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ADT Fire & Security.
Type Security Detection and Prevention
Founded 1874
Headquarters Boca Raton, Florida, U.S.
Industry Fire detection, Fire suppression, Security systems, Communication systems
Tyco Fire & Security headquarters in Boca Raton (also home to ADT)

ADT Security Services, originally American District Telegraph now also known as ADT Fire and Security or simply ADT, is a division of Tyco International and a worldwide supplier of electronic security systems, fire alarm systems, communication systems, and integrated building management systems.



In the United States in the 1800s, there were many small telegram delivery companies; in 1874, 57 district telegraph delivery companies affiliated and became "American District Telegraph". With the increase in telephone usage in the late 1800s, ADT's messenger business slowly declined in popularity. ADT tried branching out and developing their signaling business while still maintaining their telegraph business as primary income source. ADT incorporated into Western Union in 1901. ADT separated its messenger business from its main signaling business at this time. In 1909, Western Union and ADT came under the control of AT&T. ADT began to expand into new areas like fire alarms and burglar alarms between 1910 and 1930, but was kept separate from AT&T's Holmes alarm business. ADT became a publicly owned company in the 1960s.

In 1964, ADT was found to be a monopoly in restraint of trade. It was shown to provide almost 80% of the central station alarm service in the United States. In some cities, such New York City and Memphis, Tennessee, they were the sole provider. They were also found to have forced out of business competitors by lowering prices below cost. They would charge national accounts very low prices in cities with competitors and much higher prices where no competition was available. ADT was forced to adopt a national price list, which could not be varied, to help establish Central Station Competitors in cities without competition, and to pay fines and triple damages to the federal government, customers, and local competitors.

In 1977, the UK's Lord Ashcroft had bought under performing outdoor equipment maker Hawley Goodall, and transformed it through acquisition into business services group, registered in Bermuda. In the early part 1987, Hawley bought Crime Control Inc. based in Indianapolis for $50 million, placing the company fourth place spot in the U.S. security market. Later in the year it bought ADT. This purchase transformed Hawley into the leading security services business in the United States, and resulted in the majority of its revenues coming from the North American market. As a result of the acquisition, Hawley changed its name to ADT Inc. and decided to refocus its business around security services. At the end of 1987, the company sold its North American-based facility services business to Denmark's ISS A/S.

By the mid 1990s, ADT surpassed the 1 million customer milestone. In 1997, ADT was purchased by Tyco but means of a reverse takeover, thus allowing Tyco a Bermudan tax status. Lord Ashcroft joined the board of Tyco, although he had quickly disposed of a large amount of his Tyco stock taken in payment for the purchase of ADT.[1]


ADT in the UK

ADT first entered the United Kingdom in the late 1950s with the establishment of Electric Protection Services Limited based in London and introduced central monitoring in the mid-60s at the request of several leading banks, despite not opening a central monitoring station of their own. The 1970s and 80s brought steady growth.

In the mid 1990s, ADT Inc was acquired by Tyco International at the same time Tyco also bought up the UK firm Thorn Security. In 1997, ADT Fire and Security plc was formed from the merger of three of the UK’s largest security firms: ADT, Thorn Security and Modern Security Systems.

Operations today

ADT provides monitored burglar, fire and video surveillance systems. ADT has branches in 50 different countries, with over 62,000 employees. ADT had gross revenue of $8 billion in 2008.

ADT has branches covering the United States, Canada and Latin America, as well as 21 countries in Europe. ADT UK and Ireland has 23 branches employing around 5,500 people. ADT Europe has annual gross revenues of at least $2.6 Billion. ADT has branches in seven Asian countries, one branch in South Africa, and branches in Australia and New Zealand.

ADT is the largest security company in the United States, serving over five million customers. As of 2004 ADT holds 35% market share of the North American market.[2] and has six monitoring stations, four in the United States and two in Canada.

ADT is the UK’s leading security company, helping to protect over 250,000 UK family homes and 160,000 businesses across the country. ADT UK has also a specialist vehicle division tasked to create and maintain CCTV and riot control vehicles for police forces around the country.

In 1989 ADT Fire and Security was granted a 45 year contract to maintain the security of the British and American Governments. This is why employee vetting is so in depth and conducted by external sources.

ADT systems

ADT's main service is the installation and monitoring of alarm systems, whereby one of their Customer Monitoring Centers (CMC) receives electronic signals from an alarm system when an alarm event is triggered, such as in the case of an intrusion, fire, carbon monoxide presence or manual depression of a holdup/duress button. A monitoring specialist examines the data received from the alarm system and determines the type of response the alarm signal warrants. Depending on the type of alarm, the monitoring specialist will attempt to contact the location via telephone to investigate further and determine if the signal is a false alarm. If necessary, the monitoring specialist can notify the local police, fire, EMS, or other emergency services department and/or an authorized security response service of the alarm status and the event address. ADT maintains seven Customer Monitoring Centers in North America.

ADT had a manufacturing plant in Clifton, New Jersey. After the Hawley Holdings buyout in the early 1990s they outsourced R&D and manufacturing. ADT security systems are now manufacture by Ademco (a product of Honeywell International), GE ITI (both products of GE Security), DSC (a product of Tyco International), or Bosch.

ADT Dealers

ADT Security also has an authorized dealer group. Besides ADT Corporate, sub-contractors or home security dealers offer basic equipment for free which is monitored and serviced by ADT Corporate. The hardware is generally similar equipment as what is purchased from ADT Corporate themselves. ADT dealers offer a system for free and do not charge for the installation while ADT Corporate charges sells the system and charges the installation.

With ADT Corporate or any other dealers, there is a 36-month contract for monitoring however there is a clause in the contract clearly stating a contract termination charge should a signee choose to end the contract early.

The ADT dealers will run a simple credit check and then make an attempt of selling the contract to ADT. If ADT purchases the contract, it becomes an "Informix" account, which means that other ADT Dealers will do service calls (at a charge) and they will not have the "true ADT" experience. Dealer account can also be a "Contract Only Account" which means that a dealer will be the middle man. The customer makes a payment to the Dealer who then makes a payment to ADT. The dealers invoice looks like an ADT one, however the Customer number starts with an N0....

Products and services

  • Home Security Systems (including Fire and Life Safety)
  • Custom Home Security Systems (including Fire and Life Safety)
  • Home Health and Companion Systems
  • Home Video Surveillance
  • Small Business Intrusion Detection
  • Small Business Video Surveillance
  • Small Business Electronic Access Control
  • Medium & Large Business Fire & Life Safety
  • Medium & Large Business Video Surveillance and CCTV
  • Medium & Large Business RFID
  • Medium & Large Business Electronic Access Control
  • Medium & Large Business Electronic Article Surveillance and Smart Electronic Article Surveillance
  • Medium & Large Business Intrusion Detection
  • Medium & Large Business Preferred Services
  • Medium & Large Business Security Monitoring Services
  • Medium & Large Business ADT Select Solutions
  • Medium & Large Business ADT Advanced Integration
  • Medium & Large Business Store Business Intelligence
  • Medium & Large Business ADT Anti-Skim ATM Security Solutions
  • Government Access Control
  • Government Fire & Life Safety
  • Government Intrusion Detection and Control
  • Government CCTV & Surveillance
  • Government Executive Protection
  • Government Security System Integration and Design
  • Government Public Warning/ Mass Notification Systems

See also


External links


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