American Security Systems president aims to grow fire business
LONG ISLAND CITY, N.Y.—Kenneth Gould, who took over as president of American Security Systems here, believes this diversified company is ripe for growth, particularly its fire division.
“Right now fire is 20 percent of our business, I’d like to grow it to 35 percent in the next two years,” Gould told Security Systems News.
Gould is succeeding Larry Dolin, who has moved to post of CEO. Gould, who served as American’s general manager for two years before assuming his new role on Jan. 1, is a security industry veteran. He founded Gould Security Systems, which was acquired in 1999; he served as SVP for Casey Systems, a fire and security integrator; and as CEO of Statewide Fire and Security, a central station.
American Security Systems—which does a lot of business in Manhattan and Queens, but also extends to the tri-state area—has 65 employees and is about 50 percent commercial and 50 percent residential. Most of its resi business falls into the multi-family category. “Our buildings have anywhere from two or four tenants to hundreds of tenants,” he said.
American has 8,000 monitored customers (it uses Statewide Monitoring for third-party monitoring).
It does video, both IP and analog, intercom work, card access as well as standard intrusion for commercial and residential. A particular specialty are the installation and monitoring of systems such as Easy Lobby, Safe Lobby and Video Doorman, systems that are particularly well suited to city dwellings and office buildings. Gould says he sees lots of opportunity for growth with these systems.
In addition, American is fully approved to do fire installation and maintenance in New York City, a designation that is not easy to achieve, Gould noted.
“You really have to know how to install the systems, make sure they pass inspection and you have to be properly licensed,” Gould said. “And your people need to be educated. They need to take a test and pass it before they can work on smoke detectors in New York City,” he said.
Since he joined the company two years ago, Gould has revamped the fire division, recruiting some new employees, including two sales people and two fire technicians, and promoting some internal staff to management positions.
“I’m very excited about this because we’ve built a fire team that can truly handle any size project,” he said.