Propose The Right Proprietary Fire Safety Line-up With The Right Manufacturer

By Ziad Alezabi

January 12, 2024

In the complex and critical fire safety environment, product offerings can significantly affect a distributor's reputation, end-user satisfaction, and, ultimately, life-saving efficacy. You're now reading a comprehensive guide for distributors aiming to align their product portfolio with the needs of end-users.

Let's explore the factors to consider when selecting a manufacturer, delve into the nuances of proprietary fire safety products, and provide insights on positioning these offerings to meet the unique requirements of your customer.

Naval vessel ship

Evaluating and Selecting the Right Fire Safety Manufacturer for Army/Military Projects

Army base operations come with a lot of sensitive information that cannot be exposed to open networks. This means that it is essential for your Army base to keep its fire alarm monitoring system in a closed network.

Army bases do not have the same luxury of sending their fire alarm signals to central stations as municipalities sometimes would. If you are in your army base's fire department, you need a proprietary fire alarm monitoring system.

Here is what the Vice President of Operations at Digitize with 40 years of experience in both engineering and administration, James Sutton has to say about the similarities and differences between army bases and municipalities:

"Army bases tend to be similar in relation to municipalities, in regards to what they look like. Other than that, army bases are dynamic. They don't use central stations, so they're almost always going to monitor their own fire alarm monitoring systems on the base. They definitely wouldn't want to risk contracting their alarms out. Because army bases clearly contain a lot of sensitive information in regards to what goes on in the base."

It is not only required to have a proprietary alarm monitoring system on your army base, but it also makes sense since army bases almost always have their own in-house fire department. This also means that a proprietary alarm monitoring system is much more effective on army bases than in other settings.

Figuring out that you need a proprietary fire alarm monitoring system is only half the battle. Now you will need to find a fire alarm monitoring system manufacturer that fits your needs and is reliable.

Where Vulnerabilities Come Up in Army Base Alarm Projects

Even though army bases differ from municipalities they still have some similarities, none of which are good. As a distributor, you might think of including cheaper products and services in your line-up to attract more sales. This, however, is a pitfall that will diminish your returning customers in the long run.

When it comes to military bases, cutting costs is not an option. You want a manufacturer with products that are tried and tested to fit compliance codes. These codes indicate the reliability of the equipment, which is clearly important. Ensure you look for manufacturers listed with ETL to UL 864, 1610, and 1076. When manufacturers have products with these listings, it tells you that it will not be hazardous even in a failure mode.

Here is a quick snippet of what James Sutton thinks the problem with most military bases is when they are shopping for new manufacturers:

"Well, it's the same issue as with Municipalities. Are they going out to bid and finding the lowest bidder to monitor their fire alarm monitoring system? Then they won't have the most accommodating or adequate staff and manufacturers."

You might not think that your manufacturers can have a direct impact on the military fire department staff that you distribute your products to. However, a great manufacturer has experts with years of knowledge who are ready to give customer support.

This means that the right manufacturer for you is willing to:

  • Train you and your customers on how to use and maintain their equipment.
  • Provide you with in-depth documentation about the equipment they manufacture. This would mean that the in-house military fire department could learn to fix their equipment issues without constantly hassling you for support.

James Sutton makes a great point about how equipment training is part of your distribution line-up just as much as the products themselves:

"So training is absolutely a selling point for any distributor, whereas before it was really about making some money. A lot more people now have the opportunity to come to visit and see what our equipment does and is all about, and it's all free aside from travel, a place to stay, and food. This makes training readily available and affordable for anyone wanting to expand their lineup with us."

This means that your manufacturer and their reputation should be something you take into consideration. If you present your line-up and you have products from manufacturers that although cheap, constantly get ripped out of systems -- it might make you lose your sale entirely.

How To Find The Right Manufacturer

One big problem in relying on proprietary fire alarm monitoring systems is that now you are reliable for constantly maintaining your system. This is one big reason that fire departments in municipalities tend to outsource their fire alarm monitoring capabilities to central stations.

When you add this to the fact that military bases are a very dynamic setting, you quickly realize that you need a customized solution for your fire alarm monitoring. Your main concern now is finding a proprietary fire alarm monitoring system manufacturer that does not limit your ability to integrate your systems when newer technology is available.

James Sutton highlights why it is crucial for a fire department on a military base to do business with just the right manufacturer:

"Army bases are constantly changing, so a lot of them have older equipment. They want to go to a new kind of reporting method, but they have all this old equipment -- that's where we come in. We bridge between the two different equipment ages. We will be able to connect their old stuff and then mitigate. We allow them to retire old stuff or switch over to the new stuff all on a common system at the same time."

Integration in fire alarm monitoring systems can mean the following:

  1. Integrating backward with older technology. This is important as technology is developing at a rapid pace.
  2. Not gutting out your older system because you need to put a new one in. A good fire alarm monitoring system manufacturer will be able to integrate your existing system with newer technology.
  3. Receiving customized equipment that specifically fits your needs. This can mean form factors, flexible mounting capabilities, and adapting to infrastructures.

This level of integration usually indicates that you are working with a fire alarm monitoring manufacturer that knows what they are doing due to being experts in the field for a long time.

James Sutton has been in the field for a considerable amount of time, and he reflects on how rare a complete re-installation of a fire alarm monitoring system is:

"They can even possibly stay with older equipment longer than they expected to which tends to happen often. It never goes to plan that it all moves over to the new system and its respective equipment."

One of the last things you want to do is choose a manufacturer who will make your system obsolete in the future. If you are someone who is in charge of a fire alarm monitoring system proposal, you don't want a manufacturer that will embarrass you in front of your customers. p>

Digitize Makes Your Lineup Stand Out With Customer Support and Customizability

Digitize has stood its ground in the fire alarm monitoring system manufacturing industry since being established in 1977. At Digitize, we serve Municipalities, multiple household Ivy League universities, industrial sites, major city transportation departments, and most importantly many military bases.

This is made possible with our System 3505 PRISM LX head-end unit that can integrate and monitor up to 500 active alarm points simultaneously.

PRISM LX headend unit

Distributing to military bases is a business that includes a lot of strict regulations, but thinking outside of the box and including training as one of your selling points gets your sale across the finish line. James Sutton explains your customer's mentality here:

"The fact that we offer to train distributors and their clients can help them navigate their issues. Our training helps inform them and expand their concept of the equipment and possible problems so that they can see more opportunities with it. As a distributor, you might even get more sales because they can be like "Oh did you know that we can also do this with this equipment?""

Military bases are our specialty. Digitize has all of its products manufactured in the USA. This means that we offer you customized products and encourage you to treat us as your own personal engineer.

If you are looking to future-proof your product line-ups by having a manufacturer that will back you and your customers with 40 years worth of expert manufacturing and support, email or call us (this is the faster and easier option) today.

Call me at 1-800-693-0351 or Email me at

Ziad Alezabi

Ziad Alezabi

Ziad Alezabi is a seasoned marketing writer renowned for his expertise in crafting compelling content and strategic marketing communications. With a rich background in the industry, Ziad has contributed significantly to various projects, delivering engaging blog articles, impactful videos, and...Read More