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While actual crime rates have been decreasing for a period of time, the perceived threat from the "outside world" has increased the number of alarm and security systems installed throughout the country. While security systems were once only installed in banks, they are now common place even in residential dwellings, thanks to the current no money down and low monthly fees option being offered by installers. The increased prevalence of these security systems means that you are more and more likely to come across one being involved in a loss of some sort.

Most security systems are surprisingly sophisticated electronic systems involving micro-processors, radio frequency transmitters, remote dialers and high-tech sensors. These systems, however they are installed, are typically meant as a back-up to physical protection in the form of doors, locks and windows. Unfortunately, when these security systems function, or more importantly fail to function, they cannot necessarily be investigated in the same manner as any other electrical system failure.

Most security system companies and installers have good practical experience in the "hard wiring" of their usual systems but are often lacking in system design and security risk evaluation matters. Most installers do not have a detailed electronic engineering understanding of security system components while most outside engineers do not know about the specific operational requirements of such systems.

Components used in security systems and the actual system installations themselves are covered by a number of non-legislated standards put forward primarily by Underwriter's Laboratory of Canada (ULC). These standards set forth basic safety and operational requirements for the type of components used in security systems such as sensors, controllers and cabling. The standards also cover the completed installations to assure that the various components are capable of functioning in a unified and correct manner.

The ULC Standards also set forth requirements for levels of security for various occupancies or scenarios. A security system that was "designed" to provide adequate protection for a residential property obviously could not provide a suitable safety net for an armoured car storage facility. The design and specification of an unsuitable system or an unprofessional final installation can easily be the difference between an unsuccessful theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars of stock. System design and installation can also be a factor in fire alarm systems where time to detection and successful operation can mean life or death in addition to added property losses.

Walters Forensic Engineering has made some strategic alliances with proven professionals in the security and alarm industry to provide knowledgeable and reasonably priced support for any security/alarm system losses or incidents you may encounter. Whether the question was "why didn't the system operate as hoped?" or "was the system adequate for the location and risk factors, in the firs place?", Walters is now in a position to answer in the same qualified, experienced and value added manner that we have provided in other areas of forensic engineering.

This service will supplement the ongoing engineering support we have been providing SIU personnel in their efforts to eliminate fraudulent claims and subrogate losses where applicable. In the past this support has included the evaluation of alleged entry points in break and enter claims, assessment of alleged water distribution system failures and investigation of other mechanical and electrical failures in property damage and personal injury claims.

Please call if you have any questions or cases where the installation or operation of a security system may have played a part in a loss. We can provide you with an initial review of your case and give an estimate of any possible investigation, free of charge.

The information contained in this web site is intended for marketing purposes only. It is not all-inclusive, and does not fully describe the many and varied services that the company provides, nor does it completely describe the education, training, skills, or expertise of our staff.


Walters Forensic Engineering | 277 Wellington Street West, Suite 800 | Toronto, ON M5V 3H2
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