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School security after Newtown: Readers debate guards and guns

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01/22/2013

YARMOUTH, Maine—SSN’s News Poll for February clearly struck a chord, with more than 230 readers responding to our questions about school security in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. But like the debate in the public at large, consensus about solutions—especially the use of armed guards—was hard to find.

Are water mist and sprinkler systems equivalent?

Proposed changes to NFPA 750 raise questions about the two technologies
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01/18/2013

YARMOUTH, Maine—Water-mist fire suppression systems aren’t just for ships—they are increasingly used in land-based applications, such as historic buildings and hospitals. But are they the equivalent of fire sprinkler systems? That’s the question being hotly debated as proposed changes to the National Fire Protection Association’s standard on water-mist systems come under review.

ADT performing well

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Since ADT spun off from Tyco International Sept. 28 and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange, the news about its performance has been upbeat. And earlier this week, according to news reports, Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed its outperform rating of the The ADT Corp. and raised its target price from $50 to $54. It cited ADT mergers and acquisitions as a factor.

Here’s more from Credit Suisse’s Jan. 14 assessment of ADT:
 

Some investors think they "missed" the chance to own ADT. We disagree, and see upside to the mid/high $50's over the next 12 months. TP raised to $54 (from $50). We think ADT's M&A spend will exceed their budgeted $150mn in 2013 and drive revenue and earnings growth above current market expectations. The fragmented security monitoring industry is filled with potential targets for ADT and given most industry competitors operate near identical business models, most M&A should offer significant cost synergies and earnings accretion. An additional half turn of EBITDA leverage to ADT's current targets would give ADT $700mn to spend on M&A; this could mean $175m in incremental EBITDA before synergies (10%+ accretive).

In trading yesterday, ADT closed at $47.25. Its 52-week range went from $35.38 to $47.50.

 

Alarm industry mourns Michael Kallio of Mace CS

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mace Central Station announced late Tuesday that Michael Kallio, the company’s vice president of business development, died Jan. 10 after a battle with cancer.

Kallio was a 26-year employee of Mace CS in Anaheim, Calif., and was a member of the California Alarm Association.

“Michael was a dedicated, loyal manager and he helped guide the company to be one of the most respected central stations in California and the West,” said Michael Joseph, vice president and general manager of Mace CS, in a prepared statement.

Mace Security International announced that it will create the Michael Kallio Spirit Award and will provide matching funds for a scholarship endowment in his honor. The endowment will help deserving students with their college educations.

Kallio was promoted to vice president of business development at Mace CS in April 2012. Previously, he was manager of business development and operations manager. He was also a real estate agent at Joshua Realty & Loan in Orange County, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Vivint innovates with new position

Vivint is the second prominent home security/home automation company—ADT was first—to create and fill an innovation officer job
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01/15/2013

PROVO, Utah—Vivint announced today that it has created a new position—chief strategy and innovation officer—and has named Matthew Eyring, a prominent strategy consultant, to the job.

IMS: Analog video surveillance still dominant in consumer market

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01/14/2013

YARMOUTH, Maine—Analog security cameras continue to dominate the consumer and do-it-yourself video surveillance market, accounting for 87 percent of shipments, according to a new report from IMS Research. And analog is expected to stay strong in that segment, with a significant revenue shift to network products unlikely in the next five years.

Safe Systems acquires, adds new office

Colorado company is experiencing ‘phenomenal’ growth, president and founder says
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01/11/2013

LOUISVILLE, Colo.—Safe Systems, based here, opened a new satellite office and made two acquisitions in 2012. In 2013, the company plans to acquire again as well as grow organically—all part of a multi-year growth strategy.

Survey gives integrators insight into end user' budgets

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

End user security budgets were up in 2012 compared to 2011, at least in the gaming vertical, according to a not-yet-released survey of nearly 200 Security Director News readers, conducted by IMS Research this summer.

What about end user budgets in other vertical markets? Read on. Below are some more specifics on what IMS learned about end user budgets and what this information may mean for integrators, but there will be much more information presented by IMS’ Will Rhodes at TechSec 2013, a new and emerging technology conference, jointly sponsored by Security Director News and Security Systems News.   

Want to attend? Click here to register   and here to find out more about the Feb. 5&6 conference that will take place in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Back to the survey, Will and I had a conference call the other day about his TechSec presentation. Here is a small sample of the questions I had for him—and his answers:

ME: How did the results from casino and gaming security directors compare with other vertical markets?
WR: The majority of casino and gaming respondents (51 percent) suggested their budget would increase in 2012 over 2011. Whereas, the largest number of city surveillance respondents (60 percent) suggested their budgets would fall in 2012 over 2011. While, the largest number of government respondents (43 percent)  suggested their budgets would remain the same in 2012 over 2011.

ME: The results reported are for 2012 vs. 2011. Do you have any insight into spending/budget changes for 2013?
WR: The survey was conducting over July and August so we didn’t ask questions about 2013. Early signs suggest the North American security market was relatively strong in 2012 which is likely a result of previously mothballed and delayed projects coming online. 2013 growth may remain healthy but not quite as strong as 2012.
 
ME: What do you make of the idea that casinos are increasing security budgets? Is it a matter of compliance? Putting off improvements since the economy tanked and then they got to the point where they really had to upgrade? Gaming is generally considered discretionary spending, is this a sign that the economy is on the uptake?
WR: This was a very interesting result from the survey. Regulation certainly pays a major part in the casinos and gaming market. For example, if a DVR is not recording to standard it will have to be replaced no matter how well the casino is doing. However, the economy has started to pick-up and consumer confidence is starting to build. Assuming there is no economic cliff dive in 2013, casino and gaming spending on security equipment could start returning to pre-recession levels.
 
ME: What might integrators glean from this specific info?
WR: Without wanting to appear too optimistic; after a few years of uncertainly, the outlook does look positive for those integrators who specialize in the casinos and gaming sector. One thing to bear in mind is the survey results suggested integrators that demonstrate a clear ROI on projects are most likely to win new business. Whilst the casinos and gaming sector is still in recovery mode, users may be looking for integrators show how their capital invested will be well spent. One way to do this is to demonstrate the ROI of a new solution.
 
ME: What other info should TechSec attendees look forward to learning at your TechSec presentation?
WR: During the presentation I will be showing attendees who the end users thought are the most influential project champions and which stakeholders have the most importance over the final decision to purchase.
 

 

Burglar alarm companies top chart when it comes to complaints, Utah BBB says

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

For the third consecutive year, burglar alarm companies ranked first on the Better Business Bureau of Utah’s Top 10 list of the industries that generated the most complaints, according to a recent report by The Salt Lake Tribune.

There was a silver lining for burglar alarm companies in that unflattering ranking. Their resolution rate for the complaints increased—to 97 percent, according to the report.

Here’s more from the Jan. 4 story:
 

The Better Business Bureau of Utah has released its Top 10 list of the industries that generated the most complaints last year, with burglar alarm companies once again topping the chart.

The BBB said it received a total of 16,144 complaints in 2012 — down 5 percent from 2011 — and resolved nearly 77 percent of the cases, while the number of consumers accessing its reviews of businesses was up nearly 15 percent.

Among the industries on the BBB's Top 10 complaints list were computer, hardware, software and services.

… In 2012, for the third year in a row, burglar alarm companies drew the most complaints, with 1,825. Although the resolution rate for alarm companies improved, the number of complaints rose by more than 61 percent. Nearly 97 percent of the complaints were resolved.

Complaints against alarm companies usually involve sales issues, billing and contract renewal.

The second-highest number of complaints, 380, were logged against loan mortgage audits, or companies that promise to examine payments to make sure the amount is applied correctly.

Other industries that made the BBB’s list, in order of the number of complaints, were:

• Health and medical products, primarily those making promises about weight loss, with trial offers and hidden monthly fees

• Training program companies, such as firms offering instructions on how to start a business or make money on the Internet.

 

Protection 1 makes biggest buy in its history

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01/09/2013

ROMEOVILLE, Ill.—Protection 1—which bills itself as the nation’s second-largest business and home security company—announced this week that it has acquired Vintage Security, which is based in the nation’s capital and has more than 15,000 customers. Protection 1, based here, says the acquisition is the largest it has made in its 25-year history.

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