Arizona enacts statewide alarm licensing
PHOENIX—Statewide alarm licensing has been enacted in Arizona, replacing a web of local regulations that subjected many alarm companies to duplicative background checks and paperwork.
H.B. 2748, passed by the Legislature on April 30 and signed by Gov. Jan Brewer on May 11, pre-empts the licensing requirements in 22 cities. Alarm companies doing business in more than one of those cities had to submit to the licensing process in each of them, with 13 of the municipalities requiring fingerprinting every year.
The result was a lot of unnecessary work and expense, said Maria Malice, president of the Arizona Alarm Association. The AzAA proposed statewide licensing as early as 2000 and spearheaded the latest legislative effort.
“It’s been three very long years,” Malice told Security Systems News. “It’s a lot of red tape gone for us, so everybody is really excited.”
Malice said alarm companies need to maintain their city licenses until May 1, 2013, which is when state registration begins. All companies must be certified by the state on Oct. 1, 2013.
The certificates issued by the Board of Technical Registration will be valid for two years. Malice said companies that are already licensed by the Registrar of Contractors won’t have to file additional paperwork.
“If they have a low-voltage license with the ROC, then they only need to get their agents—who are all the sales, installers and servicemen—licensed by the board,” she said.
Alarm agents and the “controlling person” of each company will still have to submit to a criminal background check, but the fingerprinting will be “one and done,” Malice said.
“The BTR will hold [their fingerprint cards] and run them every year so they don’t have to keep doing it,” she said. “That’s huge. Unless something happens to the card, they’ll never have to get a print again.”
Malice said one drawback of the law is the stipulation that police obtain a court order to get information about an alarm account. “If a customer is disputing [a false alarm] and they’re trying to get it waived, if the police department wants information from the alarm company, they’re going to have to get a subpoena,” she said. “It’s obviously going to slow things down for everyone.”