June President's Message

Dear IAF Members and Industry Friends,

Summer is officially here! When people think of Florida, they think summer vacations, beaches, theme parks, and sporting events.

As Floridians, we know that summer also means high temperatures, electrical storms, lots of rain and even hurricanes. In the low voltage and integration industry, we often think of summer for lightning, increased service calls, electrical damage, power outages, and unforgiveable attic temperatures.

Let’s take a moment to consider ways to ensure the safety of ourselves and our teams, help reduce false alarms and prepare for the unexpected. Over the last few months, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with our members regarding these summer topics and more. Through these conversations and my own experience, I’ve learned the importance of planning and communicating.

Summer temperatures can be very dangerous.  Always ensure your team is well hydrated, trained on heat-related emergencies and staying in regular team contact when working in high-temperature locations. Schedule attic work in the morning and always ensure that anyone working in an attic or non-air-conditioned space carries a phone, radio or other communication device in case of emergency.

Be prepared for the possibility of increased false alarms or dispatches triggered by storms. False dispatches not only waste valuable resources but also pose a risk to the community by diverting attention away from genuine emergencies. To help reduce this risk, communicate with your clients regarding battery replacements, offer summer battery packages for additional RMR, consider the use of a surge protective device, and encourage clients to ensure doors and windows are secure prior to arming their system. PERS clients should be reminded to charge their device daily to ensure it’s ready during power outages.

Lastly, partner with your central station to review storm plans, place low priority signals on test during storms and utilize email or text notification to clients.

As with most storms and emergencies, preparation is key. Now is the time to review PAR levels in your warehouse and vehicles, increase on-hand supply of batteries, and review your inventory of emergency supplies and first aid kits. Work vehicles should be fueled and ready prior to any storm. After hours on-call schedules should be finalized, and procedures are put in place to communicate with the team regarding individual safety during storms. Take some time to meet with your back-office and review client communications. Now is a great time to build templates for communication programs, and add battery or storm messages to invoices, social media and website updates. 

By taking time to review your summer plans and including some of the tips above, you can help ensure the safety of others, reduce false alarms, and contribute to the overall safety and efficiency of your operation and your community.

Stay safe, prepared and busy this summer!

With gratitude,

Marvin Smith
IAF President