AMCO security system installation guide

In preparation for having your AMCO Security system installed, please read the following notes to make sure you’re prepared for your installation and are fully aware of what’s involved (from a practical perspective).

Paperwork

- Contract: Sign the AMCO Customer agreement (sent to you on email via Docusign)

- Monitoring information: Provide monitoring / key-holder information (click here to fill in secure online form)

- Standing order: Set-up a standing order - for your ongoing monitoring service (click here for instructions)

N.B. your monitored security system will not work if the above x3 bits of paperwork are not filled in, so please do this promptly to avoid any issues.  If you are installing a non-monitored CCTV system, you're only required to sign the contract.

Equipment & programming 

- Telephone line: make sure your telephone line is ready & working

- Equipment positioning: understand where equipment will be going

- Programming options: make sure you've chosen the specific options of how you'd like your alarm programmed. Read Premier programming options here, and Veritas programming options here.

- Wiring: understand what wiring's involved

- SIM card buying / testing (for GSM systems only): bought a 2G SIM card (if required)

- Internet / router access (for CCTV systems only): make sure you have an active broadband connection, a spare ethernet port and all the passwords and settings for your router.

Telephone line

All AMCO monitored alarm systems require a working analogue telephone line.  It is critical to have a working telephone line to enable AMCO’s LiveTalk monitoring system to work - it must also be an analogue telephone line.  

Please check you have a working telephone line installed before our engineer arrives.

If you don’t have a working telephone line working on the day of your agreed installation, then we charge an additional call-out fee to return to finish the installation.

SIM card (for GSM back-up systems only)

GSM back-up systems require a 2G SIM card for it to work.  It is the customer’s responsibility to organise a 2G SIM card before our engineers arrives.

We recommend selecting a network provider with good coverage in your area, which also provides a 2G SIM solution.  The following are networks that we know provide a 2G solution: O2, GiffGaff, Vodaphone, EE and Virgin. [If you want to learn more about 2G coverage, read this blog post]

If you choose a pay-as-you-go option (which most customers do) we recommend setting up the 'auto top-up' option, so you never run out of credit.

If you haven’t organised buying a 2G SIM card before the agreed installation date, then we charge an additional call-out fee to return to finish the installation.

Equipment positioning

On the day of the installation, before the engineer begins the installation process, you are required to agree the position of the various pieces of security equipment with our engineer and sign a ‘installation agreement’ stating that you agree to the equipment positions and wiring routes.

Key alarm Equipment

For alarms, key equipment positioning includes:

- Alarm control panel

- Alarm keypad

- Sensors

- LiveTalk speaker/microphone unit

- Outside bell box

- Wiring (see additional note below)

Key CCTV equipment

 For CCTV, key equipment positioning includes:

- CCTV cameras

- Junction boxes (for wiring CCTV cameras - if necessary)

- DVMR (recording unit)

- Power supplies

- Wiring (see additional note below)

Wiring

All AMCO security systems, including our wireless system, involves the need to wire equipment and run cables in your property.

- Hiding wires: we do our best at all times to hide all wires from sight as much as possible.  As standard wiring is 'surface mounted'; we can hide cables under floorboards or in specially dug channels if requested.  This additional work is usually a paid service.

- Minimising disruption: it is important to acknowledge that running cables in a property can be disruptive, requiring us to drill holes and move objects in your property.  N.B. we recommend that the customer prepares their house in advance of the engineer arriving, and moves as much furniture as possible to ensure a speedy install.  Additional time spent moving furniture could be chargeable if excessive.

- Minimising issues: it’s also important to acknowledge that issues can occur when cabling a property (e.g. when drilling holes, running cable); our engineers always do their best to minimise issues.

Before starting work, we will always discuss wiring routes with customers, to make sure you’re happy with where wires will be run.

Wireless alarm wiring

Wireless alarms are not 100% wireless, and do require some wiring.  Key things to note are:

     - Sensors: all sensors are wireless, unless requested by the customer (i.e. it’s possible to wire certain sensors if required)

     - Keypad: the keypad controlling the system is wireless, unless requested by the customer

     - LiveTalk speaker / mic: the speaker/mic unit is wired.  It is also required to connect the LiveTalk system to your telephone line, using a cable.

     - Control panel: the central ‘control panel’ (i.e. the brains of the system) is wired.  This usually is positioned under the stairs, in your cellar or in a loft (i.e. out of sight).

     - Bell box: we fit 'dummy' bell boxes as standard, which are wire-free.  We can install live bellboxes  at the request of the customer, which would require wiring.

Wired alarm wiring

Wired alarms are 100% wired, meaning that every part of it requires a wire running to it, and connecting back to the alarm control panel.

     - Sensors: a single white wire connects each sensor to the control panel

     - Keypad: a single white wire connects the keypad to the control panel

     - LiveTalk speaker / mic: a single white wire connects the speaker/mic to the control panel.  It is also required to connect the LiveTalk system to your telephone line, using a cable.

     - Control panel: all wires connect back to the ‘control panel’ (i.e. the brains of the system).  This usually is positioned under the stairs, in your cellar or in a loft (i.e. out of sight) and requires direct access to mains power.

     - Bell box: we fit 'dummy' bell boxes as standard, which are wire-free.  We can install live bellboxes  at the request of the customer, which would require wiring.

LiveTalk Upgrade wiring

     - LiveTalk speaker / mic: a single white wire connects the speaker/mic to the control panel.  It is also required to connect the LiveTalk system to your telephone line, using a cable.

CCTV wiring

     - CCTV cameras: there are two cabling options for CCTV cameras, either 1) using a single black CAT5 cable or 2) using 2 cables, a black ‘coax cable’ for carrying the image signal and a white cable to give the camera power.

     - CCTV junction box: It’s important to note that each CCTV camera will have a ‘junction box’ placed close by it, to enable us to connect the camera.  (N.B. in some cases the junction box can be hidden from sight, but in many cases this box will be surface mounted near the camera).  Please discuss the positioning of the junction boxes with your engineer to ensure you’re happy with their positioning.

     - DVR: all wires from the cameras will connect back to the DVR, which is the ‘brains’ of the system, providing the ability to record and store images, and then connect the CCTV to the internet for remote viewing (if required).

     - Network connection: The DVR requires a cable to connect directly to your ‘internet router’, to enable remote viewing.  N.B. there needs to be a spare ethernet port on your router for us to connect into, and we also need access to your router's passwords and settings.

Examples of wiring

To give you a sense of the type of wires, and level of wiring involved in installing an AMCO alarm system, please check out the following images:

Wired keypad

Wired alarm keypad

General alarm wires run in cellar to Control Panel

alarm wires

Alarm control panel (with wires and fuse spur - in cellar)

Alarm control panel

Additional notes

- Telephone calls activity: whenever your alarm is activated LiveTalk will automatically make an outbound telephone call.  The customer is responsible for paying for any calls the system makes. 

- Telephone charges: LiveTalk does NOT use a premium number, and our business model is NOT to make money from telephone calls (unlike some of our competitors).  We do use an 0871 number however, to safeguard you in the event that our monitring station suffers a catastophe and we need to switch to another centre.  Different network providers charge differing amounts for 0871 numbers.

- Test signals: LiveTalk sends regular test signals to make sure the system is working.  For domestic customers test signals are sent monthly; for commercial customers test signals are sent weekly, or more frequently for high risk sites.  Each test signal lasts for around 10 seconds.

- SIM card management: if you have opted for a GSM back-up system, it is the customer's responsibility to make sure that the SIM card is working and fully topped up with credit.  The GSM system comes with a test facility which we recommend you manually test on a monthly basis.

- Wireless sensor batteries: if you have a wireless alarm system, then customers usually change the sensor batteries themselves.  You can buy new batteries via SmartSecurity.Store.  If you don't want to change batteries yourself, you can request a visit from one of our engineers (this is a paid-for-service).