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Smart cards, NFC to boost market for access control credentials

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01/28/2013

Smart cards and near field communication (NFC) are set to drive new growth in the $400 million global access-control credential market, according to a new study by IMS Research.

Sprinkler standoff good argument for tax incentives

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Businesses v. Fire Sprinklers. That could be the headline of a story this week in the Chicago Tribune about a fire sprinkler requirement for businesses in the village of Westmont, Ill.

It appears businesses and the village are at odds over such basic fire protection, but they needn’t be if only Congress would stop stalling and pass the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act, or FSIA. The act would provide tax incentives that make sprinklers more affordable.

The story says that the village requires businesses to install fire sprinklers but has put that safety requirement on hold because businesses say they can’t afford to add sprinklers. Here’s what the story had to say:
 

The village began a moratorium on the sprinkler requirement in 2010 for three years, citing that it had deterred businesses from locating in Westmont. The moratorium expires in spring and the board plans to discuss the issue at a meeting in February.

Trustee Ellen Emery said the moratorium was intended, in part, to allow property owners more time to become compliant. But many businesses have not, she said, adding that building owners, not lessees, should be responsible for installing the fire sprinkler systems.

Still, trustees said many landlords are requesting tenants install the systems.

"If a building is not up to code, a new business isn't going to want to invest their life savings into it," said Emery. "There have been many cases where businesses decided not to open up in town after learning they would have to pay for the installation of the sprinkler system."

Emery says a strip mall on the south end of town is almost completely vacant because the owner doesn't want to pay for the installation of a sprinkler system. Fire officials also told trustees that 65 businesses have not installed a mandatory wireless fire alarm system while 550 buildings have. Of those not in compliance, about 55 are in the downtown area, they said.

The fire code issue comes as the village is considering enacting a tax increment financing (TIF) district on the south end of the community and possibly in the downtown to help revitalize the areas.

A TIF is one answer that communities like Westmont could employ to resolve this issue. But that approach is piecemeal when compared to the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act.

After 100 people were killed in The Station nightclub fire in West Warwick, R.I. in 2003, coalition of groups, including firefighters, fire sprinkler manufacturers and fire and life safety groups have been lobbying Congress to pass FSIA.

According to the latest version, introduced in the House of Representatives in 2011, the act would amend the Internal Revenue Code “to allow: (1) 100% expensing in a current taxable year of the cost of an automated fire sprinkler system, as defined by this Act; and (2) accelerated depreciation (i.e., a 15-year recovery period) of such an automated fire sprinkler system that is installed in a building where the floor of any occupiable story is greater than 75 feet above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access.”

 

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.
 

 

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