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Author Topic: Places that offer hands on alarm installing courses for average homeowners ?  (Read 514 times)

Shaun Yargoff

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   I'm thinking about installing an alarm system in my house sometime in the future , the thing is that I have no hands on experience doing so and I'm not good at learning how to do things by simply reading a book .  I also would rather do it myself as opposed to hiring a professional ...

 
  Which is why I'm curious if there are any community college type places that offer alarm installing courses for average homeowners looking to install a system by themselves .  Any place in the DC-Baltimore metro area will work for me if it helps .

  Oh and thanks ahead of time for any answers . 

Jimmiee

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Ok, so to recap, you don't have any experience, you can't learn from a book, you want a professional system installed, but don't want to pay a professional installer. That is ...... You would prefer to spend .....How much money on an alarm installation course? And willing to spend how many weeks going to classes? Willing to spend how much money on the appropriate special drill bits and other trade tools and materials? Spend how much on the equipment? Willing to go through the trial and error learning curve and wind up eventually with an alarm installation that you "think" is correctly installed but will perhaps only learn about the mistake you made when you get burglarized when something you didn't know you had to do, doesn't work. Also, five years from now when something goes wrong with the system and all the things that you learned how to do to install the system are but fleeting memories and you have to pull out the manuals to see if you can relearn what you need to know to fix your system. And you'd better be able to fix it yourself because no sane professional installer will likely risk the liability of touching your system. 

I will also suppose that you will not want to pay for professional monitoring either and will want to monitor it on your cell phone.  So, you'll likely be willing to live with the possibility that when your house is burning down or being burglarized and you don't have cellular service, or your phone is turned off and you never receive the signal, ......you'll be Ok with that too.

You might try working in the alarm installation trade for a number of years. After that you could work in the home heating and air conditioning trade and the appliance repair trade and computer repair, and TV repair, furniture making, why, even the building trade is always looking for good people who want to learn how to build homes. But I digress.

AMAAAAAZING !!

I would strongly suggest that you purchase one of the readily available DIY system that proliferate the market now days. These system are popular because of the same reasons you bring to this forum. Although they lack the robustness of a professionally installed system, they are just about one step above inadequate and at least technical help is available to assist you through the installation.
If you find yourself going through hell ....
keep going.
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Magnum Alert

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I should also add, Maryland requires that anybody who installs, services, repairs, inspects alarm systems to have a state alarm license.  (so does Virginia, New Jersey, the Carolinas...  hell, about the only place that doesn't require any licensing is right here in good ol' central PA)

The fines for getting caught are nothing to joke about. New Jersey's fines for unlicensed alarm work start off at $10,000.  I've heard stories of an installer and his supervisor getting taken to jail in one of the Carolinas.  Given the false alarm rate, can you blame them?  It's bad enough with all the idiot "installers" who work for actual alarm companies whose work cause false alarms because they installed a glassbreak detector above a sink, a motion detector facing a steam radiator, or didn't pull on a locked door to check the contact gap.  Add to that the overwhelming dispatches from users who forgot their code and willfully ignored the verification call from the central station because no matter how many times you gave them the phone number, they still didn't have it in their phone, and they "didn't answer because we didn't recognize the number"

Aside from that, being an alarm installer/tech requires being a jack of all trades.  Carpenter?  Yes.  Drywall repair?  Yes.  Electrician?  Absolutely.  Telephone worker?  All the time.   Electronics troubleshooter, even some times being a monkey.  There is no practical night course at a college that will give you years of trade experience (and hard lessons learned) that we all have picked up.  I carry an entire box of tools and homemade gadgets just for fishing a wire through a wall.  I have very flexible rods, and very solid ones.  And an assortment of different size and shape and thickness of rare earth magnets for all those times that the one with the contact just doesn't fit on newer windows.  And an assortment of plunger and magnetic contacts for that one time you can't drill the latch side of the door like the salesman thought you could in a breeze.  Firestop in that wall?  that's a 6' bit to get the job done.

I'm a DIYer for most stuff around the house too, and if you want to undertake the task, have at it, but why spend your hard earned dollars on specialty tools that you will use one time? 
« Last Edit: November 12, 2018, 07:23:11 PM by Magnum Alert »
Specializing in Ademco, DSC, DMP, Moose, Napco, and GE Concord and NetworX.
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Shaun Yargoff

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   Ah ok so there are no separate alarm installing courses for the average person ...


   I mean no offence guys , but a more sensitive person than I might get very offended by these ( again no offence ) unnecessarily snarky posts , but I have broad shoulders so no muss no fuss on my part .


  Anyways thanks for the answers .

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I don't think any of us are trying to be snarky.  When it comes to installing, no two places are the same.  It's not going to be easy to teach someone the trade in a classroom.  Maybe it's easy for us to say that when we've had to deal with the disaster installs by the large companies that DO try to train their installers this way and can't get a wireless system right.  (I can speak from experience).

Honestly, right now, I wish our supplier, ADI would offer an alarm systems 101 course like what you're asking.  We need techs and it's very difficult to take green people who don't know a motion from a glassbreak, and get them trained on everything they might run into, especially when you're doing service calls on everything.  There are training expos (I use the term lightly, but it's really a sales push) but nothing is "this is basic circuitry".

If you want to undertake the task, we are here to help.
Specializing in Ademco, DSC, DMP, Moose, Napco, and GE Concord and NetworX.
NICET certified - #121764
VESDA certified designer/installer.

Experienced

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I should also add, Maryland requires that anybody who installs, services, repairs, inspects alarm systems to have a state alarm license.  (so does Virginia, New Jersey, the Carolinas...  hell, about the only place that doesn't require any licensing is right here in good ol' central PA)

The fines for getting caught are nothing to joke about. New Jersey's fines for unlicensed alarm work start off at $10,000.

Not to bring up an old topic, but this isn't exactly correct. In pretty much every state, a homeowner can install their own alarm system in their own home without a license. NJ, who you mention as being so strict, specifically provides an exemption in the law: '(n) Work performed by a person on a dwelling that is occupied solely as a residence for himself or for a member or members of his immediate family. are exempt from the licensing law.'
ftp://www.njleg.state.nj.us/19961997/PL97/305_.htm

 

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