Every year, just after Mother’s Day, alarms go off for Bay Alarm.

Buy it’s not anything to worry about. Savvy bargain hunters and antique dealers just know they’d better get up early for Bay Alarm’s annual garage sale benefitting COTS. People come so early that Branch Manager John Reynolds and a few of his crew have taken to camping out in the parking lot the night before so that they can be ready for a swarm of early birds.

Teamwork like that and service to the community are the part of the reason Bay Alarm boasts one of the lowest employee turnover rates in the county, says Office Manager and Sales Coordinator Erica Suisala. “One in every five employees has been here over 15 years,” she says. “We like our jobs.”

Petaluma’s Bay Alarm is one of only 17 branches of a family-owned company founded in the post-war years. Bay Alarm is now the largest privately owned security company in the nation. The Petaluma branch employs about 50 people and serves a mix of businesses and households.

The garage sale is all hands-on deck project for several months, Erica says. The team donates items themselves and picks up truckloads from their colleagues at other branches. We at COTS also put out the word to our supporters, and Bay Alarm graciously accepts everything from dolls and china to armoires and living room sets. In advance of the sale, every nook and cranny of the office gives way to furniture, appliances and knickknacks.

On the day of the sale, the team augments its proceeds by selling hotdogs and beverages. One of Bay Alarm’s Field Supervisors Daniel brings out his accordion, too. “People can pay him to play or not to play,” says Erica. “It’s their choice.” She declines to say how the voting skews.

COTS is one of Bay Alarm’s favorite causes because “How could you not want to help homeless people?” Erica asks. “They’re right here where we live.”

The branch also participated in the Suicide Prevention Walk last year, and, once COVID has less of a hold on our lives, they plan on taking a vote among the employees to choose an additional cause or two.

COVID put their plans for a garage sale on hold this year, but they’re eager to bring it back next year. We are so grateful for Bay Alarm’s support and advocacy.

Thank you, Bay Alarm!

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