Back in 2011, we featured a blog about unlicensed contractors.
4 years later, we are astonished by the influx of unlicensed companies/installers who offer security cameras and access control.
With DIY kits from Costco, Best Buy or Amazon, anyone can install security cameras on their own. For security alarms installations, however, the State of Illinois requires a license from the Department of Professional Regulation.
Now here’s the deal – video surveillance and access control are not well regulated. This basically means you can come straight out of jail and become a video surveillance installer. Video surveillance and access control systems are both under the umbrella of security, but alarm systems are not as highly regulated.
For example, there are licensed and unlicensed electricians, which one would you hire? If you don’t ask, an electrician will not tell you whether they are licensed. It’s the same in our industry. You couldn’t imagine how many times we’ve witnessed failed DIY installations by unqualified vendors! We could write a book describing all the bad installations we’ve had to repair & re-wire, but instead we’ll just show you pictures!
These are the pictures showing wrong installation – cables and connectors shouldn’t be exposed like this, which cause damages due to water and weather.
There are always “trunk-slammer companies” that can & will do it cheaper. Finding a company with a low price is what a consumer looks for but price doesn’t always get you quality. What you find cheaper now can actually cost you more in the long run…and with camera systems & access control you can guarantee it will double the work.
Here are a few bad encounters you can run across when shopping for less:
Bad Service – After installation, chances are the person you hired cannot provide technical, customer or product support. Who will help with any questions or malfunctions? Who will follow up on your service? You will find yourself hiring a professional to provide support, costing you more for a service that should have been provided with your installation.
Bad Quality Product - Some companies will install the lowest quality product to keep your costs down, but in reality, this will cost you more. If you are not offered a warranty or extended warranty after installation, just know if there’s a failure a month after installation, you are responsible.
Bad Experience – Choosing an unlicensed person to provide your home, business or property with security is a scary thought as it is. After the installation process you may find numerous mistakes and turn this experience into a sour one. Your installation experience can be disastrous, enough to cause trepidation for future projects. Why put the protection of your family, property or valuables into the hands of an inexperienced person?
All companies that install video surveillance and access control should be qualified, licensed and bonded. Yes, our industry is regulated. You better ask if your service provider is licensed or not.