About Tom Kunkel

I am one very blessed soul. Life is good, business is great and the people we serve are fantastic. Why am I here? What is my purpose? On the back of my business card is "We act on what we believe. I believe that God is good all the time". Yes, I am blessed. Blessed with a wonderful wife, children, grand children, staff and fantastic customers to serve. I live in the United States of America, land of the FREE and home of the Brave. Born in Illinois, raised there with Mid-Western values, moved to California, joined the US Navy and learned discipline. Moved to Washington State in 1976 and to Lewis County in 1989. I'm the President and Janitor of the company: Access Security, Inc. & Access Monitoring, Inc. Next cake will have 76 candles. It just doesn't get any better. Praise God!

My last message started “SOMETHING OLD and SOMETHING NEW”.  Today, January 2nd, 2019 I am very pleased to follow-up with “SOMETHING TRIED and SOMETHING TRUE

24×7 Monitoring: Save Life & Property !

Change  is  inevitable.   Nothing stays the same forever, except God’s Love.  After more than 30 years of doing business on a “hand shake only” we introduced Service Agreements last year.  We are pleased beyond words to share that 100% acceptance and application happened by those we serve.  We managed to confuse a few very nice folks, but in the end all questions were answered, the “tees” crossed and the “eyes” dotted.    Insurance   companies and lawyers are happier.  We want to be of service.  We want to help our clients be more successful by reducing and managing risks (fire, burglary, medical or industrial systems management).  We want to provide video equipment and methods that help reduce loss and allow better control.

From the last blog:  “Now back to the blessings one more time. Words cannot describe how much the trust our clients place in us means. Taking care of the business opportunities and responsibilities, well, that’s business. However, when we think of what that means, that we are trusted with so much, so much that is really important, things and people that cannot be replaced, that we help people Feel Safe Again, we are truly humbled! Thank each and everyone of you for that trust. Our combined pledge is to never violate that trust. Never fail to meet or exceed your expectations. We give thanks to The Creator for all the grace he showers on us. We do pray for those we serve. Thank you for that privilege.”

Access Security, Inc.
Access Monitoring, Inc.


Access Security, Inc.
Access Monitoring, Inc.

Change is inevitable. Nothing stays the same forever, except God’s Love.
In the next few weeks we will be asking all of our Security Monitoring Clients to approve a new, simplified, Service Agreement. This is something that we have been avoiding for years. Our business model is built on trust and service, not legalese. However, times “they are a changing”. The new simplified Service Agreement contains our “legal” obligations to our Central Station clients and theirs to us. The new agreement is what’s new. The “Something Old” is the unchanged policy that allows any client, to cancel service at any time and for any reason. The cancellation clause will be boldly identified and placed near the bottom of the agreement. The agreement may have an automatic continuance or renewing clause, but the client’s right to cancel will be there and we will honor it. One of the people who many of you know from our founding back in 1998 is my son, Cliff Kunkel. Blessed fathers with sons who share the dream and do the heavy lifting of starting businesses are, indeed, blessed. That’s me. A really blessed father. I’m also a blessed husband of 43 years with my beautiful wife, Pat Kunkel, our Office Manager. We have continuously shared the dream and work of these businesses in Washington State since 1976. My blessings don’t end at the family edge. Four years ago I was blessed with the opportunity of working with Patrick Miess. Patrick has a really nice mother and father. Otherwise, if possible, Pat and I would be trying to buy him for ourselves. Many of you have had the opportunity to meet Patrick. If you haven’t, I hope you do. Being an Eagle Scout says a lot about Patrick’s values. But a wonderful combination of having intelligence, work ethic, uncommon common sense and shared faith, added to the Eagle Scout and Faith Leader give clarity to the person and values Patrick brings to work every day. Many of you are served by our Admin Assistant, Mary. Heading into her sixth year with us, Mary continues to shine. In all our years, we have never had her equal in terms of honesty, dependability and trustworthiness. Those qualities, honesty, dependability and trustworthiness are what is so rare and important today. We are blessed with our seasoned, dedicated staff. Now we have a new trainee, Cody, working with Patrick. Look for him. He too is a person of very high integrity. I’m opening up, publicly, our staff for a reason. All of us will be involved in the introduction and processing of the New Service Agreement. When it is finished and ready for distribution, you will be contacted for best (easiest) delivery and approval. Cliff Kunkel has a lot of experience dealing with just this sort of process electronically. The rest of us will make delivery as needed including here at the office (fresh coffee), at your residence or, if commercial, where our service is received or by US Mail. Whatever works.

Now back to the blessings one more time. Words cannot describe how much the trust our clients place in us means. Taking care of the business opportunities and responsibilities, well, that’s business. However, when we think of what that means, that we are trusted with so much, so much that is really important, things and people that cannot be replaced, that we help people Feel Safe Again, we are truly humbled! Thank each and everyone of you for that trust. Our combined pledge is to never violate that trust. Never fail to meet or exceed your expectations. We give thanks to The Creator for all the grace he showers on us. We do pray for those we serve. Thank you for that privilege.

Tom Kunkel – GM


Why am I here? You were created to be where you are and be at this particular place and time.  Who am I?  You are a creation made as an image of your Creator.  When?  Your Creator exists without time. He sees before, during and through the end of time. He was there before the Big Bang. And, He has known you from the very beginning. Your existence has always been known to Him. Great Power? We all have one power, our greatest power, that is actually more powerful than any other personal power. With it, we make everything happen that we are responsible for and capable of doing. What is that Greatest Power? Ask hundreds, or thousands or tens of thousands. Almost no-one can tell you. Isn’t it alarming that so many people have so much power, really powerful POWER, yet they can’t tell you what it is? It’s your Power of Choice. Too easy. Too simple. Yet right there it is. Undeniable. Unarguable. It’s greater than any individual, yet we each have tremendous amounts of it. Like gravity, electricity or the atomic “strong force” within nuclei. Yes, the Power of Choice is our Greatest Power. Something Special! Unlike some other powers, the power of choice cannot be turned off. It can only be ON. If you elect not to decide an issue, you are using that Great Power. If you abuse your Greatest Power ten times or ten times ten thousand times, you still have the same enormous amount you started with. Your Greatest Power can’t be created or destroyed. You can use it, but never use it up. So What? Here’s the “so what”! Start thinking about the existence of your Greatest Power today. Start learning how to channel and control the greatest power you will ever know. You have the complete and final say about all that you decide. You can change nearly everything about you, the people around you and the World that we all live in. Writing by Lia Shapiro “As in a dream, anything at all is possible. So shall you think, so shall it be. It is a simple matter to think things into existence”. Decide, consciously, to decide! It is a simple matter. Create a clear mental picture of what you want to have happen next. Make sure it has temporal existence, or that you know what will happen when it arrives. Simple? Very! Can you do it? Absolutely. Your Creator gave you your Greatest Power. He also gives many examples of how and how NOT to use it. “Knock and it will be opened to you” and “ask and you will receive”, “seek and you will find”. But in every case, you must first decide. You must use your Greatest Power. You can choose to study and learn about The Creator, or not. You can decide to never to decide, but you just used it. You can’t NOT use your power. Or, you can decide to love those around you, or not. You can decide to talk, silently or audibly, to The Creator. Remember, He is timeless. He is with you every second of every day. He hears your laughter. He hears your cries. He knows everything about you. How you feel. What you fear and what you hope for. He inspired and commissioned that 66 love letters be written to guide you, to educate you. To teach you about Him, His Son and His Spirit. Miracles are done (past and present) to show you that He is here. The Creator built each cell in your body, in your brain, every hair. He created air to breath, water to drink, sun to keep you warm and gravity. Oh yes, gravity. With it we stand. With it the Sun and Moon hold their places. And with it, the seas rise and fall making life possible to live. The Creator. He stands at the door, waiting. Will we let Him in, into our hearts, into our hopes. That is a decision we must individually make. No one can make it for us. You have the power. The Greatest Power. The Creator continues providing all that life requires. His Eternal Hope is that we not be lost from Him. He made us for Himself, that we should want to be with Him throughout Eternity. Will we open the door?
Please hear my prayers Oh God, Creator, and know the depths of my soul. Strengthen my courage, that I decide YES.
Thank you God. Thank you Jesus. Thank you Spirit. Amen.

Was this LIFE QUESTIONS – Issue #5 worth your time to read? I really do hope it is. Will you share it? Will you tell others of their Greatest Power? I pray YES. As a business owner, I have to make decisions many times every day. Some are trivial, others are SINK or SWIM issues. My wife, Pat, and I have been working together to serve others for more than four decades. Becoming fabulously wealthy was never our goal. Now well into our “golden” years, we see what we are taking to our next residence. It isn’t money. It isn’t furniture, or cars or my precious guns. It is the wealth in service and friendships we have laid up. We hope that what we believe has been seen by those we serve and those who call us “family” and friends. That’s our net worth. For several years we have added a simple message on the back of our business cards. It says, “We act on what we believe. I believe God is good all the time.” We are not professionals in the industry of faith. We are amateurs without formal training lacking Earthly leadership. God gave us a good and proper measure of our Greatest Power. Please feel free to hold us to His Standard that we try to follow. If you know what we believe, you can better predict how we will act. God’s Word teaches us, from the mouth of Jesus, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”[John 15:13].


TOM KUNKEL – President & GM – Access Security, Inc. & Access Monitoring, Inc.


Tom Kunkel – March 21st 2017
Last post ended with “Next time we’ll examine how and why insurance companies grant substantial discount when monitored fire alarm systems are present and maintained.” I promise to get to that. Two things happened last week that compels me to change what I planned.
Last month a Centralia home was destroyed by fire. Five people were inside at the time of the fire. Three are in serious condition at Harborview Hospital Burn Unit in Seattle. Two were treated and released from Centralia Providence. Investigators are not yet able to determine the cause of the fire because the structure is unstable. It is unknown if smoke sensors were present.

One Day earlier last week a house fire in Glenoma Washington killed two senior citizens and one adult. Bodies were found in the bedroom, living room and hall. Authorities found that there were “no smoke sensors installed”.

Sad: Angry: Stupid: Disturbing: Anguished: Shameful:
These are just some of the emotions that come to mind about these terrible losses. Three DEATHS, three SERIOUS Burn Victims, two injured and two destroyed dwellings and lifetimes of personal property. All lost. Could the loss of life have been avoided? Or, could damages have been less? Answering these questions is frustrating and very sad. We sell Residential and Commercial Fire Alarm Systems. They are designed to do just “that” – prevent death and reduce damage to contents and structures. It’s exactly like winning against cancer. Early detection is key. Once discovered, positive options appear quickly. Monitoring your health is now routine. Benefits of routinely checking blood pressure and other vital signs is obvious. It’s all about early detection.

Fire detection and response is no different. Today’s fire alarm systems detect most fires very early in the burn. In fact, before “burning” actually takes place. In most cases, serious fires are preceded with “smoldering”. Smoldering happens before flames. Smoke sensors detect smoldering by-products in the air. Fire Alarm Systems react to this detection by sounding loud sirens, calling a Monitoring Central Station and dispatching the Fire Department. Central Station operators call inside the structure once the alarm is received. Using an Emergency Response Call List allows operators to also contact neighbors, friends or family. Response happens very quickly, hopefully during the early “smoldering phase”, so occupants don’t die without ever knowing there was a fire developing. The possibility of detection, alarm, response and dispatching help is what a Fire Alarm System is all about. Are they perfect? No. But they are the most effective way of countering the very real threat to loss of life in structure fires. These losses and all those that went before them, in the Nation, in the World, are completed. They can’t be undone. There is no “reset button”.

Who will be next? A better question is “what can I do to prevent being ‘next’?”. I beg anyone and everyone who will listen to answer this question when they see or hear about house and building fires. “Did they have a monitored Fire Alarm System?” I hope that question is shouted to the Four Winds, over and over, until people answer it for themselves with “yes”. If you live without a Monitored Smoke Alarm System, think about it. The cost of a good quality system, installed and monitored, will be just a few drops in the bucket compared to an undetected fire.

Alarm System owners and their homeowner insurance companies both save money. Next time I will examine how and why that works the way it does.

So WHY DON’T MONITORED FIRE SYSTEMS WORK ? Answer, if they are not installed and monitored, they just can’t work.

Your comments, ideas and questions are always welcome. Thank you for investing your time.

TOM KUNKEL – President & GM – Access Security, Inc. & Access Monitoring, Inc.

Smell it?
Hear it?

Smell it?
Hear it?

Tom Kunkel – 01-12-2017
Welcome back. In the last posting we talked about how the detection and reporting happens in Fire Systems. Now let’s spend a little time on the Audible Response generated by Monitored Fire Alarm System. If you missed an issue, please refer to the archive. They are all there.
At the building site or residence, when Smoke, Heat or fire “by-products” are detected by sensors and a Fire Alarm Event is started, loud sirens inside and outside the building are activated. Typically, these sirens sound an International Temporal pattern of three sequential blasts, then silence for one second, then three sequential blasts again. This pattern is repeated for a minimum of 12 minutes or until cancelled at a keypad. More often, there is no time limit on how long the patter of three blasts, silence, three blast. The siren will be shut off at a keypad or they will continue. The system operates on internal batteries, even without power. The goal is to make sure that everyone inside or outside the structure is aware that a Fire Alarm is in progress. Some commercial buildings have sprinkler system that come on where the fire (heat) is detected. Sprinklers are great at actual fire suppression, but they DO NOT provide early detection, siren response or instant reporting to Central Stations dispatching. Most fire codes also require bright strobe lights as part of the siren fixture. For people with hearing problems, strobes can be the difference between life and death.

Fire detection and reporting systems are, without a doubt, one of the greatest bargains money can buy. Their goal is to eliminate or greatly reduce the disastrous effects of structure fires. Please strip from this writing one vital question. Ask yourself this question when you see news coverage or learn of fire deaths and major property loss from fires. The question: “Did this family or business have 24×7 monitored fire detection, sirens/strobe and automatic reporting to a Central Station? ” Let the answer be your Wisdom! If there had been 24×7 monitoring of fire equipment, there could have been early detection and rapid response from the nearest Fire Department. Without 24×7 monitoring, quick dispatch and lifesaving response could not be automatic.

Soon you will see and learn here how fires are classified by the professionals and insurance companies. You will learn more about preventing structure fire. However, the point of this blog is to create wisdom and experience so that you can act before you are the victim. Structure fires will continue to justify having Fire Department Stations distributed in communities. Fires WILL HAPPEN. Undetected, un-reported, disastrous fires don’t have to happen to you!

Next time we’ll examine how and why insurance companies grant substantial discount when monitored fire alarm systems are present and maintained.

Your thoughts and questions are always welcome. Thank you for investing your time.

TOM KUNKEL – President & GM – Access Security, Inc.


Greetings.  Following up on Why Monitored Fire Equipment Works a couple of weeks ago, I’d like to share How Monitored Fired Equipment works.

By National Fire Code, all commercial and residential fire equipment designed to detect “particulates” uses either radiative chamber analysis, photo electric analysis or energy beams for large and possibly very dusty or dirty environments.  The most used is photo electric.  It does the most reliable and affordable detection.  All three methods of detection result in the monitored circuit going CLOSED on detection.  The alarm proceeds from that event.  Fire equipment includes communicators (telephone line) or cellular based.  Both are supervised to ensure that the equipment is self-testing and ready 100% of the time.  Once an alarm happens, the communicator contacts the Central Station where the data is converted into an Alarm Event and Dispatched by Central Station Operators.  Typically, the time from initial discovery to dispatch is measured in seconds.  Data records are kept on location within the equipment, at the Central Station and at the Local 911 Center that broadcasts the alarm to waiting Fire Departments.

Knowing more about how the equipment and procedures operate makes clearer why losses are reduced or eliminated.  In my first post we looked “back in time”, after a total loss, to learn if it could have been prevented or mitigated.  Monitored Fire Systems are not only very effective, but they also come at such a small fraction of the risk value as to make them a “no brainer”.

Next time we’ll look at the Audible Response of Fire Alarm Systems.

Your thoughts and comments are always welcome.


Tom Kunkel – 10/05/2016

I manage Access Security, Inc. and Access Monitoring, Inc.  We serve Washington State Counties: Thurston, Lewis, Grays Harbor, Pacific, Cowlitz and Clark.  We have been installing and servicing Honeywell Intrusion Equipment since 1989.

Consider that your home or business had a small, undiscovered, fire that grew out of control.  The entire structure was lost as well as all the contents, furniture and treasures.  Assume we’ve known each other for a long time.  Now, walk with me down the road into the future.  You turn and look back at the mess where your building and life once thrived.  The burn smell still fills the air.

You ask, “Tom, did I miss something?  Was there anything that I could or should have done to prevent this awful fire?”  “Sure, I say”, trying not to sound like I told you so, “Friend, the cost of monitored fire protection is literally pennies per day.  Not only that, savings on insurance can be as much as 20% annually.  If you had it to do again, I’m sure you would have taken action before you became a victim.”

Your thoughts and comments welcome.

Look for the next edition of WHY MONITORED FIRE ?…coming soon.