Imperial Security Systems Inc. in Watervliet, N.Y., installs virtually everything (including the inv

Case Study in Brief

System Installed in Case Study: An Albany, N.Y.-based home is equipped with: a full perimeter burglary system, pool alarm, driveway probe that controls the lights and alerts occupants indoors of cars in the drive, central vacuum system, satellite dish, intercoms, a home theater system, and multi-room audio.

Blue flags circle Lou Foro, president of Imperial Security Systems Inc. in Watervliet, N.Y., and his clients’ cocker spaniel on a leash. The dog approaches one of the flags and hears an audible beep. As the dog gets too close to the flag, it feels a static shock and jumps back. Foro pulls the dog back into the yard in the center of the flags.

“After the install is done, I spend about 30 minutes with the owners showing them how to train their dog.” Those are words Foro never expected to say; however, he’s very comfortable and quite proud of his technique.

“The dog learns quickly that the blue flags are bad,” says Foro. “After about two weeks, the owners can take down about half of the flags and continue the training for another two weeks. Then, the flags can be taken down altogether. It teaches the dog to stay in the yard when it hears the beep.”

Conveniently, the Pet Guardian ties into the burglar alarm panel, so that if the invisible fence loses power or there’s a problem in the loop, the central station receives a signal.

Foro formed a dba in 1989 called Imperial Home Theater Systems. “I saw a big market in the field. A lot of people were purchasing entertainment systems for the home without having an installer. We’re experts at snaking wire, so we decided to diversify,” says Foro. Diversification and networking have increased Imperial’s sales by about 25 percent. However, burglary installs still make up about 75 percent of Imperial’s business.

One diversified, $22,000 installation by Imperial was up and running within 96 man-hours, or two weeks and two days based on a 40-hour workweek.

In addition to the Pet Guardian, this particular Albany, N.Y.-based home, is equipped with: a full perimeter burglary system, pool alarm, driveway probe that controls the lights and alerts occupants indoors of cars in the drive, central vacuum system, satellite dish, intercoms, a home theater system, and multi-room audio.

Pets “Fenced In” for Safety

One of the most unique aspects of the installation is that the outdoor area of the house has an invisible fence. The homeowners wanted the invisible fence to keep their two cocker spaniels from running into the woods behind the home and darting into the front yard.

Imperial subs out the burial of the invisible fence wiring to “guys that have a machine to bury it.” Burying 8,000 square feet of 12-guage wire can be grueling without the help of a machine to dig the hole in the grass and push the wire in the ground. Subbing it out isn’t a big expenditure when installing the Pet Guardian, on average, adds about $1,200 to the installation.

“Once the wire is buried, it only takes about 10 minutes to hook the system to the control panel. It’s as simple as two wires,” says Foro.

Whether the client only has the Pet Guardian or has the Pet Guardian and a burglar alarm system, the monitoring price remains the same.

“Some people don’t feel the need for an alarm system, but people really love their pets,” says Foro. “When people realize the monitoring is going to be the same price no matter what, they often decide to protect the home as well. Once we’re in a house pulling wires, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to install something else, and it makes the job more profitable.”

Equipment List for Albany, N.Y.,-Based HomeBurglar/Fire Alarm

1 Ademco Vista control panel

1 Ademco zone expansion module

1 Ademco wireless receiver

1 Yuasa lead acid battery backup

2 Ademco 5804 keyless entry pendants

1 Napco voice driver

2 MPI 35F speakers

33 Ademco press fit switches

5 security screens

5 Aleph Probe PIR sensors

6 System Sensor 2100 photoelectric smoke detectors

2 Edwards rate of rise heat detectors

4 Ademco 6139 digital keypads

5 Sentrol XL barrier bars

1 Telguard cellular backup unit

3 carbon monoxide detectors

Driveway Probe

1 Car-Tel control panel

1 probe with 1,000-feet of cable

2 deluxe remote annunciator/control plates

1 photocell

1 light switch interface

Pool Alarm

2 New Line outdoor photoelectric beams

2 Ademco magnetic contact switches

1 custom cabinet for outdoor controls

Home Theater

1 Denon AVR 3200 Dolby pro-logic amplifier

4 Russound impedance matching volume controls

6 JBL round ceiling speakers

2 Paramount outdoor rock speakers

2 JBL AS8 flush-mount speakers

2 JBL tower speakers

1 JBL PS1200 powered subwoofer

1 JBL center channel speaker

1 Hughes dual LNB satellite dish

3 Hughes B-22 satellite receivers

1 multi-switch unit

2 Di-plexor’s

1 Hughes UHF remote converter

Central Vacuum

1 Filtex twin motor canister

10 inlets with built-in low voltage and electric

1 electric beater bar

1 deluxe accessory kit

1 garage car kit

1 hose with built-in electric

1 standard hose


3 Aiphone LEF10 master stations

2 outdoor stations

7 substations

2 doorbell chime modules

1 power supply

Invisible Fence

1 Pet Guardian control panel

2 miniature receivers with medium-sized collars

1 battery backup

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