Create the Right Business Climate

To run a successful electronic security company requires owners and leaders to push a lot of the right buttons. One under-stated quality is building and maintaining a positive business climate. What does that mean?


Simply put, you have talented people in the right positions and they work to sell and install your technology effectively and in a way that employees support each other and your customer base. But, as any business owner recognizes, those words are easier said than done.


With many recent articles in the media about the difficulty in hiring and retaining quality individuals (and we’ve seen our share of those stories in the security industry year after year), it becomes even more important to stick to that simple model noted above so you recruit talent and keep it. This all starts with the leader or owner. Your actions are watched. Employees pay attention. They take their lead from you.

What you say and do impacts how your people go about their jobs. This is tremendously important when you throw additional business-related issues into the equation, like alarm management. An alarm management program at your company will be successful if the owner commits to it, verbalizes its importance and acts on that by delivering the right tools and information to the team so they can do good work in the field.


Set the tone. Make sure your sales and tech teams know about local alarm requirements. Share information from SIAC on permitting programs, the model ordinance and two-call verification. These are good selling tools when working with customers, and armed with our quality materials, you’ll build a better business environment for your employees to succeed and serve your customers better.

Check out our SIAC web site. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. You’ll find the information you need.

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Alarm Detection Systems in Aurora, IL Wins PDQ for Second Time

Alarm Detection Systems in Aurora, IL won the Police Dispatch Quality (PDQ) Award for the second time. They were honored at ESX in Nashville, TN last month.


We’ve known the Bonifas family for a long time. They’ve run Alarm Detection Systems responsibly and with a total commitment to the causes that SIAC is committed to: exemplary alarm management practices. In particular, Bob Bonifas has stepped forward repeatedly over the years to help the security industry raise standards when it comes to reducing unnecessary dispatches to alarm signals.


So, while his company is now the second to win the award twice, it doesn’t come as surprise. We almost expect this type of effort from the company, its employees and the practices they employ. Their enterprise is professional at all times, and we salute them for that.


This year’s recipient has shown has been a leader in dispatch reduction efforts for over two decades. They were one of the very first companies to appoint a staff position to review the previous day’s dispatches, call customers, determine corrective actions required and apply the necessary resources to resolve the issue.


SIAC thanks co-sponsors Honeywell for their annual $1,000 contribution to the PDQ winner and Security Sales and Integration magazine and their editor Scott Goldfine as media sponsor.


Established jointly in 2005 by the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA) and SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION, and now also officially endorsed by the Installation Quality (IQ) program and sponsored by Honeywell.

The Police Dispatch Quality (PDQ) Award program targets the alarm management issue by recognizing those installing and monitoring companies that follow established industry practices and partner with law enforcement to achieve the highest quality in minimizing police dispatch requests.

Companies are judged not only on their alarm rate, but also their training, literature, use of industry-recommended practices like Enhanced Call Confirmation, daily follow-up with customers, tracking problem accounts and more. Additionally, a police department must be supportive of the award submission and submit a letter confirming the alarm rate and acceptability of the applicant. Applications are scored by independent judges in 15 different areas.

The goal of the PDQ program is to raise industry-wide awareness, motivate alarm companies to be proactive and provide models that work for others to follow. SIAC congratulates Alarm Detection Systems of Aurora, IL!

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Louisiana Bill Prohibits Customer Fines to Companies

The state of Louisiana passed House Bill 653 introduced by Representative Simon and signed by the Governor May 30 that prohibits customer fines from being assessed to security companies. The provisions are under Section 1664.16 C and can be found on SIAC’s State Activity Report. We urge you to check it out.


There are many reasons we’d like you to look at and consider this legislation. One of the bigger issues we’ve addressed the past 2-3 years in our service to the security industry is the issue of local municipalities passing ordinances that charge alarm fines to the companies. That type of ordinance is akin to fining the car companies when a motorist speeds.


We have fought hard at the local level for years on this issue. It’s tremendously heartening to see a STATE taking it up and passing legislation that prevents local alarm ordinances from including provisions that would fine security companies for their customers’ false alarm.  Here is the specific language to look for in the bill on page 11 highlighted in yellow on SIAC’s State Activity Report:


“… Security firms and its employees and security monitoring firms shall not be              subject to or liable for civil penalties and fines assessed or imposed by a municipality or parish for false alarms.”


Pretty simple. If you live in a state where this is a concern, take this language to your state legislator and see if you can work something out along similar lines. Change does not occur in a vacuum. To fix problems, action must be taken. In the case of fining security companies, SIAC is on the forefront of fighting to eliminate those provisions in local laws.


This legislation is an extremely important step forward for our industry. Please share this message with others so the information gains a wider audience. With your help, we can get ahead of this issue on a statewide level.

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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.

ron walters san diego
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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