Fire King changes name to FKI

Saturday, February 1, 2003

NEW ALBANY, Ind. - Fire King International, makers of digital video recorders and fire-proof safes, has changed its name to better reflect its business.

Company officials unveiled the new name, FKI Security Group, in early January. The name change comes more than 50 years after Fire King was first founded as a manufacturer of fire-proof files.

“While we stayed in security, no longer did Fire King describe what we were doing,” said Van Carlisle, chief executive officer of FKI Security Group. “We evolved from a records protection business … to become a security group.”

Carlisle said customers were often confused by the Fire King name and what type of products it offers. “We found that Fire King led people in the wrong direction,” he said. “And we wanted to communicate our greater mission.”

That greater mission revolves around the company growing into becoming a broad-based security provider. Over the years the company’s product line has increased to include a variety of safe types. It bought fire-proof safe company Meilink and custom plate manufacturer Gary Safes in 1991. In 1997 it added its Image Vault line of digital video recorders.

NKL Industries, which makes burglary proof and cash handling safes, was bought next in 1999.

FKI is now marketing its NKL brand of products to the systems integration market, including a NKL Cash Handling line of safes that provides daily reports, user reports, bill validation, deposit tracking and cash dispensing for markets like convenience stores. Two patent applications have now been published by the U.S. Patent and Trademarket Office relating to NKL Cash Handling.

“We’re constantly making the product better,” said Mike Smith, vice president of research and development for NKL.

One new element is a biometric fingerprint reader to identify safe users and provide a more accurate audit trail. That feature was added through a partnership with biometrics provider Bioscrypt.