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Security and Risk Management: Protecting Your Assets

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Protecting your property and your people

We are seeing increasing surveillance demand and greater need for compliance with building safety codes as growth areas in our industry,” says Amir Borochov, president of Ohana Control Systems, Inc. His locally owned and operated company, whose roots go back to 1991, is an example of this growth. Inspired by the tragic events of 9/11, Borochov, together with partner Danny Colton, a fire alarm specialist and licensed electrician, has developed into a “one-stop shop” for building security due to demand from property owners.

Ohana Control’s primary areas of expertise are fire safety, CCTV surveillance, access control, parking equipment, and generators. The company’s system services include design, permitting, documentation, licensing, installation and inspections by third-party inspectors, including the fire department and building inspectors.

Among its principal clients are federal and state government, Hawaii’s public schools, condominiums and commercial business properties. Ohana Control’s recent projects include the fire alarm and surveillance systems for the H-3 tunnel, surveillance systems for 7-Eleven stores, and surveillance and parking systems for Kyoya properties, including the Sheraton hotels.

With the rapid increase in the numbers of surveillance and fire alarm system companies in Hawaii in the last decade, property owners need to exercise caution. “Check  out business licenses, get recommendations from other satisfied customers, and be sure the bids you get are truly comparable ‘apples to apples’,” recommends Colton,  who brings 24 years of experience on electrical systems, fire alarms and emergency generators.

“Price alone should not always be the main criteria,” says Borochov. The lowest bid, while appealing to the pocketbook, may not address the specific needs or use the proper equipment for a business owner’s building. And a high bid with “lots of bells and whistles” may result in an owner paying for more than the property requires to comply with fire and safety codes and to meet security needs, he adds.

Credentials are also important in this industry, due to the highly specialized and changing skill standards driven by technology advancements, according to Colton. Ohana Control, for example, holds a contractor’s license and has on staff a licensed electrician in Colton, three journeyman licenses, and staff members who are factory-trained and certified by NICET (National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies), the leading national independent evaluation of engineering technicians.

Technology, as well as changing safety requirements, continues to reshape the building security industry. Fire alarms have evolved from simple bells to now required voice speakers in high rises 75-feet and higher, and strobe lighting as an ADA requirement. In 2005, CCTV surveillance cameras provided ghostly images with a mere 320 lines of video resolution; today’s cameras can deliver finer, high resolution images more than three times greater at 1040 lines, according to Borochov.

In 2012, commercial property owners should be aware of anticipated new codes for fire alarm systems due to updated technological changes. “For businesses and condominium boards seeking to renovate their properties, owners may need to consider retrofitting their systems to be in compliance,” says Colton. “Fire protection for property and people must be a top priority to businesses,” adds Borochov. “What’s one life worth?”

Ohana Controls offers property owners and condominium board members free monthly information seminars to discuss laws, building codes and what to look for when considering a new security system. Seminar information is available at www.ohanacontrols.com.

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