When I entered the security industry just shy of 16 years ago, wireless alarm systems were already available and widely used in the market.  Although these wireless systems had been available for some time, many of the trusted alarm suppliers were reluctant to motivate their use above traditional wired systems. I, myself remained a sceptic for years. I trusted the copper wire from component to component, far above radio signals. That was until Ajax hit the market.

In the past, wireless alarm systems had the necessary technology and it worked, however, it needed the perfect scenario to work in.  With many obstacles such as poor battery life, susceptibility to interference, wanting range and high cost of the hardware, these systems always seemed to be somewhat short of the South African security market’s demands.

As with all previous wireless alarm systems, when the launch of Ajax Alarm Systems happened, I was still sceptical. That was until I read that they had a claimed range of 1700m line-of-sight! With a company making such a bold claim, it immediately got my attention and I had to put it to the test.  With the current wireless at the time only having a range of 30m to 40m, I was intrigued to see if the Ajax Alarm Systems could live up to the claims they were proposing on paper.

I ordered a basic Ajax system from a supplier and installed it at a farm house, where I had the ability  to properly test the range.  Firstly, we were very impressed with the ease of installing the Ajax system.  When doing the set-up, everything was done on an intuitive smartphone app, where you are guided through the entire process of adding and programming units.  When watching the video tutorial or getting an approved installer to correctly programme the system, it definitely helps in the long run. Secondly, we had no issues with interference or range with the components in-and-around the farm house.  After that, we then decided to expand the system with an Outdoor MotionProtect at the main farm gate which was situated 125m away from the house. In between the two points, there was a wall, a dam and some trees in the way. Even with these obstacles, the MotionProtect performed very well and had no signal loss issues.  We decided that before mounting the MoitionProtect we would take it for a walk to test the range performance.  Since the farm is located in a very hilly area with lots of trees and bush, we unfortunately could only go as far as 260m with somewhat line-of-sight, albeit through 3 house walls and much foliage, the signal still performed very well.

We quickly expanded the Ajax system to cover all four dwellings and the workshops on the farm, all from just one system.  Moving the Ajax Hub, better known as control panel or brain of alarm system, outside of the building into a weather proof enclosure, greatly improved the system’s reach.  Due to the fact that there was already an existing Fibre LAN installed on the farm, it was easy to scale to a larger system with the use of the REX expanders onto the network. However, they connected to the Hub via the wireless Jeweller channel also.

Subsequently, we have successfully installed Ajax Wireless Alarm Systems in retail stores, corporate office blocks, wedding venues and residential homes.  We have been extremely pleased with the performance of these systems in terms of range, ease of installation and user functionality.  In addition, the Ajax system is extremely flexible, adaptable and easily scalable. All of our customers have been extremely satisfied with the alarm systems, leading them to order more Ajax components only after a few weeks of using the Ajax system.

With the constant innovation of the Ajax engineers, they have been able to design some smart, yet simple, systems over the years. To give you an example, a PIR (passive infrared detector) was designed with a built-in glass-break detector, or the door opening protector with a built-in shock sensor. Both of these components aimed at providing an extra layer of protection and faster response to a security breach. Ajax is also releasing entirely new components ever-so-often and have an entire Smart Home range too, which can include automatic water shut-off valves and smart light switches.

So, what are the downsides?  Surely this cannot be the answer to all the unresolved security blues of the South African market, can it?

Unfortunately, the South African Rand’s performance does not help imported goods, so the Ajax alarm system is a high end security product. The system is also susceptible to one of the traditional gremlins of wireless alarm systems such as interference and penetration through steel. It can handle these challenges with greater success and grace, with the ability to test and monitor the signal strength quite easily. We have found that the system can battle more in very thick, misty conditions.  The DoorProtect units also do not like steel frames and doors.  Phadima Security easily solves this by installing a traditional wired magnetic door contact onto the steel frame, and wiring this a short distance off to an Ajax DoorProtect.

The battery life however on these components are exceptional with some units not even needing a battery change 3 years later. In addition to that, the batteries are readily available and can be replaced without getting a technician out to do so.

In conclusion, Ajax wireless alarm systems are an extremely strong contender that can take over the security industry. The system is so innovative, user friendly, professional and looks good too. There are a few typical challenges with the system but using the right installers with the necessary expertise can easily overcome these obstacles.

The warm fuzzy feeling of Client Service–Returns Department

I was recently busy with another DIY project, as married men so often embark on, so I popped into a local hardware store for some supplies.  It was not necessarily my favourite hardware store since it had a stigma of being overpriced and poor service on the floor, but due to the wide variety, I knew I was going to find what I was looking for in the short amount of time I had at my disposal.


As expected, shortly after entering I was on my way home with everything I needed.  However, upon my arrival home, I got side-tracked by some family life episode and my project had to wait.  A couple of days later I had the liberty to return to my project, so I collected my supplies from the-table-where-everything-in-transit-goes.  Much to my surprise, and all those around me, I had made a mistake.  I bought the slightly wrong product for what I wanted to do.  At this juncture and to my further surprise it also occurred to me that I, or more likely someone else, have misplaced the slip of the products I purchased.  Nevertheless, with the product still neatly secured in its unopened packaging, I returned to the hardware store to attempt to salvage the situation.


To my surprise, after a brief consultation with management, the returns department accepted my story and allowed me to return the product with no proof of purchase.  I was elated!  I could return the product and receive a voucher with which I could go buy the correct product and receive some change!


This experience was quite impactful, as I was expecting the worst and received the best.  The result was that warm fuzzy feeling and a sudden overwhelming trust in this hardware store.  As one who places a lot of value on client service, this experience has greatly overshadowed any and all gripes I may have had towards this store.  In fact, I have found myself not only returning to this store as my first option but even referring others to it – something I would not ever have done before.  Although I understand that retailers simply can’t take a blanket approach like this, it did leave me with the impression that retailers should even allocate some of their marketing budgets towards their Returns Departments. If they cannot invest a portion of the marketing budget, at least consider vastly improving this service offer, as this is where trust is earned.  What better marketing than a client (or a number of clients) whose expectations have not only been met but exceeded when returning a product for whatever reason?  Especially with the current and upcoming younger generations who are quick to share an experience online.  I truly believe the Returns Department lends itself to the opportunity to fulfil this marketing feat!


“No longer is it good enough for companies to have the best product or the best service. To grow and succeed, companies must have the trust of their customers and stakeholders.”  – Natalie Doyle Oldfield, Forbes


Author: Wiehan van der Merwe

When you install CCTV systems into your home or commercial premises, you would hope that they won’t become damaged or stolen easily. The same can be said for your gathered HD CCTV footage.

There are several steps which are not difficult, which you can do to increase the security of your security camera footage.

Change your passwords

Never underestimate the value of having a strong password. But it is also wise to never overestimate the use of a strong password. The best way to make sure that your password is doing its job effectively is to change it regularly. Changing your password regularly, even if it is strong can be an effective first point of security to protect your CCTV footage.

It is important that you do not use any personal information in a password that someone may be able to easily guess. Using a random combination of letters, numbers and special characters can be the most effective way to ensure that your password is strong and very difficult to guess.

Stay Up to date

Keeping on top of your system’s software is vital when protecting your personal footage. As software begins to become outdated, vulnerabilities can become increasingly more exposed. Issues associated with older systems may begin to become well known, so keeping your CCTV system as new as you can.

If you have any devices that store your footage, it is also a very good idea to keep the security software on these up to date too.

Unnecessary Risks

The emergence of cloud storage has been a triumph for convenience, however, it is not always the best option for storing important, personal data. By allowing your security footage to be cloud accessible, you may be opening up to a number of risks. Your footage can become vulnerable to hacks against your business or personal data.

Although if anyone asks to see images of themselves that your system has recorded, ensuring that a very small number of people have access to the footage or are footage holders can drastically improve the security of recordings. You should always control who can see the recordings, and make sure that the system is only used for the purpose that it was intended for.

While the vast majority of people would protect their CCTV systems physically, it is vital that you do not neglect your security footage in the meantime. It is very important to protect your footage, but before you even install a CCTV camera, you should be sure that it is the most suitable one for your requirements.