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                                                           CASE STUDY                       First Alarm, Aptos, CA

                       CarChip Pro Keeps Safety the

                       First Priority at First Alarm
                       In 1966, Jarl Saal began providing private security      seven days a week to homeowners, school districts,
                       service to the California beach town of Santa Cruz.      businesses, city and county government facilities,
                       With the advancement of sophisticated electronics in     manufacturing plants, and others.
                       the security industry, his business, First Alarm, grew      His fleet of vehicles includes 75 vans and pick-
                       rapidly. With that growth, came an ever-expanding        ups. The vehicles are workhorses, driven an average
                       fleet of vehicles, and ever-expanding concerns about     of 6,000 miles a month. While his business was
                       safety, insurance costs, and vehicle downtime. By        growing, Saal saw his vehicle operation costs sky-
                       adding CarChip Pro to his operation, Saal has saved      rocket. Saal knew that creating better driving habits
                       nearly a million dollars in insurance costs, and even    would be good for his employee safety program, as
                       better, has a perfect vehicle safety record.             well as for his bottom line.
                           Today, First Alarm employs nearly 450 people            Davis Instruments’ CarChip Pro gave him a com-
                       and has been nationally recognized as the 36th           prehensive solution by giving him details of both
                       largest security company in the United States. No        the drivers’ and the engines’ performance. CarChip
   First Alarm began
                       longer exclusive to the beach community, First           records every second of every trip, including speed,
  using CarChip two
  years ago and has    Alarm offers residential and commercial security         time and distance. It also reports “jackrabbit starts”
saved approximately    systems and private patrol to customers all over         and hard-braking that lead to increased mainte-
       $1,000,000 in   the Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area.       nance costs. To prevent vehicle wear and tear and to
    insurance costs.   His company provides services 24 hours a day,            increase safety, Saal sets speed limits for his vehicles
                                                                                              using CarChip software. When vehicles
                                                                                              exceed the pre-set speed, the CarChip
                                                                                              data logger in the vehicle sounds an
                                                                                              alarm until the vehicle reduces its speed
                                                                                              to under the set limit.

                                                                                             Multiple Uses for
                                                                                             Various Needs
                                                                                             Saal can also review his vehicles’ engine
                                                                                             performance with CarChip because it
                                                                                             can record 23 different engine functions,
                                                                                             including RPM, fuel pressure, fuel trim,
                                                                                             and coolant temperature. It diagnoses
                                                                                             engine “trouble codes” and also allows
                                                                                             the “check engine” light to be reset.
                                                                                                 “We started with 25 CarChips,”
                                                                                             said Saal. “Our objective was to alert
                                                                                             employees to bad driving habits. We
                                                                                             also wanted the forensics, or history, of

                                                                                                          800-678-3669 • INFO@CARCHIP.COM • 1
                                      any accident. My car was one of the first to receive      CarChip is along for the ride, and they are reminded
                                      a CarChip. I was delighted to find that installa-         that not only are they the public face of First Alarm,
                                      tion was as easy as the company promised – you            but that their employer is concerned about their
                                      just plug CarChip into the port under the steering        safety in the field.
                                      wheel – that’s it!”                                          “We have accomplished our goal of creating a
                                         First Alarm’s first safety program also included       culture of safety,” Saal added. “We have changed bad
                                      in-vehicle cameras, which produced continuous,            driving habits, and some of our employees actually
                                      looping video. But Saal said it was difficult to use      request CarChip in their cars. The CarChips are
                                      the camera data because there were no time stamps         appreciated by everyone who drives our trucks. Our
                                      for the video.                                            First Alarm vehicles are well-marked and you’d be
                                                                                                surprised at the feedback we receive from the driv-
                                                                                                ing public. Because of CarChip, the calls are always
                                                                                                positive and complimentary.”
                 “We started with 25 CarChips,”                                                 Expands According to Need
                                                                                                Driver safety, insurance and maintenance savings
                 said Saal. “Our objective was                                                  aren’t the only aspects of First Alarm’s fleet manage-
                                                                                                ment program that has benefited from CarChip.

                        employees to
                 to alert
                                                                                                The other is the time and cost of administering the
                                                                                                fleet program. With 75 vehicles, it made sense for
                                                                                                Saal to install and test CarChip Fleet Pro’s wireless

                 bad driving habits. We
                                                                                                download system, which allows his fleet adminis-
                                                                                                trator to automatically retrieve driving and vehicle
                                                                                                data as his vehicles enter the parking lot. He is also
                                                                                                currently testing Fleet Pro’s GPS system, which
                 also wanted the forensics, or                                                  allows him to see where his vehicles went during
                                                                                                the day, week or month. The beauty of both these
                                                                                                devices is that they work in sync with Davis’s Fleet
                 history, of any accident.”                                                     Management Software, or FMS, which allows First
                                                                                                Alarm’s fleet administrator to create many differ-
                                                                                                ent kinds of reports including ranking drivers and
                                                                                                vehicles under a wide variety of criteria.
                                      Instant Feedback Corrects Bad Driving                         Being able to wirelessly download vehicle data
                                      Habits and Cuts Insurance Costs                           allows First Alarm’s security technicians to focus
                                      “We were frustrated with the cameras,” said Saal.         on their jobs rather than their vehicle, and frees
                                      “In addition to providing detailed trip information,      Saal’s fleet administrator from collecting devices or
                                      CarChip gives the driver instantaneous feedback           manually downloading data. It’s a win-win for driv-
                                      through the audible alarm. We have eliminated loss        ers and administrators.
                                      because we have eliminated accidents altogether.              “When you consider the minimal cost of CarChip,
                                      Our insurance and workers’ compensation rates have        compared with in-vehicle cameras, (about $500
                                      dropped dramatically.”                                    each), we have a phenomenal return on investment
                                          Before CarChip, First Alarm’s monthly insurance       and great bottom line. This is the best deal going.”
                                      premium had hit the $100,000 mark. Since using
                                      CarChip, his premiums have been reduced to $25,000.       First Alarm, First in Safety
                                      Last year, Saal received a $900,000 rebate, which he      First Alarm’s first priority is safety in their com-
                                      chalked up to CarChip. At under $200 a unit, with no      munities. With CarChip, that attitude is clearly
                                      subscription fees or installation costs, CarChip gets a   extended to their own employees by keeping them
                                      big “thumbs-up” from First Alarm’s accounting team.       and their vehicles safely on duty, “24/7.” The posi-
                                          CarChip has become a mainstay of First Alarm’s        tive results show in First Alarm’s safety record, and
                                      fleet management program. Drivers are aware that          community standing. ✇

2 • 800-678-3669 • INFO@CARCHIP.COM
                                         CASE STUDY
1. Show hard accelerations in
blue and extreme braking in red
on CarChip’s software graphs to
help train drivers and indicate
potential vehicle wear and tear.

2. Select engine performance
parameters as a way of
monitoring engine performance
and possibly preempting costly
repairs. Users can choose to
monitor up to four out of 23
engine parameters at any given
time, including:
•	   Trouble	codes
•	   Fuel	pressure
•	   Intake	manifold	pressure
•	   Engine	coolant	temperature
•	   Calculated	load	value
•	   Engine	speed
•	   Fuel	trim	status
•	   Fuel	system	status

                                       800-678-3669 • INFO@CARCHIP.COM • 3
       3. Get individual and summary
       trip info showing start and
       end times, duration, idle
       time, distance, average and
       maximum speed, hard braking
       and acceleration.

      4. Rank drivers by speed, or                4
      other selected driving and
      performance parameters,
      with CarChip Fleet Pro’s Fleet
      Management software.

                                       CarChip is made by Davis Instruments • 800-678-3669 •
                                       3465 Diablo Ave., Hayward, CA 94545 USA •

PR404 • 0808

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