Sometimes In Business, It Takes Two

Urban Alarm and Right-One Security demonstrate the key to a great business relationship


During regular hours, club members are required to input their personal codes to gain access to club, as well as to various areas of the club. The club's board of governors emphasized that the redundant code requirement will record the activity of those with a legitimate purpose for being in the club (including senior members, competitive members and contractors). It also provides the club and D.C. law enforcement another tool to use when sorting potential criminal actors from legitimate users, if a security issue does arise.

Urban Alarm provided four Brivo Edge Access Controllers and four XceedID XF2110 Keypad Readers along with an AES-IntelliNet radio, a DMP XR500 security alarm panel and 12 ACTi TCM-1231 IP cameras-all coordinated by Exacq Technologies' Video Management System (VMS). Other devices to support the system came from Bosch Security Systems, NetGear and Altronix.

Right-One used Hess electric strikes and magnetic latch protectors for most of the doors. The building had various locks from years past that presented challenges, Karas referenced. In addition, there were physical barriers like door locks that needed to be fixed. That's when Urban Alarm brought in Right-One.

"We made sure that all the doors swung properly, that the proper hinges were in place and the latches in the locks had a deadlatch," said Karas. They made sure that the deadlatch mechanism was engaged on all of the locks and that there was not a bind on any of the electric strikes.

This is a good example of a case where a comprehensive solution was required and worked. "This added value to the customer and to the overall project," Fawcett said. "When securing a space that is frequently accessible to the public, the balance between access and security is subtle. By working together, we were able to parse those subtleties and think through a complete solution."

Fawcett also confirmed his love for the project, noting that the club property is on the National Historic Registry. It was built in 1908 and has a rich history. Kirschbaum noted that, although a historic building, the structure lent itself to proper pulling of cables and wiring.

"In itself, the building is a Washington, D.C. treasure," Fawcett added. "The opportunity to participate in its security and preservation is wonderful."

And while Urban Alarm monitors the alarm system, notifying security committee members if there is a reason to respond, Right-One's Karas noted one 'do-over' he would have made on the project: "The club is located on the river and I forgot my fishing pole!"

Partnership lives strong

Both Fawcett and Karas agree that, without one another, each would be looking for a like-minded partner that could address their customers' needs.

"The association with Miles and Urban Alarm has opened up more opportunities for Right-One because of the referrals from Miles for locksmithing services and, in this economy, you can never have too many referrals," Karas said. "It is a great relief to know that when Right-One gets a call from a client-if I determine there will be an alarm aspect to the security solution-I have a reliable contact in Miles of Urban that I can go to and they will participate in that part of the solution," he added.
"We have seen significant growth as the result of our partnership," Fawcett confirmed. "More importantly, customers are very happy with the added service and attention to their needs. There is tremendous value in working through the strategy together."

Both agree that the key to their business partnership is constant communication. "We have a sense of Rick's business and he knows the electronic security business well," Fawcett pointed out. "The most important part is to communicate and anticipate each other's needs. When I am on a site and plan to get Rick involved I take pictures on my phone and e-mail them over along with notes on the scope. The more we can communicate with each other as the project is progressing the better the outcome. Phones and the Internet are a great way to do that," he concluded.

How It All Began

Right-One began in 1998 with Rick Karas, his old pickup truck and his Dad's electrician's tools. He started out in the locksmithing trade at age 15. "My first job in the industry was cleaning a security company's warehouse on weekends," he said. After a year, he was running the shop by himself as a "one man lock shop" on weekends. "I learned to work on safe locks, car locks, home security systems, re-keying-every day brought a different task," confirmed Karas.