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Understanding and Servicing Alarm Systems, 2nd ed.

Author: H. William Trimmer

Publisher: Butterworth-Heinemann, 80 Montvale Avenue, Stoneham, MA 02180; 1990, 250 pages, hardback: $29.95

Reviewer: Charles J. McCarthy, CPP; Director of Computer Security for the Massachusetts Department of Revenue and owner of Security Engineering Company in Boston

This book will be useful to the alarm technician and a welcome addition to the library of any security manager who deals with intrusion detection systems. The writing style is easygoing and direct -- I had the impression I was sitting down with a senior technician and listening to years of hard-earned knowledge.

The first four chapters are geared toward the apprentice alarm technician but also provide a good review for the experienced technician. The author provides a good, concise review of basic electricity and relates it directly to alarm systems. Included is a review of alarm test equipment with instructions and wiring diagrams for building your own simple instruments. A few inexpensive, commercially available test instruments are also shown.

The author's experience shows in the chapter describing a number of problems that crop up frequently. This chapter could be used as a troubleshooting checklist for the field technician. The chapter on protective loops describes almost every type imaginable, with wiring diagrams for each. While probably a good exercise for the technician, I found the section a bit too long for my use. I would have preferred the author spend more time on wireless and multiplexing.

The two chapters on troubleshooting are perfect for technicians who do not have a formal technical education. Most have learned troubleshooting in the field, using a hit-or-miss approach. A technician who follows the detailed steps described here should considerably reduce the amount of time he or she spends on troubleshooting.

The four chapters describing the operation of the components of an intrusion detection system are a must read for all security generalists. The author presents an easy-to-follow description of the expected operation of each device as well as the various functions of the control panels. These chapters are filled with a lot of practical knowledge that you just don't get with the equipment's installation instructions.

Overall this book is well worth the price. The author presents technical information in an informal style and provides a lot of good, useful information. I m recommend this book wholeheartedly.
COPYRIGHT 1991 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:McCarthy, Charles J.
Publication:Security Management
Article Type:Book Review
Date:May 1, 1991
Words:382
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