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FSSA Prepares to Celebrate 30th Annual Meeting February 25, 2012

Posted by shawnpci in Fire Protection, Fire Systems, FSSA, Uncategorized.
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The Fire Suppression Systems Association is set to celebrate 30 years of fire protection excellence beginning tonight at the opening reception at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort in Rancho Mirage, CA.

Over 150 attendees will gather to renew friendships, share industry experiences and learn about new activities and initiatives being undertaken by the FSSA.

The in addition to numerous committee reporting sessions, this three day annual meeting features several seminars including:

  • Keynote Speaker:   economist Alan Beaulieu
  • Technical Session:  Fire Protection Challenges with Hot Aisle/Cold Aisle Containment in Data Centers
  • Educational Session:  Liability for the NICET Designer
  • Educational Session:  Maximizing Your Productivity & Efficiency When You’re On the Road

Industry leaders William Eckholm, President and CEO of Firetrace International, and Roger Bourgeois, Founder and President of Bourgeois & Associates, Inc., will be presented with FSSA’s Leadership Award during the President’s Banquet on Monday evening, February 27th.

The FSSA Leadership Award is presented annually to honor individuals in the special hazards fire protection industry that have shown great leadership and responsibility in their professional and personal lives. When choosing a recipient, the FSSA Awards Committee takes into consideration a variety of attributes including dedication to and longevity in the industry, integrity and fairness in their work, and a desire for innovation and change to improve the industry.

To learn more visit:  www.fssa.net.

The 30th Annual Meeting concludes on Tuesday, February 28th.

Open Letter to Iowa House Commerce Commitee February 18, 2012

Posted by shawnpci in Fire Protection, Fire Systems, Iowa Alarm Association, Uncategorized.
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The following letter was sent to the Iowa House of Representatives Commerce Committee in opposition to HB 2035.

Representative Sodeberg and sub-committee members:

Please know that I, as a registered Iowa contractor and an Iowa State Fire Marshal certified contractor for fire alarm, fire suppression, security and nurse call systems,  am opposed to HF 2035 requiring contractors such as myself to post a surety bond.

Requiring a surety bond is unnecessary and, frankly, another attempt for government to interfere with private agreements between contractors and owners.  In fact, many owners both public and private already require surety bonds to be posted as a part of the contract.

Iowa State Fire Marshal certified contractors must currently submit an acceptable certificate of insurance along with other industry related credentials to qualify for a contractor’s certification.  The surety bond provides absolutely no additional benefit to the citizens of Iowa that the contractor is more qualified and capable of performing his or her work.

Such a requirement further penalizes the fire systems contractor by requiring yet another expense to be met with no benefit to either the contractor or the public.

I have served the citizens of Iowa as an industry representative to the Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Fire System Contractors Advisory Board for six years now.  I am very familiar with the current regulations imposed by law on such contractors as I have been part of the process from the beginning.   This surety bond requirement is unnecessary and bad public policy.

I encourage you to not allow this bill to come before your full committee for a vote.

Sub-committee members and their respective e-mail addresses are:

Representative Chuck Soderberg (committee chair): chuck.soderberg@legis.state.ia.us
Representative Jeff Smith: Jeff.Smith@legis.state.ia.us
Representative Chip Baltimore: Chip.Baltimore@legis.state.ia.us
Representative Brian Quirk: brian.quirk@legis.state.ia.us

SDM Magazine Features Protex Central and Technician Travis Brandt December 23, 2011

Posted by shawnpci in Fire Protection, Fire Systems, FSSA, Iowa Alarm Association.
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Protex Central and its Des Moines based technician, Travis Brandt, are featured in the December 2011 issue of Security Distribution and Marketing.

Protex technician Travis Brandt tests a customer's fire alarm and sprinkler monitoring system.

“Fire Sprinkler Monitoring: Know the Code” is an article by Linda Pohle highlighting the opportunities to monitoring fire sprinkler systems in buildings.

The article features several comments from Protex Central’s President and Chief Energy Officer, Shawn Mullen, as well as a photograph of Travis Brandt, a Protex Central technician based in its Des Moines, Iowa office.

Click here.

Iowa Alarm Assn Meeting Is Nov 17th November 14, 2011

Posted by shawnpci in Fire Protection, Fire Systems, Iowa Alarm Association, Security Systems.
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The Iowa Alarm Association’s next meeting will take place on November 17, 2011 at Smokey D’s BBQ Restaurant just north of I-80/35 off of 2nd Ave.  in Des Moines beginning at 6:00 p.m.

President Ron Heldt has announced the following topics to be covered at the meeting:

1.    Details on the Cedar Rapids tradeshow scheduled for February 2012
2.    IAA election of officers for 2012

Persons and companies involved with security, life safety and low-voltage systems are encouraged and welcome to attend.  If possible, please RSVP to Ron Heldt at ADT Security Systems.

September 22 Is Next Iowa Alarm Assn Meeting September 20, 2011

Posted by shawnpci in Fire Protection, Fire Systems, Iowa Alarm Association, Security Systems.
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The Iowa Alarm Association’s next meeting will take place on September 22, 2011 at Smokey D’s BBQ Restaurant in just north of I-80/35 off of 2nd Ave.  in Des Moines beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Captain Dave Murrilow of the Des Moines Police Department will provide a special presentation.

Other topics to be discussed at the meeting include:

1.    Details on the Cedar Rapids tradeshow scheduled for early 2012
2.    ISFM Alarm Contractor’s Advisory Board Update
3.    Much more…

Persons and companies involved with security, life safety and low-voltage systems are encouraged and welcome to attend.  If possible, please RSVP to Ron Heldt at ADT Security Systems.

PROTEX CENTRAL RECOGNIZED IN 2011’s TOP 100 SYSTEMS INTEGRATORS LIST July 15, 2011

Posted by shawnpci in Change Leadership, Fire Protection, Fire Systems, Good Stuff to Share, Iowa Alarm Association, Security Systems.
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SDM Magazine has announced Protex Central, Inc. as one of the top 100 systems integrators in the county. The recognition is revealed in SDM Magazine’s July 2011 edition of the 16th Annual Systems Integrators Report.  Protex Central ranks #76th in the current listing.

According to SDM “this exclusive report ranks, by revenue exclusive of reoccurring monthly revenue, the largest firms that contract electronic security projects for commercial, industrial, institutional, government, and other non-residential markets.”

Shawn Mullen, President and Chief Energy Officer of Protex Central, Inc. stated “we’re delighted  to be considered as one of the country’s top 100 systems integrators. As this is our third consecutive year in the Top 100, our continued presence in the rankings is recognition of our commitment to our core values of ethics, professionalism, and excellence. Our customers are the real winners as they’re the ones who have entrusted their safety and security needs to us. In so doing they’ve allowed us to grow and expand.”

Mullen continued, “This recognition continues to bolster our envisioned future of becoming the premiere systems integrator in our market area. This is something that we’re committed to at Protex Central because we know our core value is to strengthen our business by protecting yours.”

Protex Central, Inc. is a family-owned systems integrator specializing in fire and security related systems and services. With offices in Urbandale, Iowa and Nebraska locations in Omaha, Hastings and Scottsbluff, Protex Central provides layout, installation, testing and maintenance services throughout upper Midwest.

Cooper Demonstrates Mobile Speaker Array with Protex Central June 27, 2011

Posted by shawnpci in Mass Notification Systems.
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Protex Central recently completed certification as an authorized Cooper Mass Notification Systems (MNS) Layered Solutions provider.

Full-scale  live demonstrations on the campus of Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska and Protex’s offices in Urbandale, Iowa featured Cooper’s Mobile Speaker Array (MSA) unit.

While at Creighton the Mobile Speaker Array was connected to Cooper’s WAVES  Base Station via digital, Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) technology @2.4GHz.  The distance between the Base Station and the MSA was approximately one-half mile.  The Urbandale demo included a set-up and live announcement demonstration test from the MSA’s on-board control station.

Both demonstrations featured crisp and clear voice instructions with little if any distortion or reverberation from surrounding buildings.

Cooper’s Mass Notification Systems Layered Solutions are flexible and modular for any number of applications including temporary events.  Outdoor speaker arrays are just one part of an overall mass notification system.  One good term that is used is “A system of systems.”  There are consideration for interior MNS as well as alerting via text messages, cell phones, e-mail and even satellite radio.

This entire area is just in its infancy.  It will be interesting to see the changing dynamics of people’s expectations as to how they want and expect to be notified of emergency and critical situations.

Presentation Holds Attention of 140 Character Conference June 21, 2011

Posted by shawnpci in Change Leadership, Fire Protection, Fire Systems, Good Stuff to Share.
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A recent presentation at the Des Moines 140 Character Conference featuring NOVEC 1230 Fire Protection Fluid held the attention of roughly 150 persons in attendance. The conference was held this past May at the Stoner Theater in the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines. It was simultaneously broadcast over the internet. This is a clip of my presentation entitled:  It Sucks To Be Left Behind.

The 140 Character Conferences seek to highlight the use of social media in a variety of ways. I took the wild chance of submitting an application about how I’m trying to position myself (and my company, Protex Central) as the “go-to” solutions provider. I’ve had several inquiries on the agent and much disbelief that it’s not water. It’s not magic – it’s just technology at it’s best.

Telecommunications Companies Seek Exemption from Iowa’s RME Law June 17, 2011

Posted by shawnpci in Fire Protection, Fire Systems, Iowa Alarm Association, Security Systems.
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The Iowa House recently passed and sent to the Iowa Senate H.F. 697 in an effort to break the stalemate over Iowa’s budget for the coming fiscal year that starts July 1st.    It is not clear how the Senate will resolve the many issues contained within the 588-page omnibus bill.  What is clear is an attempt by telecommunications companies to skirt Iowa’s fire extinguishing & alarm systems contractors and installers licensing law (Chapter 100C).  To see the bill click here.

Buried within the legislation are provisions (sections 670 – 671) that allow telecommunications companies to contract with a qualified individual to fulfill the duties of a responsible managing employee (RME).   Iowa law requires companies who offer fire extinguishing and/or alarm system services to be certified by the Iowa State Fire Marshal’s office and employ (not contract with) a qualified individual to be responsible for the management of the services provided.  Interestingly enough is Iowa’s ban on any qualified individual serving as a responsible managing employee for more than one employer.

It appears that this provision if allowed to pass with the rest of the legislation would give telecommunications companies an unfair advantage over certified contractors who must employ RMEs – not contract out their services.  Moreover, the safety and security of Iowa’s citizens may be undermined.  No assurance is provided that the contracted RME even resides within the state or is readily available to directly supervise the layout, installation or maintenance of fire and security related systems.

As one who is active in the industry and serves on the Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Advisory Board, I can’t support this provision to weaken laws designed to protect and secure Iowans.

Iowa Alarm Association Meets May 19 May 18, 2011

Posted by shawnpci in Fire Protection, Fire Systems, Security Systems.
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The Iowa Alarm Association’s next meeting will take place on May 19, 2011 at Smokey D’s BBQ Restaurant in just north of I-80/35 off of 2nd Ave.  in Des Moines beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Topics to be discussed at the meeting include:

1.    Continued discussion on the Cedar Rapids tradeshow scheduled for early 2012
2.    Preview of the association website
3.    Discussion of future guest speakers
4.    Much more…

Persons and companies involved with security, life safety and low-voltage systems are encouraged and welcome to attend.  If possible, please RSVP to Ron Heldt at ADT Security Systems.