SIAC’s New Web Site

If you haven’t visited  SIAC’s refurbished web site, please give it a look. You can check it out at: www.siacinc.org.

It was a no-brainer for us to bring our supporters better information and improve the design and layout for an easier browsing experience. We store a lot of information for the different stakeholders we support, and wanted to better target each with our educational and training materials.

New images, fewer “clicks” and clearer categories should all help visitors to the site get where they want to go more quickly and find what they want. That’s the purpose of our web site: to help you in your needs for alarm management materials and in working with your local communities to craft workable ordinances that succeed.

Our redesigned web site helps you in those goals. Don’t take our work for it. Click it. Spend some time looking around. Send feedback to Stan Martin, stan@siacinc.org.  We’re always looking to hear from you on how we can improve and better serve. Our new web site is a step in that direction.

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Welcome Chief Doug Davis to SIAC Team

Please welcome former Police Chief Doug Davis to the SIAC team. He will serve as one of our law enforcement liaisons for the eastern U.S. As he transitions and trains over the next several  months, he will work with Glen Mowrey, who has shifted to part-time in his role as Law Enforcement Liaison. Our plan is to spread the east coast duties between Doug and Glen.

We are extremely pleased to have Doug on board. He has a wide range of experience, not only as the Police Chief of Waynesboro, VA for eight years, but in other law enforcement positions heading back to when he joined the police force in 1977. Most recently, Doug has been an Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Criminal Justice Program at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, VA.

Picture of Doug Davis

Doug has written extensively on many crime-related issues, has a strong network with law enforcement across the U.S., and is integrally involved in multiple professional organizations connected to law enforcement. His long service, communication skills and unique insights based on direct experience will help SIAC continue to work closely with law enforcement officials and provide the security industry and SIAC with insider perspective on better ways to find alarm management solutions.

Beyond his resume, Doug is personable, committed and interested in making a positive difference in applying the best alarm management techniques while working closely with local communities. The addition of Doug to the team will eventually allow Glen to lighten the tremendous load he has carried for so many years.

Welcome aboard, Doug. We are glad to have you with us, and look forward to further enhancing our relationships with law enforcement across the U.S.

Doug can be reached at 540.470.0017.

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SIAC Board Chairman Kirk MacDowell’s Message to Industry Stakeholders

January 6, 2021

SIAC continues to promote the Model Ordinance, along with Alarm Management Committees, while participating in police and sheriff state and national meetings. This keeps our leadership contacts and network in place — a large ongoing part of our mission.

Attached below is the chairman’s message that I would like to share.
 A strong thanks to all individuals, companies, associations and organizations for their support of SIAC. We keep an “open door” to anyone who wishes to express suggestions for improvement. Here is my full message:

Happy 2021 to us all!  I’ve been chair for a year, although Stan may feel like it’s been closer to seven.  At the beginning of my term, I asked the board and staff to tackle, resolve and accomplish — over the next two years — the following. 

  1. Funding – As the industry consolidates with acquisitions, so does funding.  We’ll develop a strategy that keeps our Chiefs on the streets! 
  2. Enhancing SIAC’s relevancy to industry, Law Enforcement, and stakeholders — As I have said publicly, SIAC’s successes are not always touted, but significant. I understand that sometimes the work SIAC does cannot be shouted from the mountain tops, but we need a way to continually acknowledge our dedicated team’s effort and acknowledge our wins and admit when we could have done better.  Be prepared for a renewed focus and industry acknowledgement for what SIAC does and how we deliver that message.  If we hit hard on this, our fundraising activities will be a bit easier to accomplish.  

Here is a quick review of what we accomplished in 2020.

Funding (and let me add cost controls and 2021 budget)

  • Stan and team have done an absolute outstanding job of holding expenses in check.
  • Existing donors have given as much as they feel that they could afford, and for this, I am eternally grateful. 
  • We were able to reconnect with past alarm company donors, who had gone silent, and they responded – most have honored their 2020 commitment.
  • A special Chair thank you to Resideo, which stepped up and prepaid their $100,000 donation for 2021.    Truly remarkable.  Thank you Keith for carrying the torch.  
  • Stan and Tim Creenan, SIAC’s treasurer, put together a 2021 budget that took a multitude of meetings, debates and compromises.  The board acknowledged their effort and approved the 2021 budget unanimously. 
  • SIAC ended the year with revenue at $667K (78% of the budgeted $859k), with expenses at only $681K. Bottom line SIAC essentially broke even for a very challenging year using only $14k from its reserve.

Enhancing SIAC’s relevancy to industry, Law Enforcement, and stakeholders

  • SIAC’s marketing group chaired by Board member Brandon Freedman was tasked with a complete web site revamp.  Brandon solicited proposals, negotiated a contract with our existing Public Relations firm; Margulies Communications and the team got right to work.  The site was launched in December 2020.  Great work! 
  • As Glen moves to part time, we retained a new Chief, Doug Davis, who is working closely with Glen via Zoom to get up to speed.
  • Our Chiefs and Stan haven’t missed a beat and continue to meet regularly  with municipalities across the nation.  Keep up the excellent work Chiefs. 
  • Board Member Holly Borgmann suggested that SIAC should continue to review SIAC’s mission, which is critical, and I couldn’t agree more.  Technology is changing quickly, and we need to make sure that our mission is in sync with our changing security world. A task force chaired by Board members Keith Baird and Tony Mucci has been established to tackle this issue.  They have convened a who’s who group to assist. 

I am so proud of this team, volunteers and staff.  No one missed a beat.  We simply adjusted to our world and continued to provide the level of services that we have all come to expect from SIAC. 

Thank you all for your continued support of SIAC and our Industry.

Kirk MacDowell

Chairman, SIAC

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Urgent Message from National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to Alarm Companies

(Editor’s note: The attached 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. The message comes from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – NANPA.)

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

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Morris Weinstock Award Goes to Bud Wulforst

ESA recently presented the annual Morris F. Weinstock Person of the Year award to Howard Edward “Bud” Wulforst. SIAC congratulates Bud on this lifetime achievement. The Weinstock Award recognizes a lifetime of achievement in the security industry.

As a supporter of quality alarm management standards, Bud has been actively engaged in security issues during his career, starting back in the 1970s, when he became involved with the precursor to ESA – the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA). He also contributed to the New York Burglar and Fire Alarm Association at the same time.

Wulforst also joine The Monitoring Association (TMA), ascending to the presidency in 2007-2009, and continuing to serve on TMA’s board since then. We know Bud as a focused problem solver. He digs into issues and works within our industry to propel solutions.

SIAC is proud to offer our congratulations to Bud on this much-deserved honor. His service to our industry throughout the years serves as a positive leadership and role model for others to follow.

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AICC 3G Sunset Congressional Reach Effort

(Note from SIAC: The attached letter comes from the AICC. We urge you to read through it, and if at all possible, follow through with the outline on the 3G extension issue. Please reach out to Caroline Dunlap, as noted in the communication, if you have any questions. We realize this is a lengthy note, but the issue is of tremendous importance to our issue, and requires attention by all electronic security companies. Please take the time to follow up.)

Dear AICC members: 

This is Caroline Dunlap from Bill Signer’s office at Carmen Group. On behalf of the AICC, I am reaching out to you because we need your help on the 3G sunset. While the AICC has been working with Committee staff, it is important that Committee staff and the members of the House and Senate who either represent you or an area where you have a significant presence hear from alarm companies directly. They need to know that this is a real problem that will impact the people they represent. We have put together a list of key members on the House and Senate Committees with jurisdiction over telecom issues as well as the Committee staff that is working on these issues. It is important that you contact both your representatives and their Committee staff. 

Many of you have responded to this request. We are seeing some positive responses from members of Congress, but it’s not enough. Please, if you haven’t done so, send an email as directed. It will only take a few minutes. We could also use help from the manufacturers on this list.


As many of you know, AT&T and Verizon have announced sunsets for their 3G networks. AT&T is calling for a sunset date of February 22, 2022 and Verizon is calling for a sunset of December of 2022 – 10 months later. Because of the Coronavirus many of our customers have been reluctant to have alarm technicians entertheir homes and businesses so that we can upgrade their equipment to make them compatible with newer networks.

We need your help especially if your business is headquartered in or has a significant presence in any of the following states: AK, AZ, CA, CT, CO, FL, HI, IA, IL, IN, KS, LA, MA, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, NE, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV

The industry is seeking a longer transition period before AT&T sunsets its 3G network. We are asking elected officials to reach out to AT&T and urge them to push back their sunset to December 2022 which would make AT&T’s sunset the same as Verizon’s proposed sunset, citing the pandemic as the reason.

Ideally, if your business is headquartered in a Sub-Committee member’s district or state, we would urge you to reach out to that member. Even if your business is not located in the member’s district but is from his/her state, they will pay attention. To find out who represents your district go to: https://ziplook.house.gov/htbin/findrep_house for the House of Representatives and  http://www.senate.gov/states/statesmap.htm for the Senate. Please let me know if you have any questions. Our lobbyist Bill Signer or I will endeavor to assist you.

Thank you in advance for your help in helping our industry. We are asking you to send the message below to your elected officials: 

Dear Representative/Senator: The burglar and fire alarm industry is seeking your help in urging AT&T to delay the shutdown of its 3G cellular network which is currently scheduled for February 22, 2022 – a mere 16 months from now – to December 2022. This would then have both Verizon and AT&T shutting down their 3G network cellular networks at the same time. Our industry protects the safety and property of over 30 million homes and businesses. Additionally, many seniors depend upon us to monitor their personal emergency response systems which allow them to live at home.

There are approximately 6,000,000 3G that must be upgraded, otherwise they will cease to communicate once the 3G networks are shut down. AT&T recognized the need for an appropriate transition when it moved from 2G to 3G in 2016 and provided 4 1/2 years for that transition. The industry estimates that we now have upwards of 3 times the number of 3G devices to change out as we did for the 2G transition.  

Currently, the change-out requires an alarm technician to enter the premises and upgrade the existing equipment. Unfortunately, with the Coronavirus pandemic, many of our customers have been understandably reluctant to have us enter their homes and businesses. For nine months and counting, this has curtailed what was to be a three-year transition. Realistically, we are looking at least another seven months before we will be able to resume our normal ability to upgrade these systems. 

While AT&T has been working with the industry for the development of equipment that will allow consumers to self-install equipment that would upgrade home security systems, to date that equipment is still in the testing stage and will not work with most personal emergency response system used by homebound individuals and a significant number of alarm systems. While we are hopeful that the equipment will work, we are not certain it will or whether the manufacturer will be able to meet the demand in a timely fashion.  Accordingly, we are asking you to speak directly with AT&T and urge them to move back their 3G cellular shutdown date to December 2022 and make it the same time as Verizon’s shutdown. Failure to do so will put millions of homes, businesses, and lives needlessly at risk.  Include your address on the emails that you send so they know you are a constituent. Again, thank you in advance for your help.

 
We want to urge you to contact:

  • The member of the House and two senators who represent you and where your company is headquartered;
  • A member of the House and Senate Commerce Committees from any state where you have a significant presence a contact list of telecom staff for members of the committees is attached. 
  • Committee professional staff are critical.  In the House, it’s the House Energy and Commerce Committee and in the Senate it’s the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. Everyone should reach out to them because they and their staff are the people Congress and the industry look to set Telecom policy. It is especially important that you reach out to them if you have a significant presence in their state. 
    • If you are from New Jersey or have significant operations, it is important that you contact the House Energy and Commerce Committee staff for Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ)
    • If you are from Oregon or have significant operations in NJ, it’s important you contact the Energy and Commerce staff for Greg Walden
    • If you are from Mississippi, it is important that you contact the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS)
    • If you are from South Dakota or have a significant operations in South Dakota it is important that you contact Senator John Thune’s (R_SD) staff
    • If you are from Washington or have a significant presence in Washington it is important to reach out to Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
    • If you are from Hawaii or have a significant presence in Hawaii, it is important that you contact Senator Brian Schatz 

If you have questions you can contact Lou Fiore Ltfiore@aol.com or Bill Signer at signer@carmengroup.com (202) 365-9019 who represents us on telecom issues with the congress.  


If you get a response, please share it with us.

 
Thanks Again,

Caroline Dunlap

Carmen Group, Inc.

901 F Street NW

Suite 600

Washington, DC 20004

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CAA Setting up for a Virtual Conference

Like other associations and companies around the U.S., the California Alarm Associaton (CAA) plans to adjust to new Covid realities and hold a virtual conference December 3-4. Its Virtual Winter Conference will feature a keynote speaker, a CAA Executive Symposium and relevant workshops addressing the changing issues of the security industry.

Typically, SIAC attends the conference in person. This year we will log-in and participate remotely. We encourage those businesses connected to security issues in California to join as well. We all must continue to adapt to changing conditions and stay involved in industry-related activities. It is tremendously important to the long-term health of the electronic security industry.

This is an opportunity for all of us to participate in these state meetings like we do.  In just the last few months we have joined calls for Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Ohio.

If you are part of an association, send Stan Martin an email if you would like SIAC to share your registration/sign-up web page with our readers. Remember, SIAC will be happy to give a brief update on ordinance issues around the country that may impact their business. Stan can be reached at stan@siacinc.org.

The winter convention will include the presentation of the CAA George A. Weinstock Award to Mike Salk of Reed Brothers Security in recognition of his lifetime of achievement and volunteer service to the industry. For further information, visit www.caaonline.org or call CAA at 800.437.7658.

Leading sponsors include WBFAA UATC, Bay Alarm Company, Digital Watch Dog, ISC West, National Monitoring Center, Ignite Security Monitoring, Advanced Security Systems, DMP, INVISUS, PDK, Reitman Consulting Group, Security Funding Solutions and USA Central Station.

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“FAST” Careers in Electronic Security

New positions arise regularly in the electronic security industry. The nature of our field means we embrace technology. Which means things change. Which means new jobs and careers are created.

That requires new people to enter our industry to keep it vibrant and growing. SIAC has always supported the development of both the electronic security industry and evolving jobs and the skills to ensure alarms are installed, serviced and managed properly.

For that reason (and more), we’re pleased to see ESA and SIA launch the FAST Foundation (Foundation for Advancing Security Talent). It’s a good time for this effort, and two quality organizations that will publicize, recruit and develop talent in a high-quality environment.

FAST is a non-profit organization designed to promote careers in the physical security technology and life safety industry. It will connect the type of motivated professionals necessary to keep our industry vibrant and connected with further opportunities. For more information, visit the FAST website here.


According to Pierre Trapanese, Chairman of the SIA Board of Directors, “SIA members universally put recruiting talent into the security industry and workforce development at the top of the list. FAST will help our entire industry to be more competitive among all tech sectors. We are excited to partner with ESA to address an issue that we know is just as critical to the future of the industry as the continued development of technology.”

We agree.

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New ANSI Standard Released by TMA

The Monitoring Association (TMA) has released its update ANSI-accredited standard dealing with alarm verification and confirmation. The latest revision (TMA CS-V-01-2020, Version August 1, 2020) raises verification and confirmation standards by defining multiple-attempt confirmation, biometric, audio and video confirmation.

THIS IS IMPORTANT TO EACH ALARM DEALER – This updated standard is utilized in the national Model Ordinance.  Dealers and monitoring centers are expected to abide by this standard in cities that have adopted the model ordinance.  Most older ordinances (pre 2018) still require 2-call (ECV or ECC – Enhanced Call Confirmation) prior to a request for dispatch.

“I believe everyone should upgrade their monitoring procedures to incorporate these new best practices listed in the standard.  We need to be proactive and wait for the law (ordinance) to change,” said Stan Martin, Executive Director for SIAC.

Those stakeholders include monitoring center staff, emergency response professionals and law enforcement. We expect this updated standard to enhance our ongoing efforts to reduce unnecessary alarm dispatches.


Key to the new standard is defining multiple attempt verification, biometric, audio and video  confirmation.  You my download the standard for free at: https://tma.us/.

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Security Industry Needs Your Help on 3G Sunset

The security industry needs your help on the 3G sunset.

As many of you know, AT&T and Verizon have announced sunsets for their 3G networks. AT&T is calling for a sunset date of February 22, 2022 and Verizon is calling for a sunset of December of 2022 – 10 months later. Because of the Coronavirus many of our customers have been reluctant to have alarm technicians enter their homes and businesses so that we can upgrade their equipment to make them compatible with newer networks.

We need your help especially if your business is headquartered in one of the following states:

AK, AZ, CA, CT, CO, FL, HI, IA, IL, IN, KS, LA, MA, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, NE, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV

The industry is seeking a longer transition period before AT&T sunsets its 3G network. We are asking elected officials to reach out to AT&T and urge them to push back their sunset to December 2022 which would make AT&T’s sunset the same time as Verizon’s proposed sunset, citing the pandemic as the reason.

Linked here is a spreadsheet that includes the staffers of all the members on the House and Senate Telecom Subcommittees. House Members appear first, scroll down to the second page to find Senators. Please use the staffer’s email to contact the Telecom Sub-committee member.

Ideally, if your business is headquartered in a Sub-Committee member’s district or state, we would urge you to reach out to that member. Even if your business is not located in the member’s district but are from his/her state, they will pay attention.

To find out who represents your district go to:

Please let me know if you have any questions. Our lobbyist Bill Signer or I will endeavor to assist you. Thank you in advance for your help in helping our industry.

We are asking you to send the message below to your elected officials:

Dear Representative/Senator:

The burglar and fire alarm industry is seeking your help in urging AT&T to delay the shutdown of its 3G cellular network which is currently scheduled for February 22, 2022 – a mere 16 months from now – to December 2022. This would then have both Verizon and AT&T shutting down their 3G network cellular networks at the same time.

Our industry protects the safety, and property of over 30 million homes and businesses. Additionally, many seniors depend upon us to monitor their personal emergency response systems allowing them to live at home. Many of these systems were installed using the 3G cellular network and must be upgraded, otherwise they will cease to communicate once the 3G networks are shutdown. Historically, AT&T recognized the need for an appropriate time period when it moved from 2G to 3G and provided 4 1/2 years for that transition. The industry estimates that we now have upwards of 3 times the number of 3G devices to change out as we did in the past transition.

Currently, the change-out requires an alarm technician to enter the premise and upgrade the existing equipment. Unfortunately, with the Coronavirus pandemic understandably many of our customers have been reluctant to have us enter their homes and businesses. For six months and counting this has curtailed what was to be a two year transition. Realistically, we are looking at least another nine months before we will be able to resume our normal ability to upgrade these systems.

While AT&T has been working with the industry for the development of equipment that will allow consumers to self-install equipment that would upgrade home security systems, to date that equipment is still in the testing stage. While we are hopeful that the equipment will work, we are not certain it will or whether the manufacturer will be able to meet the demand in a timely fashion.

Accordingly, we are asking you to speak directly with AT&T and urge them to move back their 3G cellular shutdown date to December 2022 and make it the same time as Verizon’s shutdown. Failure to do so will put millions of homes, businesses, and lives needlessly at risk.

Include your address on the emails that you send so they know you are a constituent.

Again, thank you in advance for your help.

Stay safe,

Lou Fiore

Chair, AICC

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