In 1818 Charles and Jeremiah Chubb patented their Detector Lock, and it's a good thing for society that they did.
It was the first secure lock mechanism invented and it marked the beginning of the Chubb organisation's almost 200 years of innovation and experience in security, from protecting the Crown Jewels of England to providing secure vaults for some of the world's most prestigious central banks.
Chubb is part of UTC Fire & Security, a United Technologies Corporation business unit which provides fire safety and security solutions to more than one million customers around the world. Chubb provides total security solutions in the areas of monitoring and response, electronic security, fire safety, security personnel, cash in transit and physical security.
The company has access to an impressive range of products including voice pattern and eye-scanning access control systems, air sampling smoke detection systems and a vault that is designed to resist all known types of drills and conventional explosives.
"Our long history of achievement is very important since it helps us to attract and retain talent," says Mark Brisson, managing director, Chubb Hong Kong, Macau & Taiwan, which during the last 40 years has become the largest fire and security company in Hong Kong.
Chubb's recent include Two ifc, West Kowloon reclamation, Hong Kong International Airport and KCR expansions in Hong Kong plus the Venetian Hotel and Casino in Macau.
The company is also active in the residential high-rise scene as well as government and high-end corporate work.
Last year, among the many awards it received, Chubb was honoured with the President's Award for outstanding performance out of a field of 48 international contenders. The company's dedication to continuous improvement in the fields of safety, financial performance, business ethics and employee satisfaction contributed to winning this prestigious award.
"It is our culture to continuously improve our processes so that we deliver better customer service," says Mr Brisson. "UTC has a rigorous programme called Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE). We use the ACE tools in our everyday business to relentlessly improve our internal processes and therefore deliver better value to our customers. In 2006 we were the first Chubb business in the world to achieve the UTC silver rating which was in recognition of the team's exceptional work."
As business continues to expand, Chubb is currently looking for a number of engineers, both new graduates and experienced managers with five to eight years of project management experience, to fill positions in Hong Kong and Macau.
"Qualified project engineers who join either our electronic security or fire business would be allocated to projects that allowed them to build on their existing skills in design," says Mr Brisson. "Typically, a project engineer in our electronic security business would inspect floor plans and confirm that the most suitable security-related equipment was being installed." Project engineers work with sales engineers who design the systems to protect the customers' premises, and then work directly with the customer to make sure that expectations are met. The project engineers are also responsible for the testing and commissioning of security or fire systems to ensure that high quality standards are met. Initially, newly-formed teams, under the careful guidance of more experienced managers, might be allocated smaller projects and with more experience they would be given the opportunity to tackle more sophisticated projects such as an integrated bank security system or high-rise system.
"We are also looking for top class engineering graduates who have good communications skills, team spirit and positive attitudes towards work," Mr Brisson explains. "The actual skills required to install a fire protection system or test a security surveillance system are acquired through our comprehensive in-house and on-site product training and testing," Mr Brisson notes.
All new employees are given training in Chubb's core values and its code of ethics. There is a big emphasis on work safety as well as on quality. The company has a policy of promoting from within, and strong individuals can be selected for management training. This can lead to wide career options throughout Chubb and beyond to the corporate entities of UTC Fire & Security and UTC, which includes Otis elevators, Hamilton Sundstrand electrical power generation and distribution systems, Carrier heating ventilation air conditioning and refrigeration systems, Pratt and Whitney aircraft engines, Sikorsky helicopters and aircraft, and UTC Power, which operates fuel cell systems for the US space shuttle programme.
For Mr Brisson, the company represents more than just his life's work. "I have a strong sense that we make an important contribution to the well-being of society," he says. "We have a wide range of customers, and through our fire and security solutions we are able to save lives and protect property."