What is Ademco?

Ademco was a security company that was bought out by Honeywell in 2000. Much of the security equipment that was sold under the Ademco banner was then sold as Honeywell equipment. Some of the older Honeywell equipment can still be found with the Ademco label.

The Alarm Device Manufacturing company, or Ademco, was founded in 1929. The company was formed when hardware store owner Maurice Coleman started the company to build custom alarms for local businesses. Much of the original Ademco equipment can be found today in the Honeywell Security Museum, located in Melville, NY. This museum also showcases old Ademco product catalogs, early examples of door and window contacts and some of the first ever security systems.

In 1963, Ademco was acquired by the Pittsburgh Railway Company. This gave the Pittsburgh Railway Company major traction in the security and fire protection industries. However, the company retained the Ademco name for its security and fire protection products. The Pittsburgh Railway Company would then later change its name to Pittway in 1967.

Throughout the 70s and 80s, Pittway was seen as one of the leading makers of smoke detectors. The company added ionization smoke detectors with its purchase of BRK Electronics in 1970. This cemented Pittway as one of the industry leaders for fire protection. As a result, Ademco's sales increased from $2 million in 1963 to $96 million in 1981. Then in 1988, Pittway formed Ademco Distribution Inc. to better distribute its security products to its customers. ADI is still widely used by alarm dealers today.

The Ademco VISTA Series of hardwired security panels would then be released a few years later. This would go on to become one of the most popular lineups of security systems ever made. The lineup would change its name to the Honeywell VISTA Series when Honeywell acquired Pittway, along with Ademco, in 2000. Today, the Honeywell VISTA Series represents a popular lineup of wired alarm control panels that are still used in many homes and businesses. It's not uncommon to find older VISTA Series equipment and older sensors that still have manuals with the Ademco name. If you come across any Ademco equipment, just simply think of it as Honeywell equipment that was manufactured before the name change.

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