Ron Landisi is an industry veteran who knows a new sales opportunity when he sees one. In his 43 years in the wiring device business working at senior marketing and sales posts for Westinghouse and Leviton, he managed the launches of many new products.

But the sales opportunities he envisions for the electrical industry in the security market could dwarf other new markets that have developed over the years. Landisi says sales opportunities for electrically related security equipment exist in schools, universities, day-care centers, offices, factories, airports, homes, public buildings and roadways and sports and entertainments facilities.

Security became a front-of-mind issue for U.S. citizens after the 9-11 attacks. According to a report in Access Control and Security Systems magazine, President Bush has set aside $26.7 billion for the Department of Homeland Security as part of his $2.23 trillion spending package. Included in the budget is $373 million for border security improvements and $500 million to conduct vulnerability assessments for critical infrastructure such as water facilities, nuclear power plants and government computer and communication networks.

Schools and universities have been spending big money in this area for several years, according to the results of a survey published in May 2000 by American School and University and Access Control and Security Systems magazines. The survey reported that public schools spent an estimated $795 million on security systems — an average of $19.28 per student — in 2000.

Many electrical distributors, reps and manufacturers are already in the security market without even realizing it because of their experience selling outdoor lighting. Security experts see lighting as a major deterrent to crime. According to an article posted at www.securitysolutions.com, lighting may be the most influential security factor, and good lighting deters crime in parking lots and parking decks.

Landisi, who recently started up a security division in his consulting business (see Bulletin Board, page 10), believes distributors and manufacturers can group their security-related products in a special security section in their catalogs. These products might include motion sensors, timers, security cameras, programmed lighting systems, lighting fixtures, alarms and light sensors. Reps should consider supplementing their existing product packages with related security products, he says.

“This is a rapidly growing market to be seized by manufacturers, distributors, reps and electrical contractors who recognize the opportunity,” he says.

SECURITY RESOURCES

Here's where to go for more information on the security market:

Access Control and Security Systems magazine
www.securitysolutions.com

Security Distributing and Marketing magazine
http://www.sdmmag.com/

Security Industry Association (SIA)
www.siaonline.org

National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA)
www.alarm.org

Federal Bureau of Investigation
www.fbi.gov

Federal Emergency Management Agency
http://www.fema.gov/

Department of Homeland Security
http://www.whitehouse.gov/deptofhomeland/