Security Systems News

March 2011

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20 FIRE SYSTEMS INSTALLATION MARCH 2011 SECURITY SYSTEMS NEWS FIRE SYSTEMS INSTALLATION Great Lakes trend leader By Tess Nacelewicz BUFFALO, N.Y.—Being ahead of the mass notifica- tion curve has paid off for Great Lakes Building Systems, helping it win con- tracts worth about $850,000, according to company president John Wojdan. are extremely robust and all our systems are supervised to com- ply with the national fire codes.” So the company of He said that the 10-year-old company, which is based here and is a Notifier Engineered Systems Co. affili- ate and a certified Honeywell Commercial Security Systems dealer, realized over the past few years that “the fire guys ... would be the leaders in mass notification because our systems John Wojdan about 25 employees geared up for that trend. Then they got a job about a year ago with Moog, a world- wide aerospace design- er and manufacturer headquartered in nearby East Aurora, N.Y., to upgrade the fire alarm system in a 300,000- square-foot plant. Great Lakes noticed that the huge plant had only a telephone system, which didn’t always work, to alert people of a fire or other emergency, Wojdan said. Company prepared to integrate fire and mass notification systems So he said his company sug- gested tying a mass notification system in with the fire alarm system they were installing. Great Lakes ended up install- ing a Notifier by Honeywell system in plant 11 with REACT Systems mass notification soft- ware, he said. Moog was so pleased with the $300,000 job that it has led to more, Wojdan said. This year, Great Lakes is expecting to get more than a half a mil- lion dollars to complete similar jobs in two more Moog plants, he said. “I guess the lesson to be learned in our business is that the true integration of systems TREND see page 21 $4m to aid in fire research By Tess Nacelewicz QUINCY, Mass.—The National Fire Protection Association has made a $4 million addition to the Fire Protection Research Foundation’s endowment. The nonprofit foundation, based here, is involved in research that is key to the suc- cess of the industry, ranging from determining the best place to install smoke alarms on an uneven ceiling to what the most effective words are to use in a verbal emergency notification system to help people under- stand what to do, said Kathleen Almand, the foundation’s execu- tive director. The money will strengthen the ability of the foundation to do such research, she said. “It’s wonderful,” Almand told Security Systems News when the NFPA announced the funding Jan. 26. Almand said the endowment “enables us to undertake projects in a very efficient and cost-effec- tive manner.” The foundation’s endowment now stands at $10 million, Almand said. The NFPA estab- lished a $6 million endowment for the foundation in 2008 on the 25th anniversary of the foundation’s establishment. The independent foundation is an affiliate of the NFPA and, according to that group, “plans, manages and communicates consortium-funded research on a broad range of fire safety issues in collaboration with scientists and laboratories around the world.” SSN Good service = good jobs By Tess Nacelewicz COLCHESTER, Vt.—Good cus- tomer service has given Safety Systems of Vermont steady growth in its eight years of existence, and led to a $250,000 project retrofit- ting the Burlington International Airport’s fire alarm system, said co-owner Scott Carroll. “Customer service is what got us where we are,” said Carroll of the five-employee company, based here. Now the Gamewell-FCI dis- tributor for northern Vermont, Carroll said the company, of which Tracie Cole is the primary owner, “didn’t have a product line when we started. It was just test- ing and maintenance of systems so we really concentrated on that and keeping the customers happy on the cus- tomer service side of things.” Carroll said 80 percent of the company’s business is fire, and it also does security, access control and CCTV. The vast majority of its business is in the commercial and government verticals, and its approximately 200 custom- ers include the University of Scott Carroll Vermont and the airport, Carroll said. Safety Systems has been the service company for the airport for about six years, maintaining its fire alarm system. “We were able to go right in there and really do a good job for them keeping their systems up to speed as best we could,” Carroll said. It was a challenge, he said, because the airport had two dif- ferent brands of fire alarms “and one brand didn’t talk to the other AIRPORT see page 23 American Security to grow fire business By Martha Entwistle LONG ISLAND CITY, N.Y.— Kenneth Gould, who took over as president of American Security Systems here on Jan. 1, believes this diversified company is ripe for growth, particularly its fire division. “Right now fire is 20 percent of our business, I’d like to grow it to 35 percent in the next two years,” he told Security Systems News. Gould succeeds Larry Dolin, who now is CEO. Gould, previ- ously American’s general manager for two years, is an industry vet- eran. He founded Gould Security Systems, which was acquired in 1999; was SVP for Casey Systems, a fire and security integrator; and was CEO of Statewide Fire and Security, a central station. American Security Systems— which does a lot of business in For a more robust version of stories in this section, see: WWW.SECURITYSYSTEMSNEWS.COM n Manhattan and Queens, but also extends to the tri-state area—has 65 employees and is about 50 percent commercial and 50 per- cent residential. Most of its resi business is in the multi-family category. “Our buildings have any- where from two or four tenants to hundreds of tenants,” he said. It has 8,000 monitored custom- ers, using Statewide Monitoring for third-party monitoring. It does video, both IP and ana- log, intercom work, card access as well as standard intrusion for commercial and residential. A specialty is the installation and monitoring of systems such as Easy Lobby, Safe Lobby and Video Doorman, systems particularly well-suited to city dwellings and office buildings. Gould says he sees lots of opportunity for growth with these systems. American also is fully approved to do fire installation and main- tenance in New York City, a designation not easy to achieve, Gould noted. SSN BRIEFS Wisconsin adopts latest edition of NFPA 1 code QUINCY, Mass.—The state of Wisconsin has adopted the most recent edition of NFPA 1, Fire Code, according to the National Fire Protection Association. The adoption became effective on January 1. Recognized worldwide and adopted by 18 states, NFPA 1 provides requirements necessary to establish a reasonable level of fire safety and property protection from hazards created by fire and explosion. Its primary purposes are to address basic fire prevention requirements and to ref- erence or extract the fire prevention and protection aspects of many other NFPA codes and standards. Wisconsin has participated in train- ing and is scheduled for additional future trainings through programs developed by NFPA and offered to states that have adopted NFPA 1 and other key NFPA codes and standards. CSAA joins with IAFC to get false alarm facts out VIENNA, Va.—The Central Station Alarm Association worked with the International Association of Fire Chiefs over the past year as the IAFC came up with some proposed NFPA code changes to combat the problem of frequent false alarms in commercial facilities. Now the two groups are fighting “considerable misinformation and distortion of the facts” about the pro- posals, the CSAA said in January. The CSAA, based here, is referring the industry to a fact sheet on the IAFC web site written to debunk what that group describes as “myths” regarding the pro- posals. The groups also are urging a national-level discussion on the issue. The fact sheet says among the untruths are claims that a proposed 90-second verification delay is dangerous. In fact, the IAFC said, the delay leads to greater safety because responders can attend to real emergencies instead of false alarms. Visonic launches new wireless detector TEL AVIV—Visonic, a developer and manufacturer of safety systems and com- ponents, in January, announced its new MCT-427 wireless smoke and heat detec- tor, compatible with Visonic’s PowerMax family. Streamlined to fit any residential or commercial application, the MCT-427 has extended battery life of up to eight years. It can sense rapid temperature chang- es and detect smoke. The MCT-427 monitors temperature changes and acti- vates an alarm when the temperature reaches 122 degrees Fahrenheit and rap- idly increases. The detector emits visual and voice warnings and the control panel instantly alerts a central station and/or privatephone number.

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