Alarm Engineering owner Ron Boltz



One of the area’s most trusted names in home security discusses how you can protect what matters to you without breaking the bank

Written By: Nick Brandi | Photographer: Stephen Cherry

They say anything worth having comes at a price — and these days, home security is a must. But while you may think getting such a system means taking out a second mortgage, pawning all your jewelry or dashing your kids’ hopes for an Ivy League education, Ron Boltz of Alarm Engineering has some very good news for you: It’s called emPower.

“EmPower is the industry’s premier alternative to high-priced, overly complicated home-automation systems,” said Boltz, who took over the 26-year-old family-owned company as president/CEO in 1995. “It is extremely versatile yet surprisingly affordable for all that it can do.”

With emPower, you can control your security system, as well as HVAC systems, lighting, locks and surveillance cameras. What’s more, you can do it all remotely with any Web-enabled device, so any PC, laptop, iPad or smartphone can be your go-
to instrument for instant peace of mind. A tight series of apps, with intuitive icons, pave the way to effortlessly controlling all the essential functions of your home, including System Status, Arming & Disarming, Event History, Live Video Feed, Thermostats, Lights, Locks and even Saved Video. Lighting, for example, can be set for on/off, dimmer and/or time-of-day scheduling for multiple switches and lamps, so it always
appears from the outside that someone is home. Likewise, thermostats can be timed to condition the home’s climate and automatically adjust to a more efficient setting when you’re not there, making it the perfect energy-saving — and therefore money-saving — solution for any on-the-go homeowner, especially those with second or summer homes.

Another great feature is the activity-notification protocol. In addition to traditional notification and dispatch of emergency-response personnel for alarm conditions, emPower allows you to monitor non-alarm scenarios, such as low temperatures / freezing pipes in an unoccupied home or the coming and going of service providers, like housecleaning companies. You can even monitor the activity of cabinets that contain alcohol or firearms — an especially desirable feature when there are
children in the home.

“We have installed systems for clients,” said Boltz, “in which Mom and Dad not only know via text or email when the kids have arrived home from school but also see on the attached video clip that the entire soccer team has accompanied them through the front door. The scope and depth of coverage is, more than anything else, determined by someone’s imagination — which is where we come in.”

The only authorized GE Security Pro dealer in the Delmarva region, Alarm Engineering’s service territory runs from Wilmington, through the Maryland Eastern Shore, to the bridge/tunnel in Virginia. Their clients include single-family homeowners, retail banks, agricultural facilities, zoos, light-to-large industrial parks, private businesses, hospitals, mass-media companies, even local police and fire departments. In total, Alarm Engineering’s 25-person crew of product and service professionals is the current choice for more than 6,000 monitored accounts, by far the largest operation of its kind in the area, and according to Boltz, far and away the best.

“As a locally owned, independent, regional company,” we’re large enough to have the staffing, resources and expertise to offer things such as same-day, 24-hour customer service and small enough to care about each and every individual client,” Boltz said.

Boltz also reports that while traditional home-automation systems typically cost thousands of dollars (and we’ve seen them go way above that, into the tens of thousands of dollars), the features of the emPower platform run in the hundreds of dollars, making it well within reach of virtually any homeowner.

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