Innovation Awards Announced by ESX

Innovation drives new solutions. Alarm management improves through technological initiatives like the ASAP (Automated Secure Alarm Protocol) program – where 911 centers get and respond to inquiries and emergencies through the Internet, rather than over the phone, thereby limiting mistakes. We support the increased drive towards innovation in the alarm industry for those reasons.
Because of this, we’d like to trumpet ESX’s recent announcement of its Innovation Awards winners. SIAC would like to congratulate these companies for taking their businesses to the next level. To see the specific winners, click here:


Winners were selected from a pool of applications from manufacturers and service providers, serving the industry with innovative end-user offerings and tools that help dealers, integrators and monitoring professionals become more efficient and profitable.


These companies were judged in the following areas: features and functions, innovation, end-user experience, ability to solve a problem, revenue growth potential, impact on company value and efficiencies, and compliance with regulations.


Winners will be featured on the show floor at the ESX Innovation Awards Showcase in Booth 707 during expo hours, June 20-21. ESX will be held in Nashville, Tenn., this year, from June 19-22.


In addition, the top 10 category winners will compete in the TechVision Challenge—a live, Shark Tank-style competition judged by industry experts at ESX. The judges for the 2018 TechVision Challenge will be: Steve Firestone of Select Security, Robert Few of The Connection Xchange and Melissa Brinkman of Custom Alarm.


SIAC hopes to see you there at ESX.

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The Monitoring Association Announces Finalists for Excellence Awards

The Monitoring Association has announced its twelve finalists for the 2018 TMA Excellence Awards. SIAC salutes these individuals and companies for putting extra effort into better practices. High quality monitoring center practices typically means excellence in alarm management programs as well. The two go hand-in-hand.


Listed in alphabetical order by company within each category, they are:

Monitoring Center of the Year Finalists: ADT, Affiliated, Vector

Monitoring Center Operator of the Year Finalists: Duane Hilton, ADT; Linda Reed, Dynamark; Patricia Fody, Vector

Monitoring Center Manager of the Year Finalists: Shari Wilson, ADT; Carmelo Mosca, Affiliated; Bill Fisher, UAS

Monitoring Center Support Person of the Year Finalists: Beth Bailey, ADT; Lamar Shroyer, Dynamark; Boris Pejic, G4S

The TMA Monitoring Center Excellence Awards recognize any FM Approvals, Intertek/ETL or UL-listed monitoring center (TMA members and non-members) and outstanding personnel who perform in the highest professional manner, thereby making a significant contribution to the betterment of the alarm industry and the alarm profession while demonstrating exceptional service to their customers and community.

The purpose of the awards program is to:

  • Establish and promote the inherent value of professional monitoring services in general.
  • Honor those who have made the most significant contributions to the service.
  • Promote the distinct level of professionalism attained by NRTL-approved monitoring centers.

The TMA Monitoring Center Excellence Awards are judged by a blue-ribbon volunteer judging panel appointed by TMA. The four winners will be announced at the Opening Reception of the 2018 Electronic Security Expo (ESX) on Tuesday, June 19. For past winners and more information, visit

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Ron Walters Retires

Ron Walters hung up his SIAC spikes a couple of weeks ago. We knew it had to happen at some point, but similar to other expected news you receive in life, you’re still never prepared for the news. We certainly weren’t.

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There’s no need to go through Ron’s tangible accomplishments because what SIAC and the security industry are losing goes far beyond what Ron rang up number-wise as a police officer, running his alarm business or with SIAC the past 15 years. What Ron leaves is an emotional and leadership gap that can’t be filled. It’s not easy to stand up in front of a city council and sway an opinion. Very few people are capable of meeting with a police chief and through his or her force of will and experience get the chief to not only consider your position, but change his own and then adopt yours. Ron was a master at both of these skills. We saw him time and again masterfully present timely and sensitive materials to key elected officials, and come away with a win for our industry.

Thank you, Ron. We thank you for your SIAC contributions, and how frequently you stepped up – catching flights at early morning hours and returning home late. We thank you for the often thankless task of sitting in with state associations and meeting with officials for long hours to get specific information introduced and adopted into local laws.   We thank you for the tedious but tremendously important work of rewriting ordinances all over the United States. We thank you for your dedication to improving industry equipment standards.

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We will miss Ron’s sense of humor. We will miss his drive. We will miss his fun side. We’ll miss his commitment. Our industry is lesser because of his retirement, but he’s enriched many of our lives along the way, and we’ll retain those memories.


If you happen to know or worked with Ron Walters face-to-face, you recognize his penchant for storytelling. No industry gathering was complete without some insanely insightful critiques on human behavior from Ron, whether that story was from his days as an officer, running his business or on the road for SIAC. He shared many of those stories with you when he was invited as a guest speaker to industry meetings, enriching the lives of those having the opportunity to be in the audience. He has the gift of taking something complicated and spinning a simple tale so you got his point and he sold you on it. That encapsulates much of Ron’s success. He connected with people and his passion came through. You heard him, you paid attention, and then you’d say something like, “That makes sense. Let’s do it.” And he’d move on it.


That type of talent, energy and communication is rare. He will not be duplicated. Our past and present staff here at SIAC – Stan Martin, Glen Mowrey, Dave Simon, Jon Sargent, Ron Haner, Tom Sweeney, Steve Keefer, David Margulies – all know Ron’s longstanding service to our industry and what he’s meant to SIAC and our mission. He’s been integral to our success for all the reasons outlined above. We’re better off because of him, and all of us on staff have benefited from Ron’s wisdom, his willingness to share and help at a moment’s notice and his unfailing commitment to fundamentally HELP OUR INDUSTRY IMPROVE. And that is really what Ron is all about – a guy wanting to do what’s best and giving it everything. We’ll miss you, brother.

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Unique Contribution from Amherst Alarm

Amherst Alarm CEO Tim Creenan has committed a financial pledge to SIAC in support of our legal efforts to battle ordinances that threaten non-response and other factors, such as those adopted recently in Sandy Springs, Ga. We’ve known Tim for a long time as a friend and a highly respected security industry colleague. His unique pledge speaks volumes about his character and commitment to better alarm management practices in our industry. We can’t thank him enough for the contribution.


Creenan is a newly inducted member of the Security Sales & Integration (SSI) Industry Hall of Fame. He will donate 10 cents for each Amherst Alarm customer to SIAC, resulting in a substantial donation. The donation will be divided between the fund established to fight the Sandy Springs ordinance and funding for SIAC’s ongoing nationwide activities to promote a “Model Alarm Ordinance” that has dramatically decreased false alarms in communities nationwide.



“There is no question that cities such as Sandy Springs negatively impact our business and our customers with ordinances based on misinformation or animosity toward our industry. A small investment now will pay tremendous dividends if ordinances that fine alarm companies, impose outrageous fees for registration and false alarms, and generally discourage or punish people from protecting their lives and property go unchallenged,” Creenan told SSI recently.


Let’s not kid ourselves. There are individuals in the country who spend a considerable amount of their time trying to undermine our industry’s credibility and promote ordinances that either fine alarm companies or severely limit police response to alarms. Their misinformation campaigns can take root when there is no alternative voice to provide expertise on the issue.


Without a proactive program to engage the nation’s 18,000 public safety agencies these efforts will gain momentum, harm our relationship with customers and place excessive administrative and financial burdens on our businesses.


Creenan, who serves on the SIAC board as a representative of the Electronic Security Association (ESA), is urging other companies to make the same donation of 10 cents per customer. We deeply appreciate Tim taking these steps to further a cause that benefits all companies in our industry. If you’d like to set up a similar program, contact Stan Martin directly at If you’d like to make a direct donation to our collective cause, follow this link on our web site.


“I can’t think of any investment with a higher potential ROI than funding SIAC’s well-established track record for promoting the Model Alarm Ordinance and fighting back when our industry and those we serve are attacked. It is clearly a case of pay now or pay much more later,” Creenan told SSI.

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The Difficulties Faced by Local Security Companies

We recognize how tough things are for family-owned and/or small security companies. You’re busy on many fronts. You’re dealing with accounts payable and receivable, hiring and training, sales and ordering equipment. Most business owners wear multiple hats.

That’s a major reason SIAC is important to you. We handle the details on alarm management, working with local officials, promoting good ordinances that work for all parties, opposing ordinances that negatively impact your business, and sharing information that you may not have access to which ensures our industry’s messages are heard at the local, state and national level.

bay alarm

Recently, we heard from a small security company that contributes to SIAC. They pointed out that they do not have the time to understand all the local issues. They want to do the right thing, but can’t dedicate the resources to doing that little bit extra which would allow them to meet with local law enforcement, for example, and groom the relationship. We understand that. That’s why SIAC is around. It’s also why we need your financial support.

Smaller local security companies are the backbone of our industry. SIAC serves companies of all sizes, but the smaller guys are a unique niche that captures our heart. We know you are out on the front lines driving sales, and making sure your bottom lines stays on the plus side. Because of that you may not have the expertise or time to participate in terms of local engagement on alarm issues.

We understand the difficulties. It’s why we’re here. In fact, it’s a major reason SIAC came to be. We educate and/or  fight when necessary for you so you can run your business. Help us by being our eyes and ears in the field, and remember we’re here to serve your needs and allow you the extra room to meet the core demands of your bottom line.


Please don’t believe your contribution is not needed, WE NEED YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT! Help us to  keep fighting your fight.

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Three Great Events from the California Alarm Association

Next week is ISC West in Las Vegas. SIAC will be there. We hope you are too. We know the California Alarm Association will host a number of events, and we encourage you to join them if at all possible and support their efforts:


SC’s Got Talent!
April 10, 2018 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Hosted Bar 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. VIP for Sponsors

Featuring the GREATEST SINGERS including the triumphant return of Dos Associones (George Gunning and Les Gold) live on the Las Vegas Strip. Join more than 300 members of the California Alarm Association, Nevada Security Association, ESA of Utah, Arizona Alarm Association and more than 20 other organizations for a special welcome reception.

Leadership Breakfast 
April 11, 2018
7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

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Join members of local, state and national associations at the official beginning of the first day at ISC West followed by the keynote address. Full breakfast and presentation of the funds raised for the associations.

NSA Public Safety Luncheon 
April 12, 2018
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Galileo 1001-1004
NSA hosts the western states luncheon with a special focus on public safety including guests from police and fire agencies and presentation of the NSA/ESA Youth Scholarship Awards.


See what’s new in technology. Catch up with your colleagues at networking opportunities. We’ve attended ISC West for many years, and it continues to offer great sessions, new security tools and insights to help businesses grow. We look forward to seeing you there.

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Alarm Detection Systems Targets Bad Actors

Alarm Detection Systems out of Aurora, IL has long had a superior program to reduce nuisance alarm activations. Central to their program is a list that years ago they termed the “Horrible 100.” Though they don’t use that term any more, they still identify the bad actors, and do something about it. It’s a program SIAC lauds and one other companies should consider emulating.

It’s not difficult to accomplish, but does take forward thinking, dedication and someone on your staff to do the work. Alarm Detection Systems has all of those. It led to them winning the Police Dispatch Quality Award in 2007-8 for having the top program in the U.S. for reducing false alarm activations.

bad actor

But let’s get back to the concept of a Horrible 100. Alarm Detection Systems identifies those customers who have repeated false alarm activations. They capture the data. They have an employee specifically dedicated to this as part of her job. She personally calls the offenders to find the problem causing the alarm, then strategizes a solution with the customer over the phone.


Compared to a year ago, they reduced false dispatches in January by close to 30 percent and by close to 60 percent in the month of February. Those are huge reductions. How did they do it?


Much of the reduction comes through the use of daily analytics on the false alarms and taking a much more aggressive approach to the causes and strategizes solutions to resolve the problem permanently.  Many solutions are as easy as increasing the entrance delay time, re-keying the exit doors so employees’ keys only work the identified entrance door, making all doors with the entrance delay, and many other logical solutions to the problem.


The electronic security industry is about customer service in many ways. You succeed with superior customer service. It’s what sets you apart as a company. Alarm Detection Systems has this in spades. We sometimes presume that having a top notch alarm management program is strictly about the numbers, but they show it’s much more than that. They are connecting with their customers, crafting solutions, opening the lines of communication and working cooperatively to improve alarm management. SIAC believes we all can learn from that example.

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