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SIA working group updates 'keystone' alarm standard

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

To survive, adapt. Those words have become an industry maxim of late. A similar sentiment holds true for those in the standards writing arena who strive to stay current with the technological arc of the industry.

The CP-01 Working Group, a special group of the SIA Intrusion Subcommittee, this week unveiled a false alarm reduction standard that includes definitions for remote devices and updated language, stemming from requests for interpretation from the last update of the standard, completed in 2010.  

Called the ANSI/SIA CP-01-2014, the updated standard is intended for use by manufacturers in the design of control panels and alarm signal receivers, and for reference by security system installers, specifiers, central station operators and manufacturers of central station-related products.

“As technology continues to evolve, it is important that we keep this useful standard up to date with it,” Lou Fiore, chairman of the CP-01 Working Group, said in a prepared statement. “Increasingly, panels are being armed and disarmed using remote devices including smartphones and tablets, we thought it was time to address that in CP-01.”

Revisions to the CP-01 standard have been made over the past two decades in response to technological evolution in the sphere of false alarm reduction. According to a SIA statement, CP-01-compliant panels have been instrumental in reducing false alarms by as much as 90 percent, saving municipalities and responders time and money.

For the next few years, the updated standard will presumably be the measuring stick for due diligence as far as minimizing false alarms. But as anyone in the industry can attest, technological development is unpredictable, so it wouldn’t be too surprising to see this “keystone” CP-01 standard updated again in the next five years. As the industry adapts, so too must its best practices and standards.

SIA announces inaugural award winners

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Security Industry Association has long championed the value of public-private partnerships in the security industry, and a new annual honor given out by the association makes those advocacy efforts abundantly clear.

The Security Industry Association recently announced it will present the first annual Jay Hauhn Excellence in Partnerships Award at SIA Honors Night on Nov. 19, at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers in New York.

The inaugural award, honoring Jay Hauhn, Tyco Integrated Security’s chief technology officer and VP of industry relations, has two recipients: Mike Howard of tech giant Microsoft, and Tom Cellucci of Cellucci and Associates.

Howard, according to a statement from SIA, has been instrumental in forging a collaborative relationship between SIA and the International Security Management Association, a prominent end user organization. Cellucci is being honored for dedicating time to “building a relationship between SIA and the County Executives of America,” according to a SIA statement. He also helped encourage collaboration between SIA and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate.

The annual award is intended for individuals working with SIA member companies who “strengthened collaboration between the association and the industry or end user organizations,” the statement noted. Forms of collaboration could include efforts that pursue common public policy priorities, active involvement in the development of SIA standard proposals, spurring SIA membership growth and leveraging SIA’s educational expertise at conferences or through online education efforts.

“I’m pleased to receive this award, but I’m more pleased to help make vital connections between the security suppliers of SIA and the security practitioners of ISMA,” said Howard. “The alliance between the two organizations will go a long way toward keeping Chief Security Officers informed of advancements in technology as well as providing insights to corporate executives as to the challenges facing Chief Security Officers.”

SIA members possess valuable security industry expertise and experience, while public sector organizations are responsible for the development of detailed operational requirements to ensure the protection of our nation’s people and assets. It’s only reasonable that the public and private sectors work together—in and open and transparent way—to enable our country’s Homeland Security Enterprise to work more efficiently and effectively.”

Senate tweaks House-passed CFATS bill

Senate committee wants to extend authorization interval proposed in House bill, which passed in July
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08/13/2014

WASHINGTON—Bipartisan cooperation and security industry feedback could help secure the passage of a Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards authorization bill before the end of 2014.

ONVIF, SIA announce access control standards cooperation

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06/10/2014

SAN RAMON, Calif.—ONVIF, a global standardization for IP-based physical security products, announced recently that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Security Industry Association, signaling cooperation toward the further development of IP-based interop

Women and security technology

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I’m here at PSA-TEC in Westminster, Colo., where today I had a chance to catch up with Christine Lanning, president of systems integration firm IST.

Christine and her husband Andrew (CEO) founded IST, a PSA Security owner, in 1998. Here’s a story I wrote about the company a couple years ago.  This year, Christine was honored as one of this year’s Women’s Security Council 2014 Women of the Year.

IST just finished moving its headquarters to a new facility that they own, (and saving 30 percent owning rather than leasing, thanks mostly to favorable conditions for an SBA loan.)

It was a year-long transition for IST to deal with permits and build out the new headquarters. “That meant we were without a demo or training space [in house] for a year,” she said.

Christine said they didn’t realize how much they missed having those capabilities in house, for business and training, of course, but also because she’s a techy.

I asked Christine why she got interested in technology.

Her interest started early. Technology was something that was promoted and valued in her home as a child, she said. “Our weekend jaunts were to Radio Shack where we’d get circuit boards to solder LED lights to.”

In high school Christine was the only girl in an elective electronics class.

Christine has an undergraduate degree in business and a Master’s degree in IT. At grad school in Hawaii, she was one of three women out of 50 students in the class.

Christine met Andrew when they were both working at an alarm company in Hawaii. They left that alarm company to start IST. Christine ran the business side, until as the company grew, it became clear that the company techs didn’t understand IT—a necessity for IST, which always did systems integration. “In 2004, I took over operations. I still ran administration and accounting, but I was really pushing that IT knowledge to the staff."

She’d sit the staff down for “lunch and learns" regularly. “I’d have discussions with the staff about IT: What does ARP mean? Trace RT? How do you ping a device? We had conversations about how to do things.”

And she’d go out in the field and teach techs to mount cameras, program devices in the field, patch systems, configure servers.

Is her teaching style different from a guy tech? Perhaps. She describes her approach as collaborative. She may be the boss, but “what I’ve found is that people really respond when you talk to them as a peer.”

As I’ve written many times in this space, there’s a dearth of women in the security industry, but only a small percentage of the women in security have either a technical role or work closely with technicians and engineers. That may be starting to change however. Women are beginning to be welcomed—even recruited—into those roles, at least among the smartest integrators.

While Christine and I were talking in the lobby of the Westin Westminster, we saw Bethany Taylor, who I learned from Christine, is the director of operations for Dakota Security. She oversees the engineering group at Dakota. And, after the interview I ran into Kirsten Klokis, who works for Northland Control Systems. Kirsten came to Northland out of college and is learning all aspects of the business, including spending time in the field with the technicians.

SIA is actively working to get young people interested in technical entry level jobs in the security industry. It's launching a security degree program at a community college in New Jersey next year. And, SIA, ISC West and the Women's Security Council are creating a scholarship for a woman to attend the college program. Here's that story. Asked where else the industry should look for women who may be interested in security, Christine Lanning suggested women with a military background.

"They have great training, understand structure, and are used to working in a male-dominated environment," she said.

ESA takes to the Hill

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

ESA just wrapped up its annual Day on Capitol Hill, bringing to the attention of lawmakers several topics of consequence for the security industry, including school security.

The ESA has positioned itself as a partner with Security Industry Association in developing a comprehensive guide to help end users and legislators better understand what electronic security technologies they have at their disposal to bolster school security.

“Most school districts don’t know what type of security to install, and many legislators don’t understand all the technology that’s out there and what exists,” said Daniel Gelinas, who attended the event in his capacity as government liaison for Rapid Response Monitoring. ESA’s Electronic Security Guidelines for Schools, he said, were designed as an authoritative resource to address that knowledge gap.  

The timing of the school security guide is especially good, in light of the latest appropriations act cleared by Congress in January, which contains $75 million in funding for assessing methods to improve school security.

But ESA’s activities on the Hill weren’t limited just to school security matters. The association and industry members are also pushing for expanding the industry’s access to the FBI’s background check database, allowing security companies to better vet their employees for prior criminal activity.

Gelinas said the pair of bills addressing this (one in the House, another in the Senate) would not be a mandate. Rather, if enacted, they would allow security companies in the 26 states without the licensing requirement for the database to access it.

The organization was also in the Capitol promoting funding measures that would protect against elderly abuse through expanded use of video surveillance in nursing homes. Gelinas noted that this would not be a mandate for health care facilities, but would instead give concerned families the option to use electronic security systems to ensure that elderly relatives are getting proper medication and care.

The final area of focus for ESA was getting Congress to back a balanced approach for smoke alarms and other early fire detection systems, putting them on “the same footing as sprinklers” when it comes to receiving tax incentives and government grants, Gelinas said. That would involve amending the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act to include life safety, fire and smoke alarms.

I plan to give more space to this final issue, and some of the aforementioned ones, in an upcoming legislative roundup.

Silent Knight fire/CO detector wins top SIA honors

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04/24/2014

NORTHFORD, Conn.—Silent Knight by Honeywell’s IntelliKnight SK-FIRE-CO fire and carbon monoxide detector has been named the top fire/life safety solution in the Security Industry Association’s New Product Showcase (NPS) competition, the company announced in April.

What does the Ryan-Murray deal do for integrators?

By eliminating near-term cuts from the sequester, the bipartisan deal increases DHS appropriations from 2013 levels
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03/05/2014

WASHINGTON—Hailed in some corners as a rare example of political compromise, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, known as the Ryan-Murray agreement, could also be the near-term fiscal solution that integrators are looking for.

SIA hire signals new focus for group

SIA will concentrate on regulatory affairs with new legislative director Jake Parker
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01/22/2014

WASHINGTON— In an appointment designed to bring about some shifts in the organization’s direction, the Security Industry Association has hired Jake Parker, a 12-year veteran of Capitol Hill, as its new government relations director, Don Erickson, CEO of SIA, told Security Systems News.

Integrator opportunity with CFATS

SIA working on legislation to better manage CFATS performance guidelines, establish permanently authorized standards
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01/15/2014

WASHINGTON—Integrators could reap the benefits of a bill in the works that would improve how DHS manages a set of performance-based guidelines for high-risk chemical facilities, known as the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards or CFATS.

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