Firm reveals unique take on security

Friday, April 1, 2005

HACKENSACK, N.J. - KingAlarm founder Glenn Fischer has emerged from a four-year hiatus as the top executive of a new company that provides not only residential security monitoring, but also around-the-clock mental health services.

SafetyCare, which officially launched in January, targets end users directly, offering a host of traditional security applications that include fire and burglar alarms in addition to family crisis counseling.

Until now, SafetyCare has relied on its own team to install and upgrade security systems. Additionally, the company has partnered selectively with third-party security firms to assist with new installs. How much it relies on other companies for this aspect of the business will be defined in the future.

“This is an area where we are trying to redefine security,” said Fischer, who serves as president and chief executive officer at the company. “I thought it was a natural progression to tie in physical security and mental well being.”

In addition to services typically offered by central stations, such as monitoring of fire and burglar systems, SafetyCare features crisis intervention and wellness counseling. These services include around-the-clock to access of certified health care professionals to discuss situations that range from addictive behaviors to family crisis.

The idea of merging traditional security services with healthcare is a new one, and it is still to early to know if customers will embrace or fear such a thing, said Jack Mallon, managing director of Mallon Associates.

“It’s thinking outside of the box, and I wish them luck. But, I don’t think it will serve as an inducement to get more business,” Mallon said.

Glenn Fischer founded security products distributor KingAlarm in 1979, and earlier in 1985 co-founded contract-monitoring station King Central. In 1999, Pittway purchased KingAlarm and Fischer later sold his stake in King Central.

Until now, Fischer was restricted from various security-related activities due to a five year non-compete agreement he entered as a result of the January 1998 King Central deal.

Fischer projects 3,500 customers within the first year of business. “Our goal is to not be in a rush,” he said. The New Jersey central will peak at 50,000 customers and the location will handle business in the Northeast with a focus on the tri-state region.

Future plans include duplicating the New Jersey location in other parts of the country, when account sign up reaches up to 15,000, said Fischer. Monthly monitoring with all the services is $39.95. Global Positioning Services cost more.

“We are going directly to the consumer to build the brand SafetyCare,” said Peter Giacalone, executive vice president at the company and former chief operating officer and senior vice president of King Central. “The core of our services can be used on a daily basis.”

Active adults or senior citizens are projected to be 15 percent of the company’s overall customer base. Primarily, customers will include families with school-age children and living, older parents.

“It’s quite a leap to bundle the two together,” commented Matthew Rogers, managing director at USBX Advisory Services.