3 New Offerings Highlight the Importance of Training


3 New Offerings Highlight the Importance of Training

Learning is a lifelong pursuit, and when it comes to security — and the rapid changes in technology and solutions — it can be a daunting prospect to keep up. Three organizations recently introduced some new topics — and new methods — of keeping up with the times.

Security Communications Skills Series From

Communication skills are especially important to the security industry. The systems that are installed and monitored impact lives and property. Therefore it is mission-critical for security professionals to have very good written and verbal communication skills. That is where the training series from comes in. now has three new courses as part of its Communication Skills series:

  • Business Communication Skills Building Level I
  • Effective Communication Skills for Technicians and Installers
  • The 6 Cs of Communication for Management and Supervisors

The courses were developed through's partnership with Matterhorn Consulting. Paul Boucherle, founder and CEO at Matterhorn, has been providing communication skills training to the security industry for 25 years.

"Matterhorn will now be able to share our methodology for teaching communications skills to the Internet," Boucherle said. "This will give the security professional a lot of flexibility in how they obtain these mission-critical skills."

Connie Moorhead, president of added, " is excited to be offering these communications skills courses to the industry. We have been providing training to security professionals for over 18 years. This partnership was a natural progression for us."

The courses are part of a premium-channel library subscription. Visit for more information.

ESA National Training School Offers Instructor-Led Online Training

The Electronic Security Association's National Training School launched its new Online Instructor Led Training (OILT) platform, providing synchronous online training to its customers. 

"We are extremely excited to deliver this learning format to our National Training School students," said Michelle Yungblut, ESA's vice president of training and certification. "We are constantly innovating and customizing our classes to deliver the strongest — and most widely accepted — content in training formats that fit the diverse learning styles of our industry's professionals." 

Synchronous online training combines online and live training and activates the student, instructor and course materials all at the same time.

NTS will now bring students from across the state or country to an
instructor-led course, using high-
quality video and screen-sharing that allows the instructors to teach the course virtually. Not only can the students see the instructor, but they can also see other students via their webcams. The National Training school is the first in the industry to deliver this method of training, the organization reported.

"Being a not-for-profit organization allows our mission, our purpose, to focus very powerfully, not on our next dollar, but on quality education that allows our customers to learn, get licensed and hone their expertise," Yungblut added.

The National Training School released dates for the next round of pilot courses. More courses will be added throughout the remainder of the year, as additional instructors and training providers transition to the new delivery platform.

Visit for more information.

New School Security Training & Certification Offered

School Dangers, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded to improve the safety and security of school age children, selected as its partner to launch an online training and certification program. This program is targeted at teaching security practitioners who specialize in K-12 security or security industry professionals who are tasked with security planning key elements such as practical considerations for school security and safety, legislative factors, government actions and published procedures for school safety, and tactical and strategic considerations when it comes to the safety of children.

The Certified School Safety Professional (CSSP) series is broken into three levels to let students focus on the depth of knowledge they need. CSSP-I focuses on awareness of the problems K-12 schools face and the legislative landscape; CSSP-II covers security assessments, mitigation strategies, and introduces planning; and CSSP-III builds on the previous levels and incorporates more in-depth emergency management planning, including Federal NIMS and ICS.

Visit for details on this program.



State of the Market: Access Control 2018


State of the Market - Access Control 2018

2017 was a very strong year for the access control industry, with many market forces working in its favor; 2018 and beyond looks even more promising

There is a frequently used analogy when it comes to the access control space, particularly at the larger, enterprise level: Big ships don't turn around quickly or easily. For the last several years access control manufacturers have continued to innovate and promote new solutions and technologies (from wireless readers to big data, mobile credentials to cloud solutions, and more). But unless they were interested in being early adopters or living life on the "bleeding edge," cautious end users seemed to adopt a wait-and-see attitude, for the most part remaining happy with their existing systems.

But this year, for the first time, manufacturers and security integrators that work in that space reported a refreshing change in attitude, and an increased interest in hearing about and actually buying and implementing new solutions to solve their pain points.

Jimmy Dearing, lead analyst for electronic access control for the research firm IHS Markit, London, U.K., says his company measures the access control market performance at a steady but modest 6 percent growth between 2016 and 2021. And SDM's own research, the 2018 Industry Forecast Study (conducted in November 2017) also shows a relatively steady impression of the access control market with 75 percent of respondents describing it at the time as good to excellent, and 74 percent predicting the same for this year.

If responses from more than 30 manufacturers, integrators and other industry practitioners are any indication, share-of-revenue from access control may be picking up. Many reported business to be well above single-digit average, and some even noted access sales eclipsing video.

While a few did report a slowdown in construction, particularly in the office sector (something Dearing says IHS is also seeing), much of the market at the top end is based on retrofit or expansion; so those that were able to convince enterprise customers that it was time to move off the dime saw healthy growth.

"Business was definitely up in 2017 over 2016," says Brian Thomas, president and CEO of Irmo, S.C.-based A3 Communications, an integrator that primarily focuses on the enterprise space. "We increased top-line overall revenue by almost 20 percent. As far as access control growth, that probably grew at a faster pace than even video surveillance."

Bill Bozeman, CPP, president and CEO, PSA Security Network, Westminster, Colo. (featured on this month's cover), saw similar indications from PSA members, who make up one of the largest security and audio-visual systems integrator cooperatives in the world. "Our percentage of growth was better than the industry norm, which is good for us and for our integrators," Bozeman says. "As far as percentage growth it is real interesting. According to the big statistics, video is growing faster than access control and we have had that as well; but I will say that our access control percentage (last year) was high compared to video …. High-end integrators are doing well with access control, which has been a change for the better."

Derek Arcuri, product manager for access control, Genetec, Montreal, also reported strong sales in the access control space. "We had another record year at over 40 percent growth in our access control product line," he says. "Some of the reasons why are the confidence from larger sites that share our vision. More and more, customers are starting to see the value in distributed architecture with cost-effective appliances."

Another approach that has gained traction in recent years is that of non-proprietary systems. This was helpful for open-source hardware manufacturer Mercury Security, whose growth significantly outpaced the industry average, according Matt Barnette, vice president of Mercury Security and HID global accounts, Long Beach, Calif. "The economy is certainly a big driver. Most companies that are big users of security equipment are doing well; and when they are having good economic times they tend to invest. But specifically in the security industry, there is a trend to open systems," he says.

The market didn't just move at the top end, however. The bulk of the access control market is the small and medium businesses or enterprises (SMB/SME). Recent years have seen more options for these customers than in the past, from more affordable wireless online and offline locks, to cloud solutions that make it easier on the end user while offering RMR for the security integrator.

State of the Access Control Market

SDM asked, "How would you rate the current (2017) state of the market and the potential for sales (2018) in the access control market?" More than three-fourths of respondents expect the access control market to be "good" or "excellent" in 2018.

In fact, Dearing says, according to IHS the access-as-a-service market is experiencing double-digit growth. "Access control as a service will grow the penetration of electronic access control in those smaller installations," he predicts. Those who offer it are already seeing that.

"In 2017 we grew overall by 20 percent, more than twice the security industry as a whole," says Steve Van Till, president and CEO, Brivo, Bethesda, Md., a cloud-based access control manufacturer. "General cloud acceptance has been growing," Van Till says. "We grew our dealer base by 25 percent last year, if not more." Not only that, but he says those dealers were much more productive than in previous years. "Maybe we have just gotten better at this, but five years ago we would sign someone up and they would do one to three jobs the first year. Now they are doing six figures in the first year."

Denis Hébert, president of Feenics Inc., Ottawa, Canada, had similar experiences. "The access control industry was very buoyant in 2017, with a continued interest in securing facilities…through flexible access solutions. Feenics was well-positioned for the growing push away from on-premise solutions to access-control-as-a-service alternatives, driving significant growth for our business."

At all levels of the market there is optimism this year. Samuel Asarnoj, senior vice president, corporate strategy and business development, HID Global, Austin, Texas, points to seven leading indicators that echo the sentiments of many others: 1. Organizations are increasingly embracing the benefits of the cloud. 2. Growth in connected devices and environments is driving IoT at the edge. 3. Mobile access credentials are reaching a tipping point. 4. Trusted IDs are catalyzing convergence. 5. Data analytics are driving risk-based intelligence for predictive models. 6. Security and identity are now boardroom issues. 7. New directives are driving deeper data privacy and cyber security initiatives.

Major Drivers

In today's world, it is no surprise that end users of all sizes have begun to reevaluate their security systems with a cyber security lens. In fact, there are external forces that are requiring it.

"The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has decided it will hold the business community responsible for failing to implement good cyber security practices and is now filing lawsuits against those that don't," says Scott Lindley, general manager, Farpointe Data, Sunnyvale, Calif. Other regulations have also grown out of both cyber security and privacy concerns.

Expected Change in Equipment Spending

SDM asked, "How do you expect your equipment spending in 2018 to compare with 2017?" More than 50 percent of respondents expect equipment spending to be up in access control, integrated systems and cloudbased services in 2018.

One of these is Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is set to become a major influencer, particularly among any companies that do business in the EU, or have employees there. With a May 2018 deadline, GDPR suddenly became a hot-button issue this spring, with many companies scrambling to comply in time. But according to technology industry association CompTIA, confusion reigned as recently as one month out from the deadline, with more than half of 400 U.S. companies surveyed either still exploring it or unsure whether it applied to them.

Regulations are a growing issue for most medium- to large-sized businesses. Waipahu, Hawaii-based Integrated Security Technologies Inc. specializes in military and DOD installations, as well as bringing those technologies to commercial customers. Christine Lanning, IST president, says regulations have definitely increased sales in access control. "What has changed over the last year is that at the end of the year for government contractors you have to comply with NIST 800.171 on cyber security," she says. "There are over 80 [regulations] on the cyber side. When you install physical security systems you have to comply with those. It is no longer an option."

John Robuck, managing director, Capital One, Bethesda, Md., too, sees a recent trend. "Part of our business is to finance government contractors. One of the things I know that business is really focused on is cyber security and there is a lot of money in that. The security industry has been a little slow to embrace that, but I would say over the last year I have heard more and more dealers speak to the importance of layering in cyber security."

Bozeman was an early proponent of cyber security for his integrators and noted a reluctance, not just on the part of end users. "I have been on my bandwagon for a long time. The entire industry was late to the table. Nobody gets a pass …. The good news is no one has their head stuck in the sand anymore. It is a change from even two years ago. A lot of people are still trying to figure it out, but ... no one is denying the problem."

Jason Ouellette, general manager, Johnson Controls, Westford, Mass., says there has been a vetting period as many customers figure out where to go next when it comes to solutions for these and other problems. "They are spending a little more time vetting out cyber security and GDPR, as well as absorbing some of the newer technology shifts and what are they going to do with mobile and cloud solutions."

Beyond the regulation requirements, there is also a new "owner" of the security system, Dearing says. For years the IT department has been in the room, particularly at the enterprise level. Now, they are increasingly calling the shots. "For the system owners, the proportion being managed by the traditional physical security teams is falling and the proportion being managed by the IT team is increasing."

Bruce Stewart, business development manager, access control, Axis Communications Inc., Chelmsford, Mass., agrees. "It think a lot of it is the IT convergence. IT managers and directors are becoming more involved in the security decision-making …. If not fully involved with the decision they have a good deal of presence when it comes to making decisions."

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7 Ways to Avoid Client Sticker Shock


7 Ways To Avoid Client Sticker Shock

Breaking down proposals into smaller chunks, not being the first person to submit a quote, and selling design first are just three tips to avoid client sticker shock to your pricing.

I have been an integrator for over 20 years and have become an industry expert on sticker shock. I have 'sticker-shocked' thousands of clients on a weekly, if not daily, basis. It's not fun. I recommend avoiding. 

Here's the common problem with the custom electronics industry: When a person walks into a Bentley automobile showroom, he has a good idea what a Bentley costs. But a potential custom integration client has very little knowledge about what a complete home technology system costs. 

My experience is the number in their head is typically one-third of what the project will actually cost. Do the math on your own the next time a client lets you know what they were thinking the cost should be… you will marvel at how accurate that formula is. 

Sticker shock is a real epidemic in our industry and I hope to help you avoid some of the pain and lost deals that I have suffered through.

The signs of sticker shock vary, but are obvious if you pay attention. See if one or more of the following scenarios seems familiar to you, and if so, read on to discover what you can do to resolve or avoid the situation.

3 Client Reactions to 'Sticker Shock'

The Awkwardly Long Pause – You are meeting with the client and have put together their dream list. You carefully engineered a solution and are really excited that you value-engineered it to a great final number. You slide the client a copy of the proposal across the table. They immediately flip to the back page... and stare... for a long time... and saying nothing. This is the awkwardly loooong pause. 

They usually then look up at you like you just impregnated their teenage daughter, and then look back down at the number… then look back up at you again. This time the customer's look indicates that nothing you say from this point on matters… you are sunk.

The Ghost –  This is the client who forces you to email your quote. Despite all of your attempts to get an in-person meeting to review and explain the quote, you have no luck. You succumb to the pressure to send it, and you eagerly wait for a response... nothing. 

You send an email, 'Hey, did you get a chance to review the quote?' Crickets… for days… weeks… nothing. Your bid full of really nice equipment was sunk by the guy who proposed an amazingly cheap system chock full of the very best in-ceiling speakers made in Uzbekistan. The client firmly believes that you are a con artist and your knowledge of Uzbeki architectural speakers is piss-poor.

The 'Give Me the Best' –  Finally you have a client that understands quality. He makes sure you understand he wants the best. He doesn't want you to cheap out. He likes nice stuff. You sure you got that? Well, you put together an amazing quote filled with high-performance audio, video, and control and meet with him. His response? 

'Well, maybe I don't really need 'the best,' what can you do for one-quarter of the price?' After you were unable to contain your laughter for fear of peeing your pants, you realize that you just offended Mr. Faux Bigshot and your engineer will be putting in his two-week notice tomorrow because you made him work Sunday to build the 'coolest system of all-time' for the guy who can't afford 'the-slightly-less-than-mediocre system of all-time'.

7 Tips to Avoid Sticker Shock

The big issues with sticker shock are lost deals, lost trust, and wasted time engineering system proposals. So how can you avoid the dreaded deal-killer of sticker shock? 

1. Know Your Position –  Find out who is bidding on the project and if the client has seen any other quotes yet. Typically he will be more forthcoming about a target budget after receiving a few quotes that made his sphincter tighten. 

If you are the first person to give the client a quote, you may have already lost. The first integrator to tell a client he needs to spend $200,000 to get what they want is deemed to be a 'complete-and-utter jackass' by the client.

The second integrator to deliver a $200,000 quote is 'another con artist that wants to rip me off.'

The third integrator that delivers the $200K quote gets this reaction, 'Oh well, I guess this is a just going to cost me $200,000. Can you start next week?'

Sometimes procrastination pays off. 

2. Put Out 'Feeler Bets' –  In poker there is a strategy called 'feeler bets.' This strategy is sending a small bet into the pot to get a reaction from the other players. How they bet or fold in reaction to your small bet, gives you information about what is in their hand. 

In a meeting, you really need to make best efforts to send out feeler bets. When they ask about a projector, you need to throw out cost ranges of what you sell. 'A top-tier projector starts at $60,000 and goes up from there.' 

You will have a good idea of what kind of client you are dealing with by their reaction. If they start filibustering like Foghorn Leghorn, you've hit a nerve, and need to start talking about lower-cost options. You can do this same exercise with the cost for flat panel TVs, loudspeakers, etc. When you throw out small numbers you will quickly get a sense of their budget and quality expectations. 

EJ Fuelner, managing director of integration company AHT Global in Philadelphia, offers this strategy, 'Mr. Customer, based on our extensive experience providing reliable and simple to operate systems of the exact type we have discussed today, I think you are looking at spending about $300,000 to get all the bells and whistles you liked. Are you comfortable with that budget?'

Then shut up. The first person to talk loses the negotiation. Let him or her reply to you with their gut response because I guarantee it's going to cost more than they expected. If you do that the end of the first meeting and they reply in the positive then you are golden! 

3. Break Down Budget into Small Projects –Your giant system number is made up of a bunch of smaller systems. Discuss these smaller budgets with clients at your initial meeting. Your CCTV systems might range from $5,000 to $50,000. Get a commitment on a number in that spectrum and move on to network, home theater, lighting control. etc.

When you tally up the small budgets to which your client has agreed, review the small numbers one more time before presenting the total (larger) number. I find that clients shake their heads with approval at all the small numbers and then when you give them the subtotal they appear as though their colonoscopy has just commenced.

At that point you can go back to the smaller budgets to nip and tuck them off the ledge. By the end of the meeting you will have a realistic target budget. No sense in burning engineering hours on a proposal that is not even in the ballpark. 

4. Make the Offer... and Explain Options –  Clients don't want to only hear about the most expensive option, but they always want to know what the best is just to have a reference point. In the selling process, you should not automatically exclude high-performance gear to prevent sticker shock.

Kim Michels of Home Technology Association (HTA) Certified-firm Electronic Environments in New York City is a master at selling high-performance products. His advice is, 'You have to recommend high performance and be ready to offer other options. Sticker shock comes from a lack of explanation and communication and passion. Passion can sell high-ticket items, but clients always need to feel they have options.'

5. Sell Design First! –  Introducing price too early confuses clients and takes their focus away from providing the information you need to design a great system. Sell your clients on the concept of design first.  It will be much easier for a client to commit to a small design fee as opposed to a giant contract number. Once they have committed to your firm for design, you can do the work to educate your clients on all the options available to them and how their choices impact budget. 

Budget will be established more organically once you are part of the design team. You will see the client's defenses come down when they see you are earnestly interested in designing something great for them. You will not lose clients to sticker shock since the process focuses on design over dollars. 

6. Be Upfront about Your Market Position – Most integrators do not sell on price alone, but sell on luxury, performance, convenience, and safety. If you are not the cheapest company in town, make sure you talk about why. Most clients are disarmed when you warn them that you will be the most expensive bid they get. 

Go into the reasons why. This might establish you as the most desirable contender. If your quote happens to come in close or below the other competitors your potential client will be thrilled they are getting the top firm for the second banana's price. Under-promise and over-deliver!

7. Prep Customers to See Your Price Before Seeing Your Bid – One of the most effective techniques for removing sticker shock involves taking away the surprise element (that is, the 'shock') from your pricing. You can do this with ballpark figures that prepare the client, or with an explanation of why the project costs what it does. 

At my company, DSI Luxury Technology in Los Angeles, we have had great success using the HTA Home Technology Budget calculator.  It takes away sticker shock by empowering your prospects to see for themselves what they can expect their project to cost.

If they use the calculator, by the time you show them a bid, they are prepared to see these kinds of numbers.  (Full disclosure: I was part of the team that developed the Home Technology Budget Calculator, so I am very biased. But that also means I know what this technology can accomplish.) 

The calculator asks the client a series of multiple-choice questions about their project and spits out an incredibly useful budget range by system. It includes all the major home technology systems: home theater, control systems, shading, networking, CCTV, whole home audio, television systems, etc.  

If they use the calculator, by the time you show them a bid, they are prepared to see these kinds of numbers.  (Full disclosure: I was part of the team that developed the Home Technology Budget Calculator, so I am very biased. But that also means I know what this technology can accomplish.) 

The calculator asks the client a series of multiple-choice questions about their project and spits out an incredibly useful budget range by system. It includes all the major home technology systems: home theater, control systems, shading, networking, CCTV, whole home audio, television systems, etc.  

The fact that an independent third party is educating the consumer on what things cost instantly gives the numbers validity. No longer are you the bearer of bad news.  

Bryan Mills of HTA-Certified Mills Custom AV in Chicago says, 'The HTA Budget Calculator has been tremendously helpful, as we are no longer the company presenting what can be a surprisingly large budget; instead, we are the experts helping them select the technology they want while reaching a desired cost target. 

'We've also noticed that those clients generally bring up a larger number of systems – things like lighting, motorized shades, and enterprise-grade data networks. These discussions are much more collaborative, rather than having clients shut down what they believe is an 'add-on' sale. The other benefit is customers no longer need the standard 'three bidders' to feel educated on budgets. They now have a reasonable budget range and see value in partnering with a trusted advisor to design their ideal system.'

Are you ready to say goodbye to sticker shock? I know it is really hard to create a new routine in your sales process but I urge you to consider adding some or all of the above techniques into your process. I promise the results will save you time, money, and heartburn. Your engineers will love you, your clients will trust you, and your business will be more profitable. 

Eric Thies is principal at DSI Luxury Technology in Los Angeles. Source:


10 Trends to Watch at ISC West 2018


Smarter video surveillance, neighborhood-oriented services and machine learning are among the handful of Security, IoT and home automation trends to expect at ISC West this year.

ISC West 2018, the largest security conference in North America, is coming up in Las Vegas. To help set the stage, we've highlighted a few trends in security, home automation and consumer IoT, all of which will be evident at the show. We'll elaborate on these and related themes in our April 5 Webinar, Security & IoT Trends, presented by myself and two long-time industry veterans, Dave Mayne (Alula) and Avi Rosenthal (IoT Consulting).

1. Technology at the Edge

For a while there, we had so many cloud-based innovations in security and home-automation that we lost sight of all the processing and storage that used to take place locally, at the 'edge' or in the 'fog.' The Ultimate Guide to ISC West 2018 Related: The Ultimate Guide to ISC West 2018 Today, however, we're seeing a return to local processing, especially given all the concerns related to cybersecurity. As silicon gets smarter and smaller, new edge devices can perform system-wide integrations and analytics without having to query the cloud. The data – and less of it – doesn't leave the home until it has to. For example, systems can perform facial recognition within a camera itself, and send only the results – like the person's name – to the cloud, rather than sending an entire video stream. More integration is happening locally as well. Instead of every device and every command making a trip to the cloud, they're working more magic through hubs and local communications protocols. Even Nest (ISC booth #33056), the king of the cloud, is bringing integration to the fog. New temperature sensors communicate with Nest thermostats directly via Bluetooth; and the new Nest Secure alarm system communicates with Nest's own sensors, Nest Hello video doorbell, and Nest x Yale lock (#8061, #8069) via Nest's own Weave home-automation protocol.

2. AI, Machine Learning

Home security and automation systems still tend to run on triggers, for example, tripping the security alarm when motion is detected, or setting back the thermostat every night at 8:00. More and more, however, true automation is becoming reality thanks to AI, or machine learning. Sensors, beacons and digital readers monitor activity in and around the house, learning who comes and goes, at what times, and how they like their temperature … among other things. Instead of the thermostat ramping up when Dad hits 'disarm,' the system already knows he's headed home, and starts warming up the place just as he leaves the office.

Likewise, if some new sound or vibration occurs when it shouldn't, or the house has more than the usual number of visitors at any given time, the system can send an 'anomaly' alert to the owners. So instead of the house just responding to triggers, it responds to patterns – including when certain things do happen, should happen or don't happen.

3. Multi-sensors

Rising to the AI occasion, sensors these days no longer do one single job, like detecting motion or sensing the temperature. Today's multipurpose sensors go everywhere and measure everything – motion, ambient lighting, environmental conditions, air quality, sound and more. The more they measure, the more the house can learn and respond with minimal human intervention.

4. Smarter Video Surveillance

Facial recognition, people counting, package detection and other video analytics are nothing new in surveillance. They've been keeping airports, borders and other commercial spaces pretty safe for the past decade or two. But these capabilities used to require giant processors, big server farms, enterprise-grade network security and specially trained technicians. Now these computer-vision feats can be achieved with smaller processors and simpler products that consumers can install and manage on their own. And the smarter they get, the more sensors they can replace. Today's cameras can track and analyze motion, sound, colors and even temperatures. They can recognize people, packages, pets, fire and specific activities like falling and breathing.

They can see through fire, fog and walls (Flir #18059, Vayyar #34081), and identify abandoned objects and moved packages (Visualint from SnapAV, #3037). Furthermore, much of the intelligence can be handled locally, in the fog (#1 above), so less of the sensitive data has to leave the premises.

5. Video Search

Fortunately, as video surveillance is becoming more ubiquitous, so too are the methods for reviewing these vast new troves of footage. Google now has technology and an API for searching video for people ('Julie Jacobson'), things ('red hat'), activities ('running'), text ('UPS') and other parameters. Many of these features now are available on Google Photos and the Google Lens app. Both IC Realtime (#28091) and Briefcam (#31086) are selling surveillance solutions with robust search features like these. Both also enable users to view time-lapse video highlighting only relevant clips, for example, those that include moving cars or females. The system gets smarter over time, as users indicate which results are important or not. IC Realtime is already providing these features in consumer-oriented solutions under its new Ella product line. Briefcam's technology is offered in a wide range of commercial-oriented solutions, and we can expect to find the technology in consumer products in the future.

6. Neighborhood Watch

Own the neighborhood, own the homes. That's the mantra of security companies like Vivint and Ring, both of which offer apps and alerts to help neighbors share video surveillance and security-related announcements with the each other. The heavier the concentration of connected security solutions, the greater the potential to contain crime, fire and other local threats. Also … the greater the opportunity to sell more products and services to participating neighbors … and the more efficiently to provide services to a high concentration of customers. Amazon didn't buy Ring (#31073) for its doorbell technology. It acquired the company for its deep penetration into neighborhoods and communities – a self-perpetuating purchasing machine.

7. Headless Systems

As with Cloud-based solutions, we're kind of going back to the future with security and home automation hubs. For many years, the trend was all-in-one solutions that included the guts of a system, along with cameras, sirens and a touchscreen UI all in one self-contained unit. Now many top security manufacturers are decoupling the elements, and selling lower-cost 'headless' hubs with discrete components such as keypads, sirens and cameras. While headless security systems are often associated with DIY (Lowe's Iris, iSmartAlarm, Swann), they are finding favor among pro-oriented vendors that believe security hubs are best left in a closet connected directly to a router. Resolution Products, which merged with ipDatatel last year to create Alula (#22059), has always subscribed to the headless model. Other leading manufacturers are at least coming out with stripped-down versions of their all-inclusive hubs – like the 2Gig Rely from Nortek (#20015) and DSC Iotega from Johnson Controls (#20005).

8. Dual-Path and IoT Communicators

Dual communicators refer to redundant modes of communication, primarily from a premises to a central monitoring station or cloud-based service. The dual paths usually consist of IP and cellular communications, but could instead comprise two different mobile carriers – whatever works for redundant operations. Dual-path systems shouldn't be a 'trend' anymore. It should just be an established 'thing.' Still, some systems and services only support one communications path at this time. At ISC, look for universal dual-path communicators from several vendors including Alula (ipDatatel, #22059), Napco (StarLink with iBridge, #12043), Elk Products (C1M1, #8032), and Telular/Telguard (TG-SCI, #18109) – any of which can be paired with most popular security panels. Some of these products also include Z-Wave technology and Cloud-based services for integrating security and home automation.

9. Mobile IoT

5G is coming, and someday soon we'll see lightweight IoT devices that bypass the home network altogether and communicate directly with the cloud via cellular communications. Even without 5G, we're starting to see cell-only devices, including cameras (like Netgear Arlo, #4038) and access control systems (CellGate Watchman, #6055), that don't require a local network. We'll also see a variety of cell-enabled mPERS solutions (Numera from Nortek, #20015; Freeus, #31087) and personal safety devices (Occly, #9148) at ISC West.

10. Assisted DIY

More consumers are helping themselves these days, and more vendors are coming to their aid, with DIY security and automation systems sold off-the-shelf or over-the-Web. But these systems lack the support and professional services that traditional dealers can provide — advanced integration, video verification, system configurations, false-alarm mitigation and the like. Furthermore, consumers these days are bombarded with so many DIY choices, they likely will turn to pros for smart home services. Manufacturers serving the pros — including all the majors at ISC West — will be demonstrating solutions for self-installed, professionally monitored systems.

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Security & Monitoring 2018


Security and monitoring 2018

Technology changes, major shifts in the market and evolving customer expectations bring a wealth of opportunity the commercial and residential security markets.

2017 was a good year for the economy. The housing bubble has almost entirely recovered; the stock market saw record gains; and new construction was on the rise. In November, single family home building surged to a 10-year high, according to the Commerce Department, while ConstructConnect reports commercial construction enjoyed modest gains. All of these elements are highly favorable to the security industry — and manufacturers, dealers and integrators definitely felt the positive impact of these trends.

However, for dealers and integrators, the divide between a good year and a great one was largely dependent on several factors: what part of the market they sit in; how prepared they were to move quickly toward new technology and business models; how much pressure they felt from competition; and other factors, such as changing RMR models, the cloud, new monitoring trends and more.

'We had another stellar year for growth,' reports Daniel Herscovici, senior vice president and general manager for Xfinity Home, a business unit of Comcast, Philadelphia. 'We are happy with the direction of business and the momentum in this industry.'

Many saw a tailwind effect from the strong advertising that companies such as Comcast, ADT and others have been pushing into the market.

'Our alarm business has continued to grow,' says J. Matthew Ladd, president, The Protection Bureau, Exton, Pa., a Security-Net integrator. 'A lot of that is the way technology is becoming more user friendly and also the advertising done by some nationals that get clients interested in products and services.'

Integrators that have a mix of residential and commercial security work point to connected technology advancements and upgrades as the biggest driver on the residential side, while commercially there is a continuing trend toward both integration and security as service offerings.

'Commercially we probably grew about 15-20 percent,' says Chris Wetzel, executive vice president and founder, Intertech CI, Pittsburgh, another Security-Net integrator who has both residential and commercial clients. 'We probably saw an increase in residential of about 30 percent. 'Those numbers would reflect automation and some of the other things we do in the residential market.'

Howard Fischman, president and owner, Knight-Watch Security Systems Inc., Middletown, N.Y., does about 60/40 commercial/residential. 'Our numbers increased by 25 percent last year overall,' he says. 'This year the first month's projections are over 20 percent. We haven't seen a downturn. From my perspective things have bounced back. Then again, we are into so many different systems we were able to meander the course.'

Joey Rao-Russell, president & CEO of Fresno, Calif.-based Kimberlite Corp. (featured on this month's cover) describes 2017 as 'a balanced year.' Kimberlite is an employee-owned independent Sonitrol franchise, with 94 percent of its business coming from commercial. 'We had strong sales, but we also had some things that affected attrition as well, such as compression in the marketplace.'

One trend Rao-Russell notes is on the upswing is the movement of residential dealers coming into the small commercial space, driven both by competition and pricing pressure from MSOs and DIY players, as well as small commercial owners looking for the same connected and interactive services they now enjoy at home.

Research firm Parks Associates, Dallas, says the security industry overall experienced 'modest growth' in 2017. 'Parks Associates estimates that the percentage of U.S. broadband households with a security system grew less than 1 percent from the year prior — 27.1 percent in 2016 to 27.7 percent in 2017,' says Dina Abdelrazik, research analyst. However, the good news is this translates to an additional 1.3 million broadband households with security, and the bulk of the figure is attributed to professionally monitored security.

From the central station monitoring perspective, business was booming in 2017, says Sharon Elder, vice president of sales, National Monitoring Center Inc., Lake Forest, Calif. 'The opportunities that presented themselves in 2017 were really amazing in opening up the market space for our dealers to be able to operate in. It provided us with this great opportunity to bring them new services that could increase their RMR, attachment rates and reduce attrition.'

Michael Marks, co-founder, Perennial Software, Chagrin Falls, Ohio, notes a similar experience. '2017 was a great year for the alarm monitoring industry. We saw significant growth throughout our customer base, large, mid-size and small security companies. The industry has been on a great run the past seven years, and 2017 was another great year.'

From manufacturers to security dealers and integrators and central stations, virtually everyone interviewed for this article had a good to great year, which is mirrored by the outlook of respondents to SDM's annual survey. The 2018 Industry Forecast Study, conducted in November 2017, found that, looking at current sales in the intrusion alarm category, the number of respondents categorizing current sales as 'very good/excellent' rose sharply from 30 percent to 45 percent, and overall good to excellent rose to 81 percent from 77 percent last year. (See chart, page 61.) The monitoring category saw a similar trend, with those describing it as good to excellent at 84 percent, versus 73 percent last year.

Even more are hopeful for 2018, with 86 percent predicting good to excellent sales in monitoring and 88 percent expecting the same for intrusion alarms. Read on to learn some of the trends, technologies and reasons for this optimism in the residential, commercial and monitoring spaces.

Residential Trends

There is no doubt that some of the biggest changes in the security market are happening on the residential end. From the explosion in connected services and IoT, to an influx of new entrants into the market — including DIY and MSOs — there is a lot going on.

Parks Associates estimates that 76 percent of new, professionally monitored security systems had interactive services in 2017. 'A number of market developments and trends are impacting the security industry,' Abdelrazik says. 'Traditional security providers are facing increased competition from point solutions such as the all-in-one cameras. While the emergence of smart home products extends the value of a security system, it also increases competition, as smart devices are often sold independently of a traditional security system. Many are self-installable.'

With all the new options out there, expensive monitoring fees, long-term contracts and the 'traditional' way of selling an alarm system can be an uphill battle. In fact, fewer SDM Industry Forecast respondents reported that their RMR went up last year. Although still a healthy majority at 72 percent reporting an increase, 83 percent last year reported an increase, and the percent reporting a decrease doubled from 7 percent to 14 percent. (See chart on page 66.)

Those professional security dealers doing the best in this space are either the large, nationally recognized names, the new entrants, or dealers who have taken the 'if you can't beat 'em join 'em' approach to business.

'To push the needle beyond current market adoption, alternate approaches such as ad-hoc monitoring, self-install no-contract solutions and customizable solutions will need to be embraced,' Abdelrazik says.

Most of the growth in the residential intrusion market has come primarily from interactive services in recent years, says Steven E. Paley, president and CEO, Rapid Security Solutions LLC, Sarasota, Fla. 'Before the development of a lot of these technologies, intrusion was probably the biggest thing. Dealers vigorously went after intrusion because of the monitoring associated with it and the RMR. … Now any person with a smartphone wants a system and to be able to manage it on the phone. It is a big driver.'

This is a reflection of what is happening in the residential market: security is becoming one piece of the larger home automation drive — instead of leading with security, many dealers have to start out with the connected, IoT features and try to sell security.

'We sell the sizzle now, not just the alarm,' Ladd says. 'We are selling an integrated automation system to control lights, locks, temperature. We don't walk in and give a keypad demo anymore. The demo is the phone or iPad. … You have to grow with the times. You can't do it the old-fashioned way.'

Manufacturers are doing their part to help dealers do just that, offering more and more connected products, and even starting to help out with the DIY approach.

'We will be introducing a more mass residential alarm panel that will be ultra-easy to install and very cost effective,' says Jorge Hevia, senior vice president of sales and marketing, NAPCO Security Technologies, Amityville, N.Y. 'The challenge right now for most dealers competing against DIY is they may be highly leveraged because they have to invest in equipment. We are trying to launch something cost effective that enables them to ease that burden.' While the product can also be self-installed it will be professionally monitored, keeping the RMR for the dealer, Hevia explains.

Another new approach dealers are finding helpful in competing in this market is by becoming 'residential integrators' themselves. 'Many DIY security systems and products continue to be available direct to the consumer. There is an opportunity here for dealers to show their customers the value they can provide by integrating these systems professionally,' says Keith Daum, director, product marketing, Anixter, Glenview, Ill.

'The residential side is starting to grow large for us because we are doing the integration,' Fischman says. 'I actually see more shift toward home automation/smart homes. We are putting money into training for that, getting product in. The area I see the most growth in is home control, sound and home automation.'

Alice DeBiasio, vice president and general manager of residential security Americas, Honeywell Home and Building Technologies, Melville, N.Y., predicts that the rapid changes in the market aren't going to slow down anytime soon. 'With low-cost providers entering the market, we may see more commoditization of security,' she says.

For traditional residential security dealers, the shifting sands have sometimes felt more like quicksand, but more and more, the market is shaking out to separate those who are thriving on these changes, those who have made the decision to close up shop or be acquired, and those that see the more traditional small commercial space as a better fit for them.

Commercial Trends

While not nearly as volatile as the changes on the residential side, commercial security and monitoring has been going through a slow sea change of its own in recent years. Integration is nothing new, but what has changed is the way it is accomplished, and the opportunities that presents — particularly for integrators that operate in the SMB space.

'It is not brand new, but one of the biggest impacts I have seen has been the ability to take your basic access control systems and implement alarm monitoring through the system with some form of integration,' Ladd says. 'I have seen a tremendous amount of improved integration on the manufacturer end. Everything is IP, and now you have the capability to send certain alarms out to a central station but also utilize the two-way capabilities of the burg panel.'

Integrating technologies enhances the prospect of predicting and preventing life safety and security events, says Steve Schmidt, program manager, UL, Northbrook, Ill. 'There are a host of new market entrants focused on this integration, and it will become a disruptive force.'

The trend of residential dealers coming into the small commercial space is not lost on manufacturers, either. NAPCO has just launched a business version of its Starlink Connect, Hevia says. 'The typical residential consumer is realizing they can do everything we can do, for free. Where we think there is a higher potential for RMR for dealers is in commercial. 'A small business owner may be willing to pay $100 a month because it saves them a lot more than that. We can monitor a restaurant's refrigerators to make sure they don't lose thousands of dollars' worth of food, or take video of the back door because businesses lose inventory that way. There are millions of small businesses across this country who are multiple-unit singular owners, and we think this is something that has a lot of value.'

And they are paying attention. Technology advancements like these are making things easier and a little less intimidating for a residential dealer to start contemplating the commercial market.

'It makes sense that they would get into small commercial,' Paley says. 'A lot of these guys started 40 years ago as a family business and built up a nice RMR base. Now the pace of business and competitors are such that you aren't going to go out and roll out RMR like you used to. Dealers who aren't ready to sell out need to find other ways of doing things. Almost any solution today that you can provide can generate an RMR opportunity if you put your head around it.'

There has also been a shift in expectations on the commercial side, she adds. 'They are more interested in user interfaces, in what we can provide, not only in security but also security as a service, help with human capital, etc. They are looking for more well-rounded services, not just a door sensor anymore.'

Rao-Russell cites the example of a Subway restaurant customer that has teenage employees working after hours. 'They have a camera that sends a push notification to the owner whenever those back doors are open during the day so he can see if the employees are hiding in the back and not working,' she says. After-hours the camera serves as verification if there is a break-in. 'Customers want these interactive services that help them manage their business as well as their security.'

Energy consumption is another driver on the commercial side, Fischman says. 'If you can help them cut their bills down, that is what they want to hear. If you can show they are saving money in the long run, they are more open and willing to spend money on it now.' Something as simple as monitoring the lights to make sure an employee doesn't leave and forget to turn them off overnight can make a big difference, he says.

Another trend affecting the commercial market, not just for dealers but for integrators as well, is the cloud, or security as a service (SaaS) model. 'More and more people do not want to manage things for themselves,' Rao-Russell says. 'Their IT people are doing too much already. This is the greatest opportunity as an industry that we have right now. There are lower installation costs on technology such as access control with a cloud-based service attached. It is a win-win all the way around.'

Almost the polar opposite of the DIY trend on the residential side, small commercial is much more interested in 'do it for me,' Paley adds. 'What our clients are really looking for is they want to outsource all this crap. They don't want a piece of hardware or software; they just want to know someone is managing it for them.'

And what is pulling all these service-oriented offerings together — both on the SaaS commercial and the connected residential — is the ability of central stations to deliver on these promises.

Monitoring Trends

An increase in sensors, IoT devices and other things that provide monitoring opportunities is a vital part of the growth in the security industry. A recent report by Frost & Sullivan found that IoT is bringing about a 'new era of connectivity' in both business and residential markets. The total sensors market in security and surveillance applications was worth $6.3 billion in 2016, the report states. That market is expected to nearly double to $12 billion by 2023.

Analyst Ram Ravi further notes in a press release, 'Cloud networking, a revolutionary two-way interactive service delivery platform, is expected to create a technological explosion in the homes and buildings services market. This will enable [dealers and integrators] to adopt new business models to provide attractive cloud-based services through a secured network.'

Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Bold Technologies is already seeing the effects of this trend, says Rod Coles, CEO. 'From our perspective the industry performed very well and grew from 2016 to 2017. A lot of people were more inclined to look at new products and contemplate or make a switch from on-premises to cloud solutions. For us personally, the last two quarters we experienced some of our best growth. Over 70 percent of our sales in the last quarter were cloud sales, up from 25 percent during the same time last year.'

SDM Forecast respondents reported that 43 percent currently offer cloud-based video surveillance as a service, while a third offer cloud-based access control as a service. Fifty percent offer managed access control (up from 41 percent last year). Remote video monitoring topped the list at 66 percent, a trend noted by both third-party and dealer-owned central stations as well.

Video monitoring services are growing at a faster rate than traditional monitoring services,' says Paul Garms, director of regional marketing – intrusion, Bosch Security Systems Inc., Fairport, NY. 'Video analytics built into the IP camera have made video monitoring services a far more appealing option today than a few years ago. By adding further analytics in the cloud, monitoring centers are now able to deploy a more practical and affordable solution.'

This trend really opened up in 2017, Elder says. 'Up until this point the challenge has been, 'I have an Avigilon camera in the field and it is not integrated with anyone.' In 2017 those channels opened up hugely between I-View Now and SureView. That channel takes away that problem. Both residentially and commercially … as a central station, for the first time I can really say, 'Whatever you need in video I can totally deliver that.''

Technology trends such as these do present some challenges, particularly for smaller, independent dealer-owned central stations. Video monitoring in particular is a whole different skillset, Paley says. For many dealers, the choice is to invest heavily in upgrading their own station, or look to third-party options that have the resources they lack.

'Today, companies that were doing their monitoring in-house are losing the ability to offer any type of video services, area of refuge, personal emergency services or all these other things that endear you to your client,' Elder says. 'They need to work with a solid third-party central station in order to keep that engineering and automation at such a high level that they can compete with the ADTs of the world.'

Intertech's Chris Wetzel is one that made this decision. 'For many years we had our own central station that we maintained,' he says. 'We made the decision to move those services to a third party and take advantage of a lot of what they are providing in the way of additional services and automation. It has made it easier for us to grow.'

Elder describes monitoring as a vital relationship between the dealer and the central station. 'There is a tremendous amount of value and responsibility on both sides. We touch that consumer so frequently, much more than the alarm company will ever do.'

Matthew Brandon, national sales manager, AvantGuard, Ogden, Utah, is very optimistic about the future of third-party central stations. 'Being in a position to say that you can monitor virtually anything that can send us a signal is the biggest opportunity for us. From GPS tracking devices to drone technology, we have the resources and technology to grow in many different directions.'

Other dealer-owned stations are boosting their own capabilities, despite some challenges.

'We are moving our receivers more to the cloud instead of the conventional rack-mounted,' Ladd reports. 'This provides higher security, better communication and more enhancements to our clients.'

Rao-Russell says her company feels the pressure on the monitoring side, despite all the new technologies and services they are able to offer. 'We used to just buy phone lines, a couple of stations, computers and automation software. That was an investment for 10 years. Now I have an employee in my office that just keeps track of pass-through services like AlarmNet, interactive services and third-party cloud services. The business model has definitely changed and we have to be adaptable to that.'

She says this has led to some compression on the monitoring side. 'We used to get $70-$80 on monitoring. Now we can still get that but with full total connection. Even though you are still getting the same amount, it is costing more to provide that. The margin is compressing.'

Still, Rao Russell is very positive about the changes in monitoring overall. 'The monitoring side is where the growth is coming from. If you look at the last five years we have had material growth in RMR. We don't have customers accepting a 20 percent increase per year, but they are buying cloud access or camera monitoring.'

Don Young, CIO of Boca Raton, Fla.-based ADT (SDM's 2017 Dealer of the Year) and vice president of The Monitoring Association board of directors, agrees. 'As more organizations continue migrating to IP-based technologies, we feel that monitoring of non-traditional systems such as access control, video and networks will account for expanded growth.' ADT recently rolled out a cyber security monitoring offering, which is another up-and-coming trend to watch.

New entrants are also a disruptive force, Parks Associates' Abdelrazik says. 'Expensive monitoring fees and long-term contracts are cost barriers to the average consumer. Low-cost monitoring solutions such as Ring Alarm are coming to disrupt the monitoring market with $10 per month monitoring and no long-term contracts. [These types of solutions] may contribute to growth by expanding the market from the bottom by addressing price sensitivity.'

Another monitoring trend the industry is starting to grapple with that may be a factor going forward is the concept of 'monitoring on demand' in the residential space. This allows a customer that wouldn't normally be a monitored account to choose when they want monitoring — for a two-week vacation, for example — and provides a more flexible model for the consumer. However, many central stations and dealers are resistant to this idea.

It is starting to germinate, however, says Michael Chiavacci, general manager, Interlogix, Lincolnton, N.C. 'Two years ago you never heard of monitoring on demand being offered. But you are hearing about it now as end users want their homes monitored while they're on vacation or away for business. Dealers willing to supplement their traditional product offerings with some type of monitor-it-yourself or monitoring-on-demand service are likely to see an increase in this business.'


How to Solve Network Performance Challenges


With the Internet of Things rapidly expanding, reliable physical layer cable and connectivity has become as critical as the infrastructure that supports the delivery of electricity, gas and water for the efficient operation of businesses, schools, hospitals and other organizations and facilities. In fact, by 2020, it's estimated that up to 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet.

Network Performance Challenges

In order to have a reliable network, you need a high-performance structured cabling system that can support multiple applications, cope with increased bandwidth and minimize network downtime. The biggest challenges to achieving this include:

Keeping up with evolving technologies

There is a continuous drive for rapid innovation throughout the industry, which affects not only the business tools that drive productivity, but also the infrastructure that supports those tools.

Amortization of cabling systems

Cabling is expected to outlive most network components, but it might be the most difficult and cost-intensive component of a network to replace. Infrastructure amortization periods run for an average of 10 to 15 years. When looking at cabling costs, you should consider both initial and long-term costs. You also should understand the full life cycle and industry trends of other technologies and note that cabling represents only two to three percent of the initial network hardware investment. In many ways, the proper investment serves as a necessary insurance, providing protection for the innovations of the future.

Supporting multiple applications

Today's enterprise applications are increasingly a large collective of distributed software components that enable complex business services. With so many components, often monitored in different silos, it can be difficult to manage a business service or application as a whole.

Reducing network downtime

On average, each minute of downtime costs a business $7,900.2 There's little to no margin for error when it comes to network performance, so it's crucial to prevent costly, unplanned service outages or performance degradation. Identifying critical and non-critical assets is foundational, but organizations can make strategic decisions in the ranking of equipment to determine what takes priority.

Coping with increasing bandwidth

The explosion of high-definition, multi-screen and BYOD environments have triggered an equally proportionate intensity on potential strain to the network. With more users on more devices, you need to account not only for current bandwidth usage, but also for future bandwidth needs.


The Power of PowerG Technology


Infused with PowerG 2-way wireless communication, PowerSeries Neo's revolutionary technology forms the core of an unprecedented line-up of features designed to decrease operational costs for dealers while providing ultimate reliability for end users.

  • Multichannel, Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum technology enables the system to hop between wireless frequency channels to ensure the seamless transmission of secure communications between the devices and the control panel.
  • Adaptive Transmission Power translates into up to eight years of battery life for the system's devices and peripherals, reducing battery- replacement incurred costs.
  • High transmission ranges allow for devices to reliably communicate within up to 2km/1.24 miles line-of-sight, therefore reducing the cost of installing additional repeaters to service larger premises.
  • TDMA synchronized communication technology prevents messages from colliding by splitting channels into various time slots, allowing for an increased amount of data transmission and ensuring that devices are able to consistently communicate when needed.
  • 128 bit AES encryption offers exceptionally high level of protection against analysis tools and digital attacks.
  • PowerSeries Neo Wireless PowerG devices are certified with ULC Wireless Commercial Burglary Listing - an industry first in Canada! The approval means these products have been certified under the highest level of requirements for commercial type applications, giving your customers safer, smarter and more secure products.

VIVOTEK 3DNR technology enables to suppress noise and retain good video quality in low light conditions


In a technical sense the term 'noise' refers to any artifacts that occur when signals-including audio, images and video-from a source are transmitted or reproduced. One of the most common factors leading to noise in video is a low light level, and noise can obviously be a serious problem in video captured for security applications under such conditions. For example, noise can severely limit the ability to positively identify persons of interest or vehicle license plate numbers at nighttime video, or to effectively monitor dimly lit areas in an office or retail space. Noise reduction is thus a vital capability for any security camera to be used under low-light conditions.

2DNR vs. 3DNR

There are two types of technologies currently in wide use to reduce noise in video, each with its strengths and weaknesses-2D noise reduction (2DNR) and 3D noise reduction (3DNR). 2DNR works by analyzing individual frames of video, identifying algorithmically and correcting those pixels that likely represent noise. 3DNR, on the other hand, additionally analyzes the differences between successive frames in order to adjust pixels and improve fidelity. 3DNR generally produces greater reduction in noise than does 2DNR, but with the drawback of tending to create motion blur on moving objects in the field of a view.

VIVOTEK 3DNR Solution: Combining 2DNR and 3DNR

In order to take advantage of the strengths of each type of noise reduction technology while avoiding its weaknesses, VIVOTEK employs a combination of 2DNR and 3DNR. Since 2DNR tends to produce superior results for moving objects, it is applied to areas in the field of view where movement is present. Meanwhile, 3DNR is applied in static areas of the field of view. Besides enhancing video quality, VIVOTEK's noise reduction technologies provide other important benefits such as reduced video file sizes and prevention of false alarms caused by noise. It is VIVOTEK's seamless integration of the two types of noise reduction technology that makes VIVOTEK's cameras perform so extraordinarily well even in challenging low-light conditions.


PowerSeries Neo: A Hybrid Security Platform Enhanced with PowerG Technology


Today we are featuring DSC's PowerSeries Neo – a hybrid security platform that pairs the reliability of hardwire security with the flexibility of a wireless solution making it suitable for a wide range of installations that can be integrated with other Tyco products, like Exacq & Kantech.

PowerSeries Neo

A Hybrid Security Platform Enhanced with PowerG Technology

PowerSeries Neo's suite of products caters to the needs of commercial customers from small to large enterprises. PowerSeries Neo control panel redefines intrusion security with its scalability, modularity, and revolutionary technology designed to reduce your operational costs while providing ultimate reliability for your customers.

Why PowerSeries Neo?

  • Integration: Provides a complete security solution when integrated with Exacq/American Dynamics and Kantech/Software House video and access control
  • Scalability: 128 zone capacity for any size enterprises and up to 19,200 zones when integrated with C•CURE 9000
  • Cost Effectiveness: Reduced cost of deployment and quick return on the installation cost investment
  • Wireless: Minimal installation time with enterprise class wireless range of 1.2 mile that offers 128-bit AES encryption

FAQs about Paxton Readers with Genuine HID Technology™


Q: Will the USB Desktop Enrollment reader include Genuine HID Technology™?
A: Yes, the desktop reader can be activated with Genuine HID Technology™ with the purchase of a license card.

Q: Can the new readers be used with iClass credentials?
A: No, these readers are limited to 125kHz credentials.

Q: Does the change to include Genuine HID Technology™ include the specialty readers as well?
A: Yes, speciality readers, such as the marine and architectural readers are included

Q: Will the MIFARE® readers include the new Genuine HID Technology™?
A: This will be done at a future release.

Q: Will the Net2Entry, Paxlock or USB Enrollment reader output Wiegand?
A: Not at this time.

Q: I have readers I've already purchased, how do I know if they have the Genuine HID Technology™ already in them?
A: Contact Paxton support with the serial number on the back of the reader, they will be able to let you know.



ASSA ABLOY: Trusted identities for mobile devices and smart cards


HID Global has presented their list of top trends for 2017. They forecast a shift in the use of identity technology that will lead to increased adoption of mobile devices and the latest smart card technology. We can also expect greater emphasis and reliance on the cloud, and a radical new way of thinking of trust in smart environments and Internet of Things (IoT).

HID Global focuses on four significant trends in 2017 that will influence how organizations create, manage and use trusted identities in a broad range of existing and new use cases. During the coming weeks, the Future Lab will highlight each specific trend individually. First is the stronger adoption of mobile devices and advanced smart cards, which will underscore the need for trusted identities.

Adoption of mobile devices and smart cards drive need for trusted identities

Consumerization of security. Similar to the adoption of consumer trends to IT in past years, 2017 will also see further consumerization of security, with heightened demand from users seeking to open doors, and login to cloud-based resources, as well as have personalized on-demand printing of documents, and to deploy printed credentials remotely or conduct other transactions and daily activities using trusted IDs on their phone, wearable or smart card.

Trusted IDs that integrate security, privacy and convenience will provide a new level of assurance to these applications and transactions, while being uniquely positioned to make secure access more personalized to the individual.

Identity relationship management. The industry will look towards complete identity relationship management that considers the need to grant access based on the context or circumstances for risk-appropriate authentication across trusted identities assigned to people, devices, data and things in smart offices, buildings and other environments that are becoming more connected every day.



eDist Security Offers Customers Better Connections, Superior Service with Genesis® Series Cable by Honeywell®


Company to provide state-of-the art, high-performance, low-voltage cable products as first independent security distributor for Honeywell Cable

eDist Security is proud to announce the expansion of their relationship with Honeywell®, with the offering of the Genesis® Series Cable product line. As the first independent security distributor for Honeywell Cable, eDist Security will provide their customers with a high-quality, compliant cable, paired with an optimal user experience.

“We have been honored to serve as an authorized Honeywell alarm system distributor for many years, and now are thrilled to expand our relationship with this exciting new product offering,” Nick Scarane, President of eDist Security, explained. “The fact that eDist Security is the first independent security distributor of the Genesis Series Cable product line is a testament to the value our strategic vendors place on our strong business relationship. We anticipate this collaboration to result in growth for both parties, and look forward to continuing our partnership in the years to come.”

Genesis Series Cable includes a variety of industry-leading products and features. PROFUSION®, featuring a revolutionary twisting scheme holds pairs together without binding for easier installation, and is the most cost-effective solution for residential structured cable applications. WAVEFLEX® boasts flexible jacketing technology for faster terminations and easier installations. Its ribbed interior prevents damage to braids, shielding or conductors, while jacketing technology allows the outer jacket to strip more efficiently. The Hybrid Thermostat is the cable designed specifically for the power requirements of the circuit, and ideal for both new (energy-efficient) and existing HVAC equipment. Finally, the REACT™ packaging offers hassle-free cable dispensing that uses a patent-pending reactive brake system to eliminate tangles.

This robust product line will be a welcome addition to the Honeywell products currently offered by eDist Security, which includes a variety of fire alarm solutions from low-to-mid sized fire alarm systems to complex large systems tailored to specifications. Honeywell's fire detection systems manufacturers, such as System Sensor, Fire-Lite and Silent Knight are leaders in the fire alarm industry. These top fire alarm equipment manufacturers have built broad portfolios of products that are routinely found in homes, educational institutions, hospitals and health care facilities, commercial complexes, retail spaces and government buildings.

About eDist Security

A national, leading wholesale distributor for more than 40 years, eDist Security provides on-hand expertise and guidance necessary to succeed in today's security industry by providing personalized customer service, top-notch training on new products and technologies in the industry, technical support and customized solutions specifically designed to deliver optimal results.

Specialties include Wholesale Security Products, Wholesale Security Cameras, Wholesale Security Systems, Integration & Automation Solutions, Fire Detection Systems, IP Video Solutions, CCTV Systems, Access Control, Mass Notification, DIY/Fulfillment & Logistics, Automation, Communication, Wire & Cable, Commercial & Residential Intrusion, Data & Hardware and Audio. For more information visit


Podcast: Unlocking Physical Security Costs


In Episode 2 of the new podcast Unlocked, Assa Abloy takes you on the journey of an IT Director at a small college as he navigates through the sometimes choppy waters of purchasing and implementing a new door access system for his campus. Hear some best practices from a leading integrator on how you can avoid some of the pitfalls when starting your own physical security project.

5 Tips for Beginning a Campus Security Project

  • Start by asking the questions
  • Walk around and do a quality check on your own before engaging an outsider
  • Next, talk with a security expert you trust
  • Basic cost estimates are easy to get from providers
  • Finally, watch out for factors that will impact your timeline

Listen to the Unlocking Physical Security Costs podcast HERE.

Unlocking Physical Security Costs White Paper

SlideShare: 5 Tips for Beginning a Campus Security Project



What is Paxton BLU?


Paxton BLU is a cloud-based access control system. The system can be managed from anywhere via any Internet connected PC or smart device.

Paxton BLU offers a flexible approach to site security as it can be configured without a local server* and is therefore ideal for a range of applications, including remote or unmanned sites, where previously access control has not been an option.
Paxton BLU also offers the added benefit of a dealer managed system, allowing user and site administration to be conducted without repeat visits.

Why Paxton BLU?

Flexibility – Customer Convenience

  • Cloud based – access from anywhere with internet connection, via PC or smart device
  • Ideal for a range of sites, including those where traditional access control is not an option
  • Ultimate flexibility - multi-user, multi-site
  • Highly scalable - secure thousands of sites
  • Expandable functionality via API integration

Simplicity – Get the Job Done Quicker

  • Simple set up with no local server or network* required
  • Simple token administration, on site & remotely
  • Quick, hassle free installation
  • No network or IT support needed with 3G modem option

Security – Offer Peace of Mind

  • Powered by Amazon Web Services™, offering complete security
  • No manual back up needed, no concerns about a server failure

Opportunity to Build Recurring Monthly Revenue

  • Significantly increase value to your customers by offering additional services
  • Increase long term profitability for your company by creating a reliable, recurring customer base
  • Develop a consistent and predictable revenue stream throughout your business cycle
  • Offer more competitive installation rates



Greater emphasis on the cloud for digital IDs


HID Global continue predicting trends for Identity in 2017. Next up is a greater emphasis on the cloud. By combining on-premises and the cloud, “hybrid solutions” will create common management platforms for digital IDs.

HID Global focuses on four significant trends in 2017 that will influence how organizations create, manage and use trusted identities in a broad range of existing and new use cases.

The forecast for 2017 is based on a breakthrough in adoption of mobile identity technology in 2016. Exemplifying industry-wide trending, HID Global experienced tremendous uptick in customer deployments of its broad mobility solutions and has a strong pipeline of future customer installations in the works to make verification of identities optimized for mobile applications.

Common management platforms for digital IDs

Organizations are recognizing the interdependencies of technologies and platforms needed for business agility, cost management and providing a better user experience within a mobile workforce, or for digital commerce and relationship management that continues to require more reach, flexibility, security.

In banking, government, healthcare and other regulated markets, multi-factor authentication for physical and IT access control will have more opportunities to merge into integrated systems that will also provide a more convenient experience for users and increase security.

This model will make it easier for administrators to deploy and maintain an integrated system throughout the complete identity lifecycle — from onboarding to offboarding.

It will make it possible to monitor and manage employees’ access rights as their role changes within an organization, ensuring employees only have access to what they need in a current role.

Credential issuance for physical ID cards will experience a digital transformation, as the use of cloud technologies will enable managed service models for badge printing and encoding.



Unlocking Campus Lockdown


Active shooter emergencies are a reality on today's campuses. On this first episode of Unlocked, Assa Abloy takes a look at what can go wrong during these emergencies and what can be done to make sure students, staff and faculty are kept safe. Learn about the different lockdown procedures and protocols, and why every campus needs to have a good emergency preparedness plan in place.

5 Principles of Effective Campus Lockdowns

  • Lockdown is a functional protocol used to protect campuses
  • Emergency preparedness plan should be specific
  • Staff is more likely to initiate lockdown when there are different levels for various types of emergencies
  • Balance open campus culture with security
  • Emergency training should be a top priority



New tests for smoke alarms and detectors coming soon


In order to improve the detection of fires from synthetic materials and to reduce unwanted alarms, new tests have been developed for smoke alarms.

In addition to the long established tests, beginning in May 29, 2020, all smoke alarms seeking to be listed as complying with the ANSI/UL 217 product standard will have to pass new flaming and smoldering polyurethane (PU) foam tests as well as a new cooking nuisance resistance test. Ultimately the new tests will be added to the ANSI/UL 268 smoke detector product standard with the same effective date. Smoke detection manufacturers are in the process of redesigning or developing new products to meet the new requirements.

The PU fire tests were needed to address changes in materials used for interior furnishings and building materials. Forty years ago, the interior furnishings found in homes, hotel guest rooms, dormitories, and offices were primarily made of natural materials like cotton, wood, wool, linen, or silk. Most furniture available in the last 20 years utilizes polyurethane foam for padding, and polyester or nylon for furniture coverings, carpet, and drapes. The reason for this transition is synthetic materials are less expensive, easier to clean, and more resistant to normal wear and tear than natural materials. Also, during the mid-1980’s, construction methods changed from using solid wood lumber like  2X4’s, 2X6’s, and 2X12’s for studs, trusses, and joists to widespread use of “Engineered Lumber,” which is made from wood and synthetic epoxies. This transition occurred because engineered lumber is less expensive and lighter than real wood, while also being just as strong.

With the widespread use of synthetic materials, the smoke characteristics of fires today are considerably different than in the 1970’s. There are numerous reports that demonstrate that fires from synthetic materials burn hotter and faster than natural materials used in the past. The 2008 National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) report titled Performance of Home Smoke Alarms Analysis of the Response of Several Available Technologies in Residential Fire Settings concluded that people today have 3 minutes of available safe escape time in “flaming” fires, compared to 17 minutes in the late 1970’s.

The cooking nuisance resistance test was necessary to meet a new requirement in the 2013 edition of NFPA 72®,National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. Section requires all smoke alarms and smoke detectors installed between 6 feet and 20 feet from a stationary or fixed cooking appliance to be listed for resistance to normal cooking activities, such as pan frying, sautéing, and baking. A future effective date of January 1, 2016 was established to allow for the development of a cooking-resistant test in the product standards and to allow manufacturers time to design and get their products listed. The new requirement was needed because normal cooking activities are the leading cause of unwanted alarms.

For the 2016 edition of NFPA 72, the effective date was changed to January 1, 2019, as the cooking nuisance resistance test had not been finalized. It was estimated that an additional three years would be needed to gather the technical data, develop the performance tests, obtain approval from the UL Standards Technical Panel (STP), as well as to allow time for manufacturers to design, test, and list their products.

The new flaming and smoldering PU foam tests as well as the nuisance resistance test will become part of UL/ANSI 217 for smoke alarms and ANSI/UL 268 for smoke detectors. UL recently announced their certification laboratory will not require smoke alarms or smoke detectors to comply with the new tests until May 29, 2020. An effort is underway to change the date for the 2019 edition of NFPA 72 and to promulgate a tentative interim amendment (TIA) for the 2016 edition of NFPA 72 to align with the May 29, 2020 date in the aforementioned product standards. Because of the NFPA code development processes, no change can be made to the 2013 edition.

At this time there are no smoke alarms or smoke detectors that meet the new tests. As a result, many stakeholders are of the opinion that jurisdictions that have or are in the process of adopting the 2013 or 2016 editions of NFPA 72 need to revise the effective date of section



Why schools need carbon monozide detectors


March 17, 2014, started off just like any other day: I dropped off my five-year-old son Ryan at the Douglas Municipal Center, adjacent to the Douglas Elementary School. He hurried inside the municipal center, where kindergarten is held, along with 76 other kindergartners and their teachers. The weather was cold, so the building's heating system was on. No one realized that somewhere inside the building a furnace was leaking a deadly gas and everybody inside was in danger.

It's hard to describe the range of emotions I felt that day as I worried for my young son, who was one of many students taken in an ambulance to a nearby hospital for evaluation and treatment. After I was notified, I dashed to the Douglas Elementary School next door where the children and staff had been transported to assess their condition. I couldn't see my son right away for the crowd of emergency responders, students and faculty members. I was so nervous for him. I knew he would be scared. He was five years old. This was followed by moments of panic, fear, and then relief.

Ultimately, none of the students suffered significant lasting effects from the carbon monoxide exposure, but I will never forget that day -- and I'm sure none of the other parents, teachers, or emergency responders will, either.

It's October now and our students are in school as the turns colder and another heating season begins. When they enter the classroom each morning, most will face the same risk as the Douglas students: potential exposure to carbon monoxide (CO). Almost every school in Massachusetts has at least some equipment that can emit CO -- including furnaces, water heaters, and gas stoves -- meaning there is always risk of exposure if something goes wrong.

Over time, CO levels as low as 70 parts per million (a mix of.007% carbon monoxide and 99.993% oxygen) can cause headaches, fatigue, and nausea. At 150 parts per million, sustained exposure can lead to disorientation, unconsciousness, or death in a healthy adult. You can't smell or sense CO, and every year more than 400 people in this country die from exposure to it -- not to mention some 20,000 related emergency room and hospital visits.

The symptoms are too easy to ignore (headaches, nausea) -- particularly when you factor in all the things on a teacher's mind in a classroom full of children. Wouldn't it be better to protect against the risk in the first place?

The Massachusetts Legislature is considering a bill, House Bill 4103, that would do just that: help keep school-age children safe from the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning by requiring every school in the Commonwealth to install adequate CO detection to alert staff and administrators when CO is present anywhere in the school. When the alarms go off, everyone will know to exit the building. The bill is being considered by the House Ways and Means Committee, and although the formal session is over, legislation is frequently passed in the informal session (albeit under different legislative procedures). If passed, the bill would also require CO detection in new or substantially remodeled restaurants.

A similar bill advanced through the legislature last session but failed to pass over concerns regarding the cost of implementation. But aren't the limited costs well worth the safety of our school children? On average, it would cost $12,000 for each school to purchase and install the appropriate level of CO detection. There are about 1,900 public and charter K–12 schools in Massachusetts, with 950,000 students. At $12,000 per school that's an average of just $24 per student. When compared to the entire state budget for 2017 ($40 billion), $24 per kid is minuscule.

Some of the newer schools already have CO detection, while others likely wouldn't need much more than an upgrade. I applaud school officials, including those in my hometown of Douglas, who have acted to install CO detection to keep their students and staff safe without being compelled to do so by legislative mandate. But unfortunately, what that means is that some students are protected while others are not.

That doesn't seem fair to me. It wasn't fair for the students in Waltham at Henry Whittemore Elementary School in January, who were evacuated because a faulty boiler leaked concentrated levels of CO. It certainly wasn't fair for the two staff members at Franklin Elementary School in Newton, who were found unconscious in the boiler room last October. And it sure wasn't fair to the 16 kindergartners at the Douglas Municipal Center who were rushed to the hospital that fateful morning two-and-a-half years ago. Had detection equipment been present in each of these schools there would have been zero hospital trips and no unconscious bodies.

Massachusetts is by no means the only state where CO leaks occur. But other states are acting. Utah had a near-tragedy in 2013 when 40 students and staff members at an elementary school were exposed and had to be rushed to medical facilities. Four months later, the Utah legislature passed a bill to require CO detection in every school. We've had three incidents in the last 30 months -- and yet our legislature has passed nothing. We need to join states such as Utah, Colorado, Illinois, New York, and Connecticut (all cold-weather states like ours) and require CO detectors in all our school buildings.

And our schools are not the only facilities that need CO detection devices because CO is a risk in any building with equipment that burns fossil fuels (oil, gas, wood) for water heaters, ovens and gas furnaces. The exhaust from cars also contains CO, so enclosed garages also pose a risk. Within the last few years, CO-related deaths have occurred at a hotel in NC and a restaurant (Legal Seafood) in NY – not counting the many instances where building occupants were exposed for some time without knowing it before experiencing symptoms and being evacuated.

Please don't take this occurrence lightly. It's only a matter of time before we have another one. When we send our children off to school, we know where they are all day, and we expect them to be safe. Massachusetts officials must pass House Bill 4103. Our students are at risk until they do.

-- About the author: Pamela Morrissette, a Douglas resident, is president of Morrissette & Son Electrical Contractors Inc. of Whitinsville. She and her husband, Jason, have three children.

Link to original story:



Low Frequency Requirements Sound Confusing, But They're Necessary


The wording of the 520 Hz signal requirement in NFPA 72®: 2010 and 2013 has caused some confusion. In general, low frequency sounders take the place of standard sounders in commercial sleeping spaces. However, there’s far more to know about the newly enacted requirement.

A significant change in NFPA 72, The National Fire Alarm Signaling Code, became effective January 1, 2014 – the 520 Hz low frequency audible fire alarm signal is required in all sleeping areas of newly constructed hotel guest rooms and dormitory sleeping rooms. What does this change mean for you? The short answer is: it depends. And confusion regarding the wording in the 2010 and 2013 editions of NFPA 72 is partly to blame for the difficulty in providing a definitive answer.

Chapter 18

Section of NFPA 72: 2010 requires that after January 1, 2014, the low frequency audible fire alarm signal be provided in areas to wake people sleeping in occupancies having a protected premises (building) fire alarm system. The Chapter 18 committee chose to apply the requirement to all sleeping areas – not just those where occupants have self identified as having a hearing impairment. This was done intentionally for several reasons: For example, many people may not know they have a hearing impairment. In addition, the low frequency signal has proven very effective at waking children under the age of 10 and people with alcohol impairments.

In NFPA 72: 2013, the Chapter 18 text was slightly changed to clarify that the low frequency requirements were intended to “awaken” people who are sleeping only. The low-frequency signal is not required in the hallway of a hotel or dormitory, but it is required in hotel guest rooms.

The low frequency tone benefits not only the hard of hearing, but also children, deep sleepers, and people impaired by alcohol or medications. The tone gives these individuals a higher chance of waking when a fire occurs. In fact, studies have shown the low frequency signal is six to ten times more effective at waking children, heavy sleepers, and people with hearing loss than current high-pitched alarms, which operate at around 3 kilohertz.

Specifically, the 520 Hz low frequency signal is required in the sleeping areas of these types of buildings:

  • Hotels/motels
  • College/university dormitories
  • Retirement/assisted-living facilities (without trained staff responsible for waking up patients)
  • Apartments/condominiums

As a result, any of these new buildings with sleeping areas will now need to include low frequency sounders as part of the fire and life safety system. The requirement may extend to those that are upgrading or retrofitting existing fire and life safety systems within those types of buildings.

What about sleeping accommodations in occupancies such as hospitals and detention or correctional facilities? These applications do not require low frequency sounders. In a hospital, a low frequency tone could unnecessarily awaken patients, which would be detrimental to their care. Instead, a standard audible fire alarm signal notifies staff members who will then awaken and relocate patients who are in danger. Regular, required fire drills prepare staff members in the case of an emergency.

Chapter 24

Low frequency requirements have also been added to Chapter 24, which covers emergency communications systems, such as in-building fire EVAC systems and mass notification systems. Section requires a low frequency signal in sleeping areas to be followed by a voice message to communicate information to people who could be asleep, except in occupancies listed in The reason for this provision is to comply with the NFPA 72 and UL 864 requirement for the voice evacuation message to be preceded by two cycles of the temp 3 audible alarm signal.

Section does not require a low frequency signal in occupancies where the voice system is used to communicate to occupants who are awake. For example, in a hospital, the voice message is used to notify staff members who are already awake. The staff will then respond to the appropriate location in the hospital to carry out their duties, which could include waking and relocating patients in potential danger.

Chapter 29

Finally, low frequency requirements have been added to Chapter 29. The scope of this chapter covers all occupancies that are required to install smoke alarms or household fire alarm systems. In accordance with 29.3.8 and, the low frequency signal is required in sleeping areas for people with mild-to-severe hearing loss where required by governing laws, codes, or standards, as well as where provided voluntarily for people with hearing loss.

To summarize the NFPA 72 low frequency requirements, Chapter 18 and Chapter 29 have different scopes. Chapter 18 requires the low frequency signal in all sleeping areas to wake people sleeping in occupancies having a protected premises fire alarm system. Unlike Chapter 18, Chapter 29 does not require the low frequency signal in all sleeping areas. Instead, Chapter 29 requires the low frequency signal in areas to wake up people with mild-to-severe hearing loss only. Also the scope of Chapter 29 covers occupancies where smoke alarms and household fire alarm systems are installed.

Beyond NFPA 72

Low frequency requirements go beyond the reach of NFPA 72. In response to the NFPA 72 changes for low frequency smoke and fire alarms in sleeping rooms, the 2012 International Fire Code (IFC)/ International Building Code (IBC) indirectly requires a low frequency signal in certain occupancies because the 2010 edition of NFPA 72 is referenced in Chapter 80 of the IFC and Chapter 35 of the IBC.

Section 907.2 in the 2012 edition of the IFC/IBC requires a fire alarm system to be installed in new buildings in accordance with NFPA 72 and provide occupant notification in accordance with section

907.5. Section 907.5 requires the activation of a fire alarm system to send a signal to the control unit and then provide occupant notification throughout all occupied areas of the building, including both common and tenant spaces. Common spaces are the corridors, lobbies, or meeting rooms. Tenant spaces are dwelling units within apartment buildings, guest rooms of hotels, or dormitory sleeping rooms. The basic purpose of a fire alarm system is to alert all occupants in the building. It’s important to point out that the requirements in NFPA 72 and section 907.2 of the IFC do not apply retroactively to existing systems.

This translates to providing low frequency sounders in sleeping units in newly constructed Group R-1 hotels and motels, as well as in R-2 colleges, universities, and apartment buildings where there is a protective premise fire alarm system in the building. There are two exceptions to the Group R-1 requirement:

  1. A manual fire alarm system is not required in buildings not more than two stories in height where all individual sleeping units have an exit directly to the public way, egress  court, or yard
  2. Permits the fire alarm system to be activated by a sprinkler system and provide occupant notification

Regarding Group R-1 and Group R-2 occupancies: It is very common to have a building fire alarm system with smoke alarms installed in the sleeping rooms of Group R-1 and R-2 occupancies. Section 907.2.9 of the 2012 IFC requires Group R-1 and R-2 occupancies to have a fire alarm system that activates the occupant notification system throughout all occupied areas of the building, including sleeping areas with dwelling units, by either pull stations or a sprinkler system. That means the low frequency signal (activated by the building fire alarm system) is required in all sleeping rooms.

Section of NFPA 72: 2013 exempts smoke alarms, installed in the sleeping rooms, from the low frequency signal requirement. In this application, there will be two different signals in the sleeping rooms:

  1. Low frequency signal activated by the fire alarm system
  2. The standard 3 Khz signal from the smoke alarm

Not every local jurisdiction has adopted the 2010 or 2013 version of NFPA 72, but an increasing number of jurisdictions have. Remember to follow manufacturer instructions, as well as your local building/code regulations, for the use and installation of any audible visible notification devices.


Overall, the takeaway is that each application must be evaluated on its own merits. Each application –hotel and motel guest rooms, dorms, and so on – requires a careful study to determine the suitability of systems to meet associated codes. It is not always one or the other; each application has its associated suitability versus code requirements.



Low Frequency Requirements: When, Where, and Why?


Did you know that, effective January 1, 2014, a low frequency audible fire alarm signal is required in all sleeping areas of newly constructed hotel guest rooms and dormitory sleeping rooms?

That's right: Section in the 2010 and 2013 editions of NFPA 72 requires a frequency signal with a fundamental frequency of 520 Hz to awaken people in occupancies with a protected premises fire alarm system. Even though this new requirement was published in 2009, a lot of confusion remains since the implementation date was just this January.

The intent of the new requirement is to improve waking effectiveness, because smoke alarms and fire alarm systems are most valuable when occupants are asleep. This observation is illustrated in a 2010 U.S. Fire Administration study, which reports that 50% of residential fire fatalities occur between 10 PM and 6 AM. And according to a 2008 Dorothy Bruck study, most unimpaired adults wake up quickly to the so-called standard audible signal, even at levels well below 75 dBA. The majority of fire alarm horns will signal with a frequency range between 2 KHz and 4 KHz. Also, integral sounders in nearly all smoke alarms produce a 3 KHz audible alarm signal.

However, how effective is that standard signal at waking up high-risk population segments such as school-age children, the elderly, and the hearing impaired? A U.S. Fire Administration study revealed that 13% of residential fire fatality victims are less than 10 years old and it's suspected that over 27% of civilian fatalities in residential building fires are linked to alcohol, drug, or chemical influence. Additionally, more than 34.5 million people in the United States are hard of hearing.

In 2006, the NFPA petitioned two research projects from the Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF) to study audible fire alarm signal effectiveness in high-risk groups: Waking Effectiveness of Alarms for Adults Who Are Hard of Hearing, and Waking Effectiveness of Alarms for the Alcohol Impaired. The studies reached the following conclusions:

  • The low frequency, 520 Hz signal is the most effective. It woke up 92% of hard of hearing participants when presented at or below 75 dBA for 30 seconds.
  • In comparison, the standard 3 KHz signal woke up 56% at or below 75 dBA.
  • The low frequency signal is superior to bed and pillow shakers and strobe lights.

Sleeping areas affected by the low frequency requirement include hotel rooms, dormitory rooms, and possibly dwelling unit bedrooms within apartment buildings – occupancies like hospital patient rooms are excluded because trained staff is responsible for waking patients. The Chapter 18 Committee specifically chose to apply the requirement to all sleeping areas, not just those where occupants have self-identified hearing impairments. This was done because many people may not know they have a hearing impairment, and also because the low frequency signal has proven effective at waking up people with alcohol impairments.

Based on IFC/IBC and NFPA 72 provisions, after January 1, 2014, the low frequency signal is required in several Group R sleeping unit occupancies where there is a protected premises fire alarm system to activate the occupant notification system: for example, Group R-1 occupancies like hotels and Group R-2 occupancies like college dormitories. Section 907.2 of the IFC/IBC (2012) requires fire alarm system installation in new buildings in accordance with NFPA 72, but said requirements don't retroactively apply to existing systems unless an AHJ mandates otherwise. Furthermore, Section 907.5 makes it clear that fire alarm system activation must first send a signal to the control unit and then alert every building occupant in all occupied areas, including common and tenant spaces. Remember, a fire alarm system's basic purpose is to alert all building occupants.



Consider eDist Security Your Dedicated IP Resource

We Are Here to Guide You Home!

Consider Us Your Dedicated IP Resource

Rely on eDist Security to ensure that your system's camera streams flow where they need to go. Receive personalized customer service and technical support from our team of dedicated Application Specialists that are here to guide you in successfully navigating the waters of emerging technologies in the world of IP.

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All you have to do is bring us the application and watch as we construct customized solutions specifically designed for your needs:

All you have to do is bring us the application and watch as we construct customized solutions specifically designed for your needs:

Managed or Unmanaged Network Switches | PoE Power Budgets | Fiber | Linking | Media Converting
Wireless Point to Point | Mesh Networks
Routers | Network over Power Line

Managed or Unmanaged Network Switches | PoE Power Budgets | Fiber | Linking | Media Converting
Wireless Point to Point | Mesh Networks
Routers | Network over Power Line

Let Us Help You Build Your IP Business

Contact your dedicated Application Specialist today to learn
more about our stock of over 20 different models of PoE switches
along with a comprehensive selection of labor saving solutions
to help you get where you need to be.

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[email protected] I 800.800.6624 ext. 1537


Experience All of the Benefits of eDist Security’s Training Room


Did you know that eDist Security's corporate headquarters in Mahwah, New Jersey houses an industry specific training room that was designed exclusively for you?

This learning annex was created to provide all of our customers with the essential resources and tools that are vital in facilitating their growth and success.

eDist Security

Here's a brief look at the rewards that eDist Security's training room has to offer:

  • Personalized guidance on how to become an expert in all areas of the security industry, ranging from CCTV Systems, IP Video Solutions and Fire Detection Systems to Access Control, Automation, Commercial & Residential Intrusion and more!
  • Experienced Systems Design, a specialty of ours. Consider eDist to be a vital part of your design team in creating cost effective integrated systems for business and industry.
  • Technical Support and Training so that you are equipped to successfully embrace new technologies, industry opportunities and product applications.
  • Consultations offered by our dedicated team of specially trained industry experts and solutions providers. *Pre-programmed products, ensuring it is ready-to-go when it arrives on site – saving you and your IT staff installation and deployment time.
  • Solution Customization allowing you to experience the benefits of specifically implemented plans designed to deliver optimal performance and results for you and your customers.
  • Presentations designed with content that goes beyond product features, and digs deep into the technology properties, allowing you to get the most out of each and every opportunity.

Let us help you drive your business forward! Contact Mike Weinstein and visit the eDist Security Training Room today!


eDist Security to Attend CEDIA Expo 2015 in Dallas, TX to Promote Hikvision® and Onkyo® and Other Product Lines in Quality Home Technology


eDist Security is attending CEDIA Expo 2015 as the Reliable Distributor for Integration and Automation Experts


eDist Security is set to attend the Cedia Expo 2015 in Dallas, TX at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, on October 14-17, 2015. As a CEDIA member, eDist Security, is exhibiting for the first time at this yearly event to promote their extensive line of quality Home Technology products available to dealers nationwide. In addition to the Onkyo suite of products, eDist will be promoting one of their newest lines, Hikvision, the innovative leader in video surveillance products.

“To say we are excited to be exhibiting at the CEDIA Expo 2015 this year is an understatement. We have been looking forward to this event all year as it will provide us an opportunity to expose not only our current dealers to some of the newest additions to our product line up, but introduce eDist Security to an entirely new group of Home Technology installers. By providing the best and most innovative products to our dealers, we are able to continue our commitment to being the Premier Wholesale Distributor for Security and Automation,” said Nick Scarane, President of eDist Security. “As an added bonus to current and future dealers, eDist Security is providing a 10% discount promotion for all orders made at the event. We encourage all installers interested in hearing more about our solutions and product lines, to come to Booth 1002. They can also enter to win a $500 eDist Gift Card,” stated Scarane.    

About eDist Security: 
eDist Security provides a diverse line of products and solutions to their dealers from over 250 leading vendors such as Interlogix, DSC, Napco, and to name just a few. They understand the specific needs of the integration and home automation expert and excel at providing their dealers with customized solutions. eDist is constantly working with vendors to provide on-site training to keep both the sales team and dealers up to date on the latest technology and innovative products available. In addition to pre and post-sales support, eDist also offers a robust Partnership Rewards Program to all approved dealers on qualified purchases.

For more information about eDist Security and their 40-year history serving the independent dealer, visit


Calling all Monitronics Dealers!


Hey Monitronics Dealers; Wondering what’s in it for you when you decide to use eDist Security as your value added distributor? Below is a list of the top 5 reasons to sign up with eDist Security.

1. Contract Pricing

You heard right! eDist has negotiated with Monitronics to become a preferred Monitronics Distributor and be able to provide special contract pricing to all Monitronics Dealers.

2. eDist Partner Program

When you purchase $25,000 in products from eDist, you automatically qualify to become part of the eDist Partner Program and earn up to 2% back in co-op marketing dollars on all purchases through eDist. These funds can be used to finance your next marketing initiative in order to continue to support the growth of your organization. Templated marketing materials are available on the eDist Security Marketing Portal or get custom-designed pieces from our preferred marketing agency. Learn more

3. Wide Product Selection

eDist has also partnered with a wide variety of Monitronics-approved vendors and manufacturers including DSC, 2GIG, and Interlogix. They carry a variety of products from each vendor and are always looking to expand their product lines with the latest in innovative products and solutions, keeping dealers on the cutting edge of home intrusion and automation technology.

4. 1-2-Day Shipping

With seven locations throughout the U.S., eDist Security has the ability to deliver your inventory needs within 1- 2 days to most locations. Coupled with electronics billing, RFID tracking and a friendly staff available to assist you in ordering, eDist Security is able to get the products you need delivered quickly.

5. Technical Support and Training

eDist Security, as part of their value added services, provides both technical support and training for dealers. Get a walk-through of installing a new home automation system or visit the showroom near you for our counter days and learn about new products being introduced on the market. The staff is knowledgeable and experienced working with a variety of product lines and are eager to assist you in expanding your own knowledgebase.

The partnership between eDist and Monitronics provides current Monitronics Dealers with even more support, incentives and benefits. The time to become an eDist Dealer has never been better.

Become a Monitronics Dealer


NanoMax™… Powerful Performance in a Tiny Footprint


As security products continue to get smaller and sleeker, eDist Security continues to provide these exceptional innovations to its dealers. The NanoMax™ product line by Resolution Products – some of the smallest sensors you’ll find on the market – is now available at eDist.

Until now, selecting micro-sized sensors required you to lose features and performance, limiting when and where you could install these low profile devices. Today NanoMax™ delivers all the features of a full-sized sensor in 75% less space.

Unprecedented Features:

  • No-tool installation reduces costs and maximizes performance
  • Transmit power at the full FCC limits, providing long range and highly reliable sensors
  • 6+ year battery life (longest battery life in each class of sensor)
  • 1-inch magnet gap, make them the smallest sensors in the market
  • External contacts, battery initiation tab, provisioning, and installation all accomplished without removing the cover
  • Tape-only installation with tamper detection
  • Supports the new Resolution CryptiX™ encrypted protocol when paired with a Helix™ panel, increasing the security and account retention rates
  • Compatible with most professional security systems including Resolution Helix, Honeywell®, 2GIG®, GE®/Interlogix® and DSC® platforms

Why choose eDist as your wholesale distributor?

As a NanoMax™ distributor, eDist Security has once again delivered a solution that will drive both dealer growth and customer satisfaction. They promise to continue to provide wireless security innovations as a value added distributor of both Resolution Products and other innovative product lines in the industry.


Become a NanoMax™ Dealer


Feather Your Business With Nest™


eDist has partnered with Nest® to bring you the Nest Learning Thermostat,™ the Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide™ detection system and the DropCam.

Home automation is a very lucrative and rapidly expanding business and as one of the select distributors in North America given the exclusive privilege of distributing Nest® products to dealers, we now offer you the unprecedented opportunity to get out in front of the market. All you have to do now is become a Nest Certified Pro.

The Nest Learning Thermostat™ was named #1in the industry for best selling thermostats.

The Nest Thermostat™ adapts to your changing life. It keeps you comfortable, helps you save energy and you can control it from anywhere! Nest controls half your home’s energy and can lower your heating and cooling bills by 20%!

Nest Protect™ speaks with a human voice telling you where smoke is or when carbon monoxide levels are rising. If it’s just a nuisance alarm, like burning popcorn, Heads-Up allows you to silence Nest Protect.

Dropcam is a cloud-based Wi-Fi video monitoring service with free live streaming, two-way talk and remote viewing that makes it easy to stay connected with places, people and pets, no matter where you are.

Signing up for the Nest® Certification Program is a simple ten-step process that can be completed in minutes. As a Nest® Certified Pro you will enjoy Pro Dealer pricing, a personal use program, online marketing and a customer referral database invaluable to a growing business! Nest® is committed to providing technology that is “simple, fresh and helpful.”

Committed to Your Success

eDist Security is the premier wholesale distributor for over 250 vendors in industries such as IP Video Surveillance and Home Automation. As a preferred Nest® Distributor, eDist Security is constantly working with vendors such as Nest® to provide training, certifications and counter days which keep both the sales staff and dealers up to date on the latest advances in technology.

Become a Nest™ Certified Pro Today!


Back to school means your family is going in all directions!


The IQ solution from Qolsys is the “smart home” solution for staying connected with your children and your home.

Security today is about more than just preventing intrusions. It’s about tapping into innovations that work with your lifestyle to make security and home management easier. eDist, one of the largest Qolsys wholesale distributors, is featuring the IQ Panel and its an all-in-one solution platform.

The IQ Panel will keep you connected to your home and family by turning your mobile device into a powerful window that lets you stay in control no matter where you are. The IQ Solution is built on the Android platform and uses, the industry’s most reliable, advanced and interactive security service platform. eDist carries the Qolsys complete line of defense with a the full line of Qolsys accessories including sensors, cameras, door locks, thermostats, outlets, switches, and more.

  • Check in using your when a motion sensor is tripped. Was it the kids getting home from school?
  • Unlock the door for the cable man and lock the door behind him when he leaves.
  • Turn down your thermostat an hour before you leave work and come home to a cool, dry climate.
  • Turn the lights on while you’re away on vacation to deter thieves from targeting your home.

As the leading Qolsys distributor the eDist team is made up of industry experienced and technically proficient sales associates and we have been serving the independent dealer for over 40 years.

Start growing your business today with custom marketing. As a qualified eDist Partner you will receive specialized Qolsys marketing. Look forward to building traffic and profits for your business by taking advantage of the marketing portal.

With the school year just getting underway, this is the perfect time to reach out to your existing customer base or to find new clients in your area by promising the control and peace of mind that comes from having the Qolsys IQ System in their home.

Become a Qolsys Dealer Today