Congratulations to TMA Members Celebrating Anniversaries

Join with TMA staff in congratulating the following TMA members for their long-time service:
1. Tracy Ehrsam is marking her 33rd anniversary at Habitec Security, Inc.
2. Joyce LaFond is marking her 25th anniversary at American Alarm & Communications, Inc.
3. Jennifer Badalich is marking her 7th anniversary at Quick Response Marketing

ASAP Welcomes 85th ECC

The Tucson AZ Public Safety Communications Center is the 85th Emergency Communications Center (ECC) in the United States and 5th ECC in the state of Arizona to implement the Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP).

Tucson went live with Tyco (Johnson Controls),  Vector Security, Rapid Response Monitoring, Security Central, Protection One, AT&T Digital Life, and Vivint initially on Monday, April 19th. Those companies were following by Securitas, Guardian Protection, National Monitoring Center, Alert 360, Brinks, ADT, and Affiliated Monitoring over the course of the three days following April 19th.

Learn more about TMA’s ASAP service.

Vivint Home Security and Universal Atlantic Systems Take Top Excellence Awards

The Monitoring Association (TMA) presented its 2021 Excellence Awards virtually, April 15th. TMA’s Monitoring Center Excellence Awards recognize monitoring centers and outstanding personnel who perform in the highest professional manner, thereby making a significant contribution to the betterment of the alarm industry and the alarm profession while demonstrating exceptional service to their customers and community.

The 2021 Excellence Award Winners are:

2021 Monitoring Center of the Year – Enterprise Level – Vivint Smart Home

2021 Monitoring Center of the Year – Small-to-Medium Business Level – Universal Atlantic Systems (UAS)

2021 Manager of the Year – Jonathan Rainbow, Rapid Response Monitoring Services, Inc.

2021 Operator of the Year – Diandra Dean, Affiliated Monitoring, Inc.

2021 Support Person of the Year(Tied) Michelle Quattrini, Rapid Response Monitoring Services, Inc. and Deepak Bysani, Affiliated Monitoring, Inc.

The purpose of this awards program is to:

  • Establish and promote the inherent value of professional monitoring services in general.
  • Honor those who have made the most significant contributions to the service.
  • Promote the distinct level of professionalism attained by NRTL-approved monitoring centers.

NEW in 2021, TMA introduced a newly restructured Monitoring Center of the Year category for application, which segments entrants based on the size of their business. The new Enterprise Level category welcomed applicants with more than 40,000 subscribers, while the Small-to-Medium Business (SMB) Level category was established for those with 40,000 or less subscribers.

TMA’s Monitoring Center Excellence Awards are co-sponsored by SDM Magazine, which will publish a feature story on the winners in its August issue. Entries are judged by a blue-ribbon volunteer judging panel appointed by TMA.

Portsmouth, VA ECC – 84th ASAP-to-PSAP

The Portsmouth VA Emergency Communications Center is the 84th ECC in the United States and 15th ECC in the state of Virginia to implement the Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP). Portsmouth went live with Rapid Response, Vector Security and Richmond Alarm at 8:30am EDT on Tuesday, April 13th followed by Guardian Protection, CPI, Protection one, Brinks, AT&T Digital Life, Vivint, National Monitoring Center, Securitas, Tyco (Johnson Controls), Security Central, ADT, and Affiliated Monitoring.

Learn more about the benefits of TMA’s ASAP-to-PSAP service.

ADT wins 2021 TMA/SSI Monitoring Technology “Marvel” Award

The Monitoring Association (TMA) and Security Sales & Integration (SSI) Magazine Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher Scott Goldfine had the honor of presenting the 2021 TMA/SSI Monitoring Technology “Marvel” Award to Florida-based ADT, LLC virtually this afternoon for its SoSecure app. Leah Page, Vice President, Mobile Security & Strategic Projects, ADT, accepted the award on behalf of winning company.

This award honors innovations in monitoring center technology. It is co-sponsored by TMA and Security Sales & Integration (SSI) and coordinated by the TMA Technology Committee. The purpose of the Marvel Award is to provide recognition for monitoring centers creating and/or using cutting-edge technology and to raise awareness of these new technologies.

SoSecure by ADT is an iOS and Android safety app. It gives customers access to ADT’s 24/7 professional monitoring and emergency response with a simple swipe, tap, or voice command on their mobile phone. GPS location, personally identifiable details, and any available contextual data is shared with emergency responders unless the user indicates (with authentication) that the request was an accident. With an estimated 240 million calls made to 911 in the U.S. annually, often with limited location data according to NENA, this can potentially be lifesaving.

ADT also notifies family and friends in case of an emergency, providing added reassurance. SoSecure’s core safety features, including sending an SOS alert by sliding a button or via SMS chat, are free for everyone.

Learn more about the innovative technologies that ADT and this year’s awards finalists, Acadian Monitoring Services and General Monitoring Services, Inc., have engineered in the August 2021 issue of SSI Magazine.

New Dialing Procedure for Texas Customers

Courtesy of AICC

Ten-digit dialing instituted to facilitate access to National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Source: Texas Public Utility Commission)

LUBBOCK, Texas (NEWS RELEASE) – Starting on April 24, 2021, Texans with phone numbers in the 254, 361, 409, 806, 830, 915 and 940 area codes should get in the habit of dialing 10-digits (area code + telephone number) for all local calls.

On July 16, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission  issued an Order (FCC 20-100) approving 988 as the three-digit abbreviated dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The Order requires all telecommunications providers (including telecommunications carriers, interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol [VoIP] providers, and one-way VoIP providers [covered providers]) to make any network changes necessary to ensure 988 access by July 16, 2022.

Several Texas area codes (254, 361, 409, 806, 830, 915 and 940) have numbers with a 988 prefix.  Therefore, those areas must transition from seven-digit to 10-digit local dialing. (Areas shown in yellow on this map are not affected by this change.)

April 24, 2021 marks the beginning of a “permissive dialing period” in which callers in those area codes can still complete a call with seven-digit dialing. When that period expires on October 24, 2021, only calls dialed with ten digits will be connected.

After the permissive dialing period, local calls dialed with only seven digits will reach a recording prompting them to hang up and dial again using both the area code with the seven-digit telephone number.

What other changes need to be made?

Important safety and security equipment, such as medical alert devices, and alarm and security systems must be programmed to use 10-digit dialing.  Many systems operate on 10-digit dialing by default, but some older equipment may still use seven-digits.  Please contact your medical alert or security provider if you are not sure whether your equipment needs to be reprogrammed to accommodate the upcoming change to 10-digit local dialing.  Any needed reprogramming of alarm and home security equipment must be done during the permissive dialing period from April 24, 2021 to October 24, 2021 to avoid interruption of those services.

Some other examples of services that may need to be re-programmed are:

  • life safety systems or medical monitoring devices
  • PBXs
  • fax machines
  • Internet dial-up numbers
  • fire or burglar alarm and security systems or gates
  • speed dialers
  • mobile or other wireless phone contact lists
  • call forwarding settings
  • voicemail services and other similar functions

Customers should also ensure the area code is included in all other places where a telephone number is displayed like their websites, personal and business stationery, advertising materials, personal and business checks, and even personal or pet ID tags.

What will remain the same?

  • Telephone numbers, including current area code, will not change
  • The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the dialing change
  • What is a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number of digits dialed
  • Customers will continue to dial 1+ the area code + telephone number for all long-distance calls
  • Customers will continue to dial a prefix (such as “9”) when dialing from a multi-line telephone system (e.g., in a hotel, office building, etc.) as required
  • Customers can still dial just three digits to reach 711 (relay services) and 911 (emergency services)
  • If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, or 811 are currently available in one’s community, they can still be dialed with just three digits
  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can still be reached by dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255) even after the 988 code is in effect.

Beginning July 16, 2022, dialing “988” will route calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Customers must continue to dial 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) to reach the Lifeline until July 16, 2022.

To learn more, visit the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) website at https://www.nationalnanpa.com/transition_to_10_digit_dialing_for_988/index.html, email NANPA at 988@somos.com with questions about the dialing procedure change, or visit the FCC website at https://www.fcc.gov/suicide-prevention-hotline.

TMA Announces Awards Finalists

TMA is pleased to announce the finalists for its 2021 Excellence Awards and its Marvel Technology Award. The awards will be presented virtual on Thursday, April 15th at 3:30PM/ET, immediately following the General Membership Meeting. Registration is required for attendance. Register online at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6195707754569565199

Please join in congratulating our finalists. 

This year, the Excellence Awards competition received a total 39 entries across the four categories. Listed in alphabetical order by company within each category, the finalists are:

Monitoring Center of the Year – Enterprise Level:

  1. COPS Monitoring
  2. NMC
  3. Vivint Smart Home

Monitoring Center of the Year – Small-to-Medium Business Level:

  1. Engineered Protection Systems, Inc. (EPS)
  2. Universal Atlantic Systems (UAS)
  3. Wayne Alarm Systems

Monitoring Center Manager of the Year:

  1. Shelley McQuigge, Alarm Systems
  2. Jonathan Rainbow, Rapid Response Monitoring Services, Inc.
  3. Josh Sanders, EPS

Monitoring Center Operator of the Year:

  1. Diandra Dean, Affiliated Monitoring, Inc.
  2. Latisha Jenkins, UAS
  3. Jonathan Spruill, CPI Security

Monitoring Center Support Person of the Year:

  1. Deepak Bysani, Affiliated Monitoring, Inc.
  2. Michelle Quattrini, Rapid Response Monitoring Services, Inc.
  3. Nick Salmond, AvantGuard Monitoring

“This past year was an exceptionally challenging year for many monitoring centers within our membership community. The companies and the professionals in their employ demonstrated amazing courage, determination, and passion for their work and those in their care. Their commitment to excellence was never more evident,” stated TMA President Don Young. “This year we welcomed an outstanding pool of entrants to the awards competition – both in terms of the quantity and quality of the applicants. And, once again, their achievements challenge and inspire all of us to renew our own commitment to excellence in our work.”

NEW in 2021, TMA introduced a newly restructured Monitoring Center of the Year category for application, which segments entrants based on the size of their business. The new Enterprise Level category welcomed applicants with more than 40,000 subscribers, while the Small-to-Medium Business (SMB) Level category was established for those with 40,000 or less subscribers. In all, the Monitoring Center of the Year Award categories accepted 16 entries (Enterprise-9; SMB-7).

A specially-appointed Task Force thoroughly reviewed the TMA Excellence Awards competition earlier this year to evaluate all aspects of the application, judging, and awards process. The goal of the Task Force was to assess each individual portion of the competition to confirm that the criteria and valuation was in line with current monitoring center business, operations, and technical best practices. In terms of judging, the Task Force sought to increase transparency and broaden the number and expertise of its judging panel. The Task Force also sought input and validation directly from TMA members as part of the overall evaluation process.

The finalists for the TMA/SSI Monitoring Technology “Marvel” Award are:

  • Acadian Monitoring Services
  • ADT, LLC
  • General Monitoring Services, Inc. (GMS)

This award honors innovations in monitoring center technology. It is co-sponsored by TMA and Security Sales & Integration (SSI) and coordinated by the TMA Technology Committee.

The purpose of the Marvel Award is to provide recognition for monitoring centers creating and/or using cutting-edge technology to raise awareness of these new technologies. “Technological innovation is the cornerstone of our industry,” said TMA Technology Committee Co-Chair Sascha Kylau, OneTel Security. “We want to reward innovation with this award. This year’s entrants made some bold investments to bring about change and open new opportunities. We saw some definite game-changers for our industry.”

Georgia Joins List of States Banning Fines for Alarm Companies When Customers Generate a False Alarm

Atlanta, Georgia (April 1, 2021) – The Georgia General Assembly has approved a bill that would ban counties or municipal corporations from fining alarm companies for false alarms generated by a customer and through no fault of the alarm system’s contractor.

“This bill has wider implications than for just our industry,” said John Loud, Vice President of Electronic Security Association (ESA) and President of LOUD Security Systems. “The concept of fining a company for a problem caused by its customers is the equivalent of sending someone’s speeding ticket to Ford and sets a precedent that could be a threat to many industries.”

“These policies do little to change user behavior, deny the user the right to confront their accuser and access to due process, and fines an innocent party for the actions of another,” said Stan Martin, Executive Director of the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC).

The introduction of the legislation follows a bitter three-year fight after the City of Sandy Springs passed a punitive ordinance that fined alarm companies. The city’s success in defending the legislation in court caused the legislature to act. Only one other Georgia city, Brookhaven, followed Sandy Springs’ lead.

A number of other states have passed bills similar to the Georgia bill in recent years including California, Florida, New Jersey, Texas, Tennessee and Iowa.

“There has never been any evidence that fining alarm companies was any more effective than the model alarm ordinance that is widely utilized nationally and endorsed by the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police,” said Martin.

“The model ordinance, which fines alarm users, obtains an average 60% reduction in false dispatches and impacts those causing most of the problems. In fact, 85% of alarm systems generate no calls to the police in any given year.”

Under the law companies are responsible for false alarms they cause due to faulty equipment or installation or failure to use a mandated system requiring two calls to an alarm site before notifying police.

“Common sense prevailed,” said Loud. “Our industry stands ready to work with any community that wishes to reduce unnecessary dispatches with a proven model and experts ready to assist.”

Shared by: David Margulies, PRExperts