American Alarms Blog

What is the REAL cost?

by Adam Jacobs 9/18/2019

Whenever I get into a discussion with a customer about the cost of our products or services, we eventually get to the REAL cost of doing business with someone who does not do EVERYTHING possible to protect the customer.  What do I mean?  Here are some of the things American Alarms does to make sure our customers don't get into regulatory, legal, or even life-threatening danger.

- We buy products that we trust, we use, and have the best guarantees/warranties we can find.  When a system is designed for your life safety and/or security, you want parts that are as reliable as possible.

- We buy as many products from LOCAL manufacturers and vendors as we can and still offer the products our customers want.  This takes extra time and effort to seek out sometimes, but it's worth it to us.  It makes me feel good to know I can jump in the car and drive to this vendor's office in less than a day if needed.

- We spend thousands of dollars every year on technical and administrative training for our employees.  We feel this is a great investment in the people that we depend upon every day.

- We make sure EVERY field technician that touches a customer's system is trained, certified, and licensed to do what they are doing.  If we didn't, we may never get caught, but we like to sleep at night.

- We use contracts/agreements written by the best ALARM INDUSTRY attorney in the country.  This protects us AND our customers, so we can both be around for a long time.

- We carry DOUBLE the insurance that most customers request.  Our carrier has us in the proper classification so that claims won't be denied.  We have a "fire protection" specialist at our carrier that understands our business, lingo, and negotiates claims on our behalf.  We've had one claim in the last 10 years and that claim was proven "unfounded" and was never paid.

- We take responsibility for our mistakes and we fix them, even if we lose money short-term.  We have never walked away from a project just because we underestimated the cost.  I can't promise we'll never make mistakes, we're human, but we'll own up to that mistake and make it right.

 

If your alarm company (or any vendor) can't say they do all of these things, are you really comparing costs equally?

 

What is the REAL cost of doing business with that company?

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What is the REAL cost?

by Adam Jacobs 9/18/2019

Whenever I get into a discussion with customer about the cost of our products or services, we eventually get to the REAL cost of doing business with someone who does not do EVERYTHING possible to protect the customer.  What do I mean?  Here are some of the things American Alarms does to make sure our customers don't get into regulatory, legal, or even life-threatening danger.

- We buy products that we trust, we use, and have the best guarantees/warranties we can find.  When a system is designed for your life safety and/or security, you want parts that are as reliable as possible.

- We buy as many products from LOCAL manufacturers and vendors as we can and still offer the products our customers want.  This takes extra time and effort to seek out sometimes, but it's worth it to us.

- We spend thousands of dollars every year on technical and administrative training for our employees.  We feel this is a great investment in the people that we depend upon every day.

- We make sure EVERY field technician that touches a customer's system is trained, certified, and licensed to do what they are doing.  If we didn't, we may never get caught, but we like to sleep at night.

- We use contracts/agreements written by the best ALARM INDUSTRY attorney in the country.  This protects us AND our customers, so we can both be around for a long time.

- We carry DOUBLE the insurance that most customers request.  Our carrier has us in the proper classification so that claims son't be denied.  We have a "fire protection" specialist at our carrier that understands our business, lingo, and negotiates claims on our behalf.  We've had one claim in the last 10 years and that claim was proven "unfounded" and was never paid.

- We take responsibility for our mistakes and we fix them, even if we lose money short-term.  We have never walked away from a project just because we underestimated the cost.  I can't promise we'll never make mistakes, we're human, but we'll own up to that mistake and make it right.

 

If your alarm company (or any vendor) can't say they do all of these things, are you really comparing costs equally?

 

What is the REAL cost of doing business with that company?

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Flexible cloud access control - manage from anywhere

by Adam Jacobs 8/21/2019

What if you could delete a user from your access control system, with a touch on your smart phone?

What if you could let the furnace repair tech into the building, without being there?

What if you could add access control where there's not a hard internet connection?

What you had the flexibility of adding access control on doors where wires can't go?

 

Well...you can have all this and more.  Cellular communication for buildings that weren't planned with internet, or as backup to a hard connection.  Wireless reader/locks for doors that are spread out or where wires don't make sense.  Mobile pass credentials (electronic key on phone), when physical keys don't make sense.

Our cloud access systems can handle 2 doors to 200 doors.

Multi-building accounts and multi-site accounts are easily managed in the cloud software.

Unlimited users, with unique permissions for each.

The best cyber security in the industry, from the leader in cloud-based security.

Change older local systems to cloud-based systems without replacing all equipment and wiring.

 

Call us today for a site survey and estimate.

 

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Flexible cloud access control - manage from anywhere

by Adam Jacobs 8/21/2019

What if you could delete a user from your access control system, with a touch on your smart phone?

What if you could let the furnace repair tech into the building, without being there?

What if you could add access control where there's not a hard internet connection?

What you had the flexibility of adding access control on doors where wires can't go?

 

Well...you can have all this and more.  Cellular communication for buildings that weren't planned with internet, or as backup to a hard connection.  Wireless reader/locks for doors that are spread out or wires don't make sense.  Mobile pass credentials (electronic key on phone), when physical keys don't make sense.

Our cloud access systems can handle 2 doors to 200 doors.

Multi-building accounts and multi-site accounts are easily managed in the cloud software.

Unlimited users, with unique permissions for each.

The best cyber security in the industry, from the leader in cloud-based security.

Change older local systems to cloud-based systems without replacing all equipment and wiring.

 

Call us today for a site survey and estimate.

 

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PotterNet wins Campus Safety BEST Award 2019!

by Adam Jacobs 8/19/2019

Campus Safety Magazine has awarded Potter with a Campus Safety BEST Award in the category of Fire/Life Safety Systems for the PotterNet Graphical Monitoring Control Software.

 

American Alarms is proud to provide Potter fire alarm systems, made in St. Louis, Missouri.  For more information on PotterNet and the award click the link below:

https://www.pottersignal.com/news/106/potternet-wins-campus-safety-best-award-2019

 

For more information on Potter for your next project, call American Alarms.

 

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Cloud storage and management for video security

by Adam Jacobs 8/15/2019

What does it mean to have video in the "cloud"?  Well, it means you don't have to worry about an on-site DVR failing when you need it most.  It means a professional systems company can remotely trouble-shoot most of your issues without needing to come on site.  It means you are constantly updated with cybersecurity software and patches to make sure your video is secure and accessible.  It means you have one-click camera firmware updates.  It means you have lots of viewing and replay options - devices that use Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android all work.  

 

- Quick, easy installation

- Tier 4 data center

- End-to-end video encryption

- Unlimited cameras, multiple locations

- Unlimited resolution (only limited by cameras)

- Unlimited users (with limited permissions, if needed)

 

Call for more info.

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Fire protection in restaurants

by Adam Jacobs 8/13/2019

Here's some good information from our insurance friends at Markel for restaurant owners and managers:

 

https://www.markelinsurance.com/resources/fire-protection-systems-in-restaurants

 

Restaurants have some special requirements for fire protection.  Be sure you know what they are for your area, and have your systems inspected regularly so they work when you need them!

Most insurance companies offer discounts for properly maintained fire protection systems - range hoods with fire suppression, portable fire extinguishers, fire alarm, wet fire sprinklers, etc.

 

 

 

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Sleep Safe - a little planning goes a long way

by Adam Jacobs 8/7/2019

Tuck has some great information on everything to do with sleep, including fire safety in the bedroom.  Here are a few tips for better safety:

 

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FireLite 9200UDLS and Notifier NFW2-100

by Adam Jacobs 7/16/2019

There a TON of these panels in use in central Iowa.  Recently a few we service were damaged beyond repair by storms with lightning.  We found out that FireLite's new ES-200X panel can be installed and connect to the same detectors, modules, etc.  However, the boards are a different footprint (doesn't mount in 9200UDLS cabinet) and the program would have to be rebuilt.  So then we have to decide - do we scour the planet for old stock 9200UDLS/NFW2-100 boards and panels, or just buy the current model and take extra time to install and program?  Fortunately we have an extensive network of distributors that we talk to regularly and we were able to find some old stock panels as exact replacements.  

This kind of thing happens once in a while with fire alarm (and other products).  When products become obsolete you have to make a decision and consider the customer's budget as well.  In a world of unlimited funds, the choice is easy.  So for most of our customers, they have to weigh their options carefully and make a wise choice (quickly).

Call us if you have trouble finding obsolete parts.  We have a better stock than anyone in central Iowa of many different brands.

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Don't be afraid to get away from wires!

by Adam Jacobs 7/16/2019

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