New fire firm opens up shop

Wednesday, October 1, 2003

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - Two former SimplexGrinnell employees have struck out on their own to open a fire alarm business that will serve the Myrtle Beach area with its commercial and specialty residential offering.

Fire Alarm System Technologies Inc., which opened for business Aug. 1, will offer equipment from a number of vendors to the local market. The company will also offer testing and maintenance of electronic systems and eventually security systems on a limited basis.

President Doug Koblitz and Vice President Ray Barfield are both 15-year veterans of Simplex, Koblitz as a manager and Barfield as a technician.

“We just decided that it was time for us to strike out on our own,” Koblitz said. As a small business, Koblitz said the company can enjoy the flexibility in operations that a big corporation cannot.

The self-financed company is operating out of a home office, but eventually plans to move into commercial office space as its customer base, and its revenue stream grows.

“We have lots of quotes out and have the potential to do about $100,000 of business over the next six months,” Koblitz said.

The two men have already identified the key local customers and are working to bring them on board, he said.

“There really is not a lot of competition in the Myrtle Beach area, and we are hoping that we will be able to capitalize on that.”

To save on costs, the company has sent out letters to prospective customers and has been “knocking on a lot of doors,” Koblitz said.

Fire Alarm System Technologies does plan to offer security systems installations, but that offering will be limited to customers who are looking for one stop shopping for both fire and security services.