November 27th, 2018

When it comes to fire safety, fire alarms and sprinkler systems are the first pieces of safety equipment that come to mind.

But could the humble door actually be key to slowing or preventing the spread of a fire and saving lives?

The UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute, a non-profit which studies and trains both firefighters and the general public on fire safety, kicked off a campaign this year encouraging people to close their bedroom doors before turning in at night. Closed doors depress oxygen flow, which starves fire and slows its progress. Slowing a fire down gives occupants time to escape and gives fire crews more time to arrive on scene and fight the fire.

That same thinking translates from residential applications to office buildings, hospitals, schools and other public spaces. Facilities managers and building owners should think carefully about door placement, and how strategic door placement and use can slow or block fire progress and prevent loss.

The issue is especially urgent for hospitals, nursing homes and rehabilitation centers where moving patients may take more time or might even be impossible. In those cases, specially designed fire doors must be in place so buildings can be compartmentalized and occupants can shelter in place if necessary until the fire is suppressed.

Fire doors must be inspected at least twice a year. Fire doors are deceptively complicated, and even small defects can threaten their integrity and heighten risk, so inspections should be carried out by someone trained to recognize and correct any defect or misuse of the door.

Door monitoring can be integrated along with all other building systems such as security video, fire alarms and suppression systems and more. Maintaining awareness of these key systems all in one place provides key insights that can help identify and reduce risks.

Interested in learning more about integrating building systems? ECT Services can help. Call (800) 567-1180 for a consultation today.

September 17th, 2018

September is National Preparedness Month, a time when families are encouraged to make plans for how they will survive fires, floods, tornados or other disasters.

Preparedness is not just for families, however. Business, schools and other organizations also need to have preparedness plans in place.

The ongoing, widespread disaster unfolding along the Mid-Atlantic coast is a stark reminder of why disaster preparedness matters. Hurricane Florence has dropped record amounts of rain already, with more still to come, and massive flooding is anticipated from the coast up into the Appalachian Mountains.

Think we’re safe from hurricanes in the Ohio Valley? It was ten years ago this month that remnants of Hurricane Ivan reformed over Kentucky and swept up the valley and wrought a path of destruction from Arkansas to Canada, including 75 mile per hour wind gusts in Louisville and Cincinnati. The storm downed trees and knocked power out for days throughout the region.
And hurricane season is far from being over. The season will peak in October.

Beyond natural disasters, fires and active shooter events are also a threat. Planning should extend beyond the event and protecting staff, customers and property from immediate harm to business continuity. How will you continue to operate or get back up and running as quickly as possible following a disaster? Proper planning should address all everything from the initial event to complete recovery.

How robust is your preparedness plan? This checklist from the National Fire Protection Association is a great place to start assessing your efforts. The NFPA is also offering this free guide for the development, implementation, assessment, and maintenance of disaster/emergency management and continuity of operations programs on its website.

Well-designed, well-maintained and well-documented integrated systems are key to running your business day to day and recovering in the aftermath of disaster. ECT Services offers more than 30 years of experience delivering design, development and service that keep facilities operating at peak safety and efficiency. Call us today at (800) 567-1180 for a consultation.

May 31st, 2018

Spring and summer often mean severe weather in the Ohio Valley. In addition to the typical storms caused by weather fronts rolling in from the west, the remnants of tropical storms and hurricanes occasionally sweep up from the south. Both can bring deluges and flash flooding.

 

Flooding brings a particular set of safety risks. The National Fire Prevention Association offers these six tips for managing electrical risks brought on by storms:

• Keep in touch with local authorities, and be prepared to turn off utilities and propane tanks as instructed.
• Don’t ever drive into flooded areas, even if water is only a few inches deep. The current could be much stronger than you realize, and the water can conceal or distort hazards like holes and washed out roadways.
• Every downed wire is a live wire, whether you see sparks or not. Call the utility company immediately if you spot any downed wires in your area, and do not approach. Downed wires are a risk not only in flash flooding situations, but in storms with high winds.
• If you smell gas in your area, do not turn on any lights or equipment. Even the smallest spark could trigger an explosion.
• If your facility is flooded, don’t turn power back on until you it has been inspected – including equipment – and either been remediated or declared safe to operate.
• If you choose to use gas generators to power equipment, be sure to operate it safely. Carbon monoxide poisoning due to improper ventilation is a real risk. Operate generators outdoors only, well away from doors, windows and other openings and well away from air intake for HVAC systems.

Review these safety tips with your team, and be sure to add them to your emergency plans and procedures with other safety policies. All emergency plans should be reviewed annually and updated as necessary.

Fire safety systems should be reviewed and updated regularly, too. An updated, integrated system runs more efficiently and offers better protection. Interested in learning more about our fire systems? Call (800) 567-1180 for a consultation.

December 6th, 2016

Position Summary: 

At ECT Services Inc., as an Integrated Service Technician you will be a troubleshooter and service expert on various low voltage systems such as video surveillance, intrusion alarm, access control and fire alarm systems.  This position is responsible for addressing and alleviating any concerns the customer may have regarding a security or fire alarm system within their facilities. This position will be required to perform periodic maintenance and inspections of all types of fire and security equipment. 

Duties and Responsibilities:

Locate and alleviate trouble with damaged equipment or wiring.

Readjust equipment, repair or replace inoperative equipment and test for operation.

Read blueprints, building, electrical, and sprinkler plans to complete equipment repairs.

Prepare trouble order forms to report temporary repairs.

Coordinate inspections and/or installations with police, fire departments, or other appropriate agencies.

Qualifications

 

Education:

High school diploma or GED

Technical Degree preferred 

Certified to test Fire Alarm Systems in Kentucky preferred

Experience:

Minimum 10 years of experience installing and inspecting/repairing Integrated Security and Fire Alarm systems. EST and or LENEL (preferred) or comparable product line. 

  • Advanced knowledge of the principles of electricity, electronics, complex and highly integrated electronic systems;
  • Extensive and demonstrated knowledge of the installation, maintenance, repair, upgrading, integrating, troubleshooting and testing of electrical and electronic systems;
  • Knowledge and ability to interpret and work with blueprints, drawings, technical manuals, handbooks and other technical documentation as well as the ability to evaluate and correct technical problems;
  • Knowledge and skills in field engineering, and final commissioning and training;
  • Specialized knowledge of the following or similar systems is preferred: Lenel, Axis, Bosch, Zenitel, Tridium Security, GE, Genetec, Avigilon, and Honeywell.

Skills:

Excellent communication skills. 

Strong troubleshooting background

Electrical background is highly desirable

Other:

Valid driver’s license required.

  • Must pass background check and drug screening.
  • NICET Level 3 Certification highly desireable.

 Job Skills-

  • Electrical background and knowledge of electrical materials
  • Successful experience with complex enterprise integrated systems installations
  • Must be able to work independently, as well as within a team
  • Strong organizational and time management skills with an ability to establish priorities and proceed with objectives with little supervision
  • Proficiency in systems applications and Microsoft, Microsoft Office with Microsoft Windows and other related computer applications

 

Systems Related Knowledge

  • LENEL Systems, Axis Communications, ZENITEL IP Intercoms, GE Security, Bosch Intrusion Detection Systems, Bosch RPS and hardware and Software installation experience.
  • IP video security systems and camera installation
  • Familiarity with Matrix Switches, Multiplexers and DVR’s
  • Relay logic / PLC background
  • Advanced knowledge of electric lock hardware installation IE… mag-locks, strikes and electrified rim exit devices
  • Strong computer skills (all Microsoft products)
  • Understand and interact with LAN and WAN systems as a part of an overall security installation

 

Employment Requirements-

  • Must have valid driver’s license
  • Must be able to travel up to 30% of the time or as job requires
  • Must pass background check and drug screening.
  • Maintain a Department of Defense SECRET security clearance.

 

Physical Requirements-

  • Must be able to lift 75 pounds
  • Must be able to handle and properly use common power and hand tools

Job benefits include-

  • Competitive hourly wages
  • Employee Matching Program up to 3%
  • Health plans for the employees and dependents
  • 15 days paid vacation/personal leave
  • Laptop and Cell Phone
  • Product Certifications and Vocational Assistance programs
  • Excellent Career Advancement potential

 

Physical Demands – The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

  • While performing the duties of this Job, the employee is regularly required to sit and talk or hear. The employee is frequently required to walk; use hands to finger, handle, or feel and reach with hands and arms. The employee is occasionally required to stand; climb or balance and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 75 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision.
  • Work Environment – The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.
  • The employee will normally work in a temperature-controlled office environment, with frequent exposure to electronic office equipment.
  • During visits to areas of operations, may be exposed to extreme cold or hot weather conditions.  Is occasionally exposed to fumes or airborne particles, toxic or caustic chemicals, and loud noise.

Please contact tbarrett@ectservices.com for more information or to apply for this position.

March 28th, 2016

On a cold night in mid-February, a piece of Kentucky history went up in flames.

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Rabbit Hash General Store, a landmark clapboard store that stood on Lower River Road in Boone County for more than 185 years, was decimated by a fast-moving fire. The family that owns the store, and the community that loves it, have vowed to rebuild on the same spot.

While you can’t prevent every disaster, you can mitigate risk. Some ideas for protecting property and people:

Inspect fire protection systems quarterly. Test alarms and systems regularly, and perform any required maintenance promptly. Questions about inspections? Contact Tom Barrett at (800) 567-1180.

Inspect property for fire risks. Fires need ignition and fuel. Are sources of ignition and fuel present? Look for frayed electrical cords or other spark risks, and repair or replace when necessary. Be sure fuel sources like papers or chemicals or any other combustible materials are properly stored. Check out this list from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration for more ideas to reduce risk.

Review your emergency action plans. Be sure your plan includes: a plan for reporting, an evacuation plan for employees and guests that includes floor plans and maps, procedures for employees who must remain in place to perform critical operations, and rescue and medical duties for designated employees. Use this guide to create or review your plans.

Plan a drill. Plan and execute fire evacuation and other safety drills at least once a year.

March 22nd, 2016

Spring has sprung, and the change in season is a good reminder to review your HVAC and lighting systems to keep them operating at peak efficiency. The following may need your attention:

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Spring HVAC servicing. The weather is getting warmer, and AC units need to be inspected to keep them operating at peak efficiency. A qualified technician will program your thermostat and check related system controls, inspect and test electrical connections and system components, clean and lubricate moving parts, inspect and clean the drain to prevent moisture problems and replace the air filter.

Lighting controls. Now that the time has changed, review your indoor and outdoor lighting timers and adjust accordingly. Need to know what time sunrise/sunset will come to your neighborhood? Check here.

Now is also good time to inspect lighting systems, too. Check for loose wires and replace burned out light bulbs.

Temperature controls. Warmer weather means adjustments should be made to maximize efficiency. During the summer, set air conditioning temperature controls to 78 degrees during peak hours when cooling is needed, and a higher temperature outside of those hours when less cooling is needed.

Air filters. You might be tempted to throw open the windows on pleasant spring days and let the breezy sunshine regulate the temperature in your facility. While spring breezes feel wonderful, they also carry a wealth of pollen and other allergens that could make life miserable for allergy sufferers. Install fresh air filters in systems, and consider purchasing air purifying units to keep staff and guests comfortable.

You’ll find more energy saving tips for businesses here.

March 16th, 2016

After a three-year, $60 million renovation and expansion project, the Speed Art Museum reopened last week.

Check out time-lapse video of the project posted by the Courier-Journal:

The 30-hour opening celebration included music, dance and more, with partner organizations from across the community joining in.

The museum’s new glass façade buildings, which wrap around the original structure, are designed to maximize natural light and showcase the museum’s collection. Too much, light, however, could be damaging to the collection, so the glass walls are embedded with metallic rectangles that filter the light and deflect the harsher rays of the sun. The metallic rectangles are more dense at the top of the building, and graduate as they cascade down the wall.

Most of the interior lighting has also been switched to more energy-efficient, less harsh LED lighting, too.

The interior of the entire museum must be maintained at a constant temperature of 72 degrees to protect the collection, which includes paintings, sculpture, furniture, textiles and other objects, some of which are thousands of years old.

Glass walls, integrated old and new construction and other factors could make temperature control a challenge in such a facility. The Speed is overcoming that challenge with an integrated control system designed by ECTServices.

The Speed is also pursuing LEED building certification.

For more information about the Speed, visit their website.

July 6th, 2015

Throughout the years, our temperature control and security clients have requested us to service their fire systems, and we regretfully could not. However, we listened to what our customers needed; we researched and invested in this area and now we are excited to announce that we have added this long-requested service to our portfolio. We debuted this service about a year ago and have spent the time since perfecting our skills in order to bring the best fire detection service to our customers.

 

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The ECT Services Team consists of experienced, certified individuals who design, develop, install, and service our state-of-the-art fire alarm systems. We test and inspect each system we install annually, and our clients can expect the best troubleshooting support and 24/7 monitoring. In addition, our fire detection and alert systems integrate completely with other building systems.

As CEO Jeff Murphy stated, “We are providing exactly what is needed and not upselling our customers. Our years of relationship building are important to our company, and we want the customers to have just what they need. There is a lot of integration in all of our services, because our knowledge about security and temperature controls can directly impact the type of fire system a building requires – and we know how to link them together.”

It is important to note that ECT offers fire detection and alarm services only. We do not currently offer suppression systems such as sprinklers.

October 12th, 2014

When individual systems are not integrated, facilities staff has to learn how to operate each element separately. These systems can consist of: fire alarm system, HVAC system, access control system, elevator system, lighting system, and even utility metering. Many of the elements associated with these separate systems have to be manually adjusted at different times and through different front-ends. When it comes to better facilities management and truly efficient methods, system integration needs to be established. The following benefits of system integration can make facilities management more efficient:

Single Work Station

System integration allows facilities managers to work from a single work station. Problems can be solved and changes can be made with a few clicks rather than visiting multiple computer systems. It simplifies the process and makes it easy to manage.

Energy Savings

Integration can reduce energy consumption and bring significant energy savings. Tying together and monitoring temperature fluctuations as well as making necessary adjustments or repairs to equipment can produce energy savings almost immediately.

Lower Labor Costs and Improve Operations

Reduced energy consumption isn’t the only benefit, companies see reduced labor costs through streamlined operations.

Improve Response Time

When integration is done properly, real-time alerts (Alarms) will be sent and can potential generate work orders (if the proper systems are in place). Many software companies now offer mobile capabilities, so management can get alerts through their mobile phone or other device.

Performance

Integrated systems perform well and should be easy to use.  A good partnership with your system integrator is crucial to maintain and keep your system in tune with the dynamic changes of your facility.

Data Collection

The wealth of data that is collected by systems integration will lead to better decision making. Data ranges from the temperature fluctuation, routine maintenance, to power outages and underperforming facilities.

Software and Device Compatibility

Most modern vendors make software products that are compatible with each other. Communication protocols also aid in integration of systems and products (ie. BACnet, LON, MODbus).

 Multiple Sites

Integration can include multiple buildings on multiple sites, and is not limited to one individual building.

Work with your system integrators on a plan to help bring your building systems together.  ECT Services can help!

 

…Dave Stumler