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Cooper Notification: New LED appliances are ‘industry’s first’

A Florida fire company likes the devices because they’re energy efficient and have a smaller profile than traditional ones
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06/05/2012

POMPANO BEACH, Fla.—Advanced Fire & Security, based here, is eager to start installing Cooper Notification’s new LED notification appliances for reasons that include energy efficiency, ease of installation and a smaller profile, according to the company’s owners.

LifeShield socially savvy about home security

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Monday, June 4, 2012

A lot of companies talk about the need to employ social media to promote home security, but LifeShield Security doesn’t just talk about it—it’s really using the social online space in a wide variety of ways. It doesn’t just have a Facebook page, according to a recent company news release, but uses all kinds of social media, from virtual pinboards to viral memes and videos.

Yardley, Pa.-based LifeShield offers wireless digital home security systems that are self-installed and professionally monitored. I’ve written here before about LifeShield’s penchant for tapping into the popular zeitgeist. For example, LifeShield in 2010 brought on NFL Hall of Famer Dan Marino as an investor and to help market its product on TV. In 2011, the company added John Timoney—“America’s Top Cop”—as an advisor to help the company and customers protect against burglars with the aid of Timoney's inside knowledge of criminals’ minds.

Also, LifeShield last year piggybacked on the popularity of Airbnb—an Internet "bed-and-breakfast" service though which people can rent rooms or homes for vacations from private home and apartment owners—by offering a free home security camera promotion to Airbnb landlords.

Recently, LifeShield put out a release detailing its “multi-tiered approach” to social media to attract customers. Here’s more from the June 1 release:
 

LifeShield has learned how to connect with its users in new ways while also providing a social online atmosphere where customers can engage with each other.

"Popular contests, thousands of Facebook followers, and a growing library of viral videos show just how much consumers have come to love LifeShield," said Shannon Dominello, CMO, LifeShield. "Because LifeShield's wireless technology is as much a lifestyle choice as it is a financial one for customers, we have embraced social media as a way to reach out to them on a personal level and it has really paid off.  We now have a direct line into how they think, communicate and react to us as a company, as well as to general interest news and topics.  This helps us better understand our customers and ultimately, deliver a better product."

LifeShield is present on the Web in multiple ways for customers and potential customers to get involved and have some fun. A sampling of LifeShield's social media presence includes:

•    Infographics on topics like Best Guard Dogs, Residential Home Security and others that deliver real data and information in an easy format with clever images that's fun to read.
•    Facebook page with thousands of followers.  Activity spikes around frequent contests and giveaways where consumers can win the latest tech gadgets.
•    YouTube Channel for Fan and How-To videos for hooking up your LifeShield system. Customers post new videos regularly offering tips and techniques for fellow customers on best ways to install and unique ideas    on securing different areas around the home.
•    Home Security Blog covers crime and home security articles in the news as well as lifestyle and general interest stories.
•    Family and Parenthood Blog for general interest stories geared to Moms.
•    Viral memes and videos is a page listing helpful and entertaining home security "shorts" to help keep the bad out of your home and neighborhood. Samples include "Bad Home Security Ideas" and "Protect what You Love" videos.
•    DIY Pinterest images to interact with customers through virtual pinboards. We pin everything from wireless tech gadgets to DIY home tips.

 

New ADT Pulse app gives customers personalized 'Home View'

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Friday, June 1, 2012

ADT announced today it’s offering a free upgrade for users of ADT Pulse, which it launched in October 2010. ADT's new automated “Home View” application will allow customers to “remotely interact with home devices via a personalized floor plan viewed on a mobile device or the Web,” the company said in its June 1 release.

Here are more details from the release:
 

This additional software feature allows ADT Pulse customers to easily and quickly map a virtual floor plan of their home and then remotely monitor and interact with their ADT Pulse devices via any web enabled PC, iPhone or iPad.

Once a customer sets up Home View via their personal ADT Pulse sign in page, they can view color-coded icons of their security devices, lights, thermostats and cameras. By clicking on the icons, customers can easily control their home’s lighting, climate and many small appliances. And if they have cameras, customers can quickly view real time video by simply clicking the video icons. A Home View video demonstration is available at www.ADTPulse.com/Home-View.

I’ve got a call in to Boca Raton-based ADT to find out more about how this new app can help dealers gain more business.

 

Good news from The Hill

 - 
Friday, June 1, 2012

The Security Industry Association  this morning announced some good news for the industry. The House on May 30 passed H. R. 1299, the Secure Border Act.

Thanks to SIA’s efforts in the past year, the bill includes provisions important to the security industry.  As SIA’s press release put it: The bill “promotes the use of a comprehensive technology plan for major surveillance and detection technology programs, including a justification and rationale for technology choices and deployment locations."

I spoke to Marcus Dunn, SIA’s director of government relations, this morning and he had more good news:  Prospects are good for passage in the Senate.

The bill passed on suspension in the House—that means that it was passed by a supermajority on a voice vote. When bills are passed on suspension “the assumption is that it’s non-controversial,” Dunn said.

“Given that, we should have the ability to get it passed in the Senate,” he said. "If Congress can get [bills passed] without too much hassle before November, they are generally interested in doing that,” Dunn said.

If the Senate is able to do the same thing as the House, (it’s called unanimous consent in the Senate) the bill won’t have to go to conference and can quickly be signed into law by the president, Dunn pointed out.

The measure will be sent to a Senate committee early next week, although there is a process where the bill could skip committee assignment and go straight to the floor calendar for a vote, according to SIA's manager of government relations Stephen Holton.

"We are monitoring this legislation closely and intend on weighing in with comment once the proper committee jurisdiction is determined," Holton told me in an email.

Here’s some more information from the SIA news release:

“The bill was introduced by Rep. Candice Miller of Michigan, by recommending strategies that feature video cameras and other security technologies, ensuring that the use of electronic physical security equipment would be a priority within the Department of Homeland Security’s border security strategies. H.R. 1299 promotes the use of a comprehensive technology plan for major surveillance and detection technology programs, including a justification and rationale for technology choices and deployment locations.

“The Secure Border Act will direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to submit to Congress a comprehensive strategy for gaining operational control of the international borders between U.S. ports of entry, and also calls for the development of a five-year plan to ensure the vision of complete operational control is being met in border areas
The strategy will propose, among other things, staffing requirements, infrastructure investments, and the use of unmanned aerial vehicle, detection, and security equipment.
The bill is awaiting introduction into the U.S. Senate, which goes back into session on Monday, June 4.  SIA will restate its support for passage of this measure to the appropriate Senate committee once the jurisdiction of this bill is determined.

Integrated opening new office in N.C.

Integrated Security & Communications takes a hybrid approach to integration
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05/30/2012

TOMS RIVER, N.J.—Propelled by its work in the pharmaceutical vertical, Integrated Security & Communications is opening a new office in Raleigh, N.C.

DVTEL moves beyond startup mode, looks down market for growth

Stern’s goal is to grow north of 18 percent annually
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05/30/2012

RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J.—One year after taking the helm, DVTEL CEO Yoav Stern says the company is eyeing the middle market for growth as it transitions from its startup phase to become a larger player in the IP video surveillance space.

Ackerman launches five-year plan

The Atlanta-based super-regional moved outside of Georgia for first time in 2010, plans to do it again within the year.
 - 
05/30/2012

ATLANTA—Ackerman Security Systems has a new president, plans to expand to a new market within about a year, and has revealed an ambitious new growth plan that calls for doubling its revenue over the next five years.

Cox launches home security in Phoenix

The cable company expands its trial of Cox Home Security, which started in Tucson last summer
 - 
05/30/2012

ATLANTA—Cox Communications has expanded the trial of its home security/home automation offering to Greater Phoenix. The expansion follows the success of a trial of Cox Home Security in Tucson, Ariz., which began last June, the company said.

GPS ‘a different animal’ for central stations

Experts say mobile devices bring new challenges that require new approaches
 - 
05/30/2012

YARMOUTH, Maine—What’s worse than a false alarm? A moving false alarm, according to panelists at a recent ESX webinar, who cited a growing challenge for monitoring companies as they move deeper into the world of GPS and mobile PERS devices.

Fire sprinkler industry to make history with new expo

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mexico has a brand new fire sprinkler industry group—the Mexican Fire Sprinkler Association or AMRACI. Canada has the Canadian Automatic Sprinkler Association or CASA. And of course there’s the National Fire Sprinkler Association or NFSA, based in Patterson, N.Y.

Now all three groups plan to make history by hosting what is being billed as “the first ever North American Fire Sprinkler Expo,” to be held next April in Las Vegas.

In a statement, NFSA’s new president, Russ Fleming, said: “I am absolutely delighted that both CASA and AMRACI have agreed to partner with NFSA to host what will be the first ever North American Fire Sprinkler Expo. By bringing together fire sprinkler industry interests from all over the continent for the NFSA Annual Seminar and North American Fire Sprinkler Expo, for the very first time in the history of the industry we will have created a unique opportunity for contractors, suppliers and manufacturers from all over the continent to meet in one place to network, conduct business, discuss issues of common interest and to learn from the industry’s foremost authorities.”

NFSA said the expo—still in the very early planning phase—is be held in conjunction with its annual seminar being held April 4-6, 2013 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

For more on the event, go to NFSA’s website.

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