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Prism Skylabs launches partner program

Integrators can make ‘$100-plus per site per month’
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11/27/2012

SAN FRANCISCO—Prism Skylabs, a cloud-based service that enables business owners to use data from existing video surveillance cameras for business intelligence, marketing and other purposes, last week launched a partner program.

ADT makes RMR forecast

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The ADT Corp., which just became independent in September, says its Pulse product is doing so well that it predicts that recurring revenue will grow by 4.9 percent to 5.2 percent in fiscal year 2013, the company said this week in a report on its Q4 and fiscal year 2012 results.

“We delivered solid recurring revenue growth fueled by the continued success of Pulse in the residential and small business security markets,” ADT CEO Naren Gursahaney said in a statement. “Our focus for 2013 is to deliver meaningful shareholder value by leveraging our competitive strengths to accelerate growth and through the efficient deployment of capital.”

ADT reported that in Q4, recurring revenue was $742 million, up 5.2 percent. The company said that was "driven by 4.4 percent growth in average revenue per customer, which rose to $38.87, and 1.1 percent net growth in customer accounts."

ADT also is initiating a dividend and has a share buyback plan. Here's what Bloomberg News had to say on that this week:
 

ADT Corp. authorized a $2 billion share repurchase program and initiated a quarterly dividend after investors George Soros and hedge-fund manager Keith Meister called on the home-security company to buy back stock.

The buyback will end in November 2015 and the quarterly dividend will amount to 12.5 cents a share, the Boca Raton, Florida-based company said in a statement today. ADT was spun off from Tyco International Ltd. (TYC) in September.

In October, billionaire Soros joined Meister in urging ADT to buy back about 45 percent of its stock with borrowed money to take advantage of low interest rates after they became the company’s biggest investors. ADT today reported adjusted earnings per share of 43 cents in the fourth quarter ended Sept. 30, matching the average analyst estimate. Recurring revenue rose 5.2 percent to $742 million.

The company has more than 6 million customers in the U.S. and Canada, providing security to homes and businesses with products including the ADT Pulse system.

 

MCS Fire & Security wins university MNS contract

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11/26/2012

SAN ANTONIO, Texas—MCS Fire & Security, based here, recently announced it won a contract to upgrade the fire alarm system at Texas Christian University and use it as the backbone of new mass notification/emergency communication system.

Clerk’s death brings call for mandatory video surveillance

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

City-mandated video surveillance? It’s on the table in Pine Bluff, Ark.

In the wake of the unsolved killing of a convenience store clerk, local leaders are considering an ordinance to require convenience stores and restaurants to install and maintain surveillance cameras on their properties, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported on Nov. 12.

The move was prompted by the shooting death of Mohammad Islam during an attempted robbery Sept. 25 at the Big Red Food Mart. The shooter has not been apprehended, a situation that police investigators say has not been helped by the fact that security cameras inside the store were not working at the time of the crime.

“What we want to ensure is the safety of people working in these stores,” said Alderman George Stepps, who sponsored the ordinance. “That’s the bottom line here.”

Fines of up to $1,000 could be assessed against storeowners, managers or clerks at properties found in noncompliance. The city’s Fire and Emergency Services Department would inspect properties and ensure that cameras are operational.

According to the Democrat-Gazette, Pine Bluff—population 49,083—could be the first city of its size in the state to have such an ordinance.

Capt. Greg Shapiro of the Pine Bluff Police Department told the newspaper that the department supports the proposal and sees it as a crime deterrent.

“We asked for this piece of legislation following [Islam’s] murder,” Shapiro said. “We don’t want to place a financial burden on any business, but this is 2012, and the technology is available and affordable to protect employees [of these businesses] and help us deter, as well as solve, crimes.”

Keith Jentoft, president of RSI Video Technologies, said the proposed ordinance is a sign of the times: using technology to fight crime instead of throwing declining law enforcement personnel against it.

“What I find fascinating is that the motivation is not to reduce false alarms, but to make arrests,” Jentoft told Security Systems News. He said Pine Bluff’s ordinance and similar legislation can help the alarm industry “upsell an entire community of businesses so that their alarm systems can do a better job of protecting people.”

The Pine Bluff City Council on Monday night postponed a vote on the proposal.

ADT: Have a connected home for the holidays!

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Security companies often tout to customers how a connected home lets you to do things at home when you’re away, such as unlocking the door for the UPS person to deliver a package and being able to see, while sitting at work, whether the kids got home safely from school.

Now security/home automation giant ADT is taking that same message and tying it directly to the holidays in a new television, online and print campaign that started today. The message is that ADT Pulse can help people participate in holiday rituals at home even when they’re away.

The campaign “captures the whimsy of the holidays and the practicality of the brand,” according to ADT. For example, a television commercial will feature a dad who has to travel over the holidays still being able to participate by remotely turning on the Christmas tree lights while at the airport.

And another features a woman visually checking in on her home remotely, and catching her husband snooping around to see what presents he’s getting.

Also, ADT said, the TV ads will be enhanced by online and print ads. The online ads “will enable users to interact with the ADT Pulse app, switching between cameras and rooms in Santa’s home to find five hidden golden rings,” the company said.

And as for the print ads, the company said, they “will feature ADT Pulse as ‘the season’s coolest smart device’ and position it as the holiday gift that keeps on giving, depicting Pulse in action on tablets, smartphones and laptops.”

You can take a look at what ADT is promoting for the holidays on YouTube.

 

 

 

Security companies: You can still have your say on NFPA 730!

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

NFPA 730 and NFPA 731, the National Fire Protection Association rules governing installation and maintenance of security systems, have proved controversial in the past—and now they’re up for revision again.

Because the proposed changes could impact security companies, the Security Industry Association (SIA) is urging its members to comment. You have until 5 p.m. this Friday, Nov. 16, to do so.

Here’s some of what SIA had to say in a recent communication to members:
 

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has opened the next revision of the NFPA 730: Premises Security Guide and the NFPA 731: Standard for the Installation of Electronic Premises Security Systems for public comment. Of importance to many Security Industry Association members is the proposal to change the title and scope of NFPA 730 to NFPA 730: Premises Security Code and the resulting change of all instances of “should” to “shall” within the document. This change can have an impact on the installed products and systems of many SIA members. After conferring with other industry groups including ASIS International and NFPA, we recommend that SIA members consider submitting comments directly to the NFPA.

For more information, visit www.siaonline.org and www.nfpa.org.

 

Video fire detection good solution for large spaces

A video detection system can also double as a security system because it’s always recording video
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11/13/2012

YARMOUTH, Maine—Statistics show that one of the leading causes of fire in large storage facilities and warehouses is arson. And one of the best ways to prevent such fires—which can cost the economy billions of dollars in property damage and business disruption—is through video-image fire and smoke detection technology.

Home for the holidays? Think like an intruder

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

We’re getting into the time of the year when opportunistic thieves make the most of others’ holiday cheer and generosity. Packages left at the doorway or a pile of presents that can be easily seen from outside a home send a signal to the unscrupulous: Come and get it.

Alarm systems are an obvious deterrent, with the signs and decals accompanying them often enough to make thieves think twice. But for true peace of mind, there’s no substitute for an actual system. The problem is that many alarm users don’t know how to properly use their systems, or if they do, they neglect to do so.

The Security Industry Alarm Association estimates that 77 percent of all false alarms are due to end-user error. Many of those end users could just as easily forget to arm their systems amid the bustle of the holidays, essentially leaving the door open to property crime. It’s safe to say most alarm companies could tell a tale or two along those lines.

There are other ways to reinforce security at home, though, measures that might seem obvious but somehow are frequently overlooked. With that in mind, the Electronic Security Association has rolled out a tip sheet to help homeowners think like an intruder. Alarm companies can also use the tips to remind their customers to think deterrence, especially during the holidays.

Here’s an excerpt of what the ESA had to say:

Most home intrusions can be classified as random opportunistic acts—not planned events. Homeowners can protect against a home intrusion by looking at the weaknesses of their home from an intruder’s point of view. Here are a few questions an intruder might ask when deciding on a house to target.

 

Is anyone home?
The first thing many intruders do is check to see if anyone is home. Sometimes the intruder will simply knock on the front door. If someone answers, the intruder may make up an excuse for the disturbance, such as being lost and needing directions. If no one answers, the intruder may do further research to ensure the home is vacant. He or she may look into windows and listen for the sound of someone watching television. Other times, if the knock at the door goes unanswered, the intruder may try his or her luck at an unlocked door. Three out of 10 times, he or she will hit the jackpot and walk right in.
 Homeowners should try to make their homes appear occupied at all times. Timers for inside lights and televisions serve as easy solutions. Another effective and cost-efficient measure to consider is motion sensor lights. Placing these lights in dark areas outside of the home may scare away potential intruders lurking in the shadows.

Is the home equipped with an alarm system?
A 2009 study by the Rutgers School of Criminal Justice found that an installed burglar alarm makes a dwelling less attractive to would-be and active intruders and protects the home without displacing burglaries to nearby homes. Additionally, the Cromwell-Olson-Avary study, conducted to better understand offenders’ perception of the risks and rewards involved in criminal activity, found that nearly all convicted intruders (90 percent) admitted that they would avoid homes that are equipped with alarm systems. Additionally, the study revealed that if a potential intruder sees a yard sign or window decal from a credible security company outside of a home, around 75 percent would think twice about going through with an attack. But signs and decals aren’t enough to deter an intruder; alarm systems are the best protection against home intrusion.

What is the easiest way to break in?
On average, intruders will spend no more than 60 seconds breaking into a home, since a longer attempt may result in detection by a neighbor or passer-by. First, they will seek out unlocked or open doors and windows—even on the second or third floor—that can be accessed by a ladder. And sometimes, a standard locked door or window won’t always be enough to stop them. Homeowners should consider upgrading to deadbolts and reinforcing the frame of their front door to make a break-in more strenuous for the intruder.

Will anyone notice?
Intruders tend to target homes that they can get away from easily. For an intruder, an ideal home would be located in a dark, lifeless neighborhood with good hiding places and escape paths, such as overgrown bushes or trees in the yard. Hiding areas can be eliminated by keeping the landscaping neatly trimmed and using outdoor lights so the home is well lit at night. Homeowners are encouraged to start or join a neighborhood watch group. These groups can help reduce the risk of home intrusion for everyone in the community. By enhancing the home’s security features with electronic timers, motion sensor lighting and a professionally installed security system, homeowners can protect their property and keep their family safe from crime.

Per Mar buys Streff, will offer customers new services

Tolliver touts 54 percent conversion rate, customers opting for interactive services
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11/12/2012

DAVENPORT, Iowa—Per Mar Security Services has acquired Streff Security of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Brad Tolliver, VP of Per Mar’s Electronic Security Division, told Security Systems News that the 250 acquired accounts are 70 percent small commercial and include retail, manufacturing and convenience stores.

Potter aids child burn survivors

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Many companies in the security and fire alarm industry give generously to a wide variety of humanitarian causes. Potter Electric Signal Co. is among them, providing support and education to a cause that seems poignantly apropos for a fire and life safety company: the Missouri Children’s Burn Camp for child burn survivors.

Here’s more from a news release from the St. Louis, Mo.-based Potter, saying it once again participated in the camp, which took place in August this year at Camp Sabra in Rocky Mount, Mo.:

Potter has supported this deserving cause for over 10 years and counting. Burns Recovered Support Group, Inc. sponsors the Burn Camp every year dating back to its inception in 1997.

With the assistance of St. John’s Mercy Medical Center, Burns Recovered Support Group, Inc. was formed in 1983 by a group of burn survivors with the mission of burn survivor support along with aiding medical facilities and providing burn care education and prevention. The Burn Camps hosts between 75 and 85 children every year as enrollment continues to grow. Organizers of the 16th annual Missouri Children’s Burn Camp raised approximately $150,000 for the child burn survivor’s community.

Bernard Lears, President and CEO Potter Electric Signal Company, LLC, “For over ten years, Potter has supported the Missouri Children’s Burn Camp. This noble cause truly gives back to the community and touches the hearts of every participant. Severe burns are a terrible tragedy that Potter strives to prevent everyday through our innovation and continued dedication to life safety. It’s why we are in business. Burns Recovered Support Group, Inc. provides an invaluable service to those in need and Potter looks forward to continuing to support this deserving cause in the future.

Due to the generous support of all its sponsors, all participants enjoy a week full of fun and support for free. The Burn Camp is intended for child burn survivors between the ages of 6-17 with severe burns.

 

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