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North Carolina may pass CO legislation after hotel poisonings

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07/10/2013

ST. CHARLES, Ill.—Several recent deaths caused by carbon monoxide poisoning in a North Carolina hotel room may lead to a law in that state requiring CO detectors in lodging places.

North Carolina hotel room a CO deathtrap?

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

North Carolina requires carbon monoxide detectors in homes and apartments, but not in hotels. Now, some tragic deaths in a hotel room in Boone, N.C. make a compelling argument for a CO detector mandate for hotels.

First, an elderly couple died in April in room 225 in the Best Western Plus Blue Ridge Plaza, according to news reports. Then, on Saturday, an 11-year-old boy was found dead in the same room, reports say.

Blood tests show that the April deaths were due to CO poisoning, according to TIME Magazine.

Next to die, on June 8, was the young boy, Jeffrey Lee Williams. “The cause of death was determined to be asphyxia, meaning his lungs couldn’t get enough oxygen,” TIME reported June 9. “Williams, from Rock Hill, S.C., died spontaneously, and his 49-year-old mother was hospitalized in critical condition — circumstances strangely similar to that of Daryl Dean Jenkins, 73, and Shirley Mae Jenkins, 72, from Longview, Wash., who were found dead in the same room on April 16.”

It has not yet been established if CO poisoning caused the boy to die and his mother to become ill, news reports said. But TIME said that an initial test taken the day the boy died “showed a high amount of poisonous gas in the room.” A toxicology analysis is pending, the magazine said.

The report says police didn’t explain why it took two months to get toxicology results on what caused the Jenkins to die. Earlier results, the magazine said,  “could have led to the closing of the hotel long before Williams’ death.”

The magazine added, “Room 225 is directly above the room housing a natural gas heater for the hotel’s swimming pool. Documents obtained by the Charlotte Observer show a Watauga County Health Department report indicating deficiencies in the pool.”

According to an NBC report, the independently owned and operated hotel released a statement saying, “The health and safety of guests who stay at our hotel is our No. 1 priority. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of those involved. We are cooperating fully with authorities who are investigating this truly tragic incident.”

According to a new interactive map of CO legislation in the United States developed by System Sensor, North Carolina’s law requiring CO detectors in homes and multi-family dwellings took effect Jan. 1, 2010. System Sensor, based in St. Charles, Ill., makes fire detection and notification devices, including carbon monoxide detectors.

New CO laws lead to more detector demand

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05/17/2013

ST. CHARLES, Ill.—A new Washington state law that went into effect Jan. 1 mandates carbon monoxide detectors in new single-family homes and all new and existing apartments and rental houses.

ISC West: DMP panels offer ‘more for less’; System Sensor launches combined CO/smoke detector; FLIR aims for infrared cameras in every home

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I spent my first morning at ISC West on Tuesday at a rather “unique” forum made up of DMP dealers. The talk there included discussion of the Springfield, Mo.-based manufacturer’s new XR150/350/550 Series access, burglary, and fire panel that the company is showcasing here in Las Vegas.

“We’ve tried to pack as much stuff as we could in this panel,” Rick Britton, DMP CEO and president, told the dealers. He said it’s extremely fast and it’s affordable. “More for less,” he said.

The one-day DMP forum was an owners forum, the second year DMP has held such an event. David Peebles, DMP VP of training and quality, said, “We think the idea is unique”—having DMP executives sit down and discuss ideas with the owners of top DMP dealer companies.

Included in the forum was a presentation by Stanley Oppenheim of New York-based DGA Security Systems, who spoke about how his company weathered Hurricane Sandy. Alan Kruglak of Maryland-based Genesis Security, a security/life safety provider, gave a talk on service contracts and how they can be even more lucrative then monitoring contracts.

In the afternoon, I talked with System Sensor’s director of communications, David George, about the company’s new i4 Series Combination CO/Smoke Detector and Integration Module that it’s launching here at the show.

“The i4 Series is the first low-voltage, system-connected, combination smoke and carbon monoxide detection solution on the market,” according to a company news release. The i4 can be integrated into conventional security and fire panels.

I wrote last spring about a new intelligent combined fire/co detector from Gamewell-FCI by Honeywell. That addressable detector is ideal for large facilities such as hotels, dormitories, apartment buildings, hospitals and nursing homes.

The System Sensor conventional combination CO/smoke solution is the answer for smaller spaces, such as businesses and residences, George told me.

On Tuesday evening, I headed to an event put on by FLIR Systems, an Oregon-based manufacturer of thermal imaging infrared cameras. It makes products that are used in commercial and military applications, but also ones used by consumers, such as hand-held thermal imaging cameras that can be used by recreational boaters or hunters.

Thermal cameras detect images through the heat they emit so can operate in total darkness. The FLIR event was held at the Bali Hai Golf Course, and with the aid of such an infrared device, we could clearly see FLIR employees chasing golf balls on the golf course, even though it was pitch dark out.

And now, with FLIR’s acquisition last year of Lorex Technology, a Toronto-based video surveillance provider, it aims to provide thermal imaging cameras to the home market.

Lorex sells enterprise-grade video products sold through the security channel under the brand name Digimerge; Lorex itself sells video products sold through retail outlets for small businesses and homeowners. The company has hundreds of thousands of customers.

FLIR President Andy Teich said the company’s aim is to offer a low-resolution thermal imaging camera that is affordable to the average homeowner. The cost eventually could perhaps be as low as about $200, said Bill Klink, FLIR VP of business development.

Teich said FLIR’s goal is have infrared technology be “ultimately ubiquitous” in the way that GPS technology is. GPS, he said, answers the question, “Where am I?” and “thermal imaging will tell you what’s out there.

Honeywell names new fire leader

Gary Lederer will head a new umbrella organization, Honeywell Life Safety (HLS) Fire Solutions, Americas
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02/20/2013

NORTHFORD, Conn.—Honeywell announced this week that it has created a new umbrella organization, Honeywell Life Safety (HLS) Fire Solutions, Americas, under which Honeywell Fire Systems and System Sensor will work more closely together.

SIA, N.J. college to launch security degree program

Goal is to develop work-ready college grads, expand program nationwide
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01/21/2013

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—In an effort to increase the number of well-qualified job candidates for security integrators and manufacturers, the Security Industry Association is working with Mercer County Community College to launch a new security systems and technology degree progr

Tweet smart: Cashing in on social media

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

You don’t have to look very hard to find an alarm company that isn’t keeping pace with technology. It can be difficult to stay on top of the latest and greatest, and some people are reluctant—or even defiant—when it comes to saying goodbye to the tried and true in favor of the Next Big Thing.

That attitude often spills over to the world of social media. Facebook? Twitter? “Friends” and Tweets fly just fine for the junior set, but we’re adults here. Besides, who has that kind of time to throw around?

Maybe your competition.

Social media is rapidly becoming a must-have business tool, and companies that aren’t wielding it effectively risk selling themselves short in an increasingly aggressive marketplace. Exposure and name recognition can translate into accounts no matter where you’re based or how big you are.

That fact hasn’t been lost on the Central Station Alarm Association, which will host a webinar Nov. 7 on social media strategies and how they can affect your business. Teresa Brewer of System Sensor and Michael Kremer of Intertek/ETL will discuss how to use social media to acquire customers or get referrals, boost attendance at company-sponsored events, and increase inquiries via your website or over the phone.

For those who have a success story to pass along, email Brewer at Teresa.brewer@systemsensor.com or Kremer at Michael.kremer@intertek.com. Registration information for the webinar will be available soon on the CSAA’s website.

Welcome aboard: In other CSAA news, the group’s international board of directors has approved Jay Hauhn as first vice president of the Executive Committee and Peter Lowitt as secretary. Hauhn is CTO of Tyco Integrated Security; Lowitt is president of Hicksville, N.Y.-based Lowitt Alarms & Security.

“The CSAA Nominating Committee did an exceptional job in vetting these outstanding candidates, and the unanimous vote of the board of directors reflects the complete confidence of the board in both of these exceptional gentlemen,” CSAA Executive Vice President Steve Doyle said in a prepared statement.

Mapping CO legislation—and business opportunities

A new interactive map by System Sensor tracks CO laws as they’re enacted state by state, helping dealers identify new markets for the devices
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04/17/2012

ST. CHARLES, Ill.—Dealers and installers: It’s now easier than ever to keep up to date on new carbon-monoxide detector legislation that can lead to increased business, thanks to a revised interactive CO map developed by System Sensor.

Survey: Many in N.Y. unaware of new CO law

Amanda’s Law took effect in 2010 but many families don’t have carbon monoxide detectors
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05/05/2011

MEBANE, N.C.—About a year after a new carbon monoxide detector mandate in New York went into effect, a new survey has found that nearly half of New York families still don’t know about the law, according to Kidde, a manufacturer of fire and CO safety products based here.
Amanda’s Law, which requires working CO detectors in all one- and two-family homes that have appliances or heating sources that may emit CO or have attached garages, went into effect just over a year ago.

Calif. sprinkler measure lacks monitoring requirement

Sprinkler requirement for new residences is unlikely to generate revenue for alarm companies
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01/13/2011

PACHECO, Calif.—On Jan. 1 this year, California joined Pennsylvania in becoming the first states in the nation to require the installation of automatic fire sprinkler systems in new one- and two-family homes.