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News and Notes


News and Notes

Midwest Alarm expands into Nebraska

August 3, 2016Paul Ragusa, Editor

DES MOINES, Iowa—Midwest Alarm Services, a provider of life safety systems based here, has acquired Electric Specialties Company of Omaha, Neb., a company that also specializes in life safety systems, including service, inspection and monitoring services to more than 350 customers. The terms of the deal between the two companies were not disclosed. Established in 1950, Midwest Alarm Services became part of Per Mar Security Services through an acquisition in 1998, which allowed the then small...

Electric Specialties Company, Midwest Alarm Services, Per Mar Security Services


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Industry alarmed about overtime pay rule

July 27, 2016Paul Ragusa, Editor

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently submitted revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that would raise the salary threshold for earning overtime pay. Presently, only those employees making less than $455.00 per week are eligible for overtime compensation. The DOL's new rule increases this eligibility minimum to any employee making less than $913.00, an increase that many in the security industry and on Capitol Hill feel will put a financial strain on businesses, which are supposed...

ESA, Overtime Rule


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ADT gets into the Ring

July 20, 2016Paul Ragusa, Editor

ADT announced earlier this week that the Ring video doorbell is now available for its customers nationwide. While the Ring has made some noise in the smart doorbell category, there are many options to choose from when it comes to this first-line-of-defense product for homeowners. Others who have had success with doorbell cameras include Vivint, Skybell and August, to name just a few. As more and more consumers begin to embrace smart home products like the video doorbell, dealers are adding these...

ADT, alarm.com, Amazon Echo, August, Honeywell, iControl Networks, IFTTT, Kwikset, monitronics, Nest


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Pokemon—NO!

July 13, 2016Paul Ragusa, Editor

YARMOUTH, Maine—Security dealers have a new security threat to warn homeowners about: Teenagers and adults (yes, grown men and women) taking to the streets, on foot and in their cars, to capture Pokemon creatures with their phones, in and around your neighborhoods, your mailboxes (more on this later), your garages, your backyards—you name it. If for some reason you have been living under a rock and haven't heard, Pokemon is making a comeback in a big way, in the form of a location-based...

Pokemon, Residential Security


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Nortek acquired

July 6, 2016Paul Ragusa, Editor

Melrose Industries Plc, a UK-based investment firm with a penchant for quick turnarounds, announced today that is has acquired Nortek, Inc., a global company with brands including 2GIG, NuTone and Elan. What this means for Nortek Security & Control, which specializes in residential security and home automation products and services, is still unclear. As I wait to hear back from both Nortek and Melrose for more on the particulars of this deal, the big question is: What kind of impact will this have...

Melrose, Nortek


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Is the smart home window of opportunity closing for dealers?

June 29, 2016Paul Ragusa, Editor

With more and more consumers adopting smart home technology, and more and more players moving into the smart home space, this is a pivotal time for security dealers, as the window of opportunity to reconnect with customers—and let them know about all of the interactive services they can now provide as part of the overall security package—will only stay open for so long. In terms of smart home adoption, almost every day a new study comes out showing that Americans are embracing smart home...

CNET, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, Parks Associates, smart home


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Smart home wars heating up

June 22, 2016Paul Ragusa, Editor

Just as we have seen with the smart phone revolution, the battle for the smart home looks like it will be just as hotly contested, as there is no denying that consumers today are embracing the smart home concept. Studies are popping up weekly confirming that demand is increasing for smart home products and services as homeowners learn more about smart home and home automation technology available today. The latest research, from market research firm Berg Insight out of Gothenburg, Sweden, shows that...

Amazon, Apple, Berg Insight, Google, Microsoft, smart home


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Economist to security dealers: acquire and hire now

June 15, 2016Paul Ragusa, Editor

ClosingKeynote.jpg Economist Alan Beaulieu, closing keynote speaker at the ESX 2016 show that wrapped up last week in Fort Worth, Texas, was back by popular demand and did not disappoint, as he was able to mix economic forecasting with a wry sense of humor that had attendees both intellectually riveted and spitting out their drinks at the same time. After telling the audience, “Another great depression is coming in 2030,” as baby boomers continue to age and put pressure on...

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ESX 2016 Report

June 7, 2016Paul Ragusa, Editor

Friday, June 10 I started the final day at ESX sitting in on a session titled, “Rethinking the Political Landscape - How to Impact the Industry through Legislative Action,” which was moderated by Robert Few, director, Time Warner Cable - IntelligentHome, and featured panelists Todd Baxter, regional vice president of government affairs, Texas, Time Warner Cable, and David Morris, founder, Modern Systems Inc. The Panel emphasized taking a proactive role through industry representation with...

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Smart home mania or madness?

June 1, 2016Paul Ragusa, Editor

With the flood of new smart home products hitting the market these days, one of the things I look forward to each day is checking my Google Alerts to see what new surprises this wild west of home automation and connectivity is bringing us now. From smart toasters that tell you when your toast is ready, or if you like, that toasts the past night's sports scores right onto the bread for you, to a smart-fridge that tells you when you need more milk, the number and volume of new smart home products hitting...

home automation, smart home


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