DARTMOUTH, Nova Scotia--When Armstrong Security decided to buy the entire facility its central station is housed in, it made sure the building complied with the new SQ561 Standard. "The new standards that have to be implemented by June of 2007 ... [some]centrals are completely abandoning their stations and moving," said Dan Small, general manager of Armstrong.
Armstrong, privately owned and operated by Gary Armstrong, has a central in Monkton, New Brunswick, and first opened up in Nova Scotia in 1997. "When we first came to Halifax in '97, we had 3,000 accounts," said Small, "and now we have 40,000." With that rapid expansion came the need for more space, and so in August of last year, the monitoring company bought out its partner and now own s the entire facility it co-built in 2002. The decision "was a no-brainer," said Small.
"If I had to put it in a nutshell, our growth has come from reinvesting into the business," said Small. "There are a lot of companies like ourselves across Canada. So many have been sold--Triple A in Winnipeg, and Counterforce--it's getting to be a small group of monitoring stations that are independently owned and operated." Small attributed this to "the age of the owners, and how much money the multi-nationals have been offering."
Armstrong now employs more than 40 people, and utilizes "the entire second floor of their building. The building was designed and built so we can go to 12,000 feet on the second floor," said Small. "Right now we can easily monitor 60,000 to 70,000 accounts." While SQ 561 hasn't impacted Armstrong adversely, it has affected other ULC-listed centrals in Canada. "Luckily, we had all that in mind ... it's been a big ordeal for the Canadians," said Small.