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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Search Mirror?

A Security Inspection Mirror, also called a search mirror or car inspection mirror, is a tool used by security personnel to inspect vehicles and aid them in the search for contraband and threats. Most commonly used to view the undercarriage of a vehicle, some mirrors are also light and long enough to view the top of oversized vehicles such as trucks and lorries.

 
What are they made from?

Most security inspection mirrors consist of two main parts. The frame and the mirror head. The frame is normally made from a metal such as steel or aluminium. Steel frames tend to be stronger and more durable while aluminium frames will be lighter. The mirror heads will normally be made from acrylic or glass.

 
Do they require assembly?

This really depends on the type of car inspection mirror that you buy. Telescopic mirrors require little assembly but you may have to attach the mirror head. Compartmentalised car inspection mirrors will require some assembly. They do this so that you can select the desired length and function by adding or removing components. Trolley-style or wheeled mirrors may require you the attach the wheels first.

 
How do you use security inspection mirrors?

When it comes to inspecting a vehicle using a mirror, the main thing to consider is angle. You need to position the mirror in such a way that you are able to see enough of the bottom, or top, of the vehicle without tilting it too far and just staring at your reflection. This takes a little getting used to but is not too difficult. Most mirrors have LED torches attached that can help you better view the undercarriage but you need to be careful not to get too much glare that might obscure viewing.

 
What is the best vehicle search mirror?

As with a lot of professional equipment, there is no one best mirror. Each is designed for specific tasks. Weight, Range and Clarity are the primary attributes that will vary between models. If you need to inspect the tops of trucks or high locations, you will need one with a long range. If a mirror as a longer range, it tends to be heavier. Heavy mirrors can be a pain during long shifts and also more difficult to control. You need to find a mirror that ticks the right boxes for the task at hand.

 
Should I go for the widest security inspection mirror head to get the greatest range of view?

In theory, yes, in practice, no. While a bigger mirror head will let you see more, it comes with a number of drawbacks. The most important, particularly with under car inspection mirrors, is manoeuvrability. The wider a mirror, the less it is able to move around. When you use a search mirror, you will rarely be always holding it at one angle. You will need to tilt it to see into wheel arches and around corners. If it is too wide, you will not be able to tilt it very far before wedging it between the ground and the vehicle. Wide mirrors are also heavier and tend to be broken more easily.

 
Are there any special considerations with trolley-style and wheeled inspection mirrors?

Similar to the issue with wide mirrors, you need to pay attention to ground clearance. Ground clearance refers to the distance between the ground and the mirror. This is normally determined by how high or large the wheels are and whether they are attached to the mirror or a frame. Low ground clearance is the goal. If a car inspection mirror’s ground clearance is too high then you will have difficulty manoeuvring it around the underside of the car.

 
Does it matter what the mirror head is made from?

In the past, glass offered clarity and acrylic offered durability. This has gradually become less true as advancements in acrylic polishing have lead to some amazingly clear mirrors. At Interconnective we no longer sell glass security inspection mirror heads and prefer acrylic.