ASSA systems with different sidebars to ensure that other people can’t duplicate your keys.

ASSA cylinders are extremely high quality and the keys simply don’t break. Other restricted key systems can have issues with keys breaking. ASSA keys are thick and withstand the toughest users.

If you’re interested in a high security, UL listed, and/or master key system contact us about our ASSA options.

We have several mini blog sections now: the regular blog, Lab Notes, and now Field Notes

The purpose of Field Notes is to communicate we do on a daily basis, methods we use, products we use, and how we overcome challenges.

Many people do not fully understand the scope of Lock Alchemy as a company. We are a physical security infrastructure company. That means we physically install and service the full spectrum of a home or businesses security needs. We are one of the few companies that call do this.

For example: We can repair a door, install a new lock, install a restricted high security key, run cable for electronic access control, install an alarm system on said door, and aim a camera at the door. Everything integrated.

There is a lot of confusion about how alarm systems work. Firstly, what is monitoring. Monitoring means there is a company dedicated to answering calls, alerts, responding to those alerts, and calling local police and fire. Self-monitored simply means that the system will notify YOU, the user, that something has occurred and it’s up to you how to proceed. Obviously, the small cost of having a monitored system is extremely beneficial. There are people handling the system 24/7 even when you sleep, are out of the house, or on vacation.  A monitored alarm system saves precious time in case of an incident and works for you around the clock. Obviously there are no guarantee with a professionally monitored alarm system. The police response and the actions of the perpetrator will play a large role in how things turn out.

Secondly, many people still think that most alarm systems use a telephone line (POTS which stands for Plain Old Telephone Service). Most modern systems are dual path – meaning that they communicate to a central monitoring station using internet AND cellular communication. It amazes us that many alarm companies still advertise that you don’t need a telephone line for their system. There are, however, still systems that use telephone lines. “Wireless” can refer to the fact that the sensors are not wired OR that the system communicates without a wired connection to a phone line.When trying to understand what someone is talking about a wireless alarm system it’s important to differentiate if they are talking about the communication method or the sensors. Wireless sensors can still be used on a system that communicates using a telephone line. Conversely, wired sensors can use wireless communication methods back to a central station.

There are still many companies that offer internet only monitored alarm systems. If the internet is out, the alarm is out. It’s a small risk but insignificant. Some suburbs such as University Heights, Beachwood, South Euclid, and Cleveland Heights are prone to frequent brown outs and other fluctuations in power which effect the internet.  It does save costs on monthly monitoring which is attractive to some customers. In our experience, it’s preferable to use a dual-path system.

There are advantages to wired and wireless sensors. In short, wired sensors are not defeated by cutting them. If anyone tells you that, run, because they don’t know enough about the alarm industry to try and sell you anything. The biggest downside is the cost and clean up of installing hardwired sensors.

 

In Summary of What We Provide

  • Installation of NEW wireless sensors
  • Installation of NEW hardwired sensors
  • Re-using some wireless sensors (some companies use proprietary sensors to prevent you from switching companies)
  • Re-using wired sensors/upgrading them
  • Panels that use internet AND cellular to communicate to the central station
  • We *can* do telephone line and internet only monitoring but advise against it

 

There are some industry terms, confusing marketing jargon, and ignorant sales people. If you have questions about alarm systems just reach out to us!

The Qolsys IQ 2 Alarm Panel is our go to panel for a residential security system. You may find that there is also a IQ2 Plus model. At this time, the only difference is that the IQ 2 plus model can also use Power G sensors.

Power G sensors are very good all around sensors for doors, windows, motion detectors etc. They do cost a little more than typical alarm sensors.

The main advantage of Power G sensors is their incredible range. The have the furthest range out of any wireless alarm sensor on the market. For larger homes that may need necessary. If a home doesn’t require the extended range Qolsys sensors will provide more than adequate performance and range.

Contact Lock Alchemy Locksmiths & Security today to learn more about our no contact alarm home monitoring solutions.

Lock Alchemy isn’t just “doing alarm system.” We’re disrupting the industry in several important ways.

Local

Recent events have taught us the importance of relying on local businesses. Frankly, large alarm companies will never care about your installation, system, user experience, and satisfaction like a local company. Local companies have less hoops to jump through to get in contact with someone about your issues and offer support. Research into large alarm companies will quickly reveal they have many upset customers.

Marketing

Large companies have huge marketing budgets and often times have aggressive sales tactics. You’ve probably received a number of sales flyers for an alarm system. Those ads cost money and that cost is passed on to you when you sign up. Large companies are notorious for door to door sales. They receive lists of recently sold properties and visit them trying to sell a new alarm system. These salesmen typically work heavily on commission. Meaning they only get paid when they sell you a system. They also make more commission when they sell upgrades and add-ons that you might not need or even understand.

Knowledge

Unfortunately, the sales people with these companies are often times not event the person who installs the system. This can create a breakdown in communication and expectations. We have knowledgeable staff that can educate potential customers, design systems, and install them. One point of contact. Because we are a full service security company we understand locks, doors, cameras, and other security issues. Everything is under one umbrella.

“FREE”

Is anything ever really free? Nope. Ads promise free sensors, cameras, and other perks. Read the fine print and you’ll discover that in order to use these “free” devices you need to upgrade to a more expensive package. Free is cheesy and deceptive.

Financing

Traditional alarm companies rely heavily on financing. No money down and free equipment actually just means that the monthly cost of your alarm system is unnecessarily high. Their return is all but guaranteed by their iron clad 3 year contracts that lock you in and have heavy penalties if you leave early. With our model, you own all your equipment day one. In fact, you could switch to another alarm company whenever you’d like. That’s why from day one we need to deliver as a company that will keep your support.

Purchasing all of the equipment at once can be a little expensive. We have a system to offer 6 monthly payments for the equipment. It’s not a lease or rental. You own your equipment day one.

Contracts

We’ve already mentioned the lengthy contracts and early termination penalties. We offer our service month to month. We mentioned that since you own your equipment you can terminate your service at any time or even switch to another alarm company. From day one we have motivation to make sure you are 100% satisfied with your system.

Another benefit of not having contracts is that it provides you another type of security – financial security. You can have services for one month or years then pause your monitoring in case of financial need. However, our low monthly rates are affordable enough that you probably wouldn’t notice the cost if you needed to save money on your monthly budget.

If you’re interested in a home security system contact us at info@LockAlchemy.com

Typically, we can install an alarm system the same day you call if your located in University Heights, South Euclid, Cleveland Heights, Shakers Heights, Beachwood, or other nearby cities.

Lock Alchemy Locksmiths & Security is now a provider of home and commercial alarm systems.

Residential: We’re very excited to provide home alarm systems. We are so excited because we’re doing something different from other companies. We’re happy to bring the same customer service and support we provide with our other services to the alarm industry. The alarm industry sometimes gets a bad wrap and often times, rightfully so. Pushy door to door salesmen, bait & switch tactics, and long contracts with heavy early termination penalties. We’re changing that. No door-to-door sales. Honest upfront pricing. No contracts – everything is month to month. We plan on releasing more articles about how we’re doing something really different.

Commercial: You can affordably protect your business while away. With remote camera viewing and analytics – you can visually check on your facility and receive notifications of unusual activity. Many businesses qualify for an insurance premium reduction with a qualifying alarm system.

Choosing Lock Alchemy as your alarm provider can reduce the difficulty of contacting multiple service companies and having them play the blame game. Alarm, access control, cameras, locks, doors, and internet cabling can be under one service provider.

Qolsys is a leading alarm panel manufacturer. They produce residential and commercial alarm and fire protection products. Their current main product is their IQ2+ panel that works with their own slimeline sensors and other sensors from other manjor manufactures. They also have products that help integrate hardwired alarm systems with wireless sensors.

The IQ2+ provides several features that set it apart from other manufactures. Firstly, it’s a quality product that’s worthy of providing home and business security. It has a built in cell transmitter that eliminates the need to buy a panel and a transmitter – which reduces costs. The Iq2+ can use power G transmitters that have the longest range available making them an ideal choice for large homes and large commercial applications. The large range of sensor that the panel often times completely eliminates the need to buy new sensors when switching companies.

Some Key Features:

7” HD Touchscreen Easy to use, Feels like your phone
Bluetooth Touchless Disarming Leave your phone in your pocket
Dual SRF featuring PowerG 4x Range, Encrypted, Takeover wireless, Hardwired
Live Answer, Live View Safely answer your door from the 7” HD Touchscreen
Built in 5MP Camera Disarm Photos with Face Recognition
Built in Glass Break Add value without adding cost
Z-Wave Plus Lights, Locks, Thermostats, Garage Openers

I’m not a fortune teller and I make no promises but I have a few thoughts about the impact of Covid-19 on the security industry.

Thermal Cameras: I need to address this first.  Every manufacturer is going to try and sell a fever detection system. Companies have already been caught faking the technology and accuracy of these products. There are going to be a lot of snake oil salesmen looking to make money off of this. Quality thermal camera systems with fever detection will exist. At the moment there are a lot of claims and marketing hype. Is something better than nothing? Maybe. But only if purchasers fully understand the limitations of the product.

Touchless Buttons: We’re going to see a lot exit buttons on doors, ADA openers, light switches, and other controls. The technology available right now is good and most products still have the ability to manually press the button. I believe this is a sensible, cost-effective, high ROI thing for bushiness to do.

Anti-Microbial Finishes: Anti-microbial finishes for locks have been available for a while. Aside from medical buildings, prior to Corona virus an anti-microbial finish was an after thought and if brought up during a sale, would sound like someone is trying to oversell. An anti-microbial finish now sounds very appealing. I don’t foresee many businesses switching out all of their hardware. I would imagine the installation of hand sanitizer stations would be more attractive. However, I think these products will play a larger role in new construction. There has been some controversy about their effectiveness with Covid-19. One major manufacturer has explicitly stated that their anti-microbial does not work against the Corona virus.

The Time in House Factor: The more people are inside and have time to think I believe they’ll make a mental list of things they’d like to have fixed. I think this goes well beyond locksmithing – I believe the entire home renovation industry will see a boom. New carpet, new floors, new cabinets, new counter tops. People are going to be tired of things and want upgrades.

Undoing Lack of Socialization: People are by nature social creatures. We crave interactions with other humans. As much as people joke about enjoying staying inside and watching TV most people do enjoy going outside and at least being around other people. When the quarantine and stay at home orders are lifted I believe there will be a huge swing in people wanting to be part of social gatherings and where people congregate. How we still need to protect ourselves from the virus will likely influence if people choose to be a part of large crowds.

Home Security Systems & Security Cameras: Uncertain times always make people more interested in security. Home alarm system sales are already up. People will naturally feel strange living their homes after being home so long. Many people will want to be able to monitor their homes when they’re away. Smart home integration with alarm systems continues to become more robust and people will enjoy the interconnectivity that systems offer.

Firearms & Safes: Firearm purchases always go up during difficult times. Gun owners are interested in securely storing their firearms to prevent unauthorized access and to prevent them from being stolen. Gun safes and bedside gun storage unit sales will increase.