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Guardian Security expands dominance in Tulsa

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Here’s a tidbit about Guardian Security Systems, located in Tulsa, Okla. It just bought a block of accounts from another Tulsa company, NEOSAT Alarms, according to an announcement yesterday by the Long Grove, Ill.-based Davis Mergers and Acquisitions Group, which represented NEOSAT in the transaction.

Here’s more from the Oct. 26 release:
 

Mark Garrett, owner of NEOSAT Alarms, stated that he “was very pleased to be able to place his subscribers with a high-quality central station that has a local Tulsa presence.” Glenn Albers, Guardian Security Systems Vice-President Dealer Operations, stated that “Guardian was enthusiastic about the opportunity to add high-quality accounts to further expand their dominance of the Tulsa market.”

Guardian Security is the name under which Central Security Group—one of the nation’s top providers of security alarm monitoring services headquartered in Tulsa—does business in Oklahoma. CSG was acquired by Summit Partners, a Boston-based growth equity investor around this time last year.

Then earlier this year CSG announced it was taking that infusion of new capital and putting it to work to grow the company—by adding new technology and creating a new brand for its dealer program.

 

More changes at UTC: New roles for Barry, Orbegoso, Haskins, Hamberlin

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Since UTC announced Sept. 28 that it merged UTC Fire & Security and Carrier Corp  to form UTC Climate, Controls and Security Systems  under the leadership of Geraud Darnis, more personnel changes have been made that affect the security and fire businesses.

The company has made internal announcements and sent notices to some integrator customers about personnel changes, however it has yet to make "official" publilc announcement Asked for confirmation and comment on the changes, a spokesperson for UTC Fire & Security confirmed that personnel changes have occurred at Lenel and Interlogix, but declined further comment saying that press releases outlining changes would be forthcoming.  

Security Systems News received copies of the following notices. On Oct. 21, personnel changes and at Lenel, Interlogix and the Fire Detection and Alarm business were that were announced included:

Building Automation & Access Control - Laird Hamberlin will lead this business unit which will include building automation with Automated Logic Corporation, enterprise security management with Lenel and intelligent locking devices with Onity. This strategic combination provides a growth platform, which will allow us to compete more effectively in the building management space including the fast-growing emerging markets.
 
Sensing & Controls - Bob Haskins will lead this business unit comprising all security panels, intrusion detection, video, HVAC controls and key management products. It includes the current operations of the Interlogix, Carrier Electronics and Supra businesses. This grouping provides for significant technical and manufacturing excellence in the area of embedded software-driven devices.
 
Detection & Alarm - Luis Orbegoso will lead this business unit which will include fire alarm panels, fire detection, mass notification, combustion controls, and specialty and high hazard detection. It encompasses the current operations of the Autronica, Edwards, Kidde Airsense, Detector, and Combustion Control businesses. Together the group will be a world leader in the design and manufacture of detection devices and will offer additional channels to market for existing products.

Prior to those announcement, in a Sept. 30 “message from Geraud Darnis” sent to some UTC customers, it was announced that “UTC Climate, Controls and Security Systems will operate through five business units."

Two business units, Automation & Controls Solutions and Transicold will operate globally. The three remaining business units will serve customers in the Americas; Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA); and Asia regions. "As we begin, I am pleased to announce the following leadership appointments," the message said.

Mark Barry—who in May 2011 was named president to UTC Fire & Security’s Global Fire Products—will now lead Automation & Controls Solutions, comprising all detection and control devices that sense, operate, interface, detect, communicate and manage HVAC, fire and security systems in buildings and other applications around the world. It includes building automation with Automated Logic Corporation, HVAC controls with Carrier Electronics, security access controls with Lenel, security panel controls and videos with Interlogix, fire detection and suppression including specialty detection as well as fire fighting.

Darnis’ message said, “This strategic move unlocks a terrific growth platform and opportunity with combined revenues approaching $3 billion, which will allow us to compete more efficiently in the global marketplace.”

Climate, Controls & Security Systems – Americas will be led by Bob McDonough and comprises Carrier’s Residential and Commercial Systems (RCS), Fire & Security field operations in North America (AFSS), Fire & Security’s Global, Residential and Commercial business (GRC) and Carrier’s Latin American Operations with combined revenues approaching $6 billion.
“The new organization will benefit from tremendous scale and geographic reach with strong customer relationships across both North and South American markets,” the message said.

Climate, Controls & Security Systems – EMEA will be led by Philippe Delpech and includes Fire & Security’s Continental Europe and Northern Europe South Africa (NESA) organizations as well as Carrier’s HVAC EMEA and Commercial Refrigeration businesses with combined revenues approaching $5 billion.

Climate, Controls & Security Systems – Asia will be led by Ross Shuster and includes Carrier’s HVAC Asia business and Fire & Security’s Asia and Australasia businesses with combined revenues approaching $3 billion.

Darnis’ message also included the announcement of seven functional leaders to support the five business units:
Elizabeth Amato, Vice President, Human Resources
Mark George, Vice President, Finance & CFO
Rajan Goel, Vice President, Strategy
Nora LaFreniere, Vice President and General Counsel
John Mandyck, Vice President, Sustainability, Marketing & Communications
Ray Moncini, Senior Vice President, Operations
Bill Striebe, Vice President, Business Development

LifeShield pays customers $150 for referrals

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Monday, October 24, 2011

You know how it is when you recommend a doctor, a dentist or your security company to a friend. Your friend says, “Thank you,” but chances are you hear zip from the doctor, dentist, or security company. So this recent release from Yardley, Pa.-based LifeShield Security caught my interest because it’s offering customers a $150 bonus for every qualified referral. Now THAT’S a way to say, “Thank you.”

LifeShield is a wireless digital home security system that’s self-installed and professionally monitored. The company also is offering a free wireless camera to newly referred customers. Here’s more from the Oct. 17 release:
 

LifeShield Security is pleased to announce a new nationwide referral program designed to encourage current customers to spread the word to friends and family who are interested in a home security system. LifeShield will send customers a check for $150 every time a new customer joins by way of the referral program. There is no limit on the amount of referrals a customer can make so the amount of bonus cash they can earn is also unlimited.
"Everybody wins with this incentive program. Current customers receive a cash bonus -something everybody can use in these tough times - new customers get a free HomeView camera and we spread the word about LifeShield," said Shannon Dominello, CMO, LifeShield. "Our customers love the flexible technology behind LifeShield that works the way they live, and they already love telling their friends about us, so we expect this to be a very successful program. We're going to be signing a lot of $150 checks."
LifeShield's next generation home security system offers sophisticated encrypted wireless technology that allows for easy set-up, a significantly lower cost of ownership and free, customizable monitoring options. The free wireless HomeView Camera will allow new users to view snapshots or video clips via the web or mobile phone. Users can also program specific triggers to take snapshots or even store images online to view later.

 

Judge OK’s NYMP sale

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

It’s official: A federal judge issued an order yesterday giving the green light for the financially embattled New York Merchants Protective Co. to be sold to Professional Security Technologies LLC in order to pay off creditors.

The written order by U.S. District Court Judge Denis Hurley describes the asset purchase agreement for the New York-based alarm company—in existence for about 100 years—as “fair and reasonable and in the best interest of the estate.”

The order says the purchase price includes “(a) fair market value for inventory and vehicles, (b) a sixteen (16) multiple for all performing customers of NYMP, New York Merchants Alarm Response, Inc. and NY Merch. Prot. Co., Inc. (the "Sellers"), (c) the ability to procure a substantial upward purchase price adjustment of a fifteen (15) multiple as each of the performing customers become “perfected” (i.e. contracted), and (d) an additional two (2) multiple for those customers who remain performing and but do not become “perfected” customers.”

NYMP has been in the news because Bank of America in January sued NYMP and then-owner Wayne Wahrsager for about $20 million for allegedly defaulting on a loan.
Then, in August, a receiver a judge appointed to oversee the company put it up for sale. Wahrsager, who is no longer a part of the company, has characterized the pending transaction as a “fire sale.” He claims the receiver, who fired him this summer, was mismanaging NYMP.

However, the judge in his order said, “The Receiver has demonstrated good, sufficient and sound business reasons and justifications for entering into the transactions contemplated by the APA (asset purchase agreement), and the APA represents the reasonable exercise of the Receiver's business judgment and the highest and best offer received by the Receiver.” The judge gave the receiver permission to execute the sale immediately to Professional Security Technologies of Nutley, N.J. According to New York state public records, Richard Rockwell is listed as the principal contact for the company. He also is the owner of a Maine company, Main Security Surveillance.

I’ll be reporting more on this story.

Security cos. make 'technology fast 500' list

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

A quick glance at the “Deloitte 2011 Technology Fast 500” showed several technology companies listed who are active in the security space. Deloitte, is “a global professional services firm,” and has been compiling the list since 1995. Award winners were selected based on percentage of fiscal year revenue growth from 2006 to 2010. The actual revenue figures, alas, were not included.
Here they are:

  • Avigilon, a provider of cameras, video management systems and LPR software, ranked #4 with 38,796% revenue growth.
  • VidSys, a PSIM software provider, ranked #273 with a reported 320% revenue increase.
  • Aruba Networks, ranked #316 with 268 percent revenue increase.
  • Genetec, a provider of video management, access control and LPR software, ranked #374 with 212% revenue increase.
  • Kratos Defense and Security Solutions ranked 398 with 196 percent growth.
  • Identive Group, provider of products and services for the identity, security and RFID markets, ranked 468 with 152 percent growth.
  • Blackboard Inc., a provider of mass notification systems, ranked #482 with 144% revenue increase.
  • FLIR Systems, a provider of thermal imaging technology, ranked #487 with 141% revenue increase.

Bay Alarm branching out

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Bay Alarm bills itself as “the largest independently-owned and operated alarm company in the United States.” I don’t have independent verification of that, but I do know the Pacheco, Calif.-based company is a major player in that state, so whatever it does is of interest. That's why the following recent announcement about the company expanding in the San Diego area and creating new jobs caught my eye. Here’s more from the press release announcing that Bay Alarm opened its 14th service center in California in San Diego on Oct. 15:

 

The company, which has offered full-service commercial and residential security in the San Diego region for decades, plans to hire thirty employees at their new office over the next three years to support the growth in the San Diego marketplace.

 

Founded over 65 years ago, this family-owned and operated business has a long tradition of championing law enforcement in the communities it serves throughout California. "Bay Alarm is proud to support those who protect our communities. Since 2004 our company has donated nearly $100,000 per year to the Law Enforcement Training Center (LETC) located in Pittsburg, CA. The donated funds offer scholarships to worthy cadets to enable them to begin a career in law enforcement. We are proud to have put hundreds of peace officers on the street through this partnership," says Matthew Westphal, co-president of Bay Alarm Company. "Our company has also purchased bullet proof vests, team specific tactical training, and SWAT helmets for peace officers to help keep them safe while protecting our streets. We care about our communities and look forward to bringing the same level of support to San Diego.

 

I’ve got a call in to Bay Alarm to try to learn more about the expansion and what it means for the company.

Tap your finger, control security, stream video

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Honeywell just announced the release of an Android app that sounds pretty cool, so I thought I’d share. Here’s more from the Oct. 13 announcement:

 

Honeywell has launched a new application for Android devices, letting users control their security systems and view live, streaming video from any remote location.  This version is the latest application of Honeywell’s popular Total Connect 2.0 Remote Services, which allows consumers to utilize the Internet, smartphones, cameras and more to stay connected to their homes and businesses wherever they are.

The new icon-based user interface allows users to control security system keypad functions and video viewing with the tap of a finger. They can view live video, record and store video clips, take snapshots or have video clips or pictures e-mailed to them upon an event, such as a delivery taking place or a child arriving home from school.  The app also replicates a physical keypad, letting users arm, disarm and silence their systems, bypass doors and control lights and garage doors. When combined with anti-theft and environmental sensors, end-users can receive alerts on mobile devices if valuable objects have been moved and if flood or extreme temperature changes have been detected. Total Connect 2.0 subscribers can download the app for free in the Android Market.

 

NFSA up in the air

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

A new educational campaign by the National Fire Sprinkler Association intrigued me because the organization is targeting the traveling public to push its message about the need for home fire sprinklers—and taking to the skies to do it.

The Patterson, N.Y.-based NFSA is running an ad in the October issue of AirTran’s in-flight magazine, Go, about the issue.

It depicts a sweet little boy sound asleep in his bed. The words above his head say: “You’ll sleep soundly tonight knowing that your hotel is equipped with fire sprinklers.”

But the ones below his picture ask: “Can you say the same for your family at home?”

According to the NFSA, “each issue of GO is viewed by more than 2 million passengers, making it an excellent vehicle to spread the fire sprinkler message during Fire Prevention Month.”

NFSA president John Viniello told Security Systems News: “We think if people understood the dangers from home fires and recognized how fire sprinklers work, they would demand them.”

He said 3,000 people die each year from fire and 80 percent of those deaths are in the home. “We need to do a much better job of educating people,” he said.

To see the ad, go to Go magazine.

Vivotek knows way to San Jose, where it will open test facility

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

IP camera company Vivotek  says it’s growing fast and needs more space so it’s moving from its Sunnyvale, Calif. office to a bigger space in San Jose. The company, which is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, created Vivotek USA and established its U.S. office in 2008.

The new facility is four times larger than the previous office and will eventually include a new testing facility, according to the company. For integrators, the testing space will include a demo area of the complete Vivotek line. It will also be used to ensure and demonstrate that Vivotek products integrate with a variety of VMS and NVRs. “In the future, software partners will have direct access to the dedicated environment to test and evaluate integration for overall quality assurance,” according to the release.

From the release: “Vivotek cameras range in image resolution from VGA to HD to 3 megapixels, including models that provide many advanced features such as Supreme Night Visibility, exceptional 60 frames rate per second video recording, H.264 compression, removable IR-cut filter with built in IR illuminators, P-iris, wide temperature range capability.”

The new office will enable the company to carry five times the inventory it currently carries.

Wasabi makes for one hot fire alarm

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Recently, there’s been announcement after announcement about who has won a Nobel Prize. But each year those awards are being given out, a science humor magazine called the Annals of Improbable Research runs its own “Ig Nobel” prize contest for scientific achievements that “first make people laugh, then make them think.” And this year, a wasabi fire alarm earned the top spot among 10 honorees.

It made me laugh and think, so I thought I’d share the news with you. And Popular Mechanics was so intrigued by the Ig Nobel-winning wasabi fire alarm, it wrote about it. Here’s more from the magazine’s Oct. 5 article:
 

As anyone who’s ever put too much of the pungent green paste on a sushi roll knows, wasabi is hard to ignore. A taste of the stinging stuff sets off alarm bells on your tongue. And a Japanese team has now taken advantage of that fact for their real but really crazy-sounding invention: the wasabi fire alarm.
The research team was trying to come up with a solution to the fact that most people who are killed in building fires are asleep or elderly—either way, they don’t hear the alarm. But it’s hard to ignore the eye-watering burn of wasabi, so the researchers tried to use that to their advantage. First, they isolated the compound in wasabi responsible for the characteristic stinging sensation, allyl isothiocyanate. This chemical isn’t an odor, it’s a "somatosensation." The nervous system perceives it as a painful, stinging feeling. "In contrast to olfactory processing, somatosensory processing persists during sleep," team member Makoto Imai tells PM. "That’s why subjects can wake up after inhalation of air-diluted wasabi." Their invention is now registered under a patent called "Odor Generation Alarm and Method for Informing Unusual Situation."
For their tests, Imai and colleagues filled canisters of the compound, waited until their test subjects were deeply asleep, and then filled the room with wasabi gas. Of the 14 test subjects—including four who were deaf—13 woke within 2 minutes. (It turned out that the fourteenth person had a blocked nose). The team actually tested about 100 odors, including rotten eggs. Wasabi stood alone as the premier waker-upper.
Last week, their innovation earned them an Ig Nobel prize, an award handed out by the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research, which every year spoofs the Nobel Prizes awarded a week later. "At first, we wondered what happened," Imai says of the odd honor. "But then, we were very delighted with this prize."
Seems, Inc., a Tokyo-based company, used the team’s research to develop the alarm, which has been available since April 2009 for about $600. The company is working to create a less expensive model.

 

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