Erick's Insights

Key Factors To A Secure 2016

By Erick Slabaugh

I was recently asked to write about best practices to include in a 2016 Security Plan and key factors or drivers that will influence that plan.  My sincere hope is that you have a comprehensive plan in place, that you are continuing to build, and these might be helpful to you as well.

In case that isn’t your situation here are some things to think about:

Start With The End In Mind

It is important to understand early on in the process what makes a good security and life-safety plan.  It involves detection of adverse events and situational awareness.  It provides the ability to influence events as they are happening which includes things like site lock down and effective communication channels. An effective plan includes the ability to review events and determine improved future performance. An effective plan provides for automation of process and interconnection of systems to empower responders to deal with issues quickly, with real-time data. The plan must incorporate clear chains of command and effective training for all those involved in the execution of the plan.

Plan For The Worst, Hope For The Best  

Last year one of our state's major college campuses told me that their access control system was incapable of an automated lock down and followed that with the statement that they weren’t worried about it because guns weren’t allowed on campus. This kind of thinking is at best naïve and at worse gets people killed. Just prior to meeting with that campus one of our campus clients had a shooting on their campus. Being a gun free zone is fine for law abiding citizens who are aware of the rules and willing to follow them, but many shootings take place in gun free zones.  Be it work place violence, or the threat of terrorism, planning for the worst, to include the creation of safe harbors within a building, an effective communication plan and scenario planning, are all things that should be addressed. The time to plan for the worst is not in the midst of it, and certainly carries a high value to be exercised and drilled.

Buying More Than You Need Today May Be The Best Investment You Ever Make

Products that are; capable of integration; scalable from one to many devices; capable of segmented data and reporting; and provide the information you need as you need it should be set with the proper value. They are often a bit more expensive than a standalone system that isn’t capable of scaling, but the strategic planning is well worth it.  The difference is the system that is scalable and capable of integration is also adaptable to changing threats. I’ve often written about the lesson my grandfather taught me. If we build the levee to 6 feet and the water rises to 7 we wasted our entire investment.  If we built it to 8 feet we wasted a foot worth of investment. Things like installing a larger conduit than we currently need, or spare fiber, or choosing the vendor that has a scalable-system-architecture, while initially a 10-20% increase in investment, in the long run is likely to save ten-fold. There is nothing worse than having to wholesale change out a system because it’s reached its limits.

If You Want To Go Fast Go Alone, If You Want To Go Far Go Together –African proverb

Make sure to engage the stakeholders who are the stakeholders. The people that use our buildings, the CIO or IT specialist whose network we sit on, the emergency responders who will need to work with our systems when they arrive on site. The CFO who will need to fund our implementation, the insurance company that covers our liability, and the legal counsel that defends us against fraudulent slip and fall claims. All of these are potential stake holders and all may provide valuable input on everything from building system capacity, funding sources, emerging system requirements, and so much more. In addition, the inclusion of these stakeholders will support the long term success of your plan and implementation.

The Best Time To Plant A Tree Was 30 Years Ago, The Second Best Time Is Today

Too often I hear Directors of Facilities and Directors of Security say that the plan they want to have in place is such a huge undertaking and so expensive why bother. This kind of thinking makes me crazy! Most things that are worth doing are hard and take time to achieve. A little investment each year toward a master plan is far better than no investment or, often worse, the knee-jerk reactionary spending on the crisis du jour.
A well thought out, properly executed plan will minimize crisis, and when crisis does occur, a well-executed plan will adapt to address it at a much lower cost. The best time to start your security planning was 30 years ago, the second best time is today.


Here's to a safe, secure and successful 2016!

What's New

Standard intercom to IX Seies adaptor

IX-1AS & IX-10AS

Use new or existing Aiphone LE or NE Series door or sub stations in an IX system. Easily convert systems using older technology to a standard PoE network! Connect your substation to the adaptor using two or three wires.


  • Allows Aiphone’s 2‑wire LE and NE Series door/sub stations to be used with IX-MV

  • 802.3af PoE compliant

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Visit Aiphone's page to learn more!

Trends & Technology

Quantifying Benefits

LifeSafety Power Remote Monitoring

Here are 7 ways you can use remote power devices to improve your installation and service:

  1. Create new or additional revenue streams

  2. Actively monitor site/installation integrity during warranty period

  3. Offer customers new services

  4. Reduce service calls

  5. Remotely test battery sets and get remote trouble alerts

  6. Perform remote diagnostics

  7. Maintain a system health log

Read the entire article HERE

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Lead Technician 


Tony Spicochi has been with Absco for six and a half years and is one of our Lead Technicians. He always keeps a positive environment around him, regardless of how long the day has been.  He is a wonderful and friendly with all of our customers. Tony continually wants to do what is best for the customer and receives nothing but praise from them. Andy from Century Link complimented Tony and his team for overcoming challenges they faced while onsite.

He is a great leader for apprentices by showing them correct procedures, and will help with any project that needs to be completed.  Tony has a great deal of pride for Absco and everything we stands for, and we are ecstatic to have him be a part of our team! 


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