Accurate Fire hits the bull's eye

Company relocates due to increase in opportunities in fire and security
Monday, August 1, 2005

DAYTON, Ohio--Shortly after adding security products into the fold, Accurate Fire relocated to a larger office last month and expects to do the same, again, next spring.
The company remains based here after the move, upgrading to 2,000 square feet from 1,500 square feet. Just like before, the it continues to lease the space it occupies, which the Accurate Fire's owner hopes to change.
Founder Penny Charles plans to purchase the land next to the new location and start building on the property next spring. The new space would help accommodate the surge of growth the company has experienced.
The new building would be more than double the size of what it now occupies, at 5,000 square feet, including more storage and display areas. But, most importantly, when the company moves it would be for strategic purposes, above all else.
"I don't have a renter's mentality," said Charles. "I don't want to give my money to other people. I want to build my own assets."
She started Accurate Fire in 1996, and with a staff of 14 focuses on the areas of Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio. The company oversees its own monitoring and offers pre-engineering and engineering services.
Approximately 75 percent of the company's contracts are fire related. The remaining percentage includes security installations that require card readers, as well as audio and video products.
Charles did not disclose any revenue figures.
With fire-related work providing stable revenue, Accurate Fire entered into the security market two years ago. Not only has it supplemented revenue, but since the state does not require a license to pull wire, it also reduced paperwork.
"I just took a look at that market and got a piece of the pie," explained Charles on the decision to diversify her business.
Surveillance systems are one aspect that is booming. Customers have requested that such equipment be installed in the workplace to deter and solve crime, Charles said. But this doesn't mean fire will fall by the wayside.
"Fire is a major portion of our business," said Charles. "It will take a while to catch up with the fire side of my business."
The company has been fortunate to attract customers with limited marketing. Charles advertises only in the Blue Book and Yellow Pages, and derived many contracts through these methods.
"The Blue Book is bringing in a lot of sprinkler work, a lot. We don't really go out and beat the streets, they call from our advertisements," she said.