Yes, Video Can Grow Your Fire Biz RMR!

Beyond fire alarm dealers’ typical monitoring and service contracts, there are so many more creative sources for building your fire business’s recurring monthly revenue (RMR), as I mentioned in my previous blog: This Ain’t Your Mama’s Fire Alarm Biz – New Sources of Recurring Revenue. And here’s another:

Offer Video

Consider offering more than typical digital monitoring and look at the products that offer greater situation awareness, such as surveillance video. Right now, video is a strong value proposition because many jurisdictions are requiring video verification before they will roll a truck. The good news is this: You’re able to charge more for the higher level of detection and improved response offered by video. While your current RMR range for traditional digital monitoring might range from $35 to $65, adding video detection can allow you to increase that rate to between $75 and $125.

For more information on building alternative sources of RMR, view John Brady’s recent Webinar The Other Side of Fire RMR. Then, let us know in the comments if there are other topics concerning fire contracts that you would like covered in future Fire-Lite Webinars.

 

About the Author:
John Brady, President of TRG Associates, is a 20+ year veteran of the fire and security alarm industry. Regarded as an expert in his field, John has participated as an expert witness in cases representing fire/security alarm providers, as well as building owners, on issues related to holdback disputes, pricing, valuation, communication failure liabilities and security operating standards.​

Is an Unmonitored Sprinkler System Good Enough?

Is having an unmonitored sprinkler system enough for a commercial building? I think not! Isn’t supervising a sprinkler system for integrity the core of what an effective life safety solution is all about?

Occasionally the question will come up:  If a building has a sprinkler system and that’s all that local code requires, do you really need a fire alarm system installed as well?  Some local jurisdictions state that for newly constructed buildings, a fire alarm system isn’t necessary if you have a sprinkler system.  But think about it. Most injuries and deaths related to fire are due to smoke inhalation. While the sprinkler system will save the building, a fire alarm system will save the building occupants.

Also, what happens if the sprinkler system is malfunctioning or is not operational? For instance, the water supply can freeze on a wet pipe system, or even worse, can be shut off without you or the facility manager knowing it. When you think about it, it makes good sense to invest in a fire alarm system to not only provide detection of fire and the deadly smoke it can produce, but to provide an efficient means of monitoring the sprinkler system for the proper operation of critical functions.

Fire-Lite’s fire alarm systems can monitor critical sprinkler system functions, such as pressure tanks, water pumps, and temperature devices for integrity and proper operation. Fire-Lite’s addressable modules like the MMF-300 monitor and MDF-300 dual monitor module can be installed near the monitored equipment and connect to the SLC in order to monitor waterflow devices for alarm signals. Also, the modules can monitor tamper switches like the Post Indicator Valve (PIV) and/or the Outside Stem and Yoke (OSY) valve for any off-normal, supervisory condition on a wet pipe sprinkler system.

It also goes without saying it’s critical that a good fire alarm system installer be familiar and be trained on the operation of sprinkler systems of various types, not to mention be well aware of local code requirements. For instance, knowing whether or not the services of a separate remote supervising company are required in addition to fire alarm systems monitoring is very important.

This can present an opportunity when faced with a building protected by an unmonitored sprinkler system. In addition, it can allow you to expand upon the many things you can offer as a fire alarm system installer, along with the many life safety advantages of having sprinkler systems monitored by fire alarm systems.

 

 

About the Author:
Lynn Dudley is a NICET-Certified Technical Trainer for Honeywell Fire Systems. He joined Honeywell Fire Systems in 2003.  Lynn conducts Fire-Lite Alarms training academies and programs at various locations around the country.​​

This Ain’t Your Mama’s Fire Alarm Biz – New Sources of Recurring Revenue

The fire alarm industry is changing, and the opportunity for dealers to position themselves for strong recurring monthly revenue (RMR) is greater than ever. However, setting the stage for real RMR means thinking outside of the box and, at times, getting a little creative. Those fire alarm dealers who are willing to go beyond the typical, one-off fire testing, inspection and maintenance by creating true recurring revenue stand to create strong, ongoing business relationships and quickly grow their bottom line while increasing the value of their business.

Take this opportunity to look at all aspects of your business and see how you can create value out of each. For now, let’s focus on creating fire alarm RMR beyond your typical monitoring revenue. Your customers, especially those on the commercial side of the business, need you to be an expert on regulations and a leader in your field who will deal with the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) so they don’t have to. Today, you have the opportunity to take that expertise and leadership and turn it into recurring revenue.

Here’s one way fire alarm dealers can leverage their existing skills to generate some exciting RMR opportunities:

Offer Test and Inspection Contracts

For your existing customers, you probably already do monitoring, provide a UL certificate and, because it’s required, do regular testing, inspection and maintenance. But a growing number of dealers are building RMR by working these services into an ongoing contract with each customer. You can do the same by agreeing to test and inspect each aspect of the system – including the control panel, smoke detectors, batteries, waterflow devices, horns, etc. – annually, bi-annually or even quarterly, according to the AHJ requirements. Your rate can be based on the frequency of testing and inspection, the number of devices, your labor costs and an estimated number of minutes your technician would spend on each device.

These ongoing system health checks are a win-win for you and your customers. You’ll benefit from strong and predictable recurring revenue, and your customers will enjoy peace of mind in knowing that their investment is still working as expected and is meeting AHJ requirements. Establish an easily understandable contract for each client – with each charge and added fee clearly explained – so they know what to expect with each visit. If possible, use the same technician for each visit to save time (and expenses) in the future.

For more information on building alternative sources of RMR, view our recent Webinar The Other Side of Fire RMR. Then, let us know in the comments if there are other topics concerning fire contracts that you would like covered in future Fire-Lite Webinars.

 

 

About the Author:
John Brady, President of TRG Associates, is a 20+ year veteran of the fire and security alarm industry. Regarded as an expert in his field, John has participated as an expert witness in cases representing fire/security alarm providers, as well as building owners, on issues related to holdback disputes, pricing, valuation, communication failure liabilities and security operating standards.​

Tailoring Voice Evac/Mass Notification Training to Suit Your Needs

Recently, I was contacted by a fire alarm installation company that was requesting training on our new ECC-50/100 voice system in support of an installation they had scheduled in April.

Seeing as I was already in the process of developing an instructor-led fully hands-on course for delivery later this year (stay tuned!), I did what many trainers would do. (I shamelessly seized the opportunity to test the materials I’d developed to date.) ​
ECCTrainingLajoiesmall

The entire Fire-Lite training team participated in conducting the class here at our factory last month on March 4th & 5th. Personally, I was very excited at this opportunity as this was the very first hands-on voice evacuation class we’ve done in the 10 years that I’ve been a Fire-Lite trainer!

The attendees indicated that they enjoyed the hands-on experience and felt that they were well prepared to do an installation. They also provided valuable feedback to us. We identified a few things to add to the course and others that needed a little tweaking.

I thought this might be a good time to hear from other Fire-Lite customers on the subject of voice systems, so I created a short, two-question poll to help us further tailor the content of the course. All responses are strictly confidential. Click here to take the survey or paste the link below into your web browser:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8B87YY3

Hope to see you in a Fire-Lite Academy! You can view our entire 2014 course schedule, go through our online training modules, and even register for training right online.

 

About the Author:
Tom Rosa oversees all Fire-Lite Alarms training programs as a Training Supervisor for Honeywell Fire Systems. With more than a decade of experience as a Fire-Lite trainer and the support of a strong team of experienced, NICET-certified trainers, Tom guides the content and methods by which the company educates Fire-Lite users throughout the United States and Caribbean.

Another Great ISC West!

This past ISC West marks my 10th ISCW Expo – WOW! That’s 10 years of planning, display designs, setups/tear downs, debacles of missing parts and pieces, and more importantly that’s 10 years of watching Fire-Lite and Honeywell Power grow!  I can’t even keep a plant alive for more than a couple months!

Over the past 10 years I’ve really seen the industry progress and this year the aisles were jammed with over 1,000 companies showing off their newest technologies. I’m especially proud of three specific products highlighted by Fire-Lite Alarms this year.
Fire-Lite Alarms and Honeywell Power premiered “Innovation for a Connected World” which includes new solutions combining your Fire alarm system and Emergency Communications System.

In case you missed this great show, here’s a recap of our “Innovation for a Connected World”:

SWIFT™ Wireless Fire Alarm Devices
Introducing our new wireless solution for commercial fire applications where it is difficult to run wire! SWIFT™ uses the latest in Class-A mesh technology and has a redundant path for the highest reliability.  Great for retrofits, historic areas, and any application where running wire is difficult. Coming in Summer 2014!

Lite-Connect
Your world is connected, what about your buildings? Many multi-building applications, such as apartment buildings, are monitored by a main panel for centralized communications. Lite-Connect will save on phone lines and monitoring costs by connecting a main panel to panels in a remote building. Coming in Summer 2014!

Remote Telephone Zone Module for the Emergency Command Center
Emergency Communications is about getting the right message to the right people at the right time. The RTZM (Remote Telephone Zone Module) gives an authorized end user access to the ECC during an emergency using any telephone. By adding the RTZM module to any ECC system, users have the ability to initiate pre-recorded messages or even make a live page. Even with this phone! (insert picture of phone booth)

Not only were these premiered at ISC West, but our other solutions kept in the theme of a “connected world”.

IPGSM-4G – Fire Communications Made Simple
Stay connected without the cost of POTS lines by installing the IPGSM-4G in your building. This multi-path fire alarm communicator gives you faster and more reliable connectivity. It also saves recurring telecommunications costs when dedicated phone lines are replaced, making the IPGSM-4G a product that truly pays for itself!

AC/DC Video Power
Our Video power distribution units provide a constant source of power to operate CCTVvideo cameras and other accessories. AC and DC Video power distribution units are mounted in a sturdy back box and include, LED indicators and short circuit protection.

Traffic through the Fire-Lite Alarms and Honeywell Power booth stayed steady throughout the show. We even had a kiosk that allowed people to register for any of our upcoming Fire-Lite training academies. If you’ve never attended an ISC West Showand your business relates to security and/or fire, don’t miss next year’s show at the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas, April 15-17. Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

About the Author:
Elizabeth Richards is the Manager of Communications for Fire-Lite Alarms, Honeywell Power and Silent Knight’s IntelliKnight line. Liz joined Honeywell Fire Systems in 2003 and is responsible for the communications, collateral, messaging, and events for all three brands.