In this instalment of our ‘Through the eyes of the Installer’ series we speak to Frank Flanagan, Technical Manager of Crimewatch Fire and Security
It seems Crimewatch Fire and Security have a broad range of clients?
Yes, our customer base is spread across both domestic and commercial users all across the country.
Homeowners are becoming more aware of how CCTV can help prevent burglaries. Once we are approached by the customer we will complete a risk analysis of their property. It’s important to listen to the client for their needs as we base our design on that. Systems can range from a single camera system, to multiple cameras networked across several sites. We will then draw the proposal and give an estimated cost. Increasingly the main feature they want is that they can access footage of the cameras from their smartphones. Of course, we will incorporate this into the system at no additional cost.
What about your Commercial CCTV Installations?
We install CCTV for customers across many different sectors. At the moment we are particularly busy with commercial properties. While most are new installations, we are currently working with a supermarket chain to upgrade their existing system across all their stores. This is a little more challenging because we don’t have a blank canvas but we are so experienced in projects like this I know the client will be satisfied on completion.
You have a very interesting client, you installed CCTV on a Wind Farm.
Yes, Element Power Wind Farms engaged with us to install CCTV in their windfarm facilities. These locations are very remote and in most cases literally up a mountain. We installed Dahua cameras on the sites and we monitor them remotely from our PSA Licenced Monitoring station in Wexford.
These are High Definition Dahua cameras which is important, as we need the images to be reliable and of a high quality. The cameras are situated on exposed sites with extreme weather conditions, so we needed to be confident that whatever hardware we installed would be rugged and built to last - and the Dahua has not let us down.
While the CCTV systems are designed to deter or catch criminals that may attempt to damage or try to steal copper wires and such, the main purpose is for the Health & Safety of the workers onsite in the substation. It’s important to have this CCTV system should there be an incident, as having footage for any investigation would prove to be invaluable.
Why do you generally use Dahua for your CCTV installations?
The main reason is the quality of the equipment, we have had zero returns since we started using them several years ago. They are quite price competitive and very easy to install so the team can just get on with the job and finish on time. The long-term reliability of the equipment means we can fit it and walk away without having to worry about call-backs. Some of our Windfarm installations are at the opposite end of the country in Donegal – it’s a long drive from Wexford to Donegal so we need equipment we can rely on and not worry about letting us down. The client is also impressed with the quality and the service he receives.
You have been a client of Northwood Technology for some time.
I value Northwood Technology as a supplier because I feel they understand my needs. When I need the equipment they know that I need it in a hurry and they get it to me. It’s the nature of the job, once a project gets the go ahead then everybody wants it yesterday. We work to tight deadlines, such as a shop opening date or when working with builders with a deadline.
Northwood Technology have the products when I need them, there are rarely any out of stock issues. Next day delivery is usual and it’s packed well so we don’t have any damages.
The technical support is great, Andrew has the answer every time, there is no ‘I’ll get back to you’. He knows his stuff and can help me there and then, which is important when we have Technicians on site.
On a recent installation late one Friday evening, we had a technical issue on site which couldn’t be left for the weekend. We were under pressure to find the fault and had already spent two hours trying to get to the bottom of it. We rang Northwood Technology and their technical department were able to advise instantly what the issue was. Within two minutes the change was applied and the issue rectified, getting us on the road home for the weekend.
My thinking is that if you find something that works well – stick with it and that is why I work with both Dahua Cameras and Northwood Technology.
Frank Flanagan is the Technical Manager in Crimewatch Fire and Security and has over 25 years’ experience in the industry. Based in Wexford but covering the entire country, Crimewatch Fire and Security pride themselves on their professional service and the expertise of their team. We thank them for taking part and if you want to find about more about the company you can visit the Crimewatch Fire & Security Website
Northwood Technology are the Irish distributors of Dahua CCTV Cameras. If you want more information on the range call our Dublin office on 01 8601880 or our Cork office on 021 2066853.