How Access Control Pricing is determined

Call Larry Love at Peak Alarm

This egg is wrapped in plastic so it looks good until you open it and what is on the inside often is determined by price, quality and features and low bidders often have issues.

Recently I bid out a project with 26 doors of access control with readers and locks that allow you to delete access or limit access of when people can get into the building and at what times or days. I have not included every aspect of pricing access control systems because not only would it be a longer article but it would be harder to read and understand.

My bid was $54,000 dollars the low bidder came in at $30,000 with the next lowest bid at $36,000 dollars. When I found out that the other bidders were so much lower I sat down with my manager and we went over the pricing point by point to see if I had really messed up the estimate and what we found was that we had not, it was done properly. It remains to be seen although what will most likely occur is that the winning bidder who was chosen solely on price will either put in inferior equipment or seek out change orders. A similar thing recently happened with a fire alarm bid and the fire marshal told us the winning bidder was seeking a $50,000 dollar change order.

Normally on access control we tell people that an access door costs around $1,800 to $2,200 per door depending on the distance and the door type. In this bid the customer had specified a $4,500 dollar double sided color card printer so that put us around $50,000 and the $30,000 bid around $25,000 or half of the cost. I highly doubt they were doing it out of the goodness of their heart because at that price it was under the our actual cost without any profit. I understood that my cost would be about $3,000 high because I had to add extra money for overtime since we are so busy and to meet their deadline of the end of June we needed to rearrange our schedule.

Here are some of the factors of an access control system:

1. Special composite access control cable over 900 dollars per 1000 feet so if you have 5 doors at 200 feet you will need 1 roll for every 5 doors. 26 doors came out to 4 rolls with the distances which came to almost $4,000 just for cable without labor.

2. 26 Readers which happened to be Iclass readers meeting the new government requirements $144 each without labor or $3,744 for 26.

3. Locks – maglocks don’t have moving parts so they last longer than electronic strikes which release and allow free egress but maglocks also require that you tie the system into the fire alarm and add a request to exit motion and or request to exit button. But average cost per lock is around $250 dollars each or in this case 25 times $250 or $6,250 without labor. One of the readers will tie to the elevator so there was one without a lock.

4. Power Supplies and Controllers also have to be added and this is the brains of the system. Per door this normally runs about $500 including the power supplies and controllers excluding the computer. So $13,000 but there is an additional cost for elevator control. There are systems where the controllers and power supplies run around $200 per door so this figure could be as low as $5,200 but keep in mind that you get what you pay for in the long run and a generic phone that costs you $100 is not the same as a $700 dollar phone and the same applies to this and when buying at $50 dollar camera as to compared with a $300 dollar camera. Features and quality will determine the price as well as brand.

5. Now here comes the tricky part, several of the doors required special wiremold and or conduit in order to get cable to those doors, when you have drop tile and the access is easy the price is less, when we have to drill through walls and add conduit and fire caulk the price is more and these specialized installations add price to the labor and materials.

6. We had 100 iclass double sided (printable) which run around $8 per card so $800 extra

7. Double sided Fargo printer with ribbon and cleaning kit $4,000-$4,500 keep in mind that it does not come with a cleaning kit or ribbon and most likely the low bidders bid out a generic without ribbon or an introductory printer that will only do a few cards.

8. With other items such as the tie in to the fire alarm, a release button at the reception desk for the front door, a network switch, CAT5 for network, penetrations through walls and a special reader with keypad for the medical room the cost increased. The labor cost normally on bid jobs is a bit less then the commercial rates which are around $130-$140 per hour for specialized techs but assuming the labor rate was around $80 dollars per hour and assuming that each door took 7-8 hours each you are looking at over 200 hours and this is a Bacon Davis project with increased costs but assuming these factors the labor cost on this job would be around $16,000 on the low end and around $22,000 on the high end.

9. Adding up these basic costs comes to over $48,000 dollars and that is using the lower end labor rate of $16,000 and our price was $54,000 for a professional project done right without change orders being put through like many companies do. If they used the less expensive controllers and power supplies you could shave it down from 48,000 to just over $40,000 and the low bidder was at $30,000 which means they will have to practically give the project away without any markup so they will have to look for ways to cut corners which is what happens on these big projects when they are determined using low bidders. Often the low bid companies will bid so low that they cannot finish the project and the contractor has to hire someone else and often these type of businesses go out of business in the first few years. Peak Alarm has been in business for over 49 years because we do thing right. We are not often the low bid on projects like this and our customers understand that they need to pay a bit more to not only get quality but to avoid ongoing issues with their systems if they buy cheap equipment.

10. You get what you pay for and low bidders often have forgot things so they cut corners. There is no free lunch so review your bids and have a professional company with a good reputation do the work. Peak Alarm has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and very few complaints online when compared with other companies.

11. Peak Alarm is the only company in Utah with a UL listed Central Station, a full AV division, a full guard and patrol division as well as a full service alarm company. We even have a CAD and design department that is certified to submit fire marshal drawings for your commercial projects. Peak hires 300 local people at their 4 offices and we are a family owned company.

Peak Alarm is hiring so if you have experience in Sales or other areas we would love to have you come by and apply. We are currently scheduled out about 6 weeks on commercial projects although we can get residential projects done much sooner.

www.peakalarm.com

Contact Larry Love at Peak Alarm (801) 428 1384 or cell (801) 898 6003 Larry@peakalarm.com with questions or corrections to this post.

Gas Detectors by Peak Alarm

Gas Detectors

Call Larry Love (801) 428 1384 Larry@peakalarm.com www.peakalarm.com for pricing for any type of gas, smoke or flame detectors

To protect life and property there are several different kinds of detectors, Smoke detectors both beam and spot and they come in different flavors such as ION or photoelectric or even multicriteria.

Carbon Monoxide CO detectors – Known as the silent killer which is the leading cause of accidental poisening (See AMA) Caused by fuels not burning completely.
Carbon Dioxide CO2 detectors – also oderless and very dangerous
Nitrogen Dioxide NO2 detectors – by project of burning bydrocarbons
Natural gas detectors

Example some systems are set up in a garage area to detect gas and then turn on large fans to evacuate the gas making it safe to breath inside again. Call for quote.

Getting alarm bids and pricing in Utah

Peak Alarm Salt Lake Office

Contact Larry Love (801) 428 1384 Larry@peakalarm.com www.peakalarm.com for suggestions, corrections or information about pricing and bids.

In order to get bids for an alarm system in Utah it will be prudent to keep these things in mind:

1. Get a drawing done so all bidders are bidding the same locations and equipment. Get this drawing done even if it is hand drawn so all bidders are bidding the same work.
2. Put a clear scope of work together so all companies will know exactly what needs to be done.
3. Avoid equipment brands that only have one dealer in the State because if they win the bid and install that equipment you are stuck with that for service and sales of equipment.
4. Check and see if any codes apply for your system or special licensing that may be needed.
5. Compare apples to apples since a commercial security system is different that a residential system.
6. Example adding a residential smoke detector to your security system for a home is fine but for a business is not.
7. Insist on sitting down with the alarm representative and asking questions.
8. It is best to have the same company install the system that will monitor the system if possible to you can avoid 3rd party services as much as possible.
9. Peak Alarm can provide the CAD drawings, design, alarm installation, inspections, monitoring and even Guard response in Salt Lake all from one company.

10. Get pricing for monitoring as well as any additional services like guard response or if you need web access or openings and closings to know when your alarm system is being armed and disarmed and by whom. We had a tanning salon that we were monitoring and I called the owner after reviewing his opening and closing reports and asked him if it was normally for employees to come in at 3AM and he said no why? I explained and he found out employees were bringing their friends in to tan early in the morning.

11. Ask the Alarm Company to price the least expensive system as well as a system with quality equipment and ask what the difference is in the higher end equipment so you can decide what is best for your situation.

12. Determine if any other work needs to be done like high voltage electrical outlets and be clear about who will pay for this so it will be included. Normally alarm companies only do low voltage work but they can hire an electrical contractor to do the high voltage if needed or the owner can take care of that.

Designing a fire alarm System in Utah

In Utah the horns have to stop and strobes keep flashing after silenced

Contact Larry Love the author for corrections, suggestions or ideas about this article. Larry@peakalarm.com Http://www.peakalarm.com

1. Meet with the owner to discuss any special concerns for their project, try to obtain a set of plans and meet with a NICET design professional to make sure you meet fire codes.
2. Pick the correct panel for the application. Some small to medium sized facilities could use a combination panel such as the DMP550 panel that is UL listed for fire, security & Access
3. Decide on the communication method such as 2 analog phone lines using a DACT dialer communicator or a high supervision cellular unit that sends multiple signals each day or a radio.
4. The cost for just monitoring on a fire alarm starts around $26 dollars per month and if you are using a high supervision cellular unit the cost is around $48 per month
5. Some local AHJ Fire Marshals have specific concerns so get to know those so you can design a system that they will approve
6. Talk to the owner about their specific occupancy and if their building is fully sprinkled or not. This will help determine what is needed in their building as far as equipment.
7. Pick a brand of Fire Alarm equipment that is not proprietary. Be careful not to have a specific brand installed that only has one dealer in the entire state. This can put the owner in a bind.
8. Typically a sprinkled building will monitor if the fire flow valves, PIV valves, pressure switches and tampers valves if the water is moving or if it has been turned off.
9. Typically you will have HORN STROBES that will sound and flash to indicate evacuation in sleeping areas often low frequency will be required and depending on ADA other factors are in play.
10. Typically if you have a kitchen with HOODS the fire system will monitor ANSUL Systems so if the fire suppression system activates it will activate the fire alarm system as well.
11. When there are air handlers/roof top units RTU over 2000 cfm they will require duct detectors and those will need to be monitored by the fire alarm panel.
12. Often the AHJ Fire Marshal will require remote test switches if the duct detectors are not easily accessible.
13. Understand that many Fire Marshals use 3rd Party review companies to review the plans so if you need the system installed by a certain date get everything done quickly.
14. Some jurisdictions are further out on review times than others Salt Lake has been 4-6 weeks out for their review before so get your paperwork and plans done early enough for your calendar.
15. Decide if you want your contractor to include the permit fees for the plans in their price or if you as the owner want to pay those fees directly.
16. Getting the CAD drawings done can be very expensive so if you have a PE that will do it great but the drawings will still need to be approved by the Fire Marshal and often a 3rd party.
17. Plan ahead for the fire panel to have a dedicated 20amp high voltage circuit and arrange an electrical contractor to take care of that and the circuit needs to be marked in red in the panel.
18. Plans to have signs made up to indicate the room where the fire alarm panel is installed (FIRE ALARM CONTROL PANEL) You can do this when you do your exit signs.
19. You can also consider other detection that can be added to the fire panel such as water, temperature for specific areas.
20. When you pick your devices such as smoke detectors, heat detectors, smoke beam detectors, flame detectors go over all the different aspects with your contractor.
21. Normally it is best to have Photoelectric smoke detectors installed in our altitude rather than ION since they will false alarm less. Little things can make a big difference.
22. Spacing of detection will need to meet code and can vary depending on the height of the ceiling and the occupancy of the building as far as placement.
23. Example: Normally smokes are every 30 feet in hallways and horn/strobes are 15 feet from the end of the hall and every 50 or 100 feet depending on the code and occupancy.
24. In certain medical occupancies you will have more smoke detectors installed even if it is a fully sprinkled building which often can eliminate the need for smokes other than the one required by code and the ones associated with elevator recall.
25. Emergency communicators in area of refuge may also be required
26. Fireman Phones at times are required
27. Smoke Control is a whole different animal for very large buildings and experts will need to be brought in.
28. Voice Evacuation or Mass notification systems are required in some occupancies and this also requires experts to do it right.
29. Planning the mA draw on the notification appliances and having enough power supplies is very important and a smoke detector is required at each power supply.
30. Each elevator will require 4 programmable relays.
31. Special FPL (One story buildings) FPLR (More than one story buildings) or FPLP fire rated red cable will be required on every fire alarm project. The FPLP cable also meets the requirement of riser cable but is required where there are plenum ceilings.
32. I am a NICET level 2 in Fire Alarm and Peak Alarm has several NICET techs on staff including level 3 and 4 techs.
33. This is not a complete list although it is prudent to go over these items with the building owner or contractors before work is begun to avoid change orders.

Design a Security Intrusion System

Peak Alarm is the Leader in Utah

Step by Step Process to design a security intrusion system by Larry Love with Peak Alarm Larry@peakalarm.com www.peakalarm.com (801)428 1384

1. Pick a control panel that will meet the needs of the project. It should be expandable.
2. Decide how many arm/disarm stations they will need and the locations.
3. Pick the communication method such as Internet, Phone, Cellular or Radio with the understanding that some methods are more reliable than others.

4. Add the needed devices to the system such as motion detectors, glass break detection, door contact status switches on man or overhead doors and roof hatches etc…
You can install beam detectors along one side of a warehouse to cover all the overheads rather than contacting each overhead and there are pros and cons so discuss with the customer.
There are new tri-tech detectors which cost a bit more but are less apt to false alarm and placing trap motions a specific points in the facility can also be beneficial.

5. Discuss whether or not to include a siren or lights for when the system goes into alarm.
6. Think through the possibility of a burglar getting past the first level of security if they cut through the glass on a glass door and bypass the door status switch.
7. Design the system to meet the budget needs and other needs of the customer.
8. Discuss the features of the new systems explaining the benefits of arming and disarming different areas separately. Example: Warehouse employees cannot disarm the office etc…
9. Discuss the possibility of adding humidity, water, temperature and other types of sensors to the system to alert the owner of issues with their server rooms or other areas.
10. Go over the different programming features such as programming specific doors to be alarmed 24 hours if people should not be going in or out those doors. (Emergency Exits)
11. Explain the benefits of adding cameras with recorders to the system for video and using the video as positive training aids for accidents and as a deterrent.
12. Telling an employee you appreciate that they cleaned up a certain area without being told and telling them I saw what you did on the camera system helps get the word out your watching.
13. Is a lift needed because of the height of the building and who will rent the lift the owner or the security contractor.
14. Is there any high voltage that needs to be done and who will hire the electrical contractor to put specific items such as outlets in that may be needed?
15. When you get to a certain number of powered devices you may need an additional power supply so plan ahead by doing the current draw.
16. In large buildings the type and size of the cable will be important for voltage line drop and if the ceiling is a plenum rated ceiling or not is also important.

Meet with the owner to discuss their special needs including size of the project and special requirement due to height of building, if trenching is needed, conduit or special cable.

This list is not meant to be all inclusive although it will give you a good list of items to discuss as a customer or security professional.

If you have any suggestions, corrections please contact Larry Love at Peak Alarm

Full Service alarm company Utah Idaho

Not all companies are alike

Call Larry Love at (801) 428 1384 Peak Alarm http://www.peakalarm.com Cell (801) 898 6003

1. Only UL listed Central Station company in Utah with a Full Service Guard and Patrol Division.
2. UL2050 High Security certificates for Installation and for monitoring.
3. Local Company that employees over 300 local people.
4. Large enough to do any size project for Fire Alarm, Intrusion, Access Control or camera system.
5. Call Larry he can help you with your bid. Larry has over 20 years experience in commercial alarms.

Peak has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau and very few complaints compared to some competitors that have over 1000 complaints.

Call Peak for all your residential, industrial and commercial Alarm Projects.

Questions to ask yourself about Security Systems before you buy

Employees over 300 local people

Contact Larry Love (801) 428 1384 or cell (801) 898 6003 Larry@peakalarm.com

Call Larry for custom solutions to your security issues: Cameras, Alarms, Home automation, lights, thermostats,garage door control and monitoring, temperature and flood

Check out my site click here

Sitio en espanol

Company web site Peak Alarm ask for Larry

Interactive SECURITY

Would you like to be able to arm and disarm remotely and be notified of troubles and be notified if you forgot to arm your system?

Would you like to be able to lock or unlock doors, turn on or turn off lights, check or change your thermostat remotely?

Have you ever forgot to close the garage door or even wondered if you did? Now you can check and close the garage door remotely.

Would you like to get a notification if the window or a door was left open?

Would you like to be alerted if there was a water leak or if the home or business dropped below 41 degrees?

Would you like to be alerted if your loved one didn’t get about of bed when expected?

Have you ever been concerned that one of your children or employees may be accessing areas that they should not access such as a liquor cabinet or gun storage area?

Check the Better Business Bureau complaints and ratings before you buy from any company. How many complaints has this company had in the last 3 years?

About Peak Alarm:

In business since 1969
Locally owned employing over 300 local people (Buy local)
UL listed Central Station
Only Alarm company with a full service Guard and Patrol as well as central station
A+ rating with the www.bbb.org Better Business Bureau
Peak Alarm does not run credit checks as most other companies do
Peak Alarm Sales Consultants are knowledgeable and will custom design a solution for you
Great monitoring rates and great pricing

ADT sues Utah Alarm Company and wins 10 Million dollars

ADT sues and wins a 10 million dollar law suit against a Utah based company using deceptive sales practices

Read article click this link

Don’t wait till you sign a contract to find out about the complaints.

Before you even get pricing from an Alarm Company do the following:

1. Check the Better Business Bureau www.bbb.org (Peak has zero complaints as of 01/06/18)

1A. Request to see their blue and white Utah DOPL license that each salesperson and tech are required to carry on their person. This means they have gone through an FBI check. Some companies hire people that are not licensed two such individuals came to my door and got reported. They just had their company ID and said the license was kept at the office.

Click here to verify a Utah Burglar alarm license

2. Ask if they require a credit check before you buy. (Peak does not)

3. Ask if they will charge your visa just to come out and give you a bid or a site visit. (Larry Love at Peak will come out at no charge) They say they will apply it to the purchase when you buy.

4. Clarify their contract length because many will say one thing and have you sign something entirely different, because of this one of the Utah companies has been sued in 32 states.

5. Beware of a salesperson saying things like “Your alarm company is going out of business or we will update your equipment for free” Article from ADT about deceptive salespeople click here

6. Beware of companies that say “Installation is FREE” often they will wrap the charges in elsewhere. Peak Alarm starts cell monitoring at $40 per month with interactive many others will charge over $60 or $70 and obviously since you are paying an extra $30 per month after 36 months you have paid an additional $1000 dollars so they can afford to give you a few free items but understand you are paying much more than you think.

7. Many of these companies hire clean cut individuals just for the summer and they can earn quite a bit in a summer so they can return to school so often their knowledge is very limited.

Check licensing before you buy

Call Larry Love with Peak Alarm for a no cost site visit and bid. (801) 428 1384 cell (801) 898 6003 Larry@peakalarm.com company web site Peak Alarm web site click here

Peak Alarm bullet points:

1. UL listed Central Station that is Local and 5 diamond certified (Only about 200 UL listed Stations in the Nation also have the 5 diamond certification)
2. Local company that employees over 300 employees and has 4 offices to serve you.
3. The only Alarm company that also has their own Patrol and Guard division. In Salt Lake City, West Valley and come other cities the police will not respond.
4. Licensed and insured. Each employee has been through the FCI background check and passed and has to pass these checks on an ongoing basis to keep working at Peak Alarm.
5. Zero complaints on the Better Business Bureau as of 1/6/18 some of our competitors have over 1000 complaints
6. Peak has been in the business since 1969 and many of their salespeople have extensive security, fire, camera and low voltage experience and certifications.
7. Peak has a fleet of over 100 vehicles.

Protect yourself from companies using deceptive sales techniques: Ask for their license, check their BBB report, read the fine print, read the complaints filed and check if the company is being sued currently and why. Some Alarm companies have been sued in several states, one Utah Alarm company has been sued in 32 States and has over 4000 complaints currently filed with the BBB.

Temperature monitoring RX food medicine

I took this picture at the SLC Zoo (Hogle)

Call Larry for some of the most competitive rates on temperature monitoring solutions

4 Hardwired and 8 wireless zones monitoring high and low temperatures, flood, gas, humidity and more. This system will allow you to get email/text alerts when your temperatures go outside their set ranges. You can plug a USB in and off load temperature reports for your required logs. Call Larry Love (801) 428 1384 for more information and pricing. Larry@peakalarm.com

www.peakalarm.com

New Tax Deductions for Security Systems

New Tax plan allows for tax deductions for small and medium businesses. See link below

https://www.securityindustry.org/2017/12/26/sia-applauds-key-provision-tax-reform-law-security-fire-protection-systems/https://www.securityindustry.org/2017/12/26/sia-applauds-key-provision-tax-reform-law-security-fire-protection-systems/

Contact Larry Love for the best deals

www.peakalarm.com Larry@peakalarm.com (801) 428 1384 Contact Larry Love for a great deal. Peak has their own UL listed Central Station and Guard and Patrol Service.