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CSAA opens registration for annual meeting


VIENNA, Va.—Registration for CSAA’s annual meeting, held in Sonoma, Calif., this year, is now open. The meeting will be hosted at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, Oct. 10-14.

Monitoring companies called to action on NFPA vote

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The alarm monitoring industry is taking notice of the NFPA. There are two motions proposed for vote at NFPA’s meeting this year that could have a serious impact on the industry. This pair of motions directly refers to the NFPA 72 Nation Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, which, in the current draft of the 2016 edition states that listed central stations can be used for fire alarm monitoring. A group based in northern Illinois opposes this language, and seeks to alter it, giving local municipalities more authority in the matter.

“What’s happening in Chicago is that some of these communities are operating their own monitoring center. … This [code] would enable that community to have an effective monopoly on alarm monitoring,” said Kevin Lehan, executive director for the Illinois Electronic Security Association and EMERgency24’s manager of public relations.

Lehan noted that, while the authority pushing these motions is from Chicago, it is still a national code. “This is a nationwide problem. If this can happen in Illinois … it could happen in [any community].”

Jay Hauhn, CSAA's executive director, agreed, saying that if either of the motions passed, “other municipalities may see it as a revenue opportunity and also seek to prohibit the use of non-government monitoring centers.”

“The big problem is: This is happening in Illinois, and it’s being challenged by the Illinois fire inspectors,” Ed Bonifas, executive VP of Alarm Detection Systems, told me. “The fire departments that feel this way the most can come out in force, because it happens to be here.”

The vote will be held at the NFPA’s 2015 meeting, at McCormick Place in Chicago, June 25. In order to vote, you must have been a member of NFPA before Dec. 25, 2014, and you must be there in person to vote.

“Right now the language that is in place … for the revised 2016 edition states that the AHJ shall allow central stations to provide this service,” Lehan said. The first motion, 72-8, seeks to alter this language, adding the prefix "When permitted by the Authority Having Jurisdiction,” again giving the AHJ the ability to disallow independent central stations as an option for fire alarm monitoring. This motion would revert the language to how it appeared in the previous, 2013, edition.

The second motion affecting this code, motion 72-9, would entirely strike the line referring to central stations,, from the code. CSAA, as well as others in the industry, are pushing for a negative vote for both motions.

“If either one of those motions passes, customers will not necessarily … have the ability to use UL-listed monitoring centers for their [fire monitoring],” Hauhn said. 

“The alarm industry here in Illinois has been struggling with the fire service that wants to monitor alarms and prevent alarm companies from doing the same,” Bonifas said. “It’s my contention that there’s a huge conflict of interest when the authority—the fire department—is participating in the business, and then is able to be the one to decide who else can participate,” he said.

A negative vote on both motions would not exclude municipalities from providing monitoring, but instead, ensure that listed central stations are an option.

“All the monitoring industry is trying to do is level the playing field so that government run monitoring centers must meet the same high standards that commercially operated monitoring centers adhere to,” Hauhn said.

“The 2016 draft of the code that’s being considered right now has new language in it that says that listed central stations can monitor alarms. … That sets up a competitive landscape; government can monitor alarms, and private companies can if they follow the code,” Bonifas said. “Competition is good for the consumer because it creates better pricing, but it also creates better service."

UL talks about cybersecurity in UL827

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

When I asked UL’s engineering manager, Steve Schmit, how the ISC West show was going, he said he spent a fair bit of the show discussing the recent updates to UL827, now including requirements for cybersecurity.

“Now with [cybersecurity] in the standard, we’re going to have conversations about [central station’s] network security, how they keep their customers safe,” Schmit told Security Systems News. Cybersecurity is something previous standards hadn’t formally  required, he said.

These cybersecurity measures include firewalls, intrusion detection systems, “risk assessment, developing a mitigation plan, to deal with those risks, and putting that all into practical application,” Schmit said.

UL spent five years developing the latest standard, released in October, Schmit said. It currently has a future effective date of late 2016.

Cybersecurity is a topic that is coming up more in the physical security industry. SSN readers earlier this year pointed toward this trend. CSAA’s annual meeting will even start with a keynote on the subject

Is now the time cybersecurity will start concerning central stations? Has it always been a priority?

I’ve heard from some in the industry that this could really impact monitoring centers looking to get—or—keep UL certification. If you have any insight or opinion on the changes, reach out to me and let me know. My direct line is 207-846-0600 ext. 254, email:

CSAA names speakers for 2015 annual meeting


SONOMA, Calif.—CSAA announced three of the speakers for its 2015 Annual Meeting, to be held here Oct. 10-14, with the keynote speaker, Stan Stahl, Ph.D, discussing cybersecurity.

Vector’s Pamela Petrow named CSAA president

CSAA is ‘old boys’ club’ no more

VIENNA, Va.—Pamela J. Petrow, president and CEO of Vector Security and newly named president of CSAA International, has set her sights on changing the association’s image, improving value for members and increasing member involvement.

American Alarm sends first ASAP response in New England

Program reduces time and error in alarm response

ARLINGTON, Mass.—American Alarm and Communications, an installing central station based here, says it is the first New England monitoring center to use the ASAP program to respond to an alarm signal.

CSAA releases Wage and Salary Survey


VIENNA, Va.—CSAA has released its 2013 Wage and Salary Survey, providing information on compensation practices in monitoring companies.

Jay Hauhn outlines plans for CSAA

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Jay Hauhn, 38-year industry veteran and former Tyco Integrated Systems’ CTO, is the new executive director for CSAA.

Hauhn told Security Systems News his biggest goal is to “increase and drive member value.”  

Hauhn served as president of CSAA, a volunteer role, since October of 2013. In his new role, which begins April 6, he’ll be more involved with the organization’s day-to-day workings.

“Instead of being the [president], with the vision and just stating what it is you want done, when you become executive director it’s your responsibility [to get it done].”

Hauhn also wants to recruit more CSAA volunteers. “To do that, you’ve got to make sure that you have the correct programs in place with a vision of what those programs are going to accomplish.”

Hauhn said that his experience as CTO of Tyco will help him lead CSAA. “It is [the] rapidly escalating and changing technology that is changing the industry.”

“We are a standards-driven industry,” Hauhn said. “So working with UL on the future of the industry is going to be incredibly important. That will really use my technical expertise.”

He cited home automation, eliminating POTS lines, net neutrality and the adoption of CSAA’s ASAP program as examples of current technological changes in the industry.

Hauhn said he considered that possibility of becoming CSAA executive director after Steve Doyle retired in October. He was officially offered the position on March 23.

“I was not really sure I was ready to actually retire. So this gave me an opportunity to come back and do something that’ll be fun, and I know that I can bring CSAA forward,” Hauhn said. 

SureView Systems begins training program

40 course training on Immix platform

TAMPA, Fla.—SureView Systems, a video and event management software provider based here, on March 16 opened an entirely Web-based training course for its Immix platform to all customers.

UCC’s Teresa Gonzalez now on CSAA Board


VIENNA, Va.—Teresa Gonzalez, president of United Central Control, was appointed to the CSAA Board of Directors.