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HISTORY OF ALARM SECURITY

NCJ Number
57423
Author(s)
W GREER
Date Published
1979
Length
115 pages
Annotation
THE GROWTH OF THE ALARM SECURITY INDUSTRY OVER THE LAST 5,000 YEARS IS RECOUNTED IN THIS POPULAR ACCOUNT. A BRIEF LOOK AT THE FUTURE CHALLENGES FACING THIS PROFESSION IS PROVIDED.
Abstract
THIS ILLUSTRATED HISTORY PREPARED UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE NATIONAL BURGLAR AND FIRE ALARM ASSOCIATION (NBFAA) DESCRIBES HOW MANKIND'S INVENTIVE GENIUS HAS BEEN CONSISTENTLY APPLIED TO FINDING WAYS TO COMBAT FIRE AND THEFT. THE ANCIENT GREEKS CREATED A DEVICE WHICH WAS A PROTOTYPE OF THE MODERN FIRE EXTINGUISHER AND PUMP. GEESE WERE USED IN AN INTRUSION ALARM SYSTEM BY GREEKS AND ROMANS. WITH THE DISCOVERY OF ELECTRICITY, THE ALARM SECURITY INDUSTRY ENTERED INTO A NEW ERA. IN 1839, WILLIAM F. CHANNING, A HARVARD UNIVERSITY STUDENT, PROPOSED THAT THE TELEGRAPH BE USED TO TRANSMIT FIRE ALARMS. BY 1844, SAMUEL MORSE HAD ESTABLISHED THE FIRST FIRE ALARM TELEGRAPH SYSTEM BETWEEN BALTIMORE AND WASHINGTON, D.C. THESE MANUALLY OPERATED SYSTEMS WERE LATER REPLACED BY AUTOMATED ALARM SYSTEMS. THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ELECTRIC BURGLAR ALARM SYSTEM OWES ITS START TO THE INVENTIVE GENIUS OF AUGUSTUS R. POPE AND THE BUSINESS ACUMEN OF EDWIN HOMES WHO FOUNDED THE COMPANY WHICH IS NOW KNOWN AS HOMES PROTECTIVE, INC. BY THE TURN OF THE 20TH CENTURY, FIVE FIRMS (HOLMES, AMERICAN DISTRICT TELEGRAPH, GRINNEL CORPORATION, AUTOMATIC FIRE ALARM, AND AUTOMATIC FIRE PROTECTION) DOMINATED THE INDUSTRY. SMALLER FIRMS SURVIVED THROUGH MARKETING INGENUITY AND TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION. AFTER WORLD WAR II, THE INDUSTRY BANDED TOGETHER TO FORM NBFAA, A TRADE ASSOCIATION THAT COULD HELP SMALL COMPANIES SURVIVE BY STANDARDIZING EQUIPMENT AND SPECIALIZING IN QUALITY SYSTEMS. ONE OF THE BIGGEST THREATS WAS THE MONOPOLY OF THE GRINNELL CORPORATION; THIS MONOPOLY WAS BROKEN UP BY A 1964 FEDERAL COURT ORDER. THE CURRENT PERIOD HAS SEEN THE DEVELOPMENT OF INCREASINGLY SOPHISTICATED SYSTEMS TOGETHER WITH THE NEED FOR GOVERNMENT REGULATION. CHARTS AND PHOTOGRAPHS ARE INCLUDED. (KCP).

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