Press Releases

Preventative Maintenance is a Necessity

Esscoe goes above and beyond to make sure your fire alarm system is working at its best. Your safety is our priority. The specialists working on your system must first go through our Fire Alarm Control Panel Training course to best service you. There, they learn to respond effectively, troubleshoot, and perform vital maintenance tasks.

What other preventative maintenance tasks does our team of experts offer?

We clean your smoke and heat detectors, removing dust and dirt from sensors. This ensures optimal sensitivity and accuracy. If your system is not cleaned regularly, it will not perform at its best.

Esscoe also updates the executive firmware for your fire alarm systems. Outdated firmware can compromise the system’s performance and integrity. Our team ensures the control panel executive firmware is up-to-date with the latest manufacturer developed release.

Trust Esscoe to keep your fire alarm system ready to safeguard lives and property.

Learn more about our expertise in fire alarms.

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Our online shopping and delivery world has brought about a lot of convenience as well as increased demand for real estate for logistics and fulfillment centers, many of which are classified as an S-1 Occupancy Use Group (Storage, Moderate Hazard) in the International Building Code (IBC).

With this increase in consumer demand comes an increase in square footage, and, consequently, fire and life safety risk with the vertical storage capacities often sought for large format, modern warehouses and logistical shipping centers. The International Code Council (ICC) has identified this increased risk, as evidenced by recent large-scale warehouse fires and has issued a change to the 2021 International Fire Code (IFC) which now requires Fire Command Centers to be provided in all F-1 (Factory) and S-1 (Storage) Occupancy Use Groups which have a building footprint greater than 500,000 SF.

What does this mean for the Architect/Engineer, Owner, Developer, General Contractor?

Similar to high-rise skyscrapers, a dedicated room needs to be provisioned in the architectural program for fire department use to conduct their operations. Additionally, there are these key new developments needed or required in any FCC:

  • The Fire Alarm System must now be a Voice Evacuation Signaling System with public address capability (1-Way Voice Communication).
  • The fire alarm needs to have a master microphone and voice/alarm control unit.
  • The FCC must be a minimum of an 8’ by 12’ room in a location and layout approved by the Fire Code Official.  This may or may not be the building code official in many jurisdictions.
  • The fire command center needs a 1-hour fire barrier from the rest of the building.
  • FCC must house the fire department communications system.
  • FCC must house an Elevator Status Display along with recall switches and emergency power selection switches.
  • Status indicators and controls for air distribution systems, likely to include any smoke removal or exhaust controls.
  • FCC must house firefighter control panels for any required smoke controls.
  • FCC must have controls for unlocking interior exit stairway doors.
  • Fire Sprinkler valve and waterflow detector visual status displays.
  • Emergency and standby power status indication.
  • Telephone access for the fire department to the public switched telephone network
  • Fire Pump Status indication.
  • Schematic building plans indicating and detailing the building core, all means of egress, fire-fighter air-replenishment systems, fire-fighting equipment, fire department access points and the location of all fire walls, fire barriers, partitions and smoke barriers and partitions.
  • An approved Building Information Card
  • Worktable
  • Generator supervision devices as well as manual start and transfer switch control.

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Your Trusted Provider

Your trusted provider for life safety systems, enterprise security solutions, and essential systems service needs!

See what our happy customers have to say:

The Esscoe techs and your scheduling team have done a wonderful job. The commitment to detail for my District is exemplary and we look forward to a continued working relationship. The email work request response time is so great I’d love for you to teach my staff how to respond so quickly. Every person I deal with makes my problem theirs, takes it seriously, and has answers to my questions. Esscoe has been the first vendor for me to call for over the last 10 years and will continue to be my Districts provider to service all of our Fire, and burglary needs

Sean Smith – Director of Maintenance and Facilities – Gurnee School District 56

ESSCOE is the sole partner that Community Consolidated School District 21 uses for its door access, security cameras, the District’s alarm system or any and all security consulting . While ESSCOE was in District 21 for several years prior to my arrival as the Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations, they earned my trust immediately upon coming to the District in 2019. And based upon the performance of ESSCOE upon my arrival, I have no need to look anywhere else for the District’s security needs.

During the summer of 2019, within two weeks of my arrival, and in the middle of a summer project totaling $39 million, ESSCOE discovered an issue that could have set back the project months — time we could not afford to lose if we would open schools in a secure environment. Working with multiple contractors and construction managers that were responsible for the total project, ESSCOE discovered that key components of hardware and installation were missed in plans that were not in their scope of work. However, ESSCOE saw that if this missing work was not identified, coordinated and managed properly, the District would not be able to complete the work on the key focus of that summer’s project and deliver on a promise to its community.

The ESSCOE team, without any hesitation, took on the coordination of work between all necessary parties, ordering and fronting the payment for the hardware and securing not just its own labor force, but the labor of other key services. ESSCOE took on this added responsibility to ensure that the District delivered on its promises to the community on time and within budget regardless of the error it discovered. ESSCOE not only saved the day, but also made sure that the District was not harmed in any manner, through time delays or increased costs, even though the project required intensive work that was not originally planned for ESSCOE

ESSCOE continues to impress and build its credibility with each project, every year. Whether it is routine maintenance, adding, updating or overhauling the systems they manage to meet the District’s needs or bringing ideas to enhance safety and security in new areas, ESSCOE proves its value as a vendor and, most importantly, as a true and trusted partner and member of the District’s team daily.

Michael DeBartolo – Assistant Superintendent for Finance & Operations – Community Consolidated School District 21

Managing a large commercial property can be challenging and nothing is more important than the functionality of a buildings fire alarm system, so when there is a problem you need to have a reliable support team available at a moments notice. For me the team at Esscoe fills that role, going above and beyond to ensure that all of my needs are met. Whether it’s providing design and engineering services for a new installation, performing annual inspections, or responding to an emergency service call, I know that Esscoe is a phone call away. Dave Fernekes, Director of Facilities, Bourns Facility Group.

Dave Fernekes, Director of Facilities, Bourns Facility Group

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Maintain & Prolong the Life of Your Fire Alarm System

Esscoe is your trusted partner for fire alarm systems!

Wondering how to keep your fire alarm system in top shape and performance? Follow our tips and advice below to get the most out of your equipment.


Moisture can be one of the biggest enemies for fire alarm systems; ensure that your system is ready to fight against any and all moisture. Review your panel locations, to ensure that they are in conditioned and dry environments.  Any equipment installed in wet locations shall be marked for “use in wet locations.” All equipment that is subjected to damage shall be protected by a listed means. 


Be aware of how the equipment, conductors, boxes, exterior weather-tight boxes and devices are installed. Look for faulty or incorrect installations that may impair the system further down the line.  Some systems have exterior speakers, horns and strobes.  Be sure to regularly examine them for build-up of debris from birds nests, rodents or other damaged building elements that may break their watertight seals which can make you susceptible to moisture damage, but also create short circuit pathways which are susceptible to lighting and transient voltage damage.  The latest release of NEC/NFPA 70 edition 2020 (NEC 2020) has placed a greater emphasis on increasing personnel safety by mandating the use of Surge Protective Devices (SPDs).  In addition to increased personnel safety benefits, surge suppression devices installed on conductors which leave the building envelope, or incoming 120 VAC power to control panels and power supplies can provide an added degree of protection of these components, many of which are now deemed Critical Operations Power Systems (COPS) in many jurisdictions.  We suggest consulting Article 708 of the 2020 NEC, specifically Article 708.2 on how to identify if your system is a COPS, which in many cases a fire alarm system or emergency communication system is.

Regular cleaning of smoke detectors can help prevent nuisance alarms or false alarms and disruption of your operations and increase the confidence in the ability of your system to identify and protect occupants and your physical facilities from damage from fire.


Regular and comprehensive testing of the entire fire alarm system is crucial to ensure its properly functioning. This includes the control panel, detectors, initiating devices, communication and power backup systems. These tests should be performed by trained personnel in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines, NFPA 72, and the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. Testing should include a full-functional test, checking for fault indications on the control panel.


Maintain a thorough and up-to-date record of all inspections, tests, and maintenance activities performed on the fire alarm system. This should include the date, details of the performed action, and any anomalies or issues found and resolved. This ensures that the fire alarm system’s maintenance history is traceable and that it complies with local codes and insurance requirements.  It also helps identify recurring problems that may suggest underlying issues.


Ensure that key personnel understand the basic operation of the fire alarm system, what to do when an alarm is activated, and who to contact for service or repair. Personnel should be educated about what each type of alarm signifies and the necessary steps they need to take during an emergency. This includes training on how to reset the system, silence alarms, and initiate manual alarms if necessary.


If the fire alarm system is monitored by a third-party service, confirm that the service is fully operational and that communication between the system and the monitoring service is working correctly. Regularly review your contract with the monitoring service to ensure that it meets your current needs.


Technology continually evolves and improves. Keep your fire alarm system up to date with the latest software updates and consider hardware upgrades as recommended by the manufacturer or your fire protection engineer. Newer models might offer more accurate detection, faster response times, or enhanced features.


Many fire alarm systems have backup batteries to ensure they continue to operate during power outages. Regularly check these batteries for any signs of damage or corrosion, replace them as per the manufacturer’s guidelines, and perform regular load tests to ensure they will function in case of an emergency.


Periodic physical inspection of all devices, including detectors, pull stations, annunciators, and alarm notification appliances, should be carried out to check for physical damage, dirt, paint, or any other obstruction that could affect the operation of the system. This should also involve inspecting the wiring for signs of damage or wear and tear.

Learn more about our capabilities with fire alarms.

Ready to experience our talent? Contact us today!

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Lead the way forward with EST4 systems

No one knows your facility better than you, and nothing is more beneficial than the EST4 system. Trust Esscoe with upgrading your fire and life safety solutions. Watch our video to learn about the great benefits you need to take advantage of.

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Genuine Factory Authorized Service

When it comes to your facilities, you want nothing but the best. You invest in the latest technology and systems to maximize performance, efficiency, and safety. Two important factors keeping these facilities functioning are the electronic security and fire protection systems. As these systems are responsible for ensuring the safety of both your facilities and its workers, there is no compromise on quality and performance, only the best will do. That’s why it’s essential to choose genuine factory authorized service providers like Esscoe for the programming and maintenance of these essential systems.

An electronic security and fire protection system is a complex web of components working together to detect and respond to potential threats. Virtually every part of the system has been developed, tested, and refined in demanding laboratories following Underwriter Laboratories requirements. Each part’s careful design, precise tolerances, and exceptional quality define your system’s performance and reliability.

However, most systems require maintenance updates and repairs over time. When that happens, choosing a genuine factory authorized service provider like Esscoe for programming, software updates, and maintenance is critical. Esscoe’s staff of technicians and engineers have been trained and certified by our manufacturers and have access to the most current software, firmware and components from the factory. Using anything less than a genuine authorized factory service provider can compromise the engineering excellence of the systems and applications chosen to protect your facilities. Replacement with non-genuine parts may not meet the same standards of quality, performance, and safety as the originals and present the potential to cause compatibility issues with other components of the system. Similarly, ignoring security, firmware and software updates compromises the ability for your system to work with its edge components.  This could lead to reduced efficiency, false alarms, loss of memory or video storage, total system failure, and potentially void your system’s warranty, which could expose you to liability in the case of any preventable mishaps.

Your electronic security and fire alarm systems play a critical role in the safety, efficiency, and performance of your facilities. By having genuine factory authorized service providers like Esscoe perform the programming and maintenance of these systems, you can rest assured knowing your systems are maintained to the highest standards. Don’t compromise on safety and efficiency at your facilities. For your system’s maintenance, choose Esscoe.

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Esscoe | Your Trusted Advisor

Our experienced team of certified designers, engineers, and security subject matter experts can perform design, benchmarking, deployment, and physical/logical maintenance of your security systems.

Esscoe is one of the few qualified organizations that are capable of equipping an entire building with a comprehensive set of security software and hardware systems.

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Ready to launch a new career with Esscoe?

We are always looking for talented professionals to join our team!
Send your resume to

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Have you given up on any of your New Year’s Resolutions yet?

We have a great suggestion on a resolution you can stick to AND Esscoe can be your partner who can do all of the work for you. That’s the best kind! Next January, you’ll be feeling pretty good about making this one stick, year in, and year out! A few questions for you:

  1. When was the last time you replaced your commercial access control systems batteries?
  2. Do you know when your security systems batteries are scheduled to be replaced?
  3. Do you have any battery-operated wireless intrusion detectors?
  4. In a power outage, how will credential holders gain access to your access control protected facilities?
  5. Are any of your CCTV, Access Control Servers or other security systems powered by Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems in your IT rooms?

If you don’t know the answer to some of these questions, then make a new resolution this year to find out and get a plan in place to ensure that you don’t have a preventable failure of your enterprise security system. Esscoe can help you manage this New Year’s Resolution with a regular preventive maintenance plan for you Access Control, Intrusion and CCTV systems.

Unlike fire alarm systems and battery operated smoke alarms, Access Control and CCTVSystems generally do not provide a supervised way of notifying you that your Door Controllers or Camera Power supplies are operating with a degraded battery until it’s too late, and even if they did, waiting until that time it’s usually too late and a failure may be imminent causing loss of recording, access to your facilities and a lot of unwelcome attention from staff and outside visitors.

Taking a page from the fire alarm industry, it is common knowledge in that industry that fire alarm batteries are to be replaced typically within 4-5 years from date of manufacturing. Regular inspection, testing, and maintenance (ITM) that needs to be completed to ensure that the secondary power supply is reliable. Batteries need to be inspected semiannually to confirm that the connections are tight and there is no corrosion on the connections. The batteries and charger need to be tested semiannually. Tests include measuring the temperature to ensure that the battery is not 18° F (10° C) above ambient temperature; measuring the voltage to ensure the battery and charger are still operational; measuring the voltage at each cell of the battery to confirm each cell is greater than 13.26 volts; and measuring the internal ohmic value of each battery and comparing it to previous tests to ensure that the battery does not have 30 percent or more conductance or 40 percent or more resistance or impedance than previous tests, or that it is outside the manufacturer’s acceptable ranges.

Every three years the batteries need to either be replaced, or a load test needs to be conducted. Load tests are conducted by putting a known load (which can be obtained from the battery manufacturer) on the battery for a given time.

With Security Systems, there are several key factors that will affect the life expectancy of a battery including:
• Temperature cycling
• Operating temperature
• Thermal runaway
• Shelf life
• Rate of charging and rate of discharging
• Deep discharging
• Physical damage
• Overcharging
• Memory effect of the battery

Basically, it’s extremely hard to predict security system battery life expectancy with any real accuracy. A weak battery
that’s capable of supporting a small 2-door controller 12 months won’t be capable of supporting a 4 or 8 door controller for 6 months.
What also is hard to predict during a power outage?
• The number of door openings
• Camera motion detection events
• Intrusion sensor activations

Our last questions for thought:
• So, do you have time and resources to manage this for all of your connected access control and CCTV camera supplies at all of their locations within all of your facilities?
• Do you have the tools to load test these items properly and document them?
• Do you have access to the right suppliers for all the different battery sizes, terminal typesand UPS power supply cassettes from all of your different equipment manufacturers?
Esscoe can tailor a security service maintenance plan for you and your facilities. Whether it’s regularly scheduled Inspection, Testing and Maintenance, or regularly scheduled battery replacements, or a combination thereof, we can design a simple, regularly scheduled program to manage this for you, every New Year! Give yourself permission to substitute this regular program of maintenance provided by Esscoe for that diet you really don’t want to stick to anyway…

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Season of Giving at Esscoe

At Esscoe we are grateful for another wonderful year, but we know that not everyone is as fortunate. As this holiday season approaches, please consider donating to charities near and dear to you. Here are a few charities to consider this year. Charity knows no season!

  • Lurie Children’s Hospital
  • Advocate Aurora Health Foundations
  • Illinois Fire Safety Alliance
  • Advent Health

Lurie Children’s Hospital
Ways To Give

  • Send A Check
    • Mailing Address:
      Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation
      Department 4586
      Carol Stream, IL 60122-4586

Visit for other ways to give or for more information on how to donate.

Advocate Aurora Health Foundations
Where To Give

  • Hospitals and Medical Centers
  • Programs
  • Give By Mail

Visit Advocate Aurora Health for more information on how to donate.

Illinois Fire Safety Alliance
Ways To Give

Visit IFSA for more information on how to donate.

Advent Health
Ways To Give

  • Emergency Relief Fund
  • Item Donation
  • Notes of Encouragement

Visit Advent Health for more information on how to donate.

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