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Prevent CO poisoning: Alarm companies should help Californians help themselves

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

It’s now more than a year since California’s new law mandating carbon monoxide detectors in all single-family homes with an attached garage or fossil fuel source. However, a new survey shows many residents remain unprotected.

Seems to me there’s a marketing opportunity here that alarm companies would do well to take advantage of—to not only help themselves but also California residents.

It’s true that the new law, which took effect July 1, 2011, doesn’t require Californians to opt for monitored alarms instead of ones they can buy at the hardware store. But in a story I wrote last summer, John Hopper, president of the California Alarm Association, said he believes many residents will chose the monitored option as the safest.

“The state law has positioned us to perhaps increase revenues for the industry, from sales of the devices and associated monitoring,” he told me then.

A year later, perhaps this new survey will provide added impetus for residents and alarm companies.

Below is more from a recent news release on the survey, which was done on behalf of Kidde, a manufacturer of residential fire safety products, and the California Safe Homes Coalition. Kidde is a part of UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a unit of United Technologies Corp.
 

While more than half of Californians are aware of a law requiring residential carbon monoxide (CO) alarms, many residents remain unprotected, according to a survey from independent research group, Qualtrics. Nearly half (46 percent) of respondents do not have a CO alarm in their home despite the overwhelming presence of both fuel-burning appliances (84 percent) and attached garages (75 percent) – the state-determined criteria for installation and primary risk factors for accidental CO poisoning.
 
The results come on the eve of the law’s one-year anniversary on July 1. Nearly half of respondents without a CO alarm stated they know they need one, but haven’t found the time to install the life-saving device. Another one-third of respondents believe that they do not need an alarm even though it is the only safe way to detect CO, an odorless, tasteless and invisible gas.

“We are encouraged that many California residents have heard our message, understand the dangers of CO poisoning and have installed an alarm,” explained Kevin Nida, president, California State Firefighters’ Association (CSFA), a supporter of the California Safe Homes Coalition and co-sponsor of State Bill 183. “However, we urge those who have not yet acted to do so now. Carbon monoxide is perceived as an issue that only impacts cold-weather states, and that’s not a safe assumption. We’ve experienced the tragedy of CO poisonings here in California all too often.”
 
Called the ‘silent killer’ because many people do not realize they’re being poisoned until it’s too late, carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It claims 400 lives and injures another 20,000 each year nationwide. California officials estimate CO poisoning causes 700 avoidable injuries and hospitalizations annually.
 
“I miss my sister every day. Unfortunately, no one in my family knew about CO poisoning until it was too late,” said Walnut, Calif. resident Ta Juan Campbell.  His sister, Tyra Lynn, died of accidental CO poisoning in her Beverly Hills apartment in 1998. Campbell founded the Tyra Lynn Foundation to raise awareness of CO poisoning.  “If you’ve put off installing a CO alarm, don’t wait. It could save your family.”
 
California’s law aims to protect families, while reducing the number of associated casualties.  A final phase requiring CO alarms in existing multi-family residential dwellings goes into effect Jan. 1, 2013.

 

Double hemispheric camera called ideal for hotel, bank applications

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07/24/2012

NEW YORK—Mobotix in July introduced a new “flexible" double hemispheric camera called the S14 FlexMount, which the company said can fully secure two rooms “located next to or on top of one another” with one camera.

S2 launches S2 Global

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07/23/2012

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.—Network-based integrated security system provider S2 Security on July 17 launched its S2 Global product. Designed for customers with multiple dispersed facilities, S2 Global connects multiple devices in security management systems and video management systems.

Lowe’s launches home automation/home security service

Company's Iris offering is self-installed and self-monitored; Lowe’s ‘will evaluate’ installation assistance
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07/19/2012

MOOREVILLE, N.C.—Lowe’s, the world’s second-largest home improvement retailer, announced July 19 that it has launched Iris, its new home automation/home security service. The do-it-yourself, cloud-based service currently is available on Lowes.com and will be offered in the company’s 500 stores nationwide late in August, Sarah-Frances Wallace, a spokeswoman for Lowe’s, told Security Systems News.

Bright lights, big tabs: Readers sound off on ISC in NYC

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07/18/2012

YARMOUTH, Maine—ISC East or ISC Solutions? For a majority of respondents in Security Systems News' latest monthly poll, the name of the trade show isn’t an issue (it’s ISC East again after a two-year stint with its alternate moniker). But what about the fact that it’s still being held in the Big Apple, the most expensive U.S. city for business travel?
Well, now you’ve got something to chew on.

CSSC in right place for success

Southern Colorado fire company thriving on big contracts with military, hospitals and more
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07/18/2012

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—Location, location, location—and being the only authorized Notifier integrated systems distributor in southern Colorado—has helped Commercial Specialists of Southern Colorado (CSSC) land such fire alarm contracts as one for the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Future Security Controls concentrates on margins

Independent integrator looks to sell its managed services offering to other integrators
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07/18/2012

OTTAWA—Future Security Controls is a small independent integrator that is enjoying enviable margins—north of 15 percent—in the past couple of years, according to CEO Sam Shalaby.

Tri-Ed/Northern buys one, opens two

Flush from its acquisition by Audax Group, company expands
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07/18/2012

WOODBURY, N.Y.—As promised when it was acquired by private equity firm Audax Group in April, Tri-Ed/Northern Video is expanding. The independent national distributor on July 16 announced the acquisition of Seabreeze Security Distributors of Orlando, Fla., and announced plans to open two new branches: one in Detroit and one in Raleigh, N.C.

Security-Net: Making national accounts work for everyone

Both the project and the labor are turnkey to preserve profits for all
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07/18/2012

EXTON, Pa.—In existence for nearly 20 years, Security-Net is a $388 million national integration company made up of 19 independent integrators. Nineteen independent companies working together makes for a formidable national accounts provider, executives from member companies tell Security Systems News.

OV drops Samsung case, ITC trial involving Bosch starts today

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

ObjectVideo issued a statement at 7:30 this morning announcing that it has dropped patent infringement charges against Samsung.  The statement came two hours before an International Trade Commission trial began at 9:30 this morning.

I called ObjectVideo, but they’re not saying anything beyond what’s in the press release. I also have a call into Samsung.

The release says that ObjectVideo filed an unopposed motion to terminate the International Trade Commission investigation against Samsung.  “Both parties agreed this was the appropriate next step as part of our continued efforts to resolve the dispute between the companies,” Raul Fernandez, CEO of ObjectVideo, is quoted as saying in the press release.

“The public trial against Bosch at the USITC, resulting from an investigation pertaining to products from Robert Bosch GmbH and Bosch Security Systems, Inc., continues as planned,” the release said.

“With Samsung out of the ITC action, we can focus on Bosch, whose products implement numerous infringing video analytic technologies, including metadata, tripwire, and slip-and-fall technology,” added Fernandez.

OV first filed a court complaint in April of 2011. It moved the complaint to the ITC in July of 2011.

The trial began this morning at the USITC in Washington.

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