Apex says deal makes it smart choice for alarms | PostIndependent.com
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Apex says deal makes it smart choice for alarms

Greg Masse

Apex Security officials hope that signing an exclusive deal will give the company a strong market share in the sales of intelligent alarms.

The inner workings and features of these modern alarm systems were shown to a group of fire marshals from the Western Slope at a seminar put on Friday at the Hotel Colorado by Apex Security and its newest partner, Mircom Technologies.

Apex recently signed a deal to be the exclusive dealer of Mircom products on the Western Slope.

Mircom, a “proprietary fire alarm system” company, supplies systems and support to customers throughout the North American market.

“One of the moves in the industry has been to require a fire alarm provider is factory-trained,” said Scott Mishler, corporate test and inspection/quality control manager for Apex in Eagle.

Apex Security Group has an office at 1429 Grand Ave. in Glenwood Springs, and field offices in Aspen, Silverthorne, Eagle and Telluride.

After the contract was signed in February, Mircom sent trainers to Western Colorado to train the Apex crew.

Rather than warning of a general alarm, these intelligent systems will tell exactly where a given problem is.

“It causes the fire department to be able to respond significantly faster,” Mishler said. “Instead of whole zones, they will tell which room, office or floor.”

With older alarms, the generality of the alarm wasted precious response time.

“They’d have to run around in the building before they knew where the problem is,” he said.

The new alarm would, for example, “say smoke detector/back bedroom/unit 212/ second floor, then it would give the address,” Mishler said.

All that information is transmitted to the Apex Security central station in Glenwood Springs, then dispatched directly to the emergency personnel, giving them details on exactly where the problem is. The information is also displayed on a screen on the building’s fire alarm control panel.

“They’re constantly being tested,” he said of the alarm systems.

By that, he means the self tests that the alarm system performs on itself every minute.

On the Western Slope, the intelligent systems are now mandated in Aspen and Vail for all new construction and any refurbishment that includes the updating of the alarm system.

“Eventually, I would guess – and this is conservative – within the next 10 years, there will probably not be anywhere where these are not required,” he said.

The systems have been used in big city skyscrapers for years, Mishler said, but now that they are becoming more affordable, they will be required more and more in smaller areas, he said.

The alarms not only save lives and property for those who have the alarms, but also indirectly save the lives of firefighters and other emergency personnel by cutting down on false alarm calls. The most firefighters fatalities occur while speeding to the scene of an emergency, Mishler said.

For a four-story building, a system could cost around $10,000, but can vary enormously, Mishler said.

The company used to sell other systems to its clients, but those systems were over-the-counter products that anyone could buy or sell.

“That’s not to say those products aren’t good or supported,” he said.

But the Mircom products require a high degree of knowledge and the local Apex technicians will be able to service them.

“Now we can bid on jobs where intelligent systems are going in,” he said.

For more information on Apex, log onto http://www.apexsecurity.com or call 945-2152.


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