An Interview with our Fantastic Alarm Engineer Tony

Written by David Brayfield

January 16, 2024

We caught up with Tony, who's been working with us as a Security Alarm Engineer since 2018. We asked Tony about his career, the job's day-to-day, how he got into the world of security and fire alarms, and most importantly, Tony's go-to drink/snack when he's on the road.

Hi Tony, tell us about your career to date and how long you’ve been working with IPS now.

My journey in security alarms started in 2004 when I returned from a gap year travelling Australia and Asia for 18 months. I initially started as a locksmith with my Dad but wanted to explore different opportunities within the industry; I started with British Gas locksmith services, who (at the time) I never realised also did burglar alarms, so I trained as an alarm engineer mainly for services and corrective works. After a few years, they sold the company. Still, as I had gained valuable knowledge and experience from within the company, I was promoted to lead engineer in the area. I began taking on installations, project management and sales /quotes. After a few more years, I was promoted again to senior engineer and also dealt with training and compliance for all the new engineers on the South Coast.

I stayed with this company until 2018 when they sadly closed their operations. At that point, one of my previous colleagues told me to chat with IPS Fire & Security (I’ll be honest, I had never heard of them). After chatting with Dan, I was honest and told him that I had only ever dealt with a few systems and was very nervous about joining a company with many different disciplines to learn. Still, after a couple of months and some excellent training from other engineers and managers, I excelled in my learning and have enjoyed it ever since.

Tony - IPS alarm engineer
An Interview with our Fantastic Alarm Engineer Tony 3

What inspired you to pursue a career in security alarm engineering?

It was a natural progression. As a locksmith, there were so many times I would open a door, and the alarm would kick off, and with that, I started to think about what was causing it and how to disable them quickly as they were so noisy. That curiosity finally got the better of me, and here we are in 2024, albeit with a far broader set of skills under my belt.

Can you describe a typical day in your role?

There is no typical day (if you know what I mean). We visit many property types and areas, from local domestic houses to massive commercial properties, from sunny Worthing to beautiful Bristol, London and further afield if needed.

Every job is different, from the size of the buildings to the customers we interact with, and the jobs are always varied. It could be an IE fire alarm one day, an intruder alarm the next, CCTV, an access control system or emergency lighting, to name a few, so it keeps me engaged in my work. I could not do a repetitive job over and over all day. If you want a varied work life, this career is for you.

What would you say to someone considering a career as an alarm engineer?

I’ll start by saying Rome wasn’t built in a day.

There are many different intruder alarms and fire alarm systems, as well as other types of security systems, and it takes time and effort to learn about them. If you’re prepared to put that work in, the rewards are fantastic, and once you’ve learned the basics, the rest will come naturally.

Join our team
An Interview with our Fantastic Alarm Engineer Tony 4

What excites you most about the future of the security alarm industry?

There are lots of innovations coming. One that interests me is Home Automation with security features built-in as standard with integrated two-way cameras and links to rapid deployment of guards – exciting times in the sector.

What aspects of your job do you find most satisfying?

We deal with many different things in our job; however, the most satisfying aspect is when a system has an ongoing fault and a customer calls us to help solve the problem. With a team effort, we always resolve the issue and get the system working correctly again, leaving the customer delighted with the outcome.

How do you stay ahead with the latest technologies and innovations in security systems?

Believe it or not, there are a few fantastic Facebook closed groups, and it’s incredible how much knowledge is available and experience from so many people around the country who are very much on the pulse of the times within our industry. I also regularly speak to risk assessors and talk to the FIA and BAFE about things I’d like clarification on. They are able and willing to provide expert and exact advice and guidance on the security industry.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about your experience working here?

IPS has given me fantastic opportunities to learn many different skills and techniques. I have progressed so much since I first started and gained valuable experience in how this industry works.

What gives you the greatest satisfaction when doing your job?

It’s definitely getting the job done the first time and keeping the customer satisfied with myself and the level of service we offer at IPS.

What is the one tool that you cannot do your job without?

My trusty Lidl middle aisle cordless electric screwdriver is always with me! I’ve even gone and bought another in case it ever breaks down. I know I have a backup straight away. It’s a great bit of kit to use. It rotates to become a precision screwdriver and comes with loads of accessories. It’s the best £14.99 I ever spent!

What’s your go-to hobby out of work?

I don’t have hobbies as such. I spend time in my summer house fixing things that have broken. I’m involved with my youngest son’s football team, so my weekends are completely gone due to football games (I’m sure there are many mums and dads who can relate to that). As long as he’s happy and enjoying himself, I am too.

Finally, (the most important question) when you are out on the road, what’s your go-to coffee/snack?

That’s a tricky question. A Costa Oat Latte, and there are occasions where you can’t beat a McDonald’s Sausage and Egg McMuffin. And when I’m in (or passing through) Uckfield in Sussex, there is a unique South African Biltong shop – OMG, it’s amazing.

Discover other helpful blogs

Ensuring Fire Safety in Your Airbnb: A Guide for Holiday Rental Owners

Ensuring Fire Safety in Your Airbnb: A Guide for Holiday Rental Owners

As an Airbnb host or holiday rental owner, you bear the responsibility not only for your property’s appeal but also for the safety of your guests. Adhering to fire safety laws is not just a legal requirement in the UK but a crucial step in protecting visitors and property. Here’s our guide to help you navigate the essentials of fire risk assessment.

read more
A Guide to Temporary Fencing for Your Security Needs.

A Guide to Temporary Fencing for Your Security Needs.

Safety and security are paramount when managing a property, event, or construction site. In many situations, a permanent fence might not be feasible or necessary. This is where temporary fencing comes into play. Ideal for a variety of applications, temporary fences offer flexibility, security, and peace of mind. In this guide, we’ll delve into the world of temporary fencing, highlighting its use cases, features, advantages, benefits, types, and alternative names.

read more
Securing the Perimeter: Some Best Practices for Temporary Protection of Vacant Properties

Securing the Perimeter: Some Best Practices for Temporary Protection of Vacant Properties

Vacant properties, whether awaiting sale, rental, or renovation, are vulnerable to various risks, from trespassing and vandalism to illegal dumping and potential liability issues. Securing property is essential to maintaining its value and deterring unauthorised access. In this post, we explore best practices for the temporary protection of vacant properties, focusing on the role of concrete barriers as a crucial security measure.

read more

Contact us for a free quote

Or call the team on 0333 444 5 999

Our Priority is You

We pride ourselves on the impeccable service we provide our customers. From the first conversation to ongoing support for your fire, security and safety needs, you'll wonder why you left it so long to contact us.

Nationwide coverage

Highly-trained engineers

Free no-obligation quotes

Brilliant after-sales support

Available 24/7, 365 days a year

Register today to 'Total Security' and receive our helpful monthly industry news and insights

  • ✔️ Access to helpful fire and security insights
  • ✔️Monthly industry news
  • ✔️Security tips and tricks by our experts

You have Successfully Subscribed!