Deborah L. O'Mara

Freelance Writer

Deborah L. O’Mara is a journalist with more than two decades experience writing about security, life safety and systems integration, and she is the managing director of DLO Communications in Chicago. She can be reached at or 773.414.3573.

Articles by Deborah L. O'Mara

September 2005
For traditional burglar alarm installers dealing with intrusion detection and monitored systems, it came as no shock that voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) was not the end-all and cure-all it was originally purported to be. But that’s the reality of emergency communications in some instances. READ MORE
August 2005
All or nothing doesn't necessarily cut it in integrated systems. Now, end-users can integrate all or some of their building management and security functions-letting the level of integration fit the facility. Manufacturers have been hard at work making integration simpler, more effective and super-intuitive. READ MORE
August 2005
Access control is a logical product to integrate. Technology continues to advance, especially in networked solutions, smart cards and biometrics, offering new capabilities and more application possibilities than ever before. It is a logical product to expand and add at existing premises, such as a college that requires single-door control or a campuswide networked solution. READ MORE
July 2005
Camera surveillance for facility and security control continues to go mainstream as existing technology is refined and networking innovations are introduced. Special emphasis has been placed on the integration of new and legacy equipment with surveillance operations to enhance the security at the protected premises. READ MORE
June 2005
Whether mandated by new codes or facilitated by a keen interest in life safety as a result of recent news events, fire alarms continue to rise to the occasion with intelligence and advanced capabilities. Addressable or intelligent systems can be tied to specific zones, sensors or areas of the premises. READ MORE
May 2005
What is the role of the electrical contractor in providing contract monitoring services to the end-user? It can be significant if approached properly. National monitoring services help the electrical contractor and electrical engineer extend their service and maintenance by adding supervision and a host of other capabilities to the package they have already sold. READ MORE
April 2005
The swift pace of integration is nowhere more profound than in the communications and information technology (IT) sectors. Access-control systems talk to closed-circuit television surveillance and door hardware for instant egress. Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) are closely tied to occupancy sensors, energy and lighting management systems. READ MORE
March 2005
It's really happening. Integration is starting to take hold in every vertical market and business operation. It has been a long, tough road. In the early 1980s, when security really began to take off and become popular and more than just a fad, manufacturers made certain that their products were unique. In fact, many of the products couldn't “talk” to each other, so their role was limited. READ MORE
February 2005
You've heard it before: Your customer wants structured wiring and networking, and they also want a sound system. Is it over your head? Not if you take the time to learn some simple steps to increase your business and get started in this growing area. Best of all, you can use your existing customers to test the waters. Education, of course, is the place to start. READ MORE