CSAA-Verisk Initiatives Deliver Great Member Benefits  

By Drew Doleski, Verisk Insurance Solutions

Two exciting opportunities are available to help security- and alarm-system providers find additional value from their data, and potentially expand insurance discount benefits to their customers, thanks to Verisk’s ongoing partnership with Central Station Alarm Association International (CSAA).

CSAA-affiliated system providers can participate in a CSAA-Verisk study that evaluates whether deeper insurance discounts are warranted for their customers beyond the ‘check box’ discounts provided today. System providers will also have an opportunity to participate in Verisk’s data exchange solution for the confirmation of current, active alarm systems. Homeowners insurers who participate in the exchange will be able to verify if a customer has an active monitoring subscription. This will potentially create additional recurring monthly revenue (RMR) opportunities for system providers and could also improve system retention rates by triggering deeper homeowner policy discounts that would make retention more attractive.

Insurance industry aggregate discount study

Now underway, the insurance research study will develop insights that help insurers determine the extent to which discounts should be adjusted to truly reflect the benefits of alarm systems. The analysis draws from the combined alarm system data contributed by the industry, as well as from Verisk’s proprietary policy and claims/loss records that span the United States homeowners market. Verisk will provide advisory information to insurers and insurance regulators that supports discount-level adjustments within the industry.

Status of the study

  • Verisk and CSAA have finalized the process to securely encrypt and transmit necessary alarm company data and are ready to begin the analysis.
  • Two companies, Vector Security and Alarm Detection Systems, have signed on to participate in the research initiative.
  • CSAA-affiliated alarm system providers are encouraged to support the study by contributing information—data volume matters and we need the support of the full industry!

Alarm system data exchange

Verisk is partnering with alarm companies to create a database that matches alarm system subscriptions with homeowners insurance policies. Insurers, who seek accurate and timely information on households, use this database to systematically verify that customers qualify for alarm system discounts. For every match, participating alarm companies receive a royalty for the use of their data.

“The potential benefits of participating in the exchange for alarm companies are decreased attrition and boosted RMR,” noted Pam Petrow, president of CSAA. “Interested members are encouraged to reach out to Verisk.”

The Verisk team will attend CSAA’s Annual Meeting in October and looks forward to meeting and speaking with anyone who wants to learn more about Verisk’s CSAA initiatives. For more information, please contact Drew Doleski, product manager for Internet of Things and the Connected Home, at


Guilford County PSAP Reports on ASAP Implementation


Guilford County (Greenboro, NC) is one of the most recent PSAPs to implement the ASAP service. We recently checked in with Clay Kennedy, Guilford Metro 911 Systems Administrator, on how the implementation went and what results he’s seen since.

ASAP: Why did your PSAP adopt ASAP?

Kennedy: We implemented this because Guilford Metro 911 looked at is as a revolutionary interface. Any time we can streamline calls with accurate information ruling out human errors is always a plus. This interface has already proven to be faster than the old way of reporting alarms to our 911 agency.

ASAP: What your experience with the process of getting connected?

Kennedy: The overall experience was good. The biggest issue was trying to implement a production and a training side. Within NC, this is not possible because the state switch only routes it to one ORI. Once we put this interface into production, we did not migrate it back to training. All test calls with new alarm companies were sent to the live side. Bill Hobgood is one heck of a consultant and is knowledgeable about how the setup is between our CAD system and the ASAP-to-PSAP interface. The most time-consuming piece is the address verification between our PSAP and the alarm companies of what they have in their database. With this being a newish interface, our CAD vendor’s implementation team had somewhat of a learning curve. Once it was set up and running, it was solid. We do have to restart our message switch if the State of NC does anything on their end that is state-switch related. Our alarm company, in the ASAP program, notifies us of failed responses from our systems when the State does switch maintenance.

ASAP: What have been your initial findings since ASAP has been implemented? 

Kennedy: Our agency’s calls via ASAP-to-PSAP average three seconds to route the call for dispatch. We currently have Vector Security; nine more are connecting to us soon. I would say we are still in our beginning stages to see a significant decrease in call volume. Our telecommunicators prefer the ASAP-to-PSAP method and we are keeping with the industry trends, resulting in a win-win overall.

ASAP: Any other thoughts on the process or outcomes?

Kennedy: Bill Hobgood does an outstanding job coordinating and communicating between the PSAP and the alarm companies. I love how the interface looks on SunGard’s end. The Nature Code Translation table is easy to set up and get to. If we want to create rejection rules for areas or specific calls then we can do so. Even though the phone call is not there in this interface, our telecommunicators, field responders, and Alarm Companies can communicate via messaging through the CAD system and across the PSAP and state message switches. Streamlining processes, cutting back on human errors, and faster response times with quality information are items that should be embraced in the field of 911 technologies.



Find out more about ASAP.


CSAA Brings ASAP Message to PSAPs at APCO 2016

Interest in ASAP was high at last week’s APCO 82nd Annual Conference & Expo in Orlando. ASAP Subject Matter Expert Bill Hobgood and CSAA staff spoke with many interested PSAP representatives at the ASAP booth in the exhibit hall.


Bill Hobgood gives PSAP representatives from Kentucky an overview of ASAP.

CSAA also hosted a session called “ASAP: A Win-Win No-Brainer for Public Safety and the Alarm Industry.” Hobgood, Boca Raton PSAP IT Manager Cindy Cevallos, CSAA Executive Director Jay Hauhn, and Duff Wheeler, representing Houston’s Emergency Center, described the agencies that participate in the program, projected implementation outcomes, and showed a live demo with alarm signals from Vector Security. Participants were able to see how the program reduces 9-1-1 processing and response times to alarm events while eliminating telephone calls and miscommunication errors between alarm monitoring companies and 9-1-1 PSAPs.

“The ASAP-to-PSAP educational session on the last day of the conference was well-attended with approximately 40 individuals,” reported Hobgood.”The attendees asked some very good questions at the end of the session. Aside from the excellent testimonials from the presenter panel, the session concluded with a live demo between Vector Security and the City of Richmond which could not have gone better. I am sure that the ASAP program will reap additional interest from the PSAPs as a result of this session.”

The Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP) is a national service that is the next generation for the processing of information from alarm monitoring stations needing emergency dispatch. This protocol was founded through the joint partnership of APCO, CSAA and Nlets. “CSAA would like to thank APCO, and Executive Director Derrick Poarch, for sponsoring the ASAP booth special session at the 2016 conference,” said CSAA’s Hauhn. “The event was a great opportunity to bring the ASAP message directly to people we need to reach at PSAPs around the country.”

Alarm companies can find frequent updates on ASAP on this blog, in CSAA Signals, in CSAA Dispatch, and on the CSAA Website.

Contra Costa Co. (CA) Office of the Sheriff & Bay Alarm Win National Award

The Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC) is proud to team with the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) and the National Sheriffs’ Association to honor Sheriff David O. Livingston of the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff and Bay Alarm with the inaugural Sheriff/Private Security Partnership Award.

This new award recognizes a strong partnership between a Sheriff’s Office and a local private sector security partner. SIAC Executive Director Stan Martin and Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn on behalf of the National Sheriffs’ Association presented the award to Sheriff Livingston and Matt Westphal from Bay Alarm.

“Sheriff Livingston and his department have a tremendous relationship with Bay Alarm,” said SIAC’s Martin. “This public/private sector bond has proven extremely beneficial in Contra Costa County and the San Francisco Bay Area.”

As part of this great relationship, Bay Alarm provides the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff Law Enforcement Training Center with scholarship funding to assist new law enforcement recruits who are putting themselves through the basic academy.

“For the past 12 years, Bay Alarm has been and continues to be a proud partner of the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office,” said Matt Westphal, Co-President of Bay Alarm. “Our scholarship program helps prospective law enforcement officers get the training they need to start a career of keeping the public safe.”

“We are honored to be the first recipients of this award,” said Contra Costa Sheriff David O. Livingston. “The Office of the Sheriff has an important and successful partnership with Bay Alarm. Their scholarships, which help fund the next generation of law enforcement officers, are invaluable.”

“Bay Alarm is one of our CSAA Five Diamond Certified members meaning they strive for the best in service, training, quality, reducing false alarms and industry participation,” said Jay Hauhn, CSAA Executive Director. “In addition to these standards, their work with the community and law enforcement make them a proven leader in our industry.”


Sheriff-Private Security Award Photo

Pictured above from left to right: Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn, Sheriff David O. Livingston, Matt Westphal, Stan Martin


SIAC represents one voice for the electronic security industry on alarm management issues – communicating solutions and enhancing relationships with law enforcement.  SIAC is comprised of four major North American security associations–Canadian Security Association (CANASA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA), and the Electronic Security Association (ESA).  For more information, go to,, or follow us on

 About CSAA International

The Central Station Alarm Association International (CSAA) is an internationally-recognized non-profit trade association that represents professional monitoring companies, including those listed by a CSAA-approved Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory, such as FM Global, Intertek/ETL or UL. Incorporated in 1950, CSAA is legally entitled to represent its members before Congress and regulatory agencies on the local, state and federal levels, and other authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) over the industry. CSAA’s mission is to advance the professional monitoring industry through education, advocacy, and public safety relationships. For more information, contact Elizabeth Lasko at CSAA, 703-242-4670 x 16.

 ABOUT Bay Alarm

Bay Alarm Company, based out of the San Francisco Bay Area, is the largest privately held alarm company in the United States. Founded in 1946 by Everett Westphal, Bay Alarm is now in its third generation of family leadership. Currently Bay Alarm’s customer base includes over 120,000 customers and 800 employees. Bay Alarm is single-mindedly focused on serving the state of California and the unique security needs of its communities.   Bay Alarm maintains 14 branches throughout California, providing Burglar Alarms, Fire Alarms, CCTV, Access Control, Video Verification and Guard Patrol services.



CSAA Verification Standard Approved at Long Last

On August 5, ANSI announced approval of the long-awaited update of the CSAA Confirmation and Verification Notification Standard (CS-V-01). It is designated as ANSI/CSAA CS-V-01-2016.

“My thanks to all the committee members for their work on this project and for everyone’s patience as we went through the fairly arduous process,” said Lou Fiore, past president of CSAA and outgoing chair of CSAA’s Standards Committee.

With this approval, the updated standard retires ANSI/CSAA CS-V-02-2012, CSAA’s video verification standard, and ANSI/CSAA CS-AUD-01, CSAA’s audio verification standard.

“When I initiated the process that began work on these three standards some 14 years ago with the original CS-V-01, my intent was to eventually combine the three into one standard, as I announced back then. The video and audio verification standards have now been successfully combined and updated into CS-V-01,” explained Fiore. “My thanks to Jim McMullen and Peter Giacalone for their leadership in chairing those two committees.”

CSAA is an ANSI-accredited standards writing organization. As such, the CSAA Standards Committee works on standards that benefit consumers, regulators and the security industry.

Industry standards were named one of the most critical issues for CSAA at the 2015 Long Range Planning meeting and are a central focus of the CSAA “Voice of the Customer” initiative. The CSAA Standards Committee promotes and produces standards to help guide alarm companies in operating their central stations within ANSI guidelines. Its efforts benefit CSAA members and the industry as a whole.

“[This approval] is wonderful news, after much time, effort and dedication by all. I was glad to have been involved with this process and great progress,” commented Peter P. Giacalone, President, Giacalone Associates, LLC.

 This momentous event officially marks Fiore’s departure from CSAA standards activity. “I handed off the standards chair to the capable hands of Steve Shapiro some months ago but stayed on to finish the ANSI audit process for CS-V-01,” noted Fiore, “happily now concluded.” He will continue to chair the Alarm Industry Communications Committee (AICC).

Many CSAA members were involved in the process of revising this standard under Fiore’s leadership.

“Lou is to be thanked for this and all he has done over the years to help us collaborate on standards while always ensuring we followed ANSI rules in the process,” said Donald M. Young, Chief Information Officer, ADT. “It was not an easy task and one I am very grateful to him for accepting.”

“This is a great accomplishment,” said Steve Walker, Vice President Customer Service, Stanley Security. “Many thanks to all who participated – and special thanks to Lou for guiding the process to a successful conclusion!”

“It was a pleasure being involved in the process and working with Lou and the committee. His leadership was greatly appreciated,” said Mark McCall, General Manager, Security Central Lake Norman Security Patrol.

“We all owe Lou a debt of gratitude for the many years he has spent running the standards committee and establishing performance expectations that make our industry better. He has given unselfishly of his time and we, as members and participants in the industry, are better because of this,” stated Pam Petrow, CEO of Vector Security, Inc. and current CSAA President.

Standards work is never quite done, however. The CSAA Standards Committee seeks volunteers to work on a number of new standards development projects, including emerging technologies and remote station. Interested in getting involved? Contact

CSAA Seeks Volunteers for Emerging Technologies Standards Effort

The Central Station Alarm Association seeks Subject Matter Experts to help define and write several new standards around new and emerging technologies:

  • GPS / Mobile services including mPERS
  • Active Shooter systems
  • Video Technology
  • Telehealth
  • Home Automation
  • Mass Notification systems

The focus for these standards will be to define how these systems and devices are handled within the alarm monitoring environments — and then ultimately how PSAPs and other responders will interact with alarm monitoring centers and the subscribers using these services.

In addition to alarm monitoring experts, we are specifically looking for SMEs from the public sectors including PSAP staff, fire/medical services, and law enforcement. It’s crucial to have all the stakeholders represented in these processes.

This would require a monthly commitment of no more than two to three hours, with a single one-hour conference call each month. No travel is required — all meetings will be done via phone calls and/or remote video conferencing.

If you are willing to help or have questions, please contact the Chair of the Emerging Technologies Committee, Morgan Hertel, at or 877-553-4531.




Leadership, Business Management and Technology are Key Themes at 2016 Annual Meeting

2016 is Second Year of Multi-Year Reimagining of CSAA’s Signature Event;
Adjustments to Traditional Schedule Will Enable Full Participation in Fewer Days

With a sharp focus on technology and on business and performance management, along Marco-Island-Logo_vertwith the networking opportunities for which the event is famous, the 2016 CSAA Annual Meeting offers participants the kind of value in both content and engagement that is unmatched at any other industry event.

The 2016 meeting will be held at the Marriott Resort Marco Island, Marco Island, FL, on October 22-26. Last year’s Annual Meeting in Sonoma, where a revamped education program took center stage, drew rave reviews from attendees. “2015 marked the beginning of a multi-year reimagining of CSAA’s annual event, and based on the member feedback, our efforts were successful,” says CSAA President Pam Petrow. “Attendees in 2016 can expect the same value, with timely presentations built around themes of leadership, business management, and technology, along with the networking opportunities you can only find at a CSAA Annual Meeting.”

Petrow notes that CSAA is making a change from “our traditional leadership meeting schedule this year, in order to address feedback on the length of the meeting.” The CSAA Board will meet on the first day of the conference–Saturday, October 22. Committees will meet on Sunday, October 23. “This change will help committee members participate in the complete array of annual meeting events but arrive a full day later than in the past, if they wish,” she says.

General sessions begin Monday morning, October 24. They include:

Bankable Leadership Strategy: The Secret Weapon to Accelerating Business Success
Speaker: Tasha Eurich, PhD, The Eurich Group

Tasha Eurich low resKeynote speaker Tasha Eurich is an organizational psychologist, speaker and New York Times best-selling author of Bankable Leadership – and a fresh, modern voice in the leadership world. By pairing her scientific grounding in human behavior with a pragmatic approach to business challenges, she has helped thousands of leaders over the last fifteen years. With a PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Colorado State University, Eurich serves on the adjunct faculty of the Center for Creative Leadership, one of the top ten executive development institutions in the world. She’s also the principal of The Eurich Group, an executive development firm that helps companies succeed by improving the effectiveness of their leaders and teams. (View Eurich’s recent TedxMileHigh Talk at

“In today’s competitive business environment, leadership is as difficult as it is important. Good leaders create economic value–and poor leaders can sink companies. Even though research tells us that effective leaders balance people and results, this complicated balancing act is easier said than done,” says Eurich. “In the quest to create engaged employees and drive business growth, most leaders feel more comfortable doing one than the other, but this imbalance drastically limits their success.” Eurich will deliver an engaging keynote based on her bottom-line research that will help attendees master the balance. Built on decades of research on the transformation of real leaders, her fresh, practical approach can help almost anyone become bankable–delivering bottom-line results, while simultaneously fostering a healthy work environment. At the end of the session, attendees will understand their personal preferences as a leader and what skills they need to sharpen, and leave with a plan to improve immediately.

Capitalizing Customer Experiences
Speaker: Dennis Snow, Snow & Associates, Inc.

Noted speaker, trainer and consultant Dennis Snow is the author of the book Lessons from the Mouse: A Guide for Applying Disney World’s Secrets of Success to Your Organization, Your Career, and Your Life. His customer service abilities were honed over 20 years with the Walt Disney World Company. There, he developed his passion for service excellence and the experience he brings clients and audiences worldwide. Today, Snow helps organizations including banks, universities and hospitals achieve goals related to customer service, employee development and leadership.

Snow, Dennis- HR PhotoSnow explains: “World-class customer service is not simply a matter of smiling employees who say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ Everything your customer sees, hears or touches impacts their experience … This session will cover how delivering world-class service requires careful orchestration of the entire customer experience. Employees watch to see how committed we are as leaders and take their cue directly from us.” Snow will help participants discover what key points of contact make or break the customer experience and understand the behaviors that create a culture of accountability among employees. “As customer expectations are at an all-time high and business competition is fierce, learn about the steps you can take to reinforce organization values and gain organizational commitment to a vision that capitalizes customer service in your company,” he says.

Marketing in the Digital Age–Social Media 102: How to Leverage Social Media To Build Your Business and Your Bottom Line
Speaker: Ken Countess, The Countess Group

Ken Countess is managing director of The Countess Group, a strategic marketing and communications consultancy now in its 15th year. He is an award-winning marketer and an internationally recognized, accredited expert on email marketing and social media marketing. His approach to educating audiences about how to use these tools to build their businesses has earned him the respect of loyal followers around the world.

Countess understands the challenges marketers face. “You’ve hit all the social networks to market your business–but they seem to change every day. Your email contact list is up-to-date–but reaching your audience is a challenge as best practices continue to change. Where do you go from here? Are you getting back what you are putting into your digital marketing efforts?” he says. This session will give participants a closer look at the value of popular social media networks to the professional monitoring industry. They will discover how others in the industry are using social media and email to develop business and learn how to tell if their social marketing activity is working and how to gauge success based on customer reaction and engagement. Takeaways will include reporting and measurement metrics tools and a better understanding of how using digital media can impact the bottom line. CSAA and Countess will present a pre-meeting webinar on Tuesday, September 13 in which participants can get a preview of the impact and value of social media tools.

The complete preliminary program can be found at Additional speakers and session details will be announced in the coming weeks.

To register for the CSAA Annual Meeting, visit The Marriott Resort Marco Island in southwest Florida is on the Gulf of Mexico, just 55 minutes from the Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) or a short drive from Naples, FL. Visit for the special reservations link, or call 1-800-GET-HERE (1-800-438-4373). Rates as low as $185/night are available.


ASAP’s Summer Sizzle

It’s the middle of summer, and there’s a heatwave parked over the USA. ASAP is heating up, too!

On July 13, CSAA President Pam Petrow announced that Delaware County, Ohio went live that morning with ASAP. “This is the first PSAP in Ohio to introduce AASAP-Concept1DSAP, and we are looking forward to building our coverage in the state,” she said. “The pace that we are adding PSAPs continues to increase. Thanks for everyone that has been working behind the scenes to make this happen.”

Meanwhile, also on July 13, the IT manager at Florida’s first connected PSAP was featured in a local TV interview about ASAP. Cindy Cevallos of Boca Raton (where it reached 90 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday) appears in the segment on home safety systems in the area. “Faster response times, greater likelihood of law enforcement apprehension; everyone wins here,” Cevallos explained when asked about Boca’s recent implementation of ASAP.

Speaking of heat, hot off the presses is APCO’s August magazine, Public Safety Communications, and it features an extensive update on ASAP by Subject Matter Expert Bill Hobgood called “ASAP to the PSAP: ADT Answered the Call, Now Where’s Tyco?” Hobgood reports on the impressive cost savings the city of Houston is reporting following the implementation of ASAP and the connection of ADT in December last year, as well as other positive developments around the nation. (And he answers the question about Tyco!)

Just to keep the heat theme going … how about Orlando in August? That’s right, next month, ASAP will be featured at APCO’s 82nd Annual Conference & Expo. (APCO, CSAA, and Nlets collaborate to bring ASAP to municipalities around the country.) In orlando, participants will have two opportunities to learn about ASAP:

  • CSAA will have a booth (#665) in the exhibit hall where attendees can meet ASAP users and view demos of how the technology works — and how to implement the service.
  • A special session called “ASAP: A Win-Win No-Brainer for Public Safety and the Alarm Industry” is on the conference schedule for Wednesday, August 17. Hobgood, Boca Raton’s Cevallos, CSAA Executive Director Jay Hauhn, and Duff Wheeler, representing Houston’s Emergency Center, will describe the agencies that participate in the program, project implementation outcomes, and show a demo. Participants will see how the program reduces 9-1-1 processing and response times to alarm events while eliminating telephone calls, miscommunication errors , between alarm monitoring companies and 9-1-1 PSAPs.


Now used by more than 20 PSAPs and with dozens more in the pipeline, ASAP is surging as PSAPs and alarm companies recognize the value of its winning formula for error reduction, cost containment and faster responses to dispatch.

Find out more at .

–Reported by Elizabeth Lasko, CSAA, July 14, 2016


Bay Alarm’s Westphal Warns of Coming Penalties for Alarm Industry E-Waste

Security companies should start preparing to upgrade their systems for e-waste disposal or risk action by state Attorneys General. Graham Westphal, Co-President of Bay Alarm and secretary of the CSAA Board of Directors, brought this matter to the attention of CSAA members present at the General Membership Meeting in Fort Worth on June 9.

Westphal detailed how California’s Attorney General has recently brought action against Comcast, ADT and Bay Alarm for improper disposal of e-waste, and warned that state AGs talk to each other and see this kind of action as a revenue source. “It’s likely similar actions will be coming to a state near you,” he said.

“In California, you now own the electronic waste you remove from a home,” Westphal continued. “They are dumpster-diving to find evidence, and assigning impact fees.” Most of the hazardous waste in the Comcast case was electronic equipment such as remote controls, splitters, routers, modems, amplifiers, and power adapters.

Westphal advises companies to immediately revisit their e-waste recycling plan to be sure it is up-to-date and congruent with state laws — and that the plan is being followed.

CSAA will research and distribute additional resources for member companies on e-waste issues. If you would like to share details from experiences in your state(s), please contact Elizabeth Lasko at

Why CSAA Five Diamond Matters to You

A Message for Consumers

Are you considering an alarm system or other monitoring system for your home or business? As a consumer, you want what’s best for your family, your employees, your property. There are a lot of choices out there. But only a select few companiesFive Diamond Logo 2015 can say they are “CSAA Five Diamond-Certified.”

CSAA, the organization that represents the alarm monitoring industry, grants Five Diamond status to companies that made it their practice to meet the highest levels of professionalism, training, and expertise in the industry. Certification is granted annually to monitoring companies that satisfy all of the requirements of the “five points of excellence:”

  1. Commitment to random inspections and quality criteria standards by a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as FM Approvals, Intertek/ETL and UL.
  2. Commitment to the highest levels of customer service.
  3. Commitment to ongoing job-related education and testing by having 100% of their central station operators certified using the CSAA online training series, the industry standard.
  4. Commitment to raising the industry standards through CSAA membership and participation in its activities.
  5. Commitment to reducing false dispatches.

You can be assured that a company that meets these requirements is one that is dedicated to providing the level of service and protection you deserve and count on.

Tell your salesperson that you want a monitoring company that is staffed by trained, knowledgeable professionals and boasts equipment and procedures that meet the highest standards. From among the thousands and thousands of alarm companies in the USA, choose one of the fewer than 200 that are CSAA Five Diamond-certified.

© 2016 CSAA International.