Back to school for Boundary co-founder Robin

They say that every day’s a school day and this couldn’t be more accurate when starting a business, especially if that business is in a field you haven’t come from.

I’ve had a diverse career background to date – think nightclubs, paint-balling, ‘point of sale’ and now intruder alarms – so it’s safe to say that I’m no expert in home security. But that doesn’t mean I won’t be in time.

As a founder, it’s essential when launching a business to ‘be a sponge’ and absorb all that you can about the industry you are attempting to disrupt. That’s exactly why I went ‘back to school’ to do my BTEC 3 course on intruder alarms.

This course is designed to give alarm installers a grounding in legislation, calculations and wiring, and was jam-packed with info on everything from legislation on system design, the necessary requirements for the various grades of alarm system and a crash course on the different wiring designed to prevent tampering.

It was fantastic to learn more about the industry and particularly so about the physical installation of alarms. Luckily for us, the wireless revolution has made issues like installation much easier and it’s been said that wireless systems can afford better opportunities for fault and tamper diagnosis as well as security. This came as a comfort as we enter the final stages of design for our wireless smart home intruder alarm.

As well as opening my mind to crucial industry practises, this course enabled me to ensure that our extensive industry research hasn’t missed any key opportunities or areas, and provided insight into what new features we could build into our smart home alarm to make it more user friendly for our secondary customers – the alarm installers themselves.

A room with a view – The BTEC 3 Classroom

But the most engaging part was the feeling of being back in the classroom, learning not just the theoretical side but also the practical side. This course catapulted me back to doing Ohms Law calculations in physics! And was hands-on as we learned how to install devices and calculate battery consumption in a variety of different conditions.

Did you know that resistors are often placed into circuits to allow the system to detect a burglar attempting to short-circuit a sensor? Or that you could risk voiding your insurance should you forget to set your alarm and are burgled? (My advice? Check the fine print!)

If the answer is no then you’re not alone because neither did I. That’s what makes courses like these so valuable, especially for those starting right at the beginning. The BTEC 3 course has given me the knowledge to be able to talk confidently about the industry I’m in and though I still have a lot to learn, what I do know is that all of us at Boundary are up for the challenge of creating the best smart home intruder alarm on the market. Watch this space!