Call to Action – The Threat to Central Station Service

A Call to Action from TMA Executive Director Jay Hauhn

TMA members participate on Standards Development Organization (SDO) committees in the development of standards that impact our industry. Despite our best efforts, SDOs occasionally adopt standards language that is harmful to TMA members. Such standards actions can also restrict the service provider preferences of fire and security practitioners, or, may not be in the public’s best interests. When onerous language is enacted, it is crucial that TMA has a strategy to work within established SDO processes to respond appropriately.

TMA members, your immediate attention to a current situation is requested. Three years ago the 2016 edition of NFPA 72, The National Fire Code, was modified to include language that negatively impacted NRTL-listed Central Stations. The language in the code was amended to support municipalities that prescribe through an alarm ordinance what monitoring entity is allowed to monitor fire alarm signals in their municipality. More often than not, that is a single monitoring facility owned or contracted by the municipality. Our effort to overturn this change to the 2016 National Fire Code was unsuccessful.

NFPA 72 is updated every three years. A proposal was submitted by a TMA member to amend the 2019 edition of NFPA 72 to allow NRTL-listed Central Stations to monitor fire alarms without unfair obstruction. The technical committees responsible for the 2019 edition of NFPA 72 have essentially completed their review of changes to the code, and our member’s proposal was rejected. TMA plans to contest this at the June 2018 NFPA event.

It is important to note that standards typically define a minimum requirement. Allowing a higher level of performance that exceeds the minimum requirement is the normal practice. It is unusual for language in a standard to require that a higher level of service require specific approval. This is particularly onerous given that NRTL-listed Central Stations are the gold standard of fire alarm monitoring.

If you are a NRTL-listed Central Station, this issue directly impacts the life safety services you provide your customers. TMA’s effort at the 2015 meeting was defeated as the issue was unfairly portrayed as usurping an AHJ’s authority. We must have sufficient TMA representation at the June 2018 NFPA meeting to contest this action. Our effort to amend the 2016 version of NFPA 72 failed because TMA did not have sufficient representation attend the 2015 meeting and vote.

If monitoring fire alarms is part of your business, you should consider your presence mandatory at the June 2018 annual meeting. Without your attendance, fire alarm monitoring by NRTL-listed Central Stations can be significantly curtailed!

TMA member companies need to send associates to the NFPA meeting in June of 2018. In order to vote at the June Technical Meeting, the attendee must have been a member of NFPA for six months. NFPA membership is an individual membership, not a company membership. The annual cost to belong to NFPA is $175 per individual.

Preparing for action is not complicated

While we know that our member companies all have employees that belong to NFPA, we do not have a database that reflects the names of the actual NFPA members. It is impossible at this time to determine how many members will attend. We will be working to compile that data.

To vote at the 2018 meeting, an attendee must have been a member of NFPA by December 1, 2017.

Please assure that your current employees who are NFPA members renew their membership for 2018 by December 1, 2017.

Join or renew NFPA membership now.: http://catalog.nfpa.org

Please have additional employees join NFPA by the December 1, 2017 date. Joining does not mean the employees will be obligated to attend the June meeting. However, the six month membership requirement requires joining NFPA by December 1. Being proactive is only $175 per employee.

The 2018 NFPA meeting is in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay. Las Vegas is an inexpensive travel location if you plan ahead. Many attendees stay at Luxor and Excalibur where rates are typically under $75 a night. There is a tram between those hotels and Mandalay Bay. Most attendees there to attend the voting session will only need to stay one night.

TMA needs to track participation. Please provide Celia Besore, TMA’s vice president of membership, with information on your current NFPA members, as well as information on those who have joined as a result of this Call to Action. TMA will release updates frequently between now and December 1. You can reach Celia at 703-242-4670 x18 or cbesore@tma.us.

Thank you for your support and action.

Jay Hauhn
Executive Director and CEO
The Monitoring Association

ASAP Recognition Grows at APCO 2017

At this week’s APCO 2017 conference in Denver, The Monitoring Association (TMA) presented two opportunities for PSAPs to learn about ASAP’s winning formula for error reduction, cost containment and faster res2017 ASAP Pop Up Bannerponses to dispatch.

Dozens of PSAP representatives stopped at the TMA booth in the exhibit hall to discuss with TMA staff how the technology works and how it can be implemented.

About 75 conference registrants attended the special session “ASAP to the PSAP: A Win-Win for Public Safety and the Alarm Industry” on August 13. Subject matter expert Bill Hobgood, TMA Executive Director Jay Hauhn, and representatives from PSAPs in New York, Arizona and Washington, DC discussed how the program reduces 9-1-1 processing and response times to alarm events while eliminating telephone calls and miscommunication errors between monitoring centers and PSAPs.

ASAP progress and outreach efforts are seeing results. “What was different from our past appearances at APCO was that this year, there was a significant increase in PSAP personnel who had already heard about ASAP and had already taken steps to educate local decision-makers about its value,” said Hauhn. “We even had a number of PSAPs from states where ASAP is not yet implemented mention to us that they hoped to be the first in their state to do so!”

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TMA Executive Director Jay Hauhn, left, with NENA President Rob McMullen at the TMA ASAP booth at the 2017 APCO Conference in Denver, August 13-16.

 

Rochester/Monroe County’s Merklinger Recognized for Efforts to Advance ASAP in New York State

John M. Merklinger, Director of the Rochester/Monroe County 911 Center and 311 Call Center, was awarded The Monitoring Association’s 2017 Public Sector Award at the 2017 Electronic Security Expo (ESX) Public Safety Luncheon on Friday, June 16, at Music City Center in Nashville. This special honor is given by TMA in recognition of a public sector individual’s contribution to the alarm industry. TMA Executive Director Jay Hauhn presented the award.

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From left: Jay Hauhn, John Merklinger

“New York State was projected to be one of the last states to implement ASAP due to the states unique IT infrastructure,” said Hauhn. “Merklinger, who understood the value ASAP would bring to his center, spearheaded an effort by New York PSAPs to work with the state police to have the needed changes to the state CJIS network funded, scheduled and successfully completed.”

Read more about John Merklinger’s efforts on behalf of the ASAP program.

CSAA Kicks Off CSAA/Verisk Data Exchange Project

The CSAA (Central Station Alarm Association) Board of Directors formally approved the CSAA/Verisk Data Exchange Project at its October 11 annual meeting in Sonoma, CA.

The project goal is to study the impact of professionally monitored alarm systems on insurance risk. This will be accomplished by combining CSAA member alarm system data with Verisk’s proprietary insurance data. Insights from this study could be used in filings for updated discounts with insurance department regulators. This project will also assess the relevancy and value of alarm system data in the insurance underwriting, pricing and claims handling process.

Verisk Analytics (Nasdaq:VRSK) is a leading data analytics provider serving customers in insurance, energy, healthcare, financial services, government, and risk management.

CSAA president Pam Petrow, president/CEO of Vector Security, related that “this project is the most important collaboration between the alarm industry and the insurance industry in a generation. Working together with Verisk will quantify the value of security solutions to reduce risk and give the insurers a reason to offer their policy holders incentives for professionally monitored alarm systems.”

Anthony Canale, vice president of Verisk Crime Analytics, added, “We’re excited to work with CSAA and use alarm system data to create risk models for our insurance stakeholders to help them quantify risk, reduce losses and improve their customers’ experience.”

Jay Hauhn, the executive director of the CSAA, stated that the CSAA/Verisk Exchange Committee (CVEC) will drive this data collection and analysis project and include several subcommittees.

Keith Jentoft, president of Videofied and a strong advocate of insurance/security alliances, has been appointed to chair the CVEC and is working with CSAA members to organize the committees and define project milestones. Don Young, COO of Protection 1, has been appointed as the board liaison giving the CSAA Board oversight and direction to the CVEC.

 

Stanley Security Implements ASAP®

“Automated Secure Alarm Protocol” is Spreading Nationwide

Stanley Security, one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive security providers, went live with ASAP® in the city of Richmond, VA on October 22.

“We understand that this program is an important step forward for both our industry and for law enforcement, and we are proud to be part of this transformational process in public safety,” said Steve Walker, Vice President of Customer Service for Stanley. “The electronic communication of alarm information will reduce dispatch times, improve the accuracy of data exchanged between the monitoring center and the PSAP and, most importantly, will create the opportunity for law enforcement to respond more quickly to alarms.”

ASAP-Concept1D“The addition of Stanley is a big step in the advancement of ASAP,” said CSAA Executive Director Jay Hauhn. “The growth of the program this year has been tremendous. With the numbers of ASAP-active alarm companies and interested PSAPs, I believe we have reached the point where we will see widespread deployment in 2016.”

“We have appreciated the capable support of Bill Hobgood (Project Manager, Public Safety Team Department of Information Technology City of Richmond, VA) in helping us to navigate through the procedural challenges of implementing the ASAP-to-PSAP program,” continued Walker. “We have also appreciated the support of our partners at IBS in adapting the SBN monitoring automation platform to successfully leverage the ASAP-to-PSAP communications.”

Looking ahead, Walker commented, “We’re moving forward to expand our ASAP implementation at Stanley to include the other PSAPs in the DC area and have set our sights on going live in Houston in early 2016.”

ASAP was launched in 2011 as a public-private partnership, designed to increase the efficiency and reliability of emergency electronic signals from central station alarm companies to Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs). ASAP utilizes ANSI standard protocols developed cooperatively by the Association of Public Communications Officials (APCO) and the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA).

With ASAP, critical life safety signals and accurate information is processed more quickly, through the Nlets system of state-to-state PSAP communication, insuring that complete and accurate information is transmitted to the PSAP every time. The ASAP program has the potential to save PSAPs and emergency services millions of dollars.

 

For more information on ASAP or to access ASAP resources (videos, webinars, training and outreach materials), contact CSAA at asap@csaaintl.org or 703-242-4670, or visit csaaintl.org/asap.

 

CSAA’s Hauhn to Moderate Panel at Cloud+

CSAA Executive Director Jay Hauhn will moderate a panel at “Cloud+”, the security industry’s first conference dedicated to all things cloud on December 7-8 in Silicon Valley at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Foster City, CA.

CSAA members can register for a special rate. Click here  to register and enter CSAA15 promotional code to get the CSAA discount.

Cloud is the new frontier in physical security, and Cloud+ is the only event where security dealers, integrators, monitoring companies and other security professional can delve into how cloud technology is now reshaping the security industry, what the potential is for the future and how cloud will affect companies’ bottom lines. Cloud+ is the only place to see physical security cloud technology in one room: The conference exhibit hall will be focused solely on cloud-based technology.

Click here to see the educational program, which will explore ROI, business models and technology. It also includes an educational session on central stations in the cloud. It will feature frank discussions, spirited debates and speakers who are among the industry’s most knowledgeable and well-respected cloud experts. Jay Hauhn will moderate “The Central Station Transformed” with panelists Cliff Dice, President and CEO, Dice; Hank Goldberg, Vice President, Secure Global Solutions (SGS); and Jens Kolind, President and CEO, Innovative Business Software (IBS).

CSAA Annual Meeting: “People will really have to ask themselves why they were not there?”

CSAA Annual Meeting Draws Raves from Attendees

First Year of Multi-Year Reimagining of CSAA’s Signature Event a Hit with Members

Security industry professionals explored their leadership styles, received tools and insights for dealing with health insurance trends, crisis communications and cyber security, and discussed technology trends and legal issues last week in Sonoma, CA. The 2015 CSAA International Annual Meeting garnered rave reviews from attendees, who attended at the highest rate since 2008.

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CSAA Annual Meeting participants at Dr. Robert Rohm’s interactive leadership session, “Why Can’t You Be Normal…Like Me!” Photo by Brandon Freedman.

The 2015 meeting marked the beginning of a multi-year reimagining of CSAA’s annual event. “We have been delighted with the member feedback on the revamped Annual Meeting,” said CSAA President Pam Petrow, President and CEO of Vector Security. “The responses have been overwhelmingly positive and confirm we are headed in the right direction.”

With the goal that attendees would have an experience that added value to their business, CSAA assembled a roster of expert presenters to share information to help members change and improve their business practices. So strong was the participation throughout the education sessions that the room was still full for the last session on the last day.

“President Petrow and I saw this meeting as a bellwether event for CSAA, where we would present a vision for where we wanted to take the association during her tenure,” said CSAA Executive Director Jay Hauhn. “We created an agenda that was much different from our traditional programs. We eliminated having the same speakers as in previous years, just giving updates on what’s changed in the last 12 months. We threw away the old agendas, and started from scratch with a laser focus on evolving member needs. Judging from our members’ participation and feedback, we succeeded in presenting a program that will have a real and meaningful impact on their businesses.”

“I thought every session held was relevant, to business and specifically our industry,” said CSAA member Howard Sanders, VP of Operations, Kings III. “I look forward to coming back next year!”

“The CSAA Annual Meeting was a great event,” said first-time attendee Justin Bailey, COO, AvantGuard Monitoring Centers. “I’ve learned a lot from the courses and from rubbing shoulders with some of the leaders of the industry. I’m planning on returning for 2016, and I look forward to what I can learn there and the connections I can make. “

The conference included plenty of networking opportunities for members, both onsite at formal and informal gatherings, and offsite at special events that took advantage of the setting in Sonoma wine country. This format allowed members to get acquainted and for associate and consultant members to engage with CSAA’s North American and international alarm company members. “[This was] actually one of the best and most relevant Annual Meetings I’ve been to,” said Chuck Speck, president of Bold Technologies. “As an associate member, it’s really encouraging to see the focal changes on the association becoming more geared toward growth, content and development. There’s a tremendous amount of value there, and I hope that message gains traction throughout the industry.”

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Richard Beary, president, International Association of Chiefs of Police, and Terrence Cunningham, first vice president, IACP, participate in the AHJs luncheon with CSAA members. Photo by Brandon Freedman.

A unique aspect of the CSAA Annual Meeting is the presence of Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) representatives. The 2015 event included the largest representation of AHJs in several years, including Chiefs of Police, Fire Chiefs, and Sheriffs. These groups were allotted time to meet separately by themselves and with the CSAA members, so that they could engage with each other and then bring their own unique challenges to the attention of the alarm industry.

“My expectations were exceeded tremendously at our CSAA annual meeting,” said Ralph Sevinor, president of Wayne Alarm Systems. “This was the first time we had our general manager, Jeff Kahn, attend, and he told me that he felt so motivated and confident after the event, and that he could not recall at any other industry event such an open dialogue at such a high level.”

“This CSAA annual meeting was an amazing experience,” Sevinor added. “People will really have to ask themselves why they were not there?”      

At the event, CSAA announced that the 2016 Annual Meeting will be held at the Marco Island (FL) Marriott Beach Resort, October 22-27.  “We will continue to build on 2015’s success for the 2016 Annual Meeting and welcome comments related to content and format,” said President Petrow.

CSAA President Pam Petrow, Keynote Speaker Stan Stahl, Ph.D., and CSAA Executive Director Jay Hauhn. Photo by Brandon Freedman.

CSAA President Pam Petrow, Keynote Speaker Stan Stahl, Ph.D., and CSAA Executive Director Jay Hauhn. Photo by Brandon Freedman.

The 2015 CSAA Annual Meeting program included:

  • Meeting the Information Security Management Challenge: The Financial Implications of Cybercrime on the Alarm Monitoring Industry — Stan Stahl, Ph.D.
  • Protect Your Reputation: Crisis Management in the Cyber Age — David Margulies, Margulies Communications
  • “Why Can’t You Be Normal…Like Me!” — Robert A. Rohm, Ph.D., Personality Insights
  • This is Going to Pinch! National Market Trends in Health Care and How They Will Affect Your Bottom Line: A Panel Presentation by National Experts Representing Health Insurance Carriers and Brokers
  • Business Impact of Technology and Innovation Speaker: Jay Hauhn, Executive Director, CSAA
  • Legal Concerns in a Tech-Crazy World Speaker: Charles C. Eblen, Esquire, Partner, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, L.L.P.
  • The Communications Landscape Speaker: Syed Zaeem “Z” Hosain, Founder, SVP Engineering and CTO, Aeris Communications, Inc.
  • Innovation in a Services Based Economy–It’s Not Your Father’s Monitoring Business Anymore! — Steven Van Till, President and COO, Brivo Systems, Steve Trundle, CEO, Alarm.com