Ace K9 was a company established to fill a need, specifically, the need to protect K9 units from the dangers of overheating. The company is a true specialty shop, only offering a small number of products, but products that are some of the most respected and capable in the industry. Those products include heat alarms, remote door openers, and remote K9 monitoring systems. Together, they safeguard canines and their handlers from some of the dangers law enforcement can expect to encounter out in the field.
The company was created in 1986 after John Johnston, owner of a communication and electronics company was contacted by his friend, Ted Smith, a K9 deputy working out of Palm Beach, Florida. The summer of 1986 was dangerously hot and had already claimed the lives of police dogs by the time Deputy Smith approached Johnston for a solution and before long, Johnston found it. Then named the K9 Lifeguard, it was a heat alarm system that was designed to operate while the handler was outside of his vehicle and the canine inside. As it turns out, handlers often have to attend to matters outside of the vehicle while the canine is still inside. The air conditioner and engine are left on in this case, but should the engine or air conditioner fail, the canine’s life would be at immediate risk.
The K9 Lifeguard was engineered to protect against this tragic outcome, and it was years ahead of its time when it hit the market. Ace K9 was formed around the K9 Lifeguard, as it was a much-needed solution for departments around the nation. More than 30 years later, and Ace K9’s products are still saving the lives of police dogs and their handlers.
Ace K9’s Product Offerings
Again, Ace K9 only has a small handful of products in its portfolio, but they each fill a serious need for K9 units. Each one is ingeniously engineered, with features that guarantee the system will not fail in its duty to protect both handler and canine. Those products include:
1. The K9 Heat Alarm Pro – Formally known as the K9 Lifeguard, this is what put the company on the map. The Heat Alarm Pro is built with several sensors, some of which pay attention to interior and exterior temperature, and others tied to track engine and battery status. Its features are delivered via software, so the Heat Alarm Pro is designed for future upgrades, once they are made available.
The Heat Alarm Pro operates using simple principles. If any sensor detects an alarming condition, it activates multiple vehicle systems to get the handler’s attention. Alarm conditions include interior temperatures reaching a certain threshold, battery failure or engine stalling, as all three suggest air conditioner failure or imminent failure. With dual temperature sensors, the Heat Alarm Pro is capable of impressive accuracy, measuring within .1 degree in real time. It is also designed to trigger alarms before the battery fails or if both temperature sensors fail. If a single sensor fails, the user is alerted via the interface.
When triggered, the Heat Alarm activates the car horn in a unique pattern, as well as the vehicle’s siren and its light bar. Simultaneously, both back windows are dropped to encourage ventilation and buy additional time for the canine.
Sensors can be placed anywhere in the vehicle’s interior, and temperature thresholds are easy to set via the control menu. An important note, the Heat Alarm will not shut off with the ignition. It must be switched off manually.
And the Heat Alarm can also be called the Cold Alarm, as it can also be set to trigger when interior temperatures drop to a certain threshold, ranging from 58 degrees Fahrenheit to 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
Optional additions include carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, and a fan kit that engages automatically when the temperature threshold is met.
2. K9 Door Popper – Sometimes, the handler is forced into a precarious position while their K9 companion is still in the vehicle. An officer may suddenly end up in a physical altercation, for example, that could put their life at risk.
The K9 Door Popper is designed to give handlers access to their K9 partner no matter where they are. With the Door Popper, handlers only have to push a single button to open the door to the canine’s compartment, allowing for immediate deployment and an immediate advantage. The door is held open with a gas spring, ensuring a safe release.
The technology is designed with multiple features to prevent accidental activation. The button must be held for one second before the transmitter activates, and it will activate for several seconds to ensure the system receives the signal. Most importantly, the Door Popper comes with the Door Pop Stopper feature, which disables system activation while the vehicle is in gear and guarantees the canine is not put in danger while the vehicle is in motion.
Ace K9 also offers the Hot-N-Pop Pro, which combines the functionality of the Heat Alarm Pro and the K9 Door Popper.
3. AceWatchDog – The AceWatchDog is a mobile-based piece of software that can be accessed using most smartphones. With it, officers can remotely monitor data outputted by the K9 Heat Alarm Pro or Hot-N-Pop Pro, so even if they are miles away from their vehicle, they know the status of their canine partner. The application has unlimited range and can send alerts to multiple phones, including those carried by other handlers, supervisors and even family.Ace K9 is a solutions company. Its solutions have saved the lives of police dogs and allowed handlers to return home to their families following a potentially deadly situation. That’s the kind of peace of mind that police departments around the world could use.