Bill started in the electrical representative and fire alarm business in 1963, at age 17, while still in high school. The company he started with was Midwest Equipment Company. There he learned about electrical distributors, the rep business, and fire alarms. Midwest was the exclusive Notifier distributor for Iowa, so Bill had the opportunity to see small jobs and very large fire alarm jobs. His only time away from this industry was while he served the US Army in Vietnam. After returning to the states, he went back to his old job at Midwest.
In 1983, Bill decided that it was time to create some new opportunities. He formed what is now American Electrical Sales Corporation. AES started as an electrical representative business, with only a few fire alarm customers. As the fire alarm business grew, with increasing opportunity, Bill began to focus more in that area. In the 1990’s we decided to claim the name American Alarms for the fire alarm and low-voltage systems part of the business. Now fire alarm and other low-voltage systems make up 90% of our business, and we love it!
For most people, fire alarms are those annoying beeps or horns you hear when you are trying to work or trying to sleep at home. But for us, they are music, and they’ve become a passion. We currently have (2) NICET II certified team members and (2) NICET Level III or higher. (NICET is the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies and is now required by state fire code in Iowa and many other states). We also have (2) working on Level III and one working on Level II. We feel that this training and certification is important. It’s important because we care about doing things right. The training has allowed us to know more about the state codes and best practices, i.e. what our customers can and can’t do with their systems.
We know that business-owners and property managers walk a thin line when it comes to the fire alarm. You want to protect the people in your property, and your property itself, effectively. But many times you may not have the funds to provide the “ultimate” system, especially all at once. We get it! We encourage all of our customers to do everything up to applicable codes. But, depending on the circumstances, timing, and funding, the perfect answer may have to come in phases. We can work with whatever works for you.
Mark Shearman – Technical Services Manager, NICET Level II Fire Alarms
Eric Shearman – Inspection Manager
Bill Jacobs – System Designer/Industry Guru, NICET Level IV Fire Alarms
Jennie Jacobs – Bookkeeping/Account Manager
Tori Shanks – Office Administrator
Adam Jacobs – Sales/Marketing/General Manager, NICET Level III Fire Alarms