It's a learning curve

SSN Staff  - 
Friday, February 1, 2002

Last month you saw the debut of our Fire Installation Section. It's our newest editorial addition and one that we hope provides more comprehensive coverage of the life safety market.

You may be wondering why we've added this new section. The reason is simple.

In today's market, security and life safety systems go hand-in-hand. People are looking for an integrated system, and that's not just access control and video integrated with an alarm system anymore.
Fire is such an important part of our market -- it's a code driven side of the business where some sort of fire system is often required in public buildings.

And the opportunity in this market doesn't just end once the system is installed. There are required inspections of systems, including fire extinguishers, which provide added dollars for the design/build fire firms and the installers.

While many of you may know the fire installation inside out, in some aspects it's virgin territory for us.

While we've covered the fire market in the past, with new products featured in our product section and some stories on alarm companies that also install fire, we've never really given this segment of the market its own space.

We're just now learning about ESDs and the hundreds of new companies that fit into this category that we were not familiar with previously. We're also learning the lingo -- such as the difference between a wet, dry and special hazard sprinkler systems.

It's seems that the fire market has a broad range of companies and level of expertise. There are those that perhaps focus on smaller install jobs, such a church or small store, and also install burglar alarms. Then, there are fire firms that only focus on fire and take on larger projects, such as shopping plazas, office complexes, large school construction projects and hospitals.

More and more security firms these days seem to being making fire some part of their business. And those that make fire their specialty are continuing to do just that -- becoming more specialized by keeping up to date on the latest fire protection technology, design aspects and products.

Now it's our turn to learn more about this specialized area of the security and life safety market and the only way for us to do that is to talk to companies like yours. We need your help to broaden our knowledge base -- tell us about your company, what you specialize in and how that sets you apart from others.

Let us know the important aspects of the fire business -- how you keep up to date on new NFPA codes, the technology and new products that are coming into the market. And, how do you choose which systems you distribute and install?

And, tell us your news -- are you partnering with another company so you can offer a product line that you currently do not offer, such as sprinkler systems, or have you recently added a new location? What about a new contract you've recently won -- is it your largest project yet?

In the coming months we hope this section will continue to grow, as we get to know the ESD and fire system installers and the news of this important market.