In 1936, Thomas D. Clark of Hendersonville had a "burglar alarm system" installed in his grocery warehouse by Southern Burglar Alarm Company of Belton, SC. Intrigued by this new "gadget", Mr. Clark decided to explore the possibility of going into the business himself since there were no alarm companies in Western North Carolina at the time. After some friendly negotiations, Mr. Clark bought a franchise from the Belton company for $1.00, and Southern Burglar Alarm Company of Hendersonville, NC was born.
For the next forty-one years, Mr. Clark ran the business from his home, with six employees at the most at any one time, including his wife, Emma, who did all the bookkeeping. They installed systems as far away as Raleigh, NC, Columbia, SC, Athens, GA and Johnson City, TN because there were few, if any, alarm companies at the time to serve those areas. In 1962, the business became incorporated in North Carolina.
At the tender age of 84, Mr. Clark began thinking about retirement. He had been approached a year or so earlier by local businessman Dan Waddell who had an interest in buying the company if it were ever for sale; so Mr. Clark decided to take him up on it. Following a short period of negotiation, a deal was struck, and Mr. Waddell, along with his daughter and son-in-law, Sharon and Steve Johnson, purchased the company on January 1, 1977. Steve became the operating manager, and along with the five employees who came along with the deal, a new era of Southern Burglar Alarm Company was launched.
We have made great strides since 1977, with several significant milestones having taken place:
In 1982, we became the first (and we are still the only) locally-owned alarm company in Western North Carolina to become certified by Underwriter's Laboratories, the only nationally recognized testing agency for security systems installations.
In 1990, we were chosen to be the exclusive security dealer in WNC for First Alert Professional Security Systems, one of the largest and most recognizable names in the security industry today.
Since 1985, we acquired five smaller alarm companies, including WNC Security in Brevard and Appalachian Security in Franklin, enhancing our ability to more effectively serve the resort/retirement communities of the beautiful Western North Carolina Mountains.
Although still incorporated as Southern Burglar Alarm Company, Inc., we have changed our D/B/A name to Southern Alarm & Security to reflect a more general and expanded array of services.
In 2018, Owner Steve Johnson welcomed his son-in-law Mark Russell into the business, ensuring Southern Alarm & Security would stay family-owned.