Chase has a good year

Business of protecting fire and security systems is booming
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Sunday, February 1, 2009

CHICAGO--For 37 years, Chase Security Systems here has been making and designing the products that hold and protect fire alarm and security products, and despite the economic downturn in most sectors, business has never been better, says Chuck Villanueva president and CEO.

Chase Security is not a big company. “We’re under a million dollars,” Villanueva said. Yet “we doubled our company in one year,” he said. How’d he do that? “We do unique things that no one else does. We create esthetics. We think that security can look attractive.”

The products Chase makes include custom wire guards that protect fire strobes and custom enclosures pedestals and towers for security and fire systems. One product for example, is a classroom control panel cabinet, which has cutouts for many devices including a clock, intercom, security and fire devices. Another reason for the successful year is returning customers and high demand for certain products.

In the past, some of Chase’s customers went to Mexico, Canada or overseas to China in search of cheaper products. Those customers, who include some major manufactures, are now coming back to Chase. “They found out that it cost more to do this next door.” The logistics to transport the products was cumbersome, and the products were of inferior quality, he said.

In addition, upgrading fire, security and the installation of mass-notification in school facilities has increased demand for some of Chase’s products. Villanueva expects the demand to continue, especially under the incoming Obama administration, which Villanueva said will put a priority on updating public school facilities.