If you are considering getting security cameras (CCTV) or an alarm system installed in your home or business, you really need to ensure that you get a licenced installer to do the installation for you. There are a number of reasons why, and it's important to understand these.
Let's start by discussing what is a security installers licence?
In Queensland, Security is a regulated industry, which is overseen by the Office of Fair Trading. The regulations exist to ensure that only professionals with the right skills, qualifications and attributes are working in the industry to ensure that the relevant laws, regulations and codes of conduct are adhered to.
There are different classifications for security providers, but the one we are talking about here, is the technical licence. This is a classifications of security licencing that authorises a technical person to advise, install, service and manage security systems. Jump over to the Office of Fair Trading site for more details on the licencing requirements in Queensland.
So why is using a licenced installer so important?
Firstly, in Queensland, it is an offence to pay someone to install your CCTV cameras if they do not hold a current security installers licence. True story... You can even get fined under the Security Providers Act 1993 by engaging an unlicenced person to carry out the functions of a security provider. Check out this article on the Qld Police website for details and advice about engaging a security installer.
Seems serious??? It is.
Licenced security providers/installers must meet minimum requirements to obtain their licence. Not the lease of which is a full criminal history check (that is checked every time the licence is renewed). Now whilst you want to know that your installer has the right training, skills and knowledge to effectively install and maintain your system - ABSOLUTELY! You REALLY want to know that they aren't a criminal. You are trusting this person/people with the safety and security of your home or business - you MUST be able to trust them. They will have access to usernames and passwords, remote access to your system, information making your system both accessible and hackable if put in the wrong hands. NOT COOL.
I for one, would want to know that the installer/s working on my security system have been vetted, checked regularly and are skilled, trained and knowledgable.
Not only should you be looking for a licenced installer, you should be looking for an installer who is a member of a security industry body such as ASIAL. These governing bodies keep Australia's security installers accountable. Their role is to train, educate and monitor the security industry providers and ensure that they are meeting their minimum obligations to the relevant legislations and codes of practice. They are resposible for auditing the providers and making sure that they are adhering to all the industry regulations. You can use their website to search for registered, licenced security providers.
Licenced installers must adhere to a code of conduct and here's why that matters. The code of conduct outlines minimum professional and ethical standards to ensure that providers comply with the relevant legislation. Things like privacy and the relevant legislation that exists to protect an idividuals privacy. A non-licenced installer may not offer the right advice about pointing your new CCTV camera into the neighbours backyard and getting clear video of their kids swimming in the pool???
You are putting yourself at risk by hiring a non-licenced installer to do your security work.
Now if all of that is not enough evidence to suggest that you MUST use a licenced installer, here's the topper. Without the correct advice and the licenced installation, 2 things may happen that will make your security installation a waste of time and money. 1. Your insurance may not cover you for loss or damage resulting from unlawful or unlicenced security installation. 2. Your CCTV footage may not be permissable in court if the footage has been taken from unlicenced or unlawful security installations.
Of course, you have every right to install your own DIY security products (so long as you don't pay an unlicenced person to install it for you). But you should do this with caution. The regulations and laws surrounding surveilance still impact you and if you're not meeting the minimum requirements yourself, your footage may not be legal or permissable in court. In fact some breaches of these acts may result in fines or prosecution yourself (for example if you breach the privacy act).
I hope that this information helps to clarify the need for licencing and hiring a licenced installer.
AV Made Easy are a licenced security provider Lic. 3892193 and ASIAL member No. 64996
I get so many questions and calls from customers who just want some help or advice relating to their audio visual technology. I thought it would be a good idea to start capturing some of the common questions and try to provide an online resource for people to get information. So, I hope that you will find some of the information contained in these articles useful. I will try to add as many new relevant subjects as possible to keep you all in the know. I really do want to make AV easy for you too.