Talking panels and keypads with Patrick Egan

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

As a senior in high school, Patrick Egan, owner of Lancaster, Pa.-based Select Security, worked at a bowling alley that was broken into one night. Having installed a TV antenna before, he had some electronic experience, so the owner approached him about installing a security alarm. The system had no direct wire and was connected only to a telephone dialer that rang the owner’s house. Two weeks later, the alley was burglarized again, but this time, thanks to the alarm, the perpetrator was caught. That was 1969. Egan has been a mainstay in the industry since then. He talked to Security Systems News on how he handles security at home.

What kind of security system do you have? I use a Honeywell 128 commercial burg-fire panel at my house, with a partition system, touch keypads and AlarmNet service. We also use the Total Connect with touchscreens. As a redundancy to the AlarmNet service, we have an AES radio, so I’m on the mesh network if the cellular doesn’t work.

Why this particular setup? The size of the house dictated that we use more than a small residential panel. We probably have close to 100 zones, and the house is partitioned into the main house, gym, garage and garage storage area. So we went with the partition system, and with the 128 I have four area arming capabilities. The touchscreen is very easy to arm and disarm, and if we get an alarm I know exactly what point on the property it’s coming from. In addition, we have a 16-camera surveillance system on the property, which we have the ability to view over any one of our television sets.

What is one aspect of your security system that you wouldn’t want to live without? I wouldn’t want to live without Total Connect and the interactive capabilities of the system. I can live without lots of things, but I have to have that.

Where do you see security going next? What are some big trends? The No. 1 change is the interactive systems. We put on 2,600 residential accounts last year, and 100 percent of them were interactive, and 100 percent of them were cellular. We’re not connecting to a phone line even if the customer has it. We’re also seeing a big shift in integration on the commercial side. We’re seeing more requests for more integration.

KICKER: Egan’s home was one of the first in Lancaster County, Pa., to have a residential fire sprinkler system.