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Posts Tagged ‘Louisville local business’

The Return to work, and before.

When quarantining began nearly a year ago and the workforce went home, the lights seemed to have gone out. They didn’t just “seem” to go out. They were turned off. You can’t blame building managers for managing their energy bills in such a manner – why have the lights/heat on if no one was going to be in their offices utilizing those services? Might as well save on the energy bill, right?

In Louisville, so much of our downtown is taken up by office buildings and commercial space. So when the employees of these companies went home last March, so much of downtown looked like a ghost town. With the lights off, it’s even worse. Nothing could possibly seem as desolate as an empty, dark downtown. It reminds me of those photos of deserted shopping malls.

Our customers have started going another way with this. Our city has been in the news a fair amount in the past year, and our downtown in particular. What the people of our city needed, and continue to need, is a sign of resurgence.  They want hope and to know they have not been abandoned.

What we have seen over the past few months is companies stepping up to provide a glimmer of hope through the glimmer of a return to turning the lights on – to making downtown come back to life.

In Kentucky terms, it seems we’re in the “third turn” of this pandemic and soon enough… we’ll be at the finish line. When that time eventually comes and the workforce can once again enter through the turnstiles and ride up that elevator to their cubicles, we’ll want the downtown ambiance to be bustling and “happening” again. We believe that it will be.

Embracing inclusion as business owners.

Last night in the NFL history was made with an all-black officiating crew as the Los Angeles Rams played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As I watched the coverage of this story, it dawned on me, as a sports fan, that I’m not sure I ever thought about what that meant. I’ve been watching sports my entire life and I’m not sure I ever watched and thought “why do so many of the referees look like me?” But to many Americans, it has.

Lately I’ve been learning a lot about this subject. Through my involvement in local networking groups such as One Southern Indiana, Leadership Louisville, GLI and the Chamber of St. Matthews, I have had the opportunity to attend seminars and workshops focused on improving diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Just last week I attended “Moving Forward Together: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,” a program by Louisville Business First.

One of the speakers at that event dug into the concept of code-switching, a concept I had heard of but hadn’t really dug into. Code-switching is a way of talking in a different nuance from one group of people to another, and we are all subconsciously guilty of doing it. Even Former President Obama was known to code-switch and it’s talked about in the Former First Lady’s book. It’s not something we do on purpose, but it does seem prevalent from culture to culture.

We need to create an environment where code-switching isn’t required. We shouldn’t expect people to “check themselves at the door.” Let’s all be who we are in our workspace, homelife and schools. As business owners let’s embrace this opportunity and model it for our teams. 2021 can be the year we have a better understanding of all the players on our team.

Our team continues to strive to learn more everyday about how we can be more inclusive, how we can take into account our diverse group of customers and team members.

Let’s all, as business owners, continue learning as we enter 2021. Let’s make it a priority that we not do things the way they’ve always been done as diversity is concerned. Let’s pay attention to what we are learning, continue to read and listen to experts and help move our local and global communities forward, together.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to attend these types of events, and to have a team who is on board with learning and adapting and being open-minded to be sure we are making inclusivity a priority.

I hope you have a safe, Happy Thanksgiving this week.

What makes a good service partner?

Purchasing a major system typically involves a great deal of preparation and research. When preparing for the purchase of a new HVAC or security system, you might spend weeks or even months identifying your needs, surveying the market for solutions, pricing options and reviewing bids from top vendors.

Most of the focus during the research phase is on products and installation.

But service after the sale is at least as important. Reliable service is key to keeping your new system up to date and fully utilized.

But how do you shop for service? What do you look for in a service partner? Here are some questions to ask:

1. Communication skills. Does the service provider have strong listening skills? Do they document all conversations and actions consistently, accurately and thoroughly? Do communicate well verbally and in writing?
2. Capacity. Does the service provider have the right people with the right skills available to address your needs efficiently? Do they guarantee response times? Do they do what they say they will do, when they say they will do it?
3. Flexibility. Is the service provider rigid in their response? Do they look for reasons to say no, or reasons to say yes?
4. Partnership. Does your service provider consider themselves an extended member of your team? Do they invest in coaching and teaching your internal teams so their skills can be enhanced, and they can troubleshoot and get the most value out of the system?
A few more words of advice: ask for references, but also check for reviews on Google, Facebook and Yelp. Ask for certifications, if applicable, and follow up with accrediting agencies to verify.
ECT Services offers around the clock service support for environmental controls, security and monitoring systems, as well as preventative maintenance packages and remote support.

Interested in learning more? Call ECT Services at (800) 567-1180.

Did Kentucky lawmakers do away with unnecessary regulations, or did it compromise public safety?

During the current Kentucky General Assembly, lawmakers passed HB 100, which included an amendment allowing Kentucky to issue its own amendments to the National Electrical Code.

Senator Jared Carpenter (R-Richmond) spoke in favor of the amendment, citing the practices he endorses as the owner of KJC Properties, LLC Real Estate and Rental Properties.

If a tenant calls and says they plugged in a curling iron and now their lights won’t come on, the solution is typically to change the GFCI outlets, said Carpenter. Ground fault control breaker outlets just don’t work well, says Carpenter, and cause needless service issues that drive up costs. Federal regulations reduce efficiency and increase costs for businesses, he said, while not necessarily keeping people safe.

“There’s no electrician that wants to come to your house that wants to do faulty, unsafe work,” said Carpenter. They don’t want to risk the liability if something goes wrong, he said.

The National Fire Prevention Association takes a different view. Keeping current with the latest nation standards is critical for safety, NFPA maintains, and neglecting or opposing national standards could lead to property damage and loss of life.

The political and regulatory environment has shifted significantly in the last few years, however, and now national standards like the NEC face greater scrutiny. Adoption of updates is taking longer.

What does that mean for facilities managers? Facilities managers might have to work a little harder to keep up with the latest regulations, particularly in states like Kentucky which may amend the NEC or other federal standards. State code changes might not always be less strict, sometimes they may be more stringent depending on local context. It’s important to take nothing for granted. Keeping an eye on local codes is key, too.

Organizations like NFPA can be helpful in keeping up with the latest, but developing a good relationship with your local code enforcement office is key. They are the experts when it comes to knowing what is permissible, what is not, and why. Look to your local code enforcement office as an educational resource.

It’s time for seasonal maintenance

Weren’t we shivering under a blanket of snow just a couple of weeks ago? Then temps became warmer, with sunshine abundant, and spring fever started setting in. Of course, then it snowed last night.

Spring will officially start on March 20. Between now and then we could see several inches of snow, afternoon highs in the 80s, tornadoes, floods and just about anything in between. If you have any doubts, just check your Facebook memories and you’ll probably see evidence of all of these weather conditions on this day over the last several years.

With spring on the way, now is the time to tackle some routine maintenance and seasonal tasks. Put these on your to-do list now:

Check outside lighting. Walk your parking areas and around the outside of your facility. Look for outside lighting that may have been damaged during snowy, icy weather. Look for light bulbs that have burned out and replace them.

Check landscaping. Flower beds, parking lot islands, sidewalks and lawn areas might have taken a beating when being plowed, scraped and salted this winter. Look for signs of damage and note needed repairs. Look for potholes in parking lots that need repair, and significant gaps or cracks in sidewalks that can cause slips and falls.

Check security cameras and alarms. Review the placement and condition of all inside and outside cameras. Inspect wiring, and check placement to be sure views haven’t shifted or otherwise been compromised.

Clean or change HVAC filters and schedule routine maintenance. Pollen is already flying, and more will be in the air soon. Cleaning or changing out filters is a must to keep allergen levels down inside your facility. Plus, the system is likely to have trapped a lot of debris over the winter months; cleaning or changing the filter is a must for keeping the system running at peak efficiency.

Review severe weather policies and procedures. Tornado season is already underway. Schedule a drill with your team and make sure they all know what to do in the case of severe weather. Update checklists and rosters, especially is you’ve welcomed new team members or made other personnel changes since your last drill.

If you’d like to know more about how you can optimize and integrate your building systems, call us at (800) 567-1180 for a consultation.

ECT Services partners continue growth

Recent weeks have brought news of new integrations, products and acquisitions for several ECT Services partners.

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On December 1, HID Global announced the acquisition of Bluvision, adding enterprise Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to its capabilities.
Bluevision offers real-time location system technology, presence and proximity-based location capabilities and condition monitoring solutions as well as cloud infrastructure, gateways, beacons and software as a service (SaaS).The acquisition will expand HID’s real-time asset tracking capabilities and extend HID’s cloud services for access control and related applications.
HID also announced the launch of the industry’s first end-to-end identity access management solution that offers a single credential for accessing doors, IT systems, networks and data. HID PIV unifies physical and IT security systems, a must for government and regulated industries.
On December 5, Shooter Detection Systems announced that its Guardian Indoor Active Shooter Detection System now integrates with Software House’s C•CURE 9000 access control system.
Then integration will provides the ability for instant shot location information, initiation of lock down procedures, capturing live and recorded video from cameras in the incident related areas, and immediate notification to first responders.
On December 15, target=”_blank”>Axis announced it would begin marketing seven new models of Canon network cameras. According to a press release, the cameras include the VB-S30VE, a compact outdoor mini PTZ dome camera, and the VB-H761LVE, an outdoor fixed box camera with 20 times zoom and IR illumination. Most are designed for outdoor surveillance, and all offer HDTV 1080p resolution in full frame rate.
Looking for innovative, effective building integration solutions? We can connect you to the right partners.

Louisville Metro Police invest in gunshot detection system

Louisville Metro Police announced plans last week to buy an outdoor gunshot detection system and install it within the next year. The system will be installed in areas of the city with high reports of shots fired, and high reports of violent crime.


The systems will use microphones to triangulate gunshots quickly, according to a WLKY report, which will help police “pinpoint location, aid in the collection of ballistic data, provide aid to victims quickly and lead to quick arrests.”

The announcement highlights the growing interest in the use of gunshot detection systems to provide instant, accurate information to law enforcement.

“We applaud the city’s efforts to reduce response time in cases where shots have been fired,” says Jeff Murphy, CEO of ECT Services. “Kudos to the city for taking this important step.”

While the city’s proposed solution is designed to work outdoors, ECT Services offers a similar gunshot detection system for use in schools, office buildings, shopping malls and other public locations.

Guardian by Shooter Detection Systems works by using acoustic and infrared sensors to instantly identify gunshots. The precise location of the gunshots is noted, and warnings are instantly sent out to people in the facility and vicinity advising them to evacuate or take cover. Authorities are also alerted immediately. Guardian can also be integrated with other building systems like door locks and video surveillance. This video shows how Guardian works.

The Guardian system has the ability to dramatically reduce response times in active shooter situations. A recent independent live-fire study in a two million square foot facility reduced reporting and first-responder dispatch time from as much as 18 minutes to just five seconds.

Interested in learning more? Register to attend a live fire demonstration event.

New product releases signal innovation for building integration


Steve Jobs once said, “Innovation is the difference between a leader and a follower.” Several ECT Services partners have been busy lately, leading their industries with important innovations. Here’s a round-up:

The relay of critical information in active shooter situations just picked up a whole lot of speed, thanks to a new project between Active Shooter Systems and Desktop Alerts.

The two companies recently announced new integrations which accurately pinpoint an active shooter as soon as the first shot is fired, then issue alerts via social media, speaker systems, computer monitors, telephones, mobile devices and fire alarms.

HID has released new transponders and tags specially designed for on metal applications. The new tags support NFC-V standards, expanding the possibilities for use in industrial, Internet of Things applications.

Axis Communications has launched a new tool aimed at streamlining security system design. AXIS Site Designer works online and offline to recommend cameras and recording solutions for small and mid-sized systems. Site Designer includes templates for a variety of security requirements and gives interactive guidance on the selection of cameras, recording products and accessories needed for a complete surveillance solution.

For updates on the latest building integration products available, contact ECT Services.

Active Shooter Situations: Workplace

Every active shooter situation makes our hearts break. Our thoughts immediately go to the victims involved and we cannot help but think about the fact that these events can happen anywhere at any time. We’re then moved to think about our family, friends, coworkers and loved ones.

It seems that there is a shooter situation in the news every week because these events are becoming more and more prevalent. Last Friday, only 45% of students attended school because of an unknown threat that was made against Jefferson County Schools.

In Louisville, we recall 25 years ago, one of what would be the first of many mass workplace shootings. It doesn’t take much time to search for similar workplace events. Just yesterday, there was a shooting at local business, Cardinal Kitchens Inc. Although we don’t know most of the details that happened, we do know that it must have been very stressful for those involved.

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Photo via WLKY News

In a crisis situation, panic can cloud judgment, and the very real threat of physical danger may prevent people from assessing, gathering accurate information and alerting authorities to respond.

We hope that you are never involved in a crisis situation like this. As people, we start to think that if something like this happens at the place where we work, how would we respond and what would we do?

So how can you possibly plan to have an appropriate response to something as severe and terrifying as an active shooter situation in your school, warehouse or office complex? Planning for appropriate response actions and timeframes means simplifying the number of variables in a situation of panic and minimizing human reliance to increase speed of response.

In an active shooter incident, every second counts and acting quickly can help save lives. An Active Shooter Detection system takes out the human reaction time and uses technology to detect if an active shooter is present and can automatically notify authorities.

The Active Shooter Detection system scans an environment and uses infrared and acoustic sensors to analyze the sounds coming from that environment, searching specifically for the unique signatures that indicate active gunfire. Once the system has identified the source of the gunshot, indicator panels track that source as it moves throughout a building and alerts local police and emergency departments immediately. When first responders arrive, they can use the display panels to quickly and accurately pinpoint the location of the shooter in the building. Thanks to the unique combination of infrared and acoustic sensing technology, this system returns virtually zero false positive alarms.

Although having a detection system in place does not prevent a crisis from happening, it does allow your business to be best prepared if one does. We hope that your business never experiences an emergency like this, but we come to work every day to help you be as best prepared as you can be.