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ESA launching Florida chapter

New chapter to focus on business development and lead generation for members
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04/09/2012

IRVING, Texas—The Electronic Security Association, based here, is launching a state-chartered chapter in Florida.

Integrator insights in Florida

AMAG Technology expands its specifier event to include integrators
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04/09/2012

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—Access control and security management systems provider AMAG Technology expanded its annual consultant event this year to include a handful of select integrators.

Fire alarm + ECS = Award-winning combo

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Friday, April 6, 2012

I wrote recently about a new “all-in-one” fire alarm and emergency communications system just introduced by Silent Knight by Honeywell. Now the new Farenhyt Emergency Communications System has been honored by the Security Industry Association with an award.

The company says the combo fire alarm/emergency communications systems is an easy and cost-effective way to respond to a growing demand by such customers as schools, hospitals and government and military facilities for more than just a fire alarm system so they can also address emergencies such as severe weather or an armed intruder. And SIA categorized the Farenhyt ECS as one of the “leading edge” products helping to drive the industry forward.

Here’s more from a Honeywell news release today:
 

NORTHFORD, Conn.—Silent Knight by Honeywell announces its new Farenhyt Emergency Communications System has been recognized by SIA (Security Industry Association) as the top Mass Notification solution in the 2012 NPS (New Products Showcase) competition. In its 33rd year, this annual SIA contest received 70 entries, all vying for the top seed in one of 21 categories.

"Once again, the companies competing in the NPS presented the kinds of leading edge entries that are the hallmark of the program," states SIA CEO Don Erickson. "These new technologies and solutions are the drivers that are moving the security industry forward."

Silent Knight's Farenhyt ECS (Emergency Communications System) provides both cutting-edge fire protection and a system for broadcasting real-time communications within a facility, big or small. By integrating mass notification capabilities with its proven fire alarm technology, Silent Knight aims to offer an all-in-one system that is easy-to-use, cost-effective and benefits from the stringent requirements placed on fire alarm systems …

The Farenhyt ECS line delivers real-time, intelligible communications over a completely supervised system that meets the latest NFPA 72, UL 2572 and Department of Defense (DoD) standards. Farenhyt ECS control panels include customizable switches for as many as 15 pre-recorded messages and a microphone for live paging - all simple-to-use technology which enables users to direct general or emergency communications to all or select areas of a facility.

As many as seven Farenhyt ECS-RCUs (Remote Command Units) can tie into a facility's Farenhyt ECS and be conveniently placed throughout a facility to provide a quick means for live paging. Complete operation of fire alarm and ECS functions can also be performed through an ECS-RCU, which is UL-listed and meets the DoD mass notification system requirements of an LOC (Local Operator Console).

The Farenhyt ECS runs on most wire-types, making it a cost-effective retrofit option when existing fire alarm wire is used. Fire alarm speaker intelligibility requirements combined with regular system testing code mandates ensure this integrated fire alarm and ECS communicates clearly and is well maintained.”

For more information go to www.farenhyt.com.

 

Tri-Ed/Northern acquired by private equity firm

Audax Group acquires, Comunale says goal is to build a 'billion dollar business in 3 to 5 years'
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04/04/2012

BOSTON—Audax Group, a $5 billion private equity firm based here, announced April 4 that it has acquired Tri-Ed/Northern Video.

Judge rules Virginia Tech did not violate Clery Act, waives fines

Expert says decision also sets precedent for how DOE determines Clery Act violation
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04/04/2012

WASHINGTON—In a decision that experts say could have far-reaching implications on campus security nationwide, an administrative law judge at the Department of Education has ruled that Virginia Tech was not in violation of the Clery Act for not sending a timely warning to the campus community in the early hours of the 2007 shooting that left 32 dead. The judge also dismissed a $55,000 civil penalty the DOE levied on Virginia Tech for the alleged violations.

More problems for Platinum: It’s now charged with defaulting on $700,000 loan

CPI Security contends Platinum is in breach of a loan from CPI and is mismanaging 350 accounts that are collateral
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04/04/2012

AMERICAN FORK, Utah—CPI Security Systems, a Charlotte, N.C.-based monitoring company, is suing Platinum Protection, claiming Platinum has defaulted on a $700,000 loan CPI made to the company in January.

Rapid Response hires Hertel, plans new central in West

New VP of operations says role at Mace CS ‘wasn’t what I signed on for’
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04/04/2012

SYRACUSE, N.Y.—Morgan Hertel, who recently stepped down as vice president and general manager of Mace CS, has joined Rapid Response Monitoring as VP of operations and is heading the company’s effort to build a new central station in the West.

Monitoring contract provision can stand in way of sale

If your third-party monitoring center has a right of first refusal on your alarm company, that can impede selling it to anyone else
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04/04/2012

LAS VEGAS—Read the fine print on your contract with your third-party monitoring center. You may find there’s a clause buried in it that says the monitoring center has the right to buy your alarm company before you can sell it to somebody else.

A Platinum Protection founder goes solar

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Chance Allred, one of the founders of Platinum Protection, has come home to Vivint again—in a way.

Platinum, a summer-model sales company based in American Fork, Utah, in February this year abruptly laid off virtually all its employees and shut down its summer sales program. The company, founded in 2006, hasn’t talked publicly about the reasons why, but it appears to be in severe financial distress.

Since then, Vivint, a summer-model giant based in Provo, Utah, has hired about 130 of the unemployed Platinum sales reps, Vivint told me. It’s not clear what percentage of Platinum’s former sales force that represents, but it’s just 4 percent of Vivint’s sales force, that company said.

In addition, Allred in March was hired as VP of sales for Vivint Solar, a sister company of Vivint that offers residential customers the opportunity to purchase power generated by Vivint solar panels on their homes.

That’s kind of interesting because before helping to found Platinum, Allred used to work for APX Alarm, which is what Vivint was called before it rebranded last year to highlight the fact it offers home automation and other services beyond security.

NPR program rips industry over false alarms

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

American Public Media’s “Marketplace” weighed in on false alarms this week, with the featured guest delivering a decidedly unfavorable verdict for the security industry: Alarm customers might be better off relying on a dog.

Program host Kai Ryssdal interviewed Stephen Dubner of Freakonomics.com, who cited a litany of figures and study results that don’t reflect well on alarm companies. Here’s a bit of what Dubner had to say on the show, which aired on National Public Radio:

—“We talked to Simon Hakim, an economist at Temple who’s been studying this issue for a long time. He says that in a given year, U.S. police respond to more than 35 million alarm activations. … Something like 95 percent of them are false alarms and the cost is about $2 billion.”

—“Financial analysts say that industry leader ADT ... has an operating margin of about 25 percent on roughly $3 billion [in] annual revenues. So these false alarms pose what economists call a negative externality. That is, the provider charges you for the service, but then they pass along a big part of their costs to someone else. In this case, the police departments and the taxpayers who support them.”

—“Well, it’s probably a good idea to make the alarm companies more accountable in some fashion, including having them make alarms that don’t fail so often. … As for me, I think I’m just going to ditch my new alarm that seems to go off every five minutes.”

Dubner then referred to his new deterrent—growling can be heard in the background—and told Ryssdal, “Go ahead. Make my dog’s day.”

On the positive side, Dubner quoted Hakim as saying that alarm systems deter burglars to some degree, citing “the sign in the yard and the threat of the alarm and the police.” He also quoted Ron Walters, director of the Security Industry Alarm Coalition, who said false alarms are SIAC’s “No. 1 priority. This is the one issue that we have decided has to be addressed.”

The incidence of user error was briefly mentioned, along with the move toward more video monitoring to verify whether an alarm call is legit. But that was about it for the bouquets, which points to the long-standing need to better educate customers and improve relationships with law enforcement to reduce false dispatches.

It’s either that or the doghouse.  

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