First Alarm readies for acquisitions in 2016

Dave Hood says central station can ‘support a lot more accounts’
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Monday, January 4, 2016

APTOS, Calif.—First Alarm, a full-service company based here, is modernizing its business to prepare for acquisitions, possibly in the new year, company president Dave Hood told Security Systems News.

“We have done a lot of acquisitions over the years, but we’ve been a little quiet the last few years. We’re ready to acquire again, but we want to make sure that when we do it, we have better processes in place to grow on,” Hood said.

Hood described the ideal acquisition as “anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand [accounts].” The company would bring accounts and talented employees, he said. Compatible company philosophies are also important, said Hood.

Hood said the company’s San Franciscan footprint has many potential customers. “There are tens of thousands of customers that are dying for better service and would gladly pay more for that, and that’s who we hope to reach out to.”

“Certainly, our central station could support a lot more accounts,” Hood said.

The company plans to improve its processes by utilizing mobile transactions, including mobile service management and paperless contracts, Hood said. The company also plans to formalize its training program and then adjust its staffing as needed in 2016, he said. First Alarm currently has about 145 employees, Hood said.

“The management team is feeling more comfortable that, with these changes that we’re implementing, that we could support a lot more accounts,” he said.

First Alarm has a UL-listed central stations and 20,000 customers. It maintains five branch offices and is about 60 percent commercial and 40 percent residential.