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American Alarm and Communications

Five-year study of security alarms released

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Fire is the biggest risk for both residential and commercial properties, followed by burglaries, which tend to spike in the summer and winter months, according to a new study completed by American Alarm and Communications of verified alarms from homes and businesses across Greater Boston and central New England.

“Given our monitoring footprint in New England, and our systems for tracking alarm events, we use this data to understand local trends and to help people better manage risk in their homes or places of business,” Wells Sampson, president of American Alarm, said about the study. “When we decided to look at five years of data, and saw the results, we felt there would be public benefit if we released the information so everyone in our region is aware of these trends.”

The study, entitled “Regional Security Report: Five-Year Study of Verified Alarms, 2014-2018,” analyzed data collected at the company’s monitoring center that tracks activity from its professionally installed and maintained security and life-safety systems at nearly 30,000 locations, primarily in greater Boston, central Massachusetts, Rhode Island and southern New Hampshire.

During the five-year period studied, 1,644 verified alarms occurred, including 532 fire alarms, 333 burglar (intrusion) alarms, 224 elevator entrapments and 185 panic alarms (also called hold-up alarms). A verified alarm is defined as a signal caused by an actual event that posed a threat and required intervention.

The following is a summary of results:
•    Fire is the biggest risk for residential and commercial property, followed by burglary;
•    Fire alarms spike in January and February, doubling the monthly average;
•    Burglar alarms are more frequent during the summer and winter months;
•    Burglar alarms are concentrated in late evening and overnight hours;
•    Panic alarms peak in the mornings and afternoons at banks, and in the late evenings at gas stations and convenience stores; and
•    Elevator alarms are mostly from commercial buildings and clustered during business hours.

For more information on the types and timing of alarms, see the report here.

Advances in monitoring technology changing the standards landscape

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07/18/2018

YARMOUTH, Maine—As technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace within security, monitoring companies and third party standards organizations such as UL are doing their best to understand what this means for central stations today, especially in regard to creating requirements that reflect the current state of innovation within the industry.

Central Monitoring Operators: training, empathy and thinking really fast

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08/30/2017

YARMOUTH, Maine—A central monitoring station can be a cool place to work—if your idea of cool is not knowing what’s going to happen from one minute to the next, or talking people through crises, real and perceived, or getting information fast and accurate while determining whether lives are at stake.

American Alarm purchases Security Design Consultants

Following the acquisition, SDC employees joined American Alarm
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05/24/2017

ARLINGTON, Mass.—American Alarm and Communications, a full-service security company based here, this week announced the acquisition of Security Design Consultants, based in Westwood, Mass.

American Alarm acquires Atlas Alarm

Company expects to break $40 million and 30,000 account milestones this year
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01/13/2017

ARLINGTON, Mass.—American Alarm and Communications, a regional full-service security provider based here, yesterday announced that it acquired 3,000 accounts from Atlas Alarm Corp., a fire alarm and life-safety systems provider based in Weymouth, Mass.

American Alarm and Communications receives $25m

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10/07/2016

BOSTON—Citizens Bank on Oct. 4 announced today that Citizens Commercial Banking’s Security Finance Group is providing a $25 million credit facility to American Alarm and Communications.

SSN checks in with winners from the first '20 under 40' class

Class of 2007 honorees reflect on changes over the past 10 years in the industry
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10/05/2016

YARMOUTH, Maine—Every year, Security Systems News recognizes 20 young professionals in the systems integration and monitoring space for their accomplishments. This month, SSN is announcing its 10th year of “20 under 40” integrator winners. To commemorate this, SSN caught up with several of the first honorees—the Class of 2007—to hear their perspective about how the industry has changed over the past 10 years, and what might be ahead in the next 10 years.

American Alarm acquires in Massachusetts

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

ARLINGTON, Mass.—American Alarm and Communications recently acquired Electralarm Security Systems, adding on 500 accounts. The deal brings American Alarm to about 25,000 accounts total, Lou Sampson, the company's CFO, told Security Systems News

"We were in discussions for about three or four months earlier in 2016. The discussions began when Paul D’Amato Sr. [Electralarm's founder] reached out to us (through his broker)," Sampson said via email. "Paul had known of American Alarm for years, and our family, and he knew of our business reputation and our commitment to quality service, which was very important for him."

Electralarm's account base was pretty evenly divided between residential and commercial, Sampson said, but "slightly weighted towards residential." American Alarm's account base also has a slight lean toward residential in terms of number of accounts, he said. "But in terms of scale of systems, our commercial portfolio is larger, and it is growing significantly."

Paul "Chip" D'Amato, Electralarm's lead technician, will join American alarm in a similar capacity, American Alarm said. 

Integrating Electralarm's account base into American's has been "seamless," according to Sampson. "One of the most important parts of the successful transition has been Chip D’Amato’s efforts. He hasn’t missed a beat. He’s still working with the Electralarm customers, to help with the transition," Sampson added. 

The deal is the 27th acquisition American Alarm has completed, Sampson pointed out, and most of those purchases have been in the past 12 to 15 years. "We are always prepared to work with other companies and respond quickly when opportunities arise," he said.

Electralarm was based in Abington, Mass., approximately 20 miles south of Boston. The company handled its own monitoring, which will now be done through American Alarm's UL-listed, CSAA Five Diamond central station. 

American Alarm: Building infrastructure to support and sustain growth

Increased warehouse capabilities, marketing software helps employees in the field and in the central station
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02/19/2016

ARLINGTON, Mass.—Coming off a record year for revenue and RMR growth, American Alarm and Communications, a leading residential and commercial provider of security and life-safety systems across New England, is poised for another year of continued strong growth, according to company president Wells A. Sampson.

How I Use My System: Barry Chisholm

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01/26/2016

Barry Chisholm, regional sales manager for American Alarm and Communications, oversees sales in three of the company’s offices, including its headquarters in Arlington, Mass. Chisholm started in sales at American Alarm in December 2011, rising to his current position in 2013. He began his career at ADT in 1994. Security Systems News caught up with Chisholm in early January to talk about his home security system.

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