There’s No Place Like Holmes
Holmes Security is staying busy and staying safe during these times of social distancing.
With so many of us spending so much more time at home than usual, it has given us all a chance to reevaluate our home and property. Whether it’s a home improvement project we have been putting off or just some normal maintenance, we suddenly have the time to do it — and then some!
Many folks are gaining a different perspective as to how they are living and how they can feel more secure. I wanted to learn more about the state-of-the-art security systems that are available, so I called Dave Foster of Holmes Security Systems on Hinton Avenue in Wilmington.
He gave me a bit of background on his company and himself. Founded in 1908 in Fayetteville as a family-owned electrical company, Holmes Electric morphed into Holmes Security company 55 years ago. It started with local businesses needing a security system, and then the residential sector followed suit. Over the years they have grown into the second-largest independently owned security company in the Carolinas. When they opened their Wilmington location in 2000, they wanted to prove to this area that they were a large company that treats its customers with the small company feel — or as Foster put it, “We treat our customers like family.”
After many years in the cellular telecommunications business, Foster joined Holmes Security in 2008 as their sales and marketing manager. He was impressed not only with the success the company had achieved but also with the potential for growth with emerging Connected Homes products. He explained to me that a Connected Home utilizes the internet, smartphones, and cameras so you are able to stay connected to your home whether you are across the street or on the other side of the globe. You are alerted when there is any change in the normal status of your home with live video and images. This also makes it possible to operate your security system remotely using a computer or any handheld device — you can even operate your lights, garage doors, and thermostat!
In addition to private homes, Holmes Security also works with some of the area’s largest builders and contractors. One of their local homes was featured on the hit television show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. They also donate their time and resources to Homes for our Troops, a nonprofit organization that builds and donates specially adapted custom homes for severely injured post-9/11 veterans.
When COVID-19 changed all of our lives, Foster explained to me how it affected his business.
“When you have a crisis, people suddenly don’t have the control over their lives that they were used to,” he said. “Installing or upgrading a security system gives them more control over each of their individual situations. We are doing a tremendous amount of residential systems right now. Cameras are big right now, especially doorbell cameras. People want to know who is at their door without having to interact socially. Security systems, cameras, door locks, thermostats, lighting that all work together and can be controlled by one app is becoming standard.”
When I asked about the commercial side of his business, he told me they are seeing “more access control opportunities” and that cameras have always been a big part of that sector.
He said their staff is taking all the proper COVID-19 precautions, with the sales teams working out of their homes and the techs equipped with masks, gloves, booties, hand sanitizer, disposable wipes, etc. “We question each customer about their health and travel, then base our appointments on that,” Foster said.
Should any situation arise in which help is needed, he explained to me that Holmes Security has its own Central Monitoring Station. “Most companies use a third-party answering service, but our customers have direct access to us 24/7/365!” he said. “Don’t hesitate to call us — you will always be answered by a live person.”
On April 22, Holmes Security provided catered food to the local 911 call centers in Fayetteville and Brunswick and New Hanover counties as they do their part to make this a less stressful time for those working as essential employees.
It’s good to see that in these divisive times, we can all come together for a common cause and be one as a city, county, state, and country. And it’s nice to know we can live securely in an unstable social environment.
“Safety and security mean different things to different people,” Foster said. “Our company gives people peace of mind in uncertain times. We will continue with sales, installation, service, and monitoring now more than ever. Always remember, ‘There’s no place like Holmes!’”