Category Archives: Dave Pakech

The Industry’s 2015 Mantra: Slow and Steady

Coming off a slow start to 2014, the fire alarm industry certainly ended the year on a high note. And it looks like 2015 will be another period of slow and steady growth for our market.

Of course, there is always some degree of risk, but all told it looks like 2015 will be a good year. There are several trends that point toward this gradual improvement:

Higher customer confidence indexes. Although we’re still in an improvement phase, customer confidence is the highest it’s been since pre-2008. For fire alarm dealers, that means the potential for increased revenue.

A stable GDP. Gross domestic product is forecast to hold steady at about 3 percent this year, which will have promising ripple effects throughout the entire economy, including construction.

Potential influx of infrastructure spending. The U.S. is poised to focus funds on infrastructure later this year, depending on several political factors at home and abroad. If the legislation goes through, that means more construction, likely throughout the country.construction growth upward arrow

Growth in all the right areas. Construction in general is experiencing steady growth, especially when compared to last year’s slow start. The construction forecast for commercial buildings is in the high single digits, which is definitely a positive sign. For fire alarm installers, you can expect between 8 and 15 percent forecast growth in some of your strongest markets, including multi-family dwellings, hospitals, retail and education.

Improved construction employment. As the market in general improves, customers are investing in their businesses by adding employees, which is always a good sign for the fire alarm market.

Consolidation within the security industry. We’re continuing to see a trend of consolidation among installers, contractors and distributors, and that will likely continue through this year. The anticipated security spend is in line with this year’s construction forecast, which is also good news for anyone who works both the fire alarm and security ends of the market.

Planning Your Year

So, how do you make the most of this slow and steady growth trend? First, focus on the main growth drivers in the fire alarm market. Right now, these are the growth of wireless communication, the need for emergency communication and demand for advanced detection technologies. In addition, more central stations are requiring IP communication to prepare for the sunset of plain old telephone service (POTS) lines.

Another tack is to continue to develop your business around connectivity and IT. The Internet of Things (IoT) trend is just starting to take hold, and there will be a lot of opportunity around the trend of connected buildings and connected homes. Now is the time to get ahead of the game by familiarizing yourself with these devices and systems.

By most accounts, 2015 looks to be a period of steady growth for the fire alarm market. Here’s hoping the trends hold true in your area and make this a successful year for your business.
About the Author
Dave Pakech is the Vice President of Sales for Honeywell Fire Safety’s Security Equipment Distribution Channel, through which Fire-Lite Alarms, Honeywell Power and Silent Knight are sold. He joined Honeywell Fire Systems in 2008 and brings over 20 years of Security Industry experience to both brands.​

2014 Industry Milestones

As 2014 comes to a close soon, December is the perfect time to look back over the last 12 months and check the pulse of our dynamic industry. Although it had its ups and downs, I think many of us can agree that this one is worth remembering.

Some of the biggest milestones I want to call your attention to include:

Growth in most segments

Although the year started off slow—because of a surprisingly severe winter across the nation—the construction market really took off beginning in April. As a result of that slow start, we’ve been enjoying an extended construction season, and that has helped lead the industry to a strong close to 2014. We saw above-market growth in most segments, and I expect the year to wind up exceeding our original forecasts.shutterstock_229635211

Several new growth drivers

We’re experiencing double-digit growth in three main segments: emergency communication, advanced detection and modern central station communications. These trends are helping to grow the industry as a whole, and likely will continue through next year as well:

  • Emergency communication has become a huge boon for the fire alarm industry. These systems offer notification of any emergency, such as severe weather, harmful gas, terrorism and active shooters, and are growing in popularity for both new construction and existing buildings where a fire alarm system already exists.
  • Advanced detection requirements, which are cropping up in a growing number of states and municipalities, also are impacting fire alarm installation. For example, recent code changes require carbon monoxide and traditional smoke detection in many buildings, especially those in the hospitality, education, multi-family and healthcare industries.
  • Modern central station communications through IP and cellular are replacing the use of traditional POTS lines at an increasing rate. These alternative communication methods are helping grow this industry segment, which in-turn helps increase fire and life safety sales.

Revolutionary products

In 2014, we focused on several revolutionary technologies that are certainly milestones for our industry:

  • SK-FIRE-COoffers a time and money-saving solution for the growing numbers of facilities where fire and CO detection are required. This combined detection unit has enabled our dealers to offer their customers a great solution for adding CO detection in their buildings where it’s now required.
  • SK-F485C Wire to Fiber Converterenables new and existing Silent Knight systems to significantly increase the distance of wire runs between fire alarm control panels and remote SBUS devices (e.g., power supplies), while providing a boost in surge protection. SK-F485C is the first wire-to-fiber converter to be UL listed for a non-proprietary line of fire alarm systems and sold over-the-counter at Security Equipment Wholesalers nationwide.
  •  HP1205UL and HP1210UL – Power Supplies from Honeywell Power deliver more DC power to CCTV cameras and their peripheral devices, while also speeding up installation and service calls and maximizing the survivability of system operations when a facility’s AC power is lost.

These advancements have allowed Silent Knight’s customers to enjoy substantial growth this year. Thank you for your part in our success. Together, we look forward to a fantastic 2015 and beyond.

About the Author
David Pakech is Vice President of Sales for Fire-Lite Alarms, Silent Knight IntelliKnight and Honeywell Power.

The Age of Advanced Detection

In the fire alarm industry, new innovations aren’t simply a novelty for installers and end users: They’re potentially life-saving advances that both groups welcome with open arms.

A strong focus on safety drove our development of the Silent Knight SK-FIRFIRECO detector lowresE-CO addressable combination fire and carbon monoxide (CO) detector. Not only has this particular product helped our industry re-imagine the role of a fire alarm control panel; it’s transformed both installer and end user expectations around what a single device can achieve.

Let’s take a closer look at what makes SK-FIRE-CO a game-changer in today’s market:

Advanced detection. The SK-FIRE-CO provides life safety detection for both fire and CO in one device. It achieves this by combining four separate sensing elements – smoke, carbon monoxide, light/flame and heat – to sense the multiple components of a fire. The result is enhanced sensitivity to fire, as well as improved immunity to false alarms caused by nuisance particulate. To achieve this, the device uses an electrochemical sensor to detect carbon monoxide as a separate signal, and is UL 2075 and UL 268 listed.

Non-proprietary. In the past, integrated fire and CO detection systems were reserved for the direct channel, which often limited them to higher-end buildings. With the release of SK-FIRE-CO, Silent Knight brings integrated fire and CO detection to the wholesale distribution channel, which frees both installers and end users from proprietary technology. As a result, the primary applications for SK-FIRE-CO are hotels and motels, assisted living facilities, college dormitories, military housing and other small to medium-sized buildings.

Used with an intelligent sounder base. The SK-FIRE-CO is best used with the B200S intelligent sounder base, which can generate different sound patterns for a fire and for CO alert. This helps building managers to immediately distinguish between a fire and a CO alarm, enabling them to take appropriate action quickly.

Benefits to the Installer. Fire installers are embracing the single device concept for a variety of reasons. First, it significantly reduces the time and money required for installation, because multiple junction boxes and addition wiring are eliminated. It also minimizes service calls; by moving from four boxes to one and limiting wiring, the possibility for problems is lessened.

In addition, the use of an intelligent sounder base means that the solution requires no end-of-line device for supervision, and it allows T tapping. This provides even greater flexibility and further simplifies deployments.

Finally, the SK-FIRE-CO provides a wide range of end user benefits, which gives installers a competitive edge and enables them to specify cost-effective fire and CO protection to a broader range of customers.

Benefits to the End User. End users also enjoy faster installations with the SK-FIRE-CO. When the installer passes the cost savings on, the end user will also spend less on each device, minimizing upfront infrastructure costs. In addition, since the product is non-proprietary, it doesn’t lock each end user into one particular installer or service company going forward; they are free to change providers as needed.

Best of all, the SK-FIRE-CO is addressable, so it enables first responders to pinpoint the location of a problem much faster than other devices. This is particularly helpful in multi-room facilities, such as dorms and hotels.

Finally, the SK-FIRE-CO provides a much more appealing room aesthetic when compared to traditional solutions, since there are fewer separate devices and less wiring required.

A Broader Societal Need. The dangers of fire and carbon monoxide aren’t reserved for high-end buildings—they affect everyone. With non-proprietary devices like the SK-FIRE-CO, installers are able to serve a wider customer base, which in turn protects more people and has greater potential to save lives.

About the Author
Dave Pakech is the Vice President of Sales for the SED Channel – Fire-Lite Alarms, Honeywell Power and Silent Knight. He joined Honeywell Fire Systems in 2008 and brings over 20 years of Security Industry experience to both brands.​

3 Brands, 1 Customer: A Closer Look at our New Channel Structure

At Honeywell Fire, we recently announced an exciting change that will help us to serve our customers even more effectively. We’re re-thinking the way our different brands should be handled in a way that better fits today’s market and our customers’ businesses.

Going forward, Fire-Lite Alarms, Silent Knight’s IntelliKnight and Honeywell Power will be centrally managed through the Security Equipment Distribution (SED) channel. Each of the different brands and product portfolios will be retained, and they’ll be represented by a single sales team.

 

Previously, these fire alarm brands each had their own separate sales and marketing teams. Now, we’ve consolidated into one team; our policies and procedures are the same across all brands, and you can rely on dedicated points of contact for all products.

 

Now that we are one team focused exclusively on the SED channel, rather than three teams working independently on three different brands, we’re better-positioned to serve you as an SED customer.

 

Of course, the Fire-Lite Alarms, Silent Knight and Honeywell brands have gained so many loyal customers over the years. They each have a legacy of their own. Not to worry: All three brands will maintain their unique brand identity and product families. Brand identity is very important to what we’ve always done, so keeping each of our brands distinct is a natural decision. The only difference is that now they’ll all be represented by one, expanded Regional and National Account Sales team.

 

As part of this change, I’m excited to be stepping into the role of Vice President of Sales for Fire-Lite Alarms/Silent Knight-IntelliKnight/Honeywell Power. Richard Conner is now the Director of Marketing, and Elizabeth Richards is the Communications Manager. With our new team, our goal is to provide even stronger sales and marketing support to our SED customers so that your business is also strengthened.

 

We’re excited to make this change in order to better serve you. If you’d like to learn more about our new SED sales support team, view our regional manager map. Also, if you have any questions about our new channel-specific structure, do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Thank you for being a loyal customer. We look forward to continuing to partner with you for years to come.

 

About the Author
Dave Pakech is the Vice President of Sales for the SED Channel – Fire-Lite Alarms, Honeywell Power and Silent Knight. He joined Honeywell Fire Systems in 2008 and brings over 20 years of Security Industry experience to the brands.​