What Can We Do Differently In 2016?

As a new year unfolds, many people set goals and resolutions for improvement.  That happens on an individual level and at businesses.  It’s good to assess what’s been working right and look into what’s working wrong (or not quite up to your expectations) to figure out what needs to change.

At H&S Protection, we take the approach of continually looking at what is and isn’t working for our customers so we can bring you a better installation experience, improved technology and higher quality monitoring.  This doesn’t just happen at the start of a new year.  We want our sales and service personnel to always dig deeper with every customer to see what works best for them.

HS new years

Because every home and business is unique, what we bring to you should be tailored to your special needs.  And that means every time our people get in their trucks or cars, we must think about how to do things just a little bit differently.

There isn’t going to be a drastic change in our team or business this year.  But what we do expect is to keep offering you fresh ideas from a security perspective.  We hope you come to us for advice.  We hope when we provide you an exceptional experience that you recommend us to your friends, neighbors and colleagues.  If we continue to change in the right ways, those results should occur.

We look forward to every new year.  There’s always a push at this time of year for people to examine roadblocks and figure out how to knock them down.  At H&S, rather than waiting for January 1 to arrive, we work at that year-round, and we hope that shows in the better ways we help our customers day-in and day-out.

State of the Packers

Last week we had the opportunity and pleasure to visit Lambeau Field in Green Bay to see the Packers defeat the Dallas Cowboys.  Going to a football game there is a lifetime experience, something everyone in Wisconsin should do at least once.  Even if you are not a football fan, the camaraderie with others is palpable, fun and memorable.


Because Wisconsin is our state of business, we hold a special place in our hearts for the Packers.  We think the team embodies much of the spirit of our state, and we are proud to call this our home.

packer leaping

When you walk through the parking lot before the Packers’ game, people greet you, offer you food, drinks and conversation.  They embrace you.  We look at our customers and employees in a similar way – connecting like we are good neighbors.


We do business with that Packers mentality:  down home, hard working, you can count on us giving you the extra effort to get the job done.  Packers’ fans typically are bitten early by the bug and remain devoted for rest of their lives.


After learning about our products and services, we hope our customers and employees see us in a Packers-like way.  That means staying with us a long, long time, as we continue to earn their trust on annual basis.  It’s not easy for the Packers to stay highly competitive year after year, but they’ve had a long-term rate of sustained excellence.  H&S strives to follow that example.  Go Pack!

Your Alarm System Communicating to the Monitoring Center

For the uninitiated, when you purchase an alarm system, one of the most important functions you are getting is a trained team to monitor activations that occur.  If your home or business has an intrusion, break-in or breach, that signal is immediately transmitted to our monitoring center, where well-trained personnel respond quickly and appropriately to get in touch with the customer and find out what, if anything, is wrong at the site.


There are times when our monitoring personnel will contact you, and nothing occurred at your home or business.  We confirm with you that the alarm is not signifying a break-in during this type of situation.  That’s an added service that helps prevent unnecessary calls to the local police department for them to dispatch officers to the location.  Those calls also build a stronger bond with our customers by opening the lines for communicating issues of concern.

Once activated, your alarm system communicates various types of signals to the monitoring center.  Information sent to the monitoring center may include:

Intrusion Alarms (e.g. doors, windows, glass break and motion sensors) are active when the system is armed. The monitoring center’s standard response is to verify the alarm by calling the site first. If an authorized person does not cancel the alarm, the authorities are dispatched, and the monitoring center attempts to notify one of your contacts.

Fire Alarms (e.g. smoke and heat detectors, water flow, and fire alarm pull stations) are active 24 hours a day. The monitoring center will try one designated phone number before dispatching the fire department. After dispatching the fire department, the monitoring center will try to contact someone on your call list. Note: Some municipalities require that systems monitoring commercial sites notify the fire department first (prior to making any other calls). IMPORTANT: We strongly advise that dispatch of FD is cancelled only if you are 100{59b821151e39af42eef718daa0ebc6fb83107991e252daffe9897dd321f5d2cf} certain the alarm is false and you know what caused the alarm.

Environmental or Equipment Signals (e.g. carbon monoxide detectors, water and temperature sensors, and equipment failures) are usually active 24 hours a day. The monitoring center will attempt to notify you or one of your contacts if these signals are received.

Trouble Signals are active 24 hours a day. They alert you to problems with the system. Signals could include communication problems, low batteries, and faulty sensors. The command center will attempt to notify someone of these signals. You may instruct the monitoring center to hold these calls for daytime notification only.

For more information on H&S, check out our web site, https://www.hsprotection.net/, follow us on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/HS-Protection-Systems-392800740911023/, or Twitter (@HSProtection).

Security — A Wise Investment

We believe security is a wise investment. Not every home or business needs a security system, but that’s why we’re here – to listen to your needs and figure out if a security system makes sense for you, and if so, what specific considerations come into play. We want our customers to make a wise decision, and we help you by providing the knowledge for you to make the best-informed decision.
security system image
Once a system is installed, everything is not “done.” Your system still must be operated wisely in the months and years ahead to ensure you reap the greatest effectiveness. That means following some simple rules. We’ve recently put together a series of points for customers when we meet with them face-to-face. Here are some follow-up tips for you to remember to help you keep making “wise” decisions:

1. Practice using your system so you’re comfortable.
2. Train everyone who needs to know how to use the system.
3. Make sure everyone involved knows the correct codes to use.
4. Call H&S Protection Systems with any unanswered questions.
5. Contact your local authorities to register your system.
6. Ask your insurance carrier about any alarm system discounts.
7. Test your system at least once a month.
8. Enjoy the peace of mind your system can give you.

Wisdom comes from years of experience. Here at H&S Protection Systems, we are happy to share our security wisdom with you. We learn from our customers. That helps us make better decisions for you.

Thank you for your business. Please follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/HS-Protection-Systems-392800740911023/), Twitter (https://twitter.com/HSProtection) or our web site (https://www.hsprotection.net/index.php) if you’d like to find out more about us

Increasing Reach for Our Customers

(Editor’s Note: This is Part III in a series on the history of H&S Protection Systems.)

After Sentra Protective Services and Horgan Sales joined forces to become H&S Protection Systems, the question for the business was: What’s next? The year was 2007. The nature of the security industry was about to change.

Until that time, the home security market boomed. Many businesses were modeled on providing home and business security, as well as fire alarms and perhaps carbon monoxide protection. H&S was not the exception. In 2008, the major recession hit, impacting security services along with nearly every business in the United States. Your “typical” security company had to change.
stevens point
H&S was ahead of the ball, looking at how to increase our reach and determine what came next in terms of our customers’ needs. That’s always been our focus, and because of the nature of the security market and the national economy at the time, we looked at how to complement our expertise as we became one company, and also how to best share that with customers.

With strengths in sales, finances and operations, as well as similar types of customers and equipment from the two initial companies, H&S was able to interlock our customer base. This allowed us to respond quickly to any service issues, and focus strongly on our local bases in the communities we served. We hang our hats on this – being there on-time with answers that make sense, then delivering effective and intelligent solutions.

Yes, we’ve grown. We’ve added services, like a stronger video platform, as customers seek additional technologies to protect their homes and businesses. But in many ways, we’re still the same as we were before the merger: Knowing our customers, being accessible and finding out what you want before proposing how we can help.

When Ed Horgan ran the business, he got out of the fire protection service when it became clear that it was not viable for our model. He looked into alarms and other areas for growth. He changed the business in a good way, one that helped put us where we are today.

We will continue to change in a good way for our employees and our customers. We look forward to serving our Wisconsin customers many years into the future, and hope you let us know how we’re doing.

“Mirroring the Service You Expect” a Hallmark of H&S, Sentra

(Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series on the origins of H&S Protection Services.)
Steve Garritson started in the alarm industry early in 1980 after reaching his “full university potential,” as he puts it wryly. He joined a small residential security company in Elm Grove, WI, doing installations and service calls. He was later hired as an operations manager by Central Control where he was in charge of the central station and customer service.
elm grove
The company sold to Ameritech in 1997, and with frustrations mounting, Steve had a meeting around his dining room table that led to the formation of his own company, Sentra Protective Systems in 1998. “We did security, a little bit of fire alarms, and cameras were just starting to come into play,” Steve (who along with Mike Horgan co-owns H&S Protection Systems) remembers.

“We went to some of our former biggest customers and got a big break. Three came over to our new company – Warehouse Shoes, Guarantee Bank, and St. Francis Savings and Loan,” Garritson says.

Sentra hung its hat on “mirroring the service you expect,” making sure customers knew they could talk to Garritson and his team at any time about any issue, and retaining local control of the business, all qualities he has brought over to H&S.

Steve and Mike developed a close business relationship, along with former partner Chris Utter. As they compared notes, it became clear that one business could be stronger than the two separately, and they began discussions about the best path to merge.

(Stay tuned for Part III of this series on this blog site.)

From Fire Extinguishers to Full Security Service: H&S 1959-2015

(Editor’s Note: This is the first in a short series on the history of H&S Protection.)fire extingisher

From our humble beginnings in 1959 as Horgan Sales, servicing fire extinguishers, we’re proud to have expanded our offerings and joined with Sentra Protective Services to provide a wide range of security services across a larger area of Wisconsin in 2015.  Like the country, we were simpler back then.  Our history reflects both the evolution of business in the United States, and the nature of the fire/security industry.

Dave Horgan, grandfather of H&S Co-Owner Mike Horgan (along with Steve Garritson), started Horgan Sales in Stevens Point in 1959 while working at AT&T.  Selling and servicing fire extinguishers for local businesses, he started operating part-time in the basement of his house.  The mess from the yellow powder used to fill the fire extinguishers was too much for his wife Vernie though, and he found a building in downtown Stevens Point to maintain domestic peace.

Over the next 12 years, Dave Horgan grew the business and added other fire-related services. His son Ed joined the business in 1971, returning to Stevens Point from a sales manager position he held with Proctor and Gamble in New England at the time.  As the fire protection business commoditized, the Horgan’s looked to new markets, adding restaurant suppression products for kitchens, testing of fire extinguishers and hoses, a 24-hour answering service, along with selling and servicing pagers. Slowly, too, employment with the company grew from a one-man show to six offices with upwards of 50 employees.

That was peak employment, and by the late-1980s, the Horgan’s sold the fire division/protection equipment side of the business to focus on the new area of burglar alarms.  The pager and answering service were also sold.  They subcontracted the central station response services and began focusing on electronic security.

(Stay tuned for Part II, as we bring you Steve Garritson’s journey into the industry and the creation of Sentra Protective Systems.)

Changing Security Needs of Banks

Every customer is different. Even though we serve many different types of homes and businesses, there are unique needs to each security installation. Some homes are bigger and require a more thorough walk-through and additional technology. Depending on the type of business, we may establish a heavy perimeter level of protection or intensely cover the interior. We look at what our customers want, talk it through, then propose solutions.
H&S Protection serves many banks. You might call it a market niche for us. But banks, too, have different needs depending on their size, placement and use of ATMs, the number of tellers, the size of walk-in business vs. the number of customers who utilize the drive-through windows and more. When we work with banks, we discuss these issues to determine placement of cameras, potential vulnerabilities, and how to prevent a robbery of the bank or of a customer.

Though we serve many vertical markets, we’re proud of the additional focus we’ve been able to bring the banks we serve. We offer experience and knowledge to bank customers, and know what parts of the branch might require more attention. That allows us to efficiently help the bank.
By concentrating on banks, we know their needs and some of the pitfalls encountered in establishing the best security system possible. We’re a better advisor because of that.

There are many changes occurring in the banking industry – how lobbies are organized; the number of tellers being used by a branch; customers choosing to do more business at ATMs; the security needed to monitor the outside of a building rather than the inside. H&S Protection is ready for these changes and available to explain new technologies and other security offerings. Check our web site for more information: https://www.hsprotection.net/.

Gasoline Fire Caught by H&S Video

There are many reasons to install video security cameras in your home or business. You want to prevent crime, and deter it. Sometimes you get lucky and a perpetrator is caught on video. We had that happen recently.
bar fire
H&S Protection cameras recently captured an arsonist torching a Milwaukee bar. We hope to be able to post the video soon for others to see, but at this point, here’s what we know. We installed a camera system for our customer. Watching the video from the fire, you can clearly see an arsonist pouring gasoline in a number of locations, then striking matches to start the fire.

It’s a good thing he was clumsy, because he couldn’t get the matches to light the first or second time. We hope that will help us identify him as we work with local authorities to catch him. Our clips show him torching the back, and marching boldly out in front of the bar to start the blaze there as well.

Our night vision video did what it was supposed to do. We have very clear pictures and have provided those to authorities. People come to H&S Protection for this very reason.

The bar was damaged, but not destroyed. The fire department did its job, and we want to salute emergency response officials for arriving quickly to prevent further destruction of the property.

Welcome to H&S Protection

Welcome to our H&S Protection blog. We’re glad you found us. If you would like to forward our site to others, here’s the link: www.hsprotection.wordpress.com. We’re pleased to join the world of blogging to share news and tips with our customers, employees, the communities we serve, law enforcement and members of the electronic security industry.

Because we have been protecting lives and property since 1959, we know a thing or two historically about how to keep your homes and businesses safe. We also make it part of our mission to keep up with new industry standards and technology, so our customers benefit from the best equipment that offers them convenience, ease of use and the services they seek. That’s part of our ongoing to pledge to customers.

Our plan is to publish a regular blog, most likely on a monthly basis, but perhaps more frequently. We are open to hearing your ideas, so please feel free to contribute in the comments section at the end of the entry. Even if you don’t have a subject for a future post, let us know how we are doing, how we can help you, or if there is a new product or service you’d like us to check out.

We’ll continue to get better by hearing from and connecting with you. For us to be of best service, we must hear other voices.

We have two main offices, in Stevens Point, WI (715.344.0727) and Pewaukee, WI (262.574.7777). We serve a large portion of the state of Wisconsin and are proud members of the Wisconsin Electronic Security Association and Electronic Security Association (the national organization).

Welcome aboard,
Steve Garritson, Owner
Mike Horgan, Owner