Category Archives: Elizabeth Richards

Three Clients That Need Emergency Communication Systems Now

For years, fire safety and home security have been seen as two separate entities. Even home security providers that sell both fire and security systems market them as two separate services packaged together rather than an all-in-one solution. For security integrators that provide equipment to businesses rather than directly to the end user, this dichotomy is even more pronounced. Recently, chatter among industry associates on social media pages has been focused on a common theme: Are there safe and practical ways for security integrators to also sell their clients fire systems?

The answer is yes. Security integrators should absolutely be selling fire systems to their clients in light of the elimination of the gap between security and fire safety engendered by emergency communication systems (ECSs), such as the one from Silent Knight. These ECSs make it easy for security integrators to make the case for adding a fire system to a sale.

With an ECS such as the Silent Knight 5820XL-EVS, users can send voice-recorded emergency messages to a target group for everything from fire events to security breaches to evacuation orders during natural disasters. In fact, ECSs are quickly becoming the standard for safety as three emerging client bases create demand for the level of safety preparedness they provide, as follows:

  • Hospitals: Hospital layouts are often complex and, therefore, difficult to navigate, especially with the possibility of heightened alarm—and even panic—during an emergency. Further complicating emergency incidents are the range of unique situations that exist in a hospital. For instance, consider the case of a patient who has entered the hospital via the ER and is subsequently diagnosed with a contagious disease and needs to be quarantined. An ECS can send an alert, notifying the wing, floor or entire hospital of the transportation of this individual to a sequestered room to avoid spreading germs.


Additionally, in areas of a hospital where fire or security alarms could affect the care of a patient, or cause further medical complications, ECSs can be used to notify nurses and hospital staff through voice communications rather than a low-frequency alarm—allowing hospital staffers to relay the message to their patients in a safe manner. Finally, an ECS gives hospitals the safety net of a backup system in case intercom systems are disabled during an emergency event.


  • Municipalities: As we recently discussed in our blog post on severe summer weather, municipalities are increasingly in need of support such as that encompassed by an ECS. With today’s climate, regardless of season, the risk of severe weather that can threaten lives and personal property is omnipresent. With an ECS, a town can effectively communicate emergency events, evacuation plans and the locations of shelters during the worst of circumstances. Upgrading to an ECS can be the difference between a town protecting its citizens and catastrophe.


  • Real estate developers: As a real estate developer, your goal is to build housing that fits your target audience’s needs. However, regardless of whether you’re building high-end apartments for the mega-rich, like Donald Trump, or affordable housing for the average Joe, safety needs to be top of mind. You help to protect your building tenants from all emergency events when you install an ECS. An ECS can be used to communicate the need for evacuation due to a natural disaster, building security breach, and fire or carbon monoxide leak. Furthermore, having a building wide ECS will help protect tenants who may not be equipping their own apartments with individual fire or security alarms.

When it comes to safety, regardless of the industry in which you’re operating, protection shouldn’t stop at one system or the other. When large populations need to be protected, either in hospitals, towns or apartment complexes, expect the worst (but hope for the best) case scenario. With ECS, there is now an all-in-one solution.

Trade Show Breakdown – After NFPA 2015

NFPA 2015 did not disappoint! Hopefully you were able to attend the expo and hit up a few of the over 120 educational tracks and sessions offered this year. The booth traffic stayed steady throughout the show and the new products got a lot of attention.

In case you missed the expo, here are a few products we highlighted this year:
Fire/CO Detector
Silent Knight’s SK-FIRE-CO addressable combination fire and carbon monoxide (CO) detector drew a lot of attention. With so many regions now requiring Fire and CO detection, the product fits tons of applications. This device not only protects people from CO leaks and fires all-in-one, but also saves the costs of independent smoke and CO detectors, and all the related parts and wiring. Plus it maintains the aesthetics of any room. It uses four sensing elements to provide the best fire detection and false signal rejection available, reducing nuisance alarms and provides a separate carbon monoxide signal. When used with the B200S/B200S-LF intelligent sounder base, the system ties together by providing the appropriate temporal signals, and because it can synchronize with System Sensor A/V devices, it becomes part of the evacuation signal vs. using a separate device.

Low Frequency Sounders, Strobes & Bases
Shown in connection with the Silent Knight fire panels were the SpectrAlert® Advance Low Frequency Sounders, Bases and Sounder Strobes. These are the first UL-listed low frequency (520 Hz) notification appliances to meet the NFPA 72® 2010/2013 requirements for new sleeping spaces. These devices were designed to easily integrate into new or existing panels’ notification appliance circuit (NAC) line and provide the required audibility and square wave tone to awaken individuals.

5820XL-EVS with Internal Amplifier (EVS-INT50W)
Ideal for schools, hospitals, government and military facilities or other places of assembly, the Silent Knight 5820XL-EVS is an excellent choice for buildings considering an emergency communication system (ECS) or fire alarm upgrade, or for those located within a municipality that will soon adopt current NFPA code ECS requirements. The EVS-INT50W is a 50 watt, single speaker circuit amplifier. What makes this amplifier unique is its ability to be mounted and housed in the 5820XL-EVS cabinet. This new amplifier mounts on the standoffs where 5815XL point expanders are normally mounted, thus saving valuable wall space.

If you’ve never attended an NFPA Conference or Expo, it’s a wealth of information for both product and industry! If your business is involved with fire, don’t miss next year’s conference at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV, June 13 – 16.

NFPA 2016
Did you go to NFPA 2015?  If so, what was your favorite part?

See you in 2016!

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

A Powerful Voice Package – Want to Know More?

Are you looking for a fire alarm and voice evacuation system all in one package?  Silent Knight has the answer – the 5820XL-EVS. The 5820XL-EVS is an integrated fire alarm and voice system that’s robust enough to meet strict NFPA 72 standards, yet Power Voice Lionflexible enough to work in dozens of applications.  The system provides protection for people and property in fire and non-fire events, allowing real-time information to be broadcast.

I can hear you now:  “Liz, where can I get more information on this fabulous product?”

Well, on Tuesday, May 19th, Silent Knight is hosting a webinar at 11:00 am (Eastern) on the 5820XL-EVS including discussions about new components and code updates.  We’ve also invited our friends at System Sensor to show how their low frequency notification products seamlessly tie into the 5820XL-EVS.  I invite you to listen in – it’s only an hour long – and ask questions!  You can register here.

Here are a few things about this system to point out:

  • Save money! Emergency voice system and fire alarm control are combined in one cabinet, saving materials and installation time.
  • More design flexibility! Distributed amplifiers allow you to put the power where you need it. Remote control units strategically placed will allow additional voice messaging in real time. Low Frequency Sounders and Bases allow better coverage for people who are hearing-impaired.
  • Loud & clear! The 5820XL-EVS can have any combination of Silent Knight amplifiers, up to 500W total, delivering intelligible, more flexible voice communications.

This Webinar will be very educational; I hope you join us. Plus, I’m moderating it so who wouldn’t want to listen in?!?!

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


Quick Guide to 2015 Events

This year, Silent Knight will be at dozens of expos and trade events – national and regional. Here’s a sample of the locations we’ll be hitting in 2015 along with registration information and more…Events

Want to join us?

ISC West 2015 – April 15-17, Las Vegas, NV

Less than 80 days and counting!  We’ll be showing off our latest and greatest fire and emergency communication panels along with 4G communicators and all the accessories and devices to go along!

Registration is open and admission to the Expo is FREE with early registration. Register for your FREE exhibit hall pass and start making your plans to attend.

Looking for CEU credits? There will be over 60 sessions available for which you can earn credits, all taught by our industry’s top professionals. Check out this year’s educational tracks!

Northeast Security & Systems Contractors Expo 2015 – May 21, Marlborough, MA

Our Northeast Regional Sales Manager, Mike Breault, will be at NEACC talking about the updates to our Low Frequency Sounders, Fire-CO Devices and our line of Emergency Voice System products. Stop by Booth #701 and say “hello”.

Registration isn’t open yet, but keep an eye on the site for more information!

NFPA Conference & Expo 2015 – June 22 – 25, Chicago, IL

Proud to be part of the Honeywell Fire Safety booth (#600), Silent Knight not only shows our Intelliknight line of products, but also the Farenhyt engineered systems line for the more complex jobs out there.

Registration for the Expo is FREE with early registration, so sign up soon!  For a breakdown of costs and deadlines, visit the conference registration page for details.

Electronic Security Expo (ESX) 2015 – June 24-26, Baltimore, MD

Exhibiting with Honeywell Security in Booth #529 gives our friends attending ESX a full range of products, not only commercial but residential.  Whether you need a large commercial fire/voice system or an IP/GSM communicator to work with an existing panel, we have it all.

Registration coming soon!  Watch the registration page for more information.

This is just a sampling of the shows at which we’ll be exhibiting. We’ll also be at 30+ ADI Expos and other partner events.  Be sure to check out the Silent Knight Event page on for more information! Want to receive updates on events, products and other news? Sign-up to receive Silent Knight news alerts (we promise not to be obnoxious and fill your Inbox with emails!).


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

Five Ways Fire Alarm Dealers Can Market Themselves Locally

As a fire alarm dealer, you can have the most innovative product in the area but if you don’t market yourself effectively, that product remains on the shelf. You may already have a strong promote-businessgrasp of standard marketing concepts, but there are always additional strategies you can implement to improve visibility and market presence within your region.

Let’s take a look at five ways fire alarm dealers can market themselves locally:

  • Build a Company Website: The first step in marketing your fire alarm business is to create a well-designed, navigable website detailing all the information a potential customer would like to know. For example, you can identify the specific safety features, including those that distinguish it from the competition, as well as elucidate on cost. It’s essential to implement a user-friendly design and navigation so visitors can seamlessly scroll amongst product pages and sales pages. Also, don’t forget to include multiple calls to action so the customer can effortlessly request additional information or make a purchase.
  • Join the Social Conversation: One way to bring future customers to your newly-created website is by creating social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. By not taking advantage of networking sites, your company is missing out on a huge market. After all, did you know 74 percent of online adults are on social media, according to Pew Internet Project’s research. Your social media pages should boast daily updates including regular notifications about company news, promotions, events, photos and product enhancements.
  • Launch an Email Campaign: To ensure maximum exposure for your product, you may want to also cast your eye to email. By utilizing vendor-provided email lists, you can touch new and existing customers through all the platforms they frequent. E-newsletters can help you market your social media sites and new website as well as spread the word about new technologies now available, the latest installation success story, updates on local code and more. However, don’t spam your contacts—being overly aggressive could turn them away.
  • Craft and Circulate Press Releases: Your website and social media pages will need a constant stream of content, and crafting press releases is a great way to fill that hole, in addition to keeping your target audience always in the loop of new updates. In these releases, consider highlighting the system’s special features, announcing that local servicing is now more widely available or publicizing the charity campaign your company is taking part in, just to name a few examples. Once you craft your press releases, focus on circulation. Put them up on your website, splash them across social media and build a list of local media contacts and begin emailing them your press releases. A phone call to the local newspaper is also always a smart idea; the paper could jump on your story and give you free advertising in the community.
  • Hire an Extra Helper: This new marketing strategy may seem a bit intimidating, considering you’re already swamped enough at work. As a result, you should explore hiring a marketing professional to lead this campaign. The individual would work on perfecting the website, social media pages and press releases to help increase your company’s visibility in the community. Because this marketing operation will generate more revenue, you’ll be able to afford this new hire.

Interested in finding out more about fire alarm systems? Click here today.

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