Brothers create alarm, phone connecting product

Saturday, February 1, 2003

BENSALEM, Penn. - For years Brian Rachlin and his brother Steve ran a security installation firm, but time after time were confronted with the challenge to find an easier way to connect the security alarm to the phone line.

After their search for an existing product on the market came up empty, the two decided to come up with a solution of their own. Today the brothers now run Betterway Security Products, a company that manufactures a patent pending device called the BW Connector that simplifies the connection between the phone line and the alarm box.

“The old way of doing it involved making a splice inside of that network interface that the homeowner and usually the phone company are not familiar with,” said Brian Rachlin. “If the phone company does service work, they put all the wiring back on the screw terminal, then it puts the alarm system in parallel with everything else and it defeats the line seizure capability.”

The product appeals to security dealers because it can significantly decrease the amount of time spent installing an alarm, said Steve Rachlin. And, it can prove useful for new or high volume installers.

“A lot of times the phone company will bring in six pair or eight pair of wires and there’s a whole lot of wires in there and that gets confusing,” he said.

The Rachlins are currently placing less of an emphasis on their security installation business, Nationwide Building Security, to focus more on the product manufacturing company. Several new product ideas are in the works and the company is seeking partnerships with manufacturers, said Steve Rachlin.

One such partnership includes a recently cemented agreement between Betterway Security Products and GE Interlogix to integrate the BW Connector into some of the ITI Simon brand of alarm kits.

Kate Fitzgerald, product manager for GE Interlogix, said the company became aware of the product through a customer who was seeking an alternative to having to install the standard RJ31X jack, which is too large to install inside some smaller control panels. “One of our customers was tired of using the standard RJ31X jack,” she said.

As she looked for a solution, Fitzgerald stumbled upon the Betterway connector product on the Internet and also heard about it from one of the company’s sales reps. Besides offering it in some kits, the product is also being sold separately through GE Interlogix.

Brian Rachlin said his company will continue to invent products that simplify the security installer’s job. “A lot of the products that we’ve used over the years are developed and designed by engineers who really don’t have any field experience,” he said. “Our products are designed by alarm installers for alarm installers.”