New Standards Subcommittee Will Address NFPA 730 and 731

NFPA 730 – Guide for Premises Security and NFPA 731 – Standard for the Installation of Electronic Premises Security Systems are two documents of interest to TMA and its membership.

 

TMA has created a sub-committee within the Standards Committee to monitor and influence these documents. Rick Sheets, who has been involved with these NFPA documents since 2005 and is a current sitting member of the Technical Committees, will lead this effort as the Chairman of the TMA NFPA 730/731 Subcommittee.

 

If you would like to take part in assisting TMA by volunteering to be on the TMA NFPA 730/731 Subcommittee, please contact Bryan Ginn at bginn@tma.us. If you have any questions about NFPA 730/731, please contact Rick Sheets at Rs8486@att.com or 940-390-6989.

 

We will schedule a meeting once the TMA committee members are onboard to begin reviewing the current public comments and discuss TMA’s position and any comments TMA should submit on behalf of our membership.

 

Below is the NFPA schedule for the documents:


Next Edition: 2023


Revision Cycle: Fall 2022

 

First Draft

• Public Input Closing Date: January 6, 2021

• First Draft Report Posting Date: October 27, 2021

 

Second Draft

• Public Comment Closing Date: January 5, 2022

• Second Draft Report Posting Date: October 5, 2022

 

Motions Committee Report (NITMAM)

• NITMAM Closing Date: November 2, 2022

• NITMAM Posting Date: December 14, 2022

FCC Votes to Create Online Portal for Robocall, ID Spoofing Complaints

The Federal Communications Commission has voted in an amendment Thursday to make it easier for people to submit complaints about suspected robocalls and call spoofing directly to the agency’s enforcement bureau.

Section 10(a) of the Traced Act, which is the agency’s tool to fight unlawful robocalls and spoofed caller ID, was enacted in a vote by the FCC and creates an online portal on the FCC website for individuals to submit information suspicious calls and texts.

The FCC will ask the complainant to provide information as to what ID information is displayed, the phone number, date, time, the complainant’s service provider and description of call or text.

“The new online portal will allow such entitles to alert agency investigators of concerning incidents, including floods of robocalls like those that have been known to clog up hospital lines,” according to an FCC news release.

The portal requires approval from the Office of Management and Budget before it takes effect, which is expected within 30 days.

Congress ordered the agency to develop a streamlined process for private entities about unlawful spoof calling and robocalls.

Commentators suggested that the FCC consolidate the new portal and existing complaint process to better distinguish the two.

With these concerns, the FCC has decided to adopt the SAFE Credit Union’s suggestion to include language that explains its use and helps distinguish the portal from the existing informal consumer complaint process.

The FCC stated in a report that timely and thorough information from private entities is crucial to mitigate robocall incidents and help bring swift enforcement.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – New Dialing Code

Please read the announcement regarding changes needed to be made by Burglar and Fire Alarm Companies in preparation for the nationwide implementation of 988 as the 3-digit abbreviated dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

It is imperative that alarm companies reprogram alarm panels in customers’ premises if they currently are programed to dial out seven digits to reach the alarm monitoring bureau.  If they are dialing out seven digits now, they must be re-programed to dial out a ten-digit number which includes the area code plus telephone number.Such updates or reprogramming must occur between April 24, 2021 and October 24, 2021 (the permissive dialing period).  Starting these efforts before April 24, 2021 may result in failed calls if permissive 10-digit dialing has not yet been implemented.The changes need to be completed by October 24, 2021.

No change is needed if the alarm panels are currently dialing out ten-digits, or if they are dialing out a toll free number (800, 888, 844, etc.) to reach the alarm monitoring bureau.

We need your assistance in notifying alarm companies in 37 states and 83 area codes about the transition from 7-digit to 10-digit local dialing.  Any assistance in notifying your membership would be appreciated.

Additional information about this transition on the NANPA website at https://nationalnanpa.com/transition_to_10_digit_dialing_for_988/index.html

ANNOUNCEMENT

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.”

Governor Kemp is expected to sign the bill later this month.

Shared by: David Margulies, PRExperts

New Dialing Procedure for Texas Customers

Shared by 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.

UL Revises Virtual Workplace Guidelines

Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) has revised its March 16th Virtual Workplace Guidelines and seeks feedback from security industry practitioners prior to publication.

Since the initial release of the Guidelines, it’s become clear that health risk mitigation measures will likely be required for longer than any of us had anticipated. UL now seeks feedback from industry stakeholders that rely on UL Certifications as part of their own risk management programs to review the updated Guideline revisions, which are intended to better define virtual workplace security measures.

Please review the revised draft of the Virtual Workplace Guidelines.


Steve Schmit, Senior Staff Engineer, UL, will review the draft Guidelines TMA’s
Virtual Town Hall on Monday, April 20th at 11:00AM (EDT). You can share your questions and comments during the Virtual Town Hall and/or send your comments directly to Steve at steve.a.schmit@ul.com.

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

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

NJELSA Challenging New State Law

The New Jersey Electronic Life Safety Association (NJELSA) is legally challenging a new NJ law that prohibits licensed alarm dealers from working in any facility receiving public funds unless they were participating in an approved apprenticeship program with an ERISA certified pension trust fund. This bill effectively forces all alarm dealers to either stop doing business with clients they may have serviced for decades or pay the unions to participate in their plan.

Unfortunately, some of NJELSA’s members have already been denied renewal of their public works permits, others have capitulated by paying thousands of dollars to unions to retain the right to do business with their customers.

TMA members who do business in New Jersey either directly installing systems in publicly funded facilities or monitoring these accounts for their customers may want to get the details and learn how to best protect their business in the state.

LEARN MORE

FirstNet Expands

FirstNet®, America’s public safety network, now covers more than 2.71 million square miles. As public safety’s network partner, AT&T* has moved quickly to bring more coverage, boost capacity and drive new capabilities for first responders and the communities they serve – rural, urban and tribal. In 2020, we added nearly 100,000 square miles to the FirstNet coverage footprint (that’s like covering the entire state of Oregon).

Today, more than 15,000 agencies and organizations – accounting for more than 2 million connections nationwide – have subscribed to FirstNet.

Read the full announcement on AT&T’s website – https://about.att.com/story/2021/fn_expands.html

Learn more about FirstNet certification for your company elsewhere on TMA’s website.