Are you missing out on £2 billion of business? Neil Baldwin, Sales Director at ESP, examines the opportunities for electrical installers in the booming security sector.
Whether you already have a foot in the door of the security sector or are considering entering, opportunities abound for the security-minded contractor. Economic uncertainty intensifies the need to identify and pursue business opportunities in growing markets and the security systems market is one of them.
World security is also an issue. We’ve never been on a higher state of alert in the UK and, as a result, we’re more conscious of the need for security. The police are encouraging us to use CCTV to protect homes and businesses and, as a manufacturer, we’re constantly developing our products to make them as user-friendly and reliable as possible.
With businesses and homeowners seeing the value of investing in security to protect their premises and properties, and seeking the appropriate measures to do so, the UK security market continues to grow.
Opportunities for electrical contractors within the security products sector are primarily in the domestic market and small commercial premises, where the requirements for specialist knowledge and ongoing service contracts are less important.
The majority of electronic security installations in the domestic sector are intruder alarms, along with access control systems, which are predominantly installed in apartments. Home automation is a growing application area and is currently experiencing double digit growth. This market provides significant opportunities for electrical contractors to offer an integrated package, e.g. security products, lighting, climate control, home entertainment, that can be centrally controlled.
Sources covering the sector such as IFSEC, Keynote and BASEC are forecasting double-digit growth for the product ranges that ESP covers.
Yet, as it stands, security remains a sector that is largely untapped by the electrical contracting market. Security is still considered to be a ‘specialist’ area and, as such, comes under the remit of the professional security installer. There is no reason, however, for the electrical contractor to shy away from these products and this sector and we’re putting a lot of time and investment behind getting the message out there.
Electrical installers already have the necessary skills and, with the right products and some training, they can take advantage of the potential this sector offers. While there’s been a proliferation of surveillance cameras in the UK, there’s also been an issue of poor image quality. It’s estimated that 50% of cameras in privately-owned CCTV systems generate poor images – they’ve never been updated and for the police this presents a huge problem as they can’t use the images for evidence to help make convictions.
In the frame
ESP has developed a solution to this challenge of poor image quality with its new HD View CCTV range, which introduces the very latest AHD (Analogue High Deﬁnition) technology, to offer installers a professional, highly affordable CCTV range that delivers superior image quality, is easy to install and simple to set up.
With AHD, high definition digital video can be transmitted easily over existing coaxial cabling – the same cabling used for existing standard resolution analogue systems. Remote view comes via a cloud-based system and comprises a few easy steps for installation.
Access control is another area of the security sector where developments continue to be made. ESP has relaunched its access control range with a simplified collection of products under the brand name Aperta (Italian for Open). With two main components – door station, with optional access control keypad and the hands-free monitor – the Aperta range utilises two-wire technology, and is supplied with a single power supply. The new two-wire technology provides easy installation, with the requirement for only two connections to be made at any one point within the system.
Technical support – a distinct advantage
For those electrical contractors who’d like to add fire and security equipment to their product portfolio but feel they don’t have the core knowledge and confidence to do this, any opportunities for training and education are vital.
ESP currently offers a number of free in-house training programmes which are aimed at contractors and wholesalers and designed to cover product awareness – with a general overview of the different products available; CCTV, access control and external area protection – as well as a more in-depth course covering addressable fire training, where demonstration equipment is provided to allow the attendees to learn the skills of building and commissioning a fire system.
Where manufacturers are investing in the provision of training and support programmes, they’re helping educate contractors and giving them the product knowledge, skills and confidence to take on security installation projects and ultimately increase their share of this growing sector.