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Judge stays ADT’s second lawsuit against Vision Security

ADT ordered to first comply with previous settlement agreement it made with the door-knocking company in an earlier lawsuit over deceptive sales techniques
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04/30/2014

OREM, Utah and BOCA RATON, Fla.—A federal judge has put a 45-day hold on a second lawsuit that ADT had brought against Utah-based Vision Security over alleged deceptive sales practices. During that time, the two companies must follow a recent settlement agreement ADT worked out with Vision after ADT previously sued that door-knocking company on very similar charges.

ESA takes to the Hill

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

ESA just wrapped up its annual Day on Capitol Hill, bringing to the attention of lawmakers several topics of consequence for the security industry, including school security.

The ESA has positioned itself as a partner with Security Industry Association in developing a comprehensive guide to help end users and legislators better understand what electronic security technologies they have at their disposal to bolster school security.

“Most school districts don’t know what type of security to install, and many legislators don’t understand all the technology that’s out there and what exists,” said Daniel Gelinas, who attended the event in his capacity as government liaison for Rapid Response Monitoring. ESA’s Electronic Security Guidelines for Schools, he said, were designed as an authoritative resource to address that knowledge gap.  

The timing of the school security guide is especially good, in light of the latest appropriations act cleared by Congress in January, which contains $75 million in funding for assessing methods to improve school security.

But ESA’s activities on the Hill weren’t limited just to school security matters. The association and industry members are also pushing for expanding the industry’s access to the FBI’s background check database, allowing security companies to better vet their employees for prior criminal activity.

Gelinas said the pair of bills addressing this (one in the House, another in the Senate) would not be a mandate. Rather, if enacted, they would allow security companies in the 26 states without the licensing requirement for the database to access it.

The organization was also in the Capitol promoting funding measures that would protect against elderly abuse through expanded use of video surveillance in nursing homes. Gelinas noted that this would not be a mandate for health care facilities, but would instead give concerned families the option to use electronic security systems to ensure that elderly relatives are getting proper medication and care.

The final area of focus for ESA was getting Congress to back a balanced approach for smoke alarms and other early fire detection systems, putting them on “the same footing as sprinklers” when it comes to receiving tax incentives and government grants, Gelinas said. That would involve amending the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act to include life safety, fire and smoke alarms.

I plan to give more space to this final issue, and some of the aforementioned ones, in an upcoming legislative roundup.

SW24 earns UL listing

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04/29/2014

NEW YORK—SW24 Security has received Underwriters Laboratories certification for meeting all requirements under the UL standard for central station alarm service, according to a news release.

Low frequency fire appliances more audible, meet new code

Hotels and other commercial sleeping places must now have such devices to help alert heavy sleepers and the hearing impaired of a fire
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04/29/2014

LAS VEGAS—When a fire alarm activates during a fire, the high-frequency sound it emits can be insufficient to alert some hearing impaired individuals or even just sound sleepers. But System Sensor has some new low frequency notification appliances that address that problem because they’re easier for such people to hear, according to David George, the company’s director of marketing communications.

Guardian brings in former central station leader at AT&T

Jason Bradley says ASAP to PSAP is 'high on the deployment list'
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04/28/2014

WARRENDALE, Pa.—Jason Bradley, the newly hired director of central station operations at Guardian Protection Services, was drawn to the company in part because of the management team’s vision of the central station as a centerpiece of its message to customers and dealers.

Tuxedo Touch demo apps available for iOS and Android

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04/24/2014

MELVILLE, N.Y.—Honeywell’s new Tuxedo Touch demo app is available for download from iTunes and Google Play, according to Honeywell marketing communications specialist Natasha Ramjit.

MobileHelp earns new patent

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04/23/2014

BOCA RATON, Fla.—MobileHelp, a provider of mobile PERS technology, announced that it was issued its ninth patent, titled “Human Health Monitoring Systems and Methods,” which extends beyond simple emergency response to a “broader ecosystem for health monitoring,” accordin

Investor speculates on Monitronics outlook

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Greater visibility, broader market acceptance and (for some central stations) more wholesale monitoring accounts are just some of the benefits often mentioned in connection with the entrance of cablecos and telecoms into security.

A recent Wholesale Monitoring study by the Barnes Associates (co-sponsored by the CSAA and SSN) largely attributed the 19 percent growth the segment enjoyed in 2013 to the influence of the new entrants. To be sure, there seems to be a prevailing belief that the rangy, big-money advertising campaigns of such companies can be the proverbial “rising tide that lifts all boats.”

That’s not to say there’s no ambivalence. That was apparent enough in a recent SSN News Poll that dealt with the topic. A number of readers expressed concern about the long-term viability of smaller players in the home security space, given the influx of these major corporations who have already made inroads into the home through Internet and cable, and thus have that previously established “stickiness.”

That ambivalence was also reflected in a recent analysis by Rajiv Bhatia on Seeking Alpha, a crowdsourced platform for investment-based ideas, who discussed what the new market players could mean for Ascent Capital, the holding company of Monitronics. Bhatia acknowledged that the company faces “increased competition” from the large new cableco/telecom entrants, which he says are gaining traction despite unsuccessful forays into the market in the past.

Regarding Monitronics’ business model, Bhatia offered a mixture of encouraging and somewhat cautionary words:

“While management and sell-side analysts believe that Ascent is better insulated from competition via its dealer-only business model, Ascent faces upward pressure on the multiple it pays for its dealer contracts from competitors. Additionally, its growth through its internal channels is weakening.”

Those multiples, he noted earlier, are based on an RMR multiple of 50. Ascent faces “upward pressure on the multiple it pays to acquire contracts,” he said.

With more than 1 million subscribers, Monitronics trails only ADT in terms of marketshare in the alarm monitoring space. It will be interesting to watch what happens to the market presence of both companies as the cableco/telecom ads continue to appear on our television screens.

ASG buys in Louisiana, Florida

Optimism abounds at ASG after auspicious Q1
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04/23/2014

BELTSVILLE, Md.—Bolstering its platforms in Louisiana and Florida, super-regional security company ASG on April 22 announced two acquisitions: Alarm Detection Systems (ADS) of Houma, La., and Amsafe Security Systems, based in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Startup’s mPERS device has siren, camera, pepper spray

Pangaea, developer of the Defender, is crowdfunding, hopes to emulate success of Canary
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04/23/2014

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif.—A developer of Internet-enabled life safety products is teaming up with a central station software provider to bring what it’s calling “everywhere security” to alarm monitoring.

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