Whitton eases minds in Conn.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

REDDING, Conn.--Wanting to be closer to home while his children were young, Jack Whitton left the newspaper business three years ago to open Peace of Mind, what he calls an "old-fashioned physical security service for a high-tech world."
When Fairfield County residents go away, whether it's for the weekend or a year, they can hire Whitton to check on the place and to respond immediately when their home security system is tripped.
Whitton said he got the idea for the business from two people who had successful businesses outside of Fairfield County. He said he works closely with central station operators and the police.
"I met with police chiefs in the market when I was forming the company. I explained my idea for the business and asked them for suggestions," he said. "We have a set procedure. I never go in prior to the police arriving on the scene; my heroic days are over," he added.
"I do a perimeter check, if there's no obvious breach and all the windows and doors are secure, once the police arrive, I go in," he said. He will then reset the alarm and if necessary, contact the homeowner.
Frequently the reason he is called is weather-related. "If we have outages, typically the central monitoring station gets an alarm. I'm first on the telephone tree, so I go out and investigate."
Whitton's business consists of himself, his wife and a part-time employee who fills in "when we need to get away."
He has as many as 15 jobs active at one time. During the summer, he generally stops by houses twice a week and every third day in the winter.
He's had referrals from realtors, but has said home security companies have not been interested in working with him. He said 99 percent of his work comes from referrals.