The company was started by Lew Whitney in 1950. It was called Merchant Patrol and Alarm. The corporate name Alarmco, Inc. was initiated in April of 1964.
Mr. Whitney went to Los Angeles and learned the business by working for no pay at a Los Angeles alarm company. He installed in the daytime and ran service at night. He came back to Las Vegas and installed his first alarm in Thrifty Drug Store on Fremont Street.
He worked from a small work shop at his home next to the old Sands Hotel. He eventually purchased Federal Alarm and moved into his future wife, Ethel’s answering service, “Telephone Answering Bureau.” Refer to the picture above which is the original house where he started in a small store room.
In the beginning Mr. Whitney was salesman, installer, bookkeeper and ran service at nights. He also, made most of the alarm components. The only alarm suppliers (they had very limited inventories on a very small amount of items) were:
- Ademco – Controls
- Potter Electric – Central Station Monitors
- Nicoly – Central Station Monitors
- Emergency Products – Fire Equipment
- Bright Star Batteries
Over the years Mr. Whitney purchased the following local companies:
- Federal Alarms (Walt Gardner)
- Lamco Alarms (Darwin Lamb)
- ADT’s 28 local accounts in 1968
- Allied Alarms (Jack Hooper)
- Metro Alarms (Dick Taylor)
At one time Mr. & Mrs. Whitney had eight business’, alarms, guards, patrol, answering service, radio common carrier, secretarial service, print shop and a babysitting service. Early one morning they were both on a separate phones solving problems and they said, ” this has to stop”, so they sold everything except the alarms (good decision).
Alarmco, Inc. and the Answering Service were in a store front on Las Vegas Blvd South across from the telephone company. The property was sold, torn down and became a parking lot. They then moved to Heers-Roder Building at Las Vegas Blvd and Charleston, which has also been torn down.
With the money from selling all the other business they bought and remodeled a small house on South Sixth Street. In 1980 they ran out of room and purchased the former Southwest Gas Company headquarters where Alarmco. Inc. is today.
Alarmco, Inc. became Underwriter’s Laboratory certified in 1968 and shortly after became Factory Mutual certified (fire).