All in the Family

PURPOSE: …for SDM, a trade mag…

When father-and-son team Bob and Rob Keefe realized their company, All-American Monitoring, had outgrown its operations in downtown Sarasota, Fla., son Rob took action. The result is a state-of-the-art central station nestled in the woodland outskirts of the city.

Bob Keefe, company founder, said they simply could not continue in the cramped space. “It was like working in a submarine,” he smiles.

The Keefes broke ground in September 2012.

Twelve-inch steel reinforced concrete walls encase the new station, which opened in July 2013. Natural light radiates through windows said to withstand an F4 tornado—vital to an area prone to frequent and powerful storms. Redundancy factors include securely buried phone lines, three generators and 2,400 gallons of underground fuel. Interior construction took place in three phases, each section built with concrete walls that reach to the roof to eliminate flame spread.

The monitoring center handles calls for both All-American Monitoring and its sister business, EMG Alarm Systems. Operator stations are set in two open floor plans, each outfitted with a kitchen. A bank of monitors line the walls to keep operators updated in real time.

Also included are a file server room, two storerooms, office suites, a conference room and space for a full-service employee gym. Plans are underway for a boardwalk that will lead employees to an existing gazebo located on a picturesque retention pond not far away.

The build provided All-American the opportunity to upgrade its technology. “The access controls are a lot more secure,” says the younger Keefe. “We’ve gone to a level four times UL dual redundancy requirements with our standby servers. And we’re handling DMP receivers now, as well as Silent Knight and AlarmNet IP receivers. We’re still running 10 Sur-Gards, which are IP- and phone line-based, and we still have an old ITI CS-4000, with accounts on that one, too.”

“There were a couple hundred thousand accounts to move,” says the older Keefe. “It went very, very well.”

“We also had somewhere in the neighborhood of 4,000 phone lines to do in a day,” adds his son. “We moved them in approximately four hours.”

Both men are proud of the building’s minimal impact on the environment. “The water heaters are demand,” says the older Keefe. “There are no tanks.”

“This building is four times the size of our old building and the power consumption is identical,” says his son. “All the lighting is LED and the air conditioners have the highest SEER ratings possible. There’s insulation in all interior and exterior walls. We did icynene insulation with fire retardant underneath the truss levels. We also added more insulation on top of the drop ceiling.

“Appearance is a lot in this industry,” he continues. “When people come and see this building, it’s impressive. The other building wasn’t. People went with us because of the way we do business. But sometimes your appearance helps. This building is structurally strong and we’re right on top of the technology. Everything about it is designed to be safe and responsive,” he says.

Visit All-American Monitoring and hear more about the central station at ISC West in booth 18109.


Photo 1: Father-and-son team Bob (right) and Rob Keefe break ground on All-American Monitoring’s 3.71-acre site.

Photo 2: All0American Monitoring’s new DMP, Silent Knight and AlarmNet receivers join its 10 IP- and phone-lined based SurGards, along with an ITI CS-4000 that still handles accounts.

Photo 3: Monitors along all four walls of the All-American side of its 5,200-square-foot monitoring center keep security operators updated in real time.

Photo 4: Construction is underway for a full-service gym to keep shift employees alert and focused 24/7.

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