What Bryan and Jay of Summit Fire Protection Have to Say About the Importance of Their Partnership with Telguard
Telguard works to maintain strong partnerships with all our fire and life safety protection dealers so we’re happy for an opportunity to highlight Summit Fire Protection and talk with Bryan Adelman and Jay Lefebre about their background, experience, and how choosing Telguard products has helped with the success of their company. Introducing Summit Fire Protection The company was founded in 1999 and has experienced rapid growth through the acquisition of almost 80 organizations (including many competitors) during the last twelve years. Now with locations in 37 states, Summit’s regional and national reach is imperative in serving its multi-site customers and national accounts. Bryan Adelman is the Fire Alarm and Security Manager for the Summit Fire Protection–St. Cloud, Minnesota branch in Waite Park, which is located approximately 75 miles northwest of Minneapolis-St. Paul. Working in the security industry for almost 36 years, he points out that alarms are pretty much all he’s ever done. “I started in the field as an installer service tech, became a service manager, and became a salesman and now an actual manager.” Summit is a full-service organization that’s equipped to meet all fire and life safety needs through installation; inspection and testing; and service and maintenance. Adelman describes the three divisions within his company: a sprinkler division for water-based fire suppression such as fire sprinklers; a suppression division which handles fire extinguishers, kitchen hoods and clean agent suppression for computer rooms and paint booths; and an alarm division (managed by Adelman) which integrates commercial fire alarm systems, security card access, and video surveillance. Calling his team quite talented, Adelman continues, “My team is nine, eight guys, insofar as technicians and inspectors so we have a dedicated team of alarm inspection specialists. All they do is perform annual or yearly inspections on commercial fire alarm systems to ensure that they're functioning to the code standard.” One member of his team is Jay Lefebre—an experienced Fire Life Safety Technician who has been with Summit for eight years. Adelman says, “He is my security technician that does the lion's share of my essential station monitoring hookups and accounts so we're very familiar with radio communications, mesh radio and IP.” Lefebre says that he’s been doing “low voltage stuff for 35 plus years in this industry so I’ve been around the block.” What Type of Work Does Summit Fire Protection Handle? Summit Fire Protection has extensive experience in serving a wide breadth of industries and Adelman explains that servicing school districts, hospitals, and government buildings keeps them busy all day. “What happens is we have such large customers, either campus-type facilities or demographically, we have customers that are spread out. We have a relationship with them for their fire protection needs so it's a natural navigation to discuss their security needs as well and that's when we'll get involved with security card access, surveillance cameras and the like.” Adelman mentions the largest healthcare system in Minnesota as an example of the large-scale work that Summit handles. “We do CentraCare® which is really large for us with dozens and dozens of buildings. One of their facilities is the main hospital in St. Cloud. There are over 8,000 smoke detectors on that (one) system, to give you an idea.” Summit also has substantial work with the government and the military. “Our office has a fairly large reach. It goes all the way to Duluth, Minnesota, so we support some pretty significant accounts out in Duluth: The Army Corps of Engineers, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, among others up there. Some pretty heavy hitters,” notes Adelman. Telguard Products Are “The Ultimate Fix” Adelman says that his company started to work with Telguard because of its reputation and popularity. “We know it was quality and that's kind of what we represent as an organization. And we just went with that.” Summit has been integrating Telguard products for almost eight years. “Naturally being in the commercial fire industry, we need to have listed equipment for its intended use, so we focused primarily on the TG-7F series. And then the TG-PEM (Power & Expansion Module) has become a big deal for us.” Adelman continues, “It’s a very fast-paced, busy environment here. I often compare us to the stock market and on a single day, there’s nobody standing around. The phones are ringing, the emails are flowing and it's just so important that we integrate products that don't waste our time.” Lefebre has personally installed hundreds of Telguard products in the last eight years and he says, “I do appreciate and feel very confident that when I put the product on the wall, it’s going to work. It’s pretty much filled the need that we needed when they were transitioning out of old POTS lines and switching to voiceover IP phone systems that our equipment just didn't like. We had nothing but problems with it and putting the TG-7Fs on them was basically the ultimate fix for us.” A Strong Partnership Requires Responsive Tech Support Adelman notes it’s the nature of Midwesterners to build on relationships which is why he feels it’s so important that his partnership with Telguard centers on a sales representative he’s met in person. “I think the relationship is pretty much the most important thing, just knowing the person I'm talking to and reaching out to if I have a question. Or that the technicians can reach out and be guided to wherever they need to go for tech service or whatever it is.” Summit is located in central Minnesota but the scope of its work is spread out across the state. So of course, security technicians don’t want to be required to go back out into the field just because a product isn’t functioning the way that it should. “But I generally feel that the times I've had to deal with your tech support, they're quick to respond and problems are taken care of on the spot,” explains Lefebre. Adelman adds, “That's huge, by the way. Our office is in central Minnesota and we have a fairly large reach all the way from Duluth to Marshall so on an average day, it's not uncommon for a technician to drive a few hours for a service call. My guys don’t want to have to go back out into the field just because they can't get the product to function as intended. We need to have representation technically and we have it with Telguard.” Telguard realizes the importance of building solid, lasting relationships with our fire and life safety protection dealers all over the country because their feedback helps us improve our products and processes. They also provide the valuable input that Telguard—as a leader in the industry—uses to determine when the time’s right for them to evolve to the next level of technology. We want to thank Bryan Adelson and Jay Lefebre for their time to talk about their experience and how it strengthens our mutually beneficial partnership. Adelson has some closing thoughts: “We rely on Telguard to do its job. And it’s doing just that. It's functioning as intended. We feel here at Summit Fire Protection that it's one of the better products in the industry, so we intend to stay with it.”
Telguard’s latest innovations featuring new, reliable technology: the TG-7FS 5g LTE-M and the TG-7FE Dual Path commercial fire alarm communicators.
Telguard puts nearly four decades of alarm communications expertise into every fire alarm communicator we produce. For almost a decade, Telguard was known in the commercial fire space for the TG-7FS communicator, but in 2022, we have five different UL864 (ULC S559) Listed commercial fire products. We’ve transitioned into newer, better technology with these two featured products—one completely new and the other an upgraded replacement providing you and your customers with more choices and highly configurable options to meet your needs and the requirements of your AHJ. As a leader in the industry, Telguard believes that cellular communication is better for fire alarm signal transmission than landlines. All our communicators use LTE-M bands for 4G and 5G network compatibility, better in-building penetration, and longest product life. On average, cellular monitoring costs the customer significantly less than dedicated landlines while providing a more reliable solution. In the commercial fire industry, some applications require two communication pathways. Although two traditional landlines can satisfy this requirement, one can also be replaced with a cellular pathway as an alternate path, primary or secondary. Even if cellular is only used for the one pathway, there’s significant savings because of the cost differences between commercial landlines and cellular communication. Another option is to use a dual path communicator which provides the requirement for two pathways and a simple clean installation. An important benefit with our communicators is that you can standardize on one communicator for any panel, regardless of the brand. Telguard’s communicators—which meet all UL864 (ULC S559) requirements—can also be configured several different ways to give the customer the greatest flexibility: as sole, primary, backup, or dual communication pathways. TG-7FS: Commercial Cellular Fire Alarm Communicator for LTE-M Networks As the leader in universal cellular fire alarm communicators, the TG-7FS has long been Telguard’s flagship product but now we’ve upgraded it with newer technology and have improved it with a slight adjustment. Using LTE-M cellular networks, the TG-7FS transmits alarm signals from the fire panel to the designated monitoring station. Previously, the TG-7FS needed to have its own battery because it wasn’t compatible to be powered right off the fire panel. To install it, the customer would have to find, or hire an electrician to install an outlet, which must meet several requirements. Based on this customer feedback, Telguard saw the opportunity to make improvements and change the input power management on the TG-7FS while transitioning to the new technology of 5G LTE-M. This improved version of the TG-7FS accepts 12/24 VDC power source, which allows it to be directly powered off the panel. With the battery backup on the panel, the customer won’t have to worry about changing out a second battery every couple of years. Our universal communicators work with every panel, every time, and they work with alarm formats that other communicators don’t. For existing commercial fire alarm installations, all landlines can be swapped for the TG-7FS as the sole pathway because it can signal any service disruption to the central station in 5 to 60 minutes (or 180 seconds for Canada), depending on the requirements in your jurisdiction. It can also be installed as a backup pathway first and then upgraded to a sole communication pathway later. Check out the additional benefits and data specifications for our TG-7FS Commercial Cellular Fire Alarm Communicator for LTE-M Networks. TG-7FE: Dual Path Internet and 5G LTE-M Commercial Fire Alarm Communicator Part of the full line of Telguard universal fire communicators, the TG-7FE is a dual path which means that it offers two communication pathways to reliably transmit signals: a wired LAN connection to the internet and 5G LTE-M cellular. The TG-7FS is more cost-effective than two landlines with its sole cellular pathway option but the TG-7FE is even more reliable and offers more savings for the customer with its dual path. It can either power directly from the fire panel’s 12/24 VDC auxiliary power supply or via an included plug-in transformer. The dual path option also gives the customer more flexibility as a solution to their unique situation because either path can be designated as the primary pathway at any time. If the internet in the area is less reliable, cellular can be the primary pathway. If internet is a reliable communication path, the customer can choose internet as primary, with cellular as the secondary pathway for an even more economical solution. For the commercial fire industry, Telguard believes that cellular is best but we also recognize that broadband connectivity and internet access are readily available at most sites so there’s no reason why customers can’t use them as a level of redundancy. And because data consumption is minimal, the customer can use the same internet that they already have in their building, warehouse, or apartment complex which helps with the ease of installation. Having two separate, independent lines that don’t rely on expensive, less-reliable, traditional landlines is a huge cost-saving aspect that fire integrators can highlight to make the TG-7FE an easier sell to customers. Learn more about our TG-7FE Dual Path Internet and 5G LTE-M Commercial Fire Alarm Communicator. When it comes to fire alarm communicators, Telguard is unrivaled. By utilizing customer feedback and ensuring that the newer technology meets our high standards of quality and uptime, we’re always innovating to give you more improved and cost-effective options. Please contact our Telguard team if you have any questions about the new TG-7FS or the improved TG-7FE commercial fire alarm communicator.