NFPA-72

NFPA-72 REPORT: November 2018

TMA Members: Apply Now for NFPA Technical Committee

Following the final decision on NFPA-72 in which TMA appealed the final outcome to the NFPA Standards Council, the Council in their decision stated that the Technical Committee for Supervising Station and Signaling Systems (SIG-SSS) should be reviewed by the NFPA staff to add expertise related to alarm signaling and communication technologies. The Standards Council also encouraged all individuals with pertinent expertise to participate in the NFPA standards development process, including submitting an application for Technical Committee membership.

TMA urges members to apply so that monitoring industry concerns are addressed in the future.

Apply here and choose to apply to Supervising Station Fire Alarm and Signaling Systems (SIG-SSS). In particular, TMA is requesting that every member company that sent participants to the 2018 NFPA Annual Meeting in Las Vegas to take part in the floor discussion and vote on NFPA-72 have a qualified member submit an application for committee membership.

Applications are due December 14.

Questions? Please contact Celia Besore at 703-242-4670, x.13 or at cbesore@tma.us.

Read on to find out what the SIG-SSS Committee does; who best should apply; and what would be the commitment to join the group.

What does the Committee do?  This committee is responsible for communications between the protected premise (where the system is installed) and the supervising station where signals are received. The supervising station is the location where the signal receiving equipment is installed maintained and tested. At the protected premises the methods of communications include single path, dual path and the design including radio, cellular, pots, internet and other approved communications pathways. Personnel is also covered within this chapter. The types of facilities are defined by this chapter, including requirements surrounding the physical structure, communications hardware and software used to deploy these services

Who should apply? Anyone who is in the management of a Supervising Station would have the qualifications to apply for and sit on this Technical Committee. While there are aspects of the Chapter that deals outside of the envelope of the Station, there are also sections that deal with the direct operation of the Station, the staffing, equipment, automation and so forth.

What is the commitment? As a committee member, code development is a three-year cycle where the committee, under the guidance of the chairperson, reviews the initial public input, comments, and then votes on the submitted public input. Anyone can submit a public comment. The second phase of the process is reviewing public comment submitted as a result of the committee’s actions during initial input.

The committee’s main task is to determine the input and comment submitted during the cycle for acceptance into the code. The third year of the cycle is to approve the work completed during the first two years concluding as the final version of this chapters input into the completed code.

Travel is required in the first two-years of the cycle. Typical work by the committee is normally two-full days working in small task groups reporting back to the chapters members. Between travel and committee work plan for four days away for each of the first two years.

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NFPA-72 REPORT: September 2018

TMA Members Unite to Challenge NFPA-72

NFPA Rejects Clear Will of Its Membership

Since 2013, TMA members have been working to reverse standards language added to NFPA-72, the national fire alarm and signaling code, that threatened our industry’s ability to provide life safety services our customers depend on. The new language essentially requires privately-owned and operated NRTL-listed central monitoring stations to gain approval from local municipalities in order to monitor fire alarm signals. Ever since, TMA has engaged in a coordinated effort to preserve our members’ (as well as members’ customers’) interests by correcting this unfair standards language. Most recently, members came together in a remarkable display of industry solidarity at the 2018 NFPA Technical Meeting.

“TMA membership demonstrated the capacity to muster significant resources when an issue has a negative impact on the life-safety services we provide, and our initial effort to overturn the onerous language was successful,” said TMA Executive Director Jay Hauhn. “Unfortunately, the NFPA Technical Committee ultimately overruled the vote of NFPA members and refused to accept the approved changes.”

What Happened

TMA began planning well in advance of the 2018 vote. The TMA Standards Committee led the effort. Starting in June of 2017, TMA launched an effort to have TMA’s NFPA membership plan to attend the June 2018 Technical Meeting in Las Vegas. TMA membership invested significant time and financial resources to attend. It worked. On June 14, the vote to remove the language went resoundingly in TMA’s favor, 304-128.

Had the effort failed, the matter would have been closed for three more years. Winning the Technical Meeting vote was a needed step in the process. NFPA process requires Technical Committee to agree with the membership vote.

The Technical Committee responsible for the relevant section of the standard votes to affirm or reject the Technical Meeting action. TMA leaders and members reached out to all the members of the Committee and convinced a number of them to vote to uphold the vote, but ultimately, did not achieve the 2/3 vote needed within the Technical Committee.

“That the Technical Committee did not support the vote was disappointing, but not entirely unexpected,” said Hauhn. “The process indicates that a majority of the Technical Committee members do not understand the realities of the situation.”

One more option remained: an appeal to the NFPA Standards Council. TMA Standards Committee Chair Rick Simpson (Vector Security) submitted the official written appeal, and TMA members again stepped up to show the Standards Council our industry’s unwavering support for the floor vote. Dozens of TMA members wrote personal letters to the Council, highlighting issues such as how the language ignores the long-standing minimum code language philosophy, that disregarding NRTL testing is unprecedented, that UL-listed central stations significantly exceed remote station requirements, and that the overall process is unfair.

On August 14, Simpson, TMA President Ivan Spector, Bay Alarm’s Shane Clary, and NetOne’s Glenn Schroeder presented TMA’s case to the NFPA Standards Council. “Members of the council were engaged, and asked some good questions,” said Spector. “Shane and Rick did an incredible job on the Industry’s behalf. There is no one who knows the codes like Rick, and no one who can give the kind of presentation that Shane did. I was truly honored and humbled to have shared the moments with them both.”

On August 28, the Standards Council notified TMA that they had rejected TMA’s appeal. Nevertheless, “I am proud of what we managed to accomplish, the mobilization of our members, the turnout we had in Las Vegas and the support that we had every step of the way,” said Spector. “The power of an association is really something to witness firsthand. I would again like to thank everyone who showed up to support our industry and what we believe in. This kind of effort is exactly what being part of an association is all about.”

TMA owes all who participated a debt of gratitude. See the full list of participating companies below. And stay tuned for the next actions in our NFPA-72 campaign.

The following TMA member companies participated in the June 2018 NFPA Technical Committee vote in Las Vegas and in other aspects of the NFPA-72 initiative. 

Acadian Monitoring Services, LLC • ADS Security, L.P. • ADT, LLC • AFA Protective Systems, Inc. • Alarm Detection Systems, Inc. • Alarm.com • Alarme Sentinelle • Alert Alarm of Hawaii • American Alarm and Communications, Inc. • American Burglary & Fire • Amherst Alarm Inc. • AvantGuard Monitoring Centers • B Safe Inc. • Bay Alarm Company • Bosch Security Systems, Inc. • Brinks Home Security • Centra-Larm Monitoring Inc. • CIBC US • Commercial Instruments & Alarm Systems, Inc. • COPS Monitoring • CPI Security Systems • Custom Alarm • DGA Security Systems, Inc. • DICE Corporation • DMC Security Services, Inc. • DMP • Doyle Security Systems • Dynamark Monitoring Inc. • Electronix Systems Central Station Alarms, Inc. • Emergency 24 Inc. • General Monitoring Services, Inc. • Gillmore Security Systems, Inc. • JCI Security Products/Tyco • Johnson Controls-Central Station Services • Kimberlite Corporation • Kings III of America, LLC • LDS Church • Lowitt Alarms & Security Systems, Inc. • Merchants Alarm Systems Inc. • Midwest Alarm Services (Per Mar Security Services) • Moon Security Services, Inc. • Mytrex, Inc. • NetOne, Inc. • Peak Alarm Company, Inc. • Post Alarm Systems • Quick Response Monitoring Alarm Center • Rapid Response Monitoring Services, Inc. • Scarsdale Security Systems, Inc. • Security Alarm Corporation • Security Central • Security Equipment, Inc. (SEI) • Security Partners, LLC, PA • Security Service Company, Inc. • Security Signal Devices, Inc. dba SSD Alarm Systems • SEM Security Systems Inc • Sentry Watch, Inc. dba Alarm Watch, LLC • Silco Fire & Security • SMG Security • STANLEY Convergent Security Solutions, Inc. •Supreme Security Systems, Inc. • The Connaughton Group LLC • The Monitoring Association (TMA) • United Central Control • Universal Atlantic Systems Inc. • Vancouver Fire and Radius Security • Vector Security, Inc. • Vivint SmartHome • Washington Alarm, Inc. • Wayne Alarm • Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.

This report appears in the Fall 2018 issue of TMA Dispatch.