NetOne’s CTO Appointed New TMA Standards Committee Chair

TMA is pleased to announce that Glenn Schroeder, Chief Technology Officer, NetOne, Inc., has been appointed to Chair, TMA Standards Committee. Glenn bring 40 years of alarm industry knowledge and experience to his new role. Over the span of his career, Glenn has held key senior leadership positions in Information Technology, Corporate Finance, Central Station, Customer Service, Field operations, and sales disciplines.

“Standards creation is rewarding, but challenging, work. In defining best practices, standards help business, the economy and the safety of everyone. They affect all of us every day, wherever we go, and in whatever we do,” stated Glenn. “Having the opportunity to spend over 40 years in this industry, it is a privilege to be able to contribute my knowledge, expertise, and experience to influence the development of standards that could better the lives and business of the future.”

Please join us is welcoming Glenn to this pivotal role.

The Monitoring Association Releases Revised ANSI-accredited Standard

In its on-going effort to reduce the occurrence and impact of false dispatches, TMA has released the latest revision of its ANSI-accredited standard, TMA CS-V-01-2020 (Version August 01, 2020). This standard takes alarm verification and confirmation to its next level by defining multiple-attempt confirmation, biometric, audio and video confirmation. The standard is now available for free download.

Learn more about TMA’s standards activities at https://tma.us/standards/.

Call for Participation – New TMA/ANSI Standard

The Monitoring Association (TMA), as an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited Standards Development Organization (SDO), is seeking interested individuals to participate on the committee that will create a proposed new standard, currently designated as TMA-AVS-01.

From the ANSI Project Initiation Notification System:

Abstract of Project:

The increasing use of data by Public Safety has had a positive impact on the services they provide to the public.  Datasets generated by commercial sources, such as the alarm industry, can be a valuable data source to Public Safety.  Real time data from security providers will improve situational awareness as well as first responder safety.  Sensor innovation driven by technological advances has raised the quantity and quality of data collected by alarm systems. 

Alarm monitoring centers can use this data to estimate the validity of an alarm event, which enables the creation of standardized “alarm scoring” metrics.  Calls for Service to Emergency Call Centers/Public Safety Answering Points that include a standardized scoring metric can assist public safety departments that opt-in to the program, with their alarm response policies, similar to how Location Accuracy and Crash Severity scoring are used. 

Project Need:

Public Safety officials in municipalities establish alarm response policies specific to their jurisdiction.  Such an ANSI standard will be created cooperatively with Public Safety stakeholders.  Alarm scores would be calculated by an alarm monitoring center process and technology.  Alarm scores transmitted to Public Safety in a standardized manner minimizes workflows within Public Safety.  It allows Public Safety to take advantage of the data without the burden of receiving and analyzing it themselves.  Additionally, the standard can enable processes for data relative to a Call for Service, to be “pulled” by Public Safety on demand.

Identify Stakeholders:

The Monitoring Association (TMA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Association of Public Communications Officials (APCO), National Emergency Number Association (NENA), International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), National Sheriffs Association (NSA), International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Partnership for Priority Verified Alarm Response (PPVAR) 

ANSI guidelines require that standards development committees have proper “balance” so that no single interest category dominates the group or process to the exclusion of fair and equitable consideration of other viewpoints.  Proper balance of committee membership will be achieved through sufficient representation from three primary interest categories: User – a person or organization who directly or indirectly utilize services or products described in the standard; Producer – a person or organization that directly or indirectly produce, manufacture, or distribute products or develop services which may be described in the standard; and General Interest – a person who has expressed a general interest in the content of the standard.  Specifically, proposed interest categories are Alarm Monitoring, Public Safety, Installer/Maintainer, Special Expert, Service Provider, and Manufacturer/Software Provider.

Membership in TMA is not required to participate as a committee member.  Additionally, anyone may offer comments on the draft standard without being a committee member or a TMA member.  ANSI and TMA procedures require equal consideration of all comments.

TMA leadership will determine the number of committee members with consideration to the number of applications received, balanced with the need to assure the group can work effectively and efficiently.   Alternate member non-voting participation will be considered.

The committee will be asked to complete their initial draft of the standard within 120 days of the first committee meeting.  Following completion of the draft document, committee participation for an additional three to a six-month period will be required during the public review and comment phase, and for completion of the final draft.

Please complete the online short form if you are interested in being considered for membership on the TMA-AVS-01 committee.  Questions may be directed to Bryan Ginn at bginn@tma.us or at 703-660-4919.

CS-V-01 Draft Available Now, Public Review opens April 1st, 2019

The TMA CS-V-01 Committee has completed revisions to ANSI/TMA CS-V-01 2019 and the draft is available now at https://tma.us/standards/.  60-day public review opened April 1st, 2019. Closing date May 31, 2019.

Standards Overview


Background

Alarm Systems serve the public interest by providing alerts of threats to life and property and initiating proper responses to those emergencies. Because of the critical nature of these systems, it is vital that these systems be installed, monitored, and serviced in a manner that will assure they accomplish their public safety function.

With wide variations in the capabilities of alarm companies, there is a need for ensuring consistency of installation and service. The best method of ensuring alarm systems accomplish their public safety function is through the use of standards.

Purpose of Standards

Standards are seen as minimum requirements that can be used to regulate various elements of the provision of alarm services. Standards guide regulators as to what requirements should be imposed on providers of alarm services and how alarm systems should be inspected.

There are many types of standards that can be used depending on the regulator’s needs. Standards exist for alarm equipment, installation, monitoring, and service. Additional standards are being developed to address both false alarm reduction and licensing for operation of alarm monitoring organizations.

Development of Standards

Because of the vital role standards play, it is important to develop them with a disciplined process. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is an organization of standards writers that coordinates the development of voluntary consensus standards. Standards developed through the ANSI process are assured of having broad input from a variety of stakeholders and a consensus decision making process to finalize the standard.

Participating stakeholders for alarm system standards include regulators, manufacturers and installers of alarm systems and the conformance assessment agencies UL and FM. The writing of accredited standards are sponsored by various organizations including the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and private sector alarm industry associations such as the Central Station Alarm Association.

Benefits of Standards

Standards benefit regulators by providing a high quality guide for use in setting local standards. They can be seen as both fair and effective because they are developed by a consensus process. Standards also protect regulators against litigation because an industry accepted standard was utilized.

Standards benefit purchasers of alarm systems by providing assurance that their alarm system meets minimum requirements. Standards can provide businesses reasonable assurance that they are taking prudent precautions to provide safety and security for employees and visitors.

For the alarm industry, standards enhance its overall image by assuring all participants will install, monitor, and service to a minimum standard, which opens the markets to all by promoting, fair competition.

Implementation of Standards

Although a broader community develops standards, their implementation is dependent on regulators to assure the proper installation and ongoing service of alarm systems. Regulators can be local public fire officials, public safety officials, the insurance industry, and others.

Conclusion

The broad use of accredited standards by regulators provides protection and assurance to customers who purchase alarm systems. Implementing standards that are developed by a consensus making process assures the validity of the standard. The use of standards will raise the level of alarm services, benefiting all participants.