SafeTech Alarm offers free home fire installation

All customers of the Canadian company need to do is sign up for a three-year monitoring contract
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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

TORONTO—Installing an alarm system for free to entice customers to sign up for a multiyear monitoring contract is a common home security mass marketing strategy. And now a Toronto company is taking that strategy further, extending it to home fire alarms.

SafeTech Alarm Systems announced its free fire protection program early in November. The company said that the program allows “customers to protect their properties with superior fire detection technology without having to pay expensive up-front fees for installation. The monitored fire alarms will be installed at no cost to clients who agree to monthly fire alarm monitoring services [for three years].”

Sean O’Leary, CEO and founder of SafeTech, told Security Systems News that the program is targeted primarily at homeowners and in addition to fire, can be expanded to include monitoring of flooding and carbon monoxide alarms.

“Let’s face it,” O’Leary said. “There are other hazards besides invasion. So the idea is, if you want some of these other hazards monitored, we’re happy to take a look at that, and we can put in a system at no charge the way we have in the past with respect to a burglar alarm.”

This actually is the second time the company, which O’Leary said is one of the largest independent security/life safety providers in Toronto, Canada’s most populous city, has tried the promotion. O’Leary said he doesn’t like to give out numbers when it comes to his customers, but he said that about two years ago the city ran some newspaper ads about free fire installation “and it seemed to resonate, so we decided to try it again.”

He said that basically, the company is offering to put in “two or three [photoelectric] smoke detectors at no charge and then letting people pay $25 a month, and they get their home protected for fire, and insurance companies will give them a discount on insurance, so there’s a win there as well.”

According to the company’s website, the DSC 1616 Kit it is offering customers includes a 16-zone control panel, a 16-zone keypad with fire, ambulance and panic buttons, door and window contacts, one motion detector, one indoor siren and one backup battery—all for $25.95 per month.

As part of its promotion, SafeTech plans to use the opportunity “to stress how dangerous fires can be and how crucial it is that all properties have appropriate fire protection installed.” O’Leary said that small businesses could also take advantage of the offer as well.

Fire represents about 10 percent of SafeTech’s business, and it’s growing, O’Leary said, adding that “10 percent is not an insignificant number. It’s another spoke in the wheel.”

The business, founded in 1990 and now with 46 employees, also offers a variety of security services in addition to fire protection in 50 cities across Canada and has “thousands and thousands” of customers, O’Leary said. Its monitoring partner is API Alarm, which has five central stations throughout Canada, he said.