EPA to begin enforcement of lead paint rule

New rule applies to residences, child care facilities and schools built prior to 1978

"(The EPA) didn't do their job properly to know the different types of industries that work on pre-1980 buildings and they should have granted our exemption, because (the security industry) is not in the construction trade per say," he said. "The most important thing they didn't do their job on was consider the impact of the certification and training on trying to train 300,000 or 400,000 people that potentially work on these buildings. They just didn't understand the immense impact this would have on the industry."

Despite the furor that has been generated over the new lead paint regulation, George Gunning, CEO of USA Alarm Systems Inc. and former president of the ESA, says he doesn't believe that security dealers have much to worry about because they won't generally be disturbing areas greater than six-square-feet.

"I'm not going to be cutting out walls, and if we do cut it out, it's not going to be me on a job, it's going to be somebody else; it's going to be the renovators," he said. "I didn't see a problem with (the lead paint rule) to be honest with you. I'm not sure that our industry and installing alarm systems is going to be affected. Even if one of our people fell through a ceiling, we're going to have somebody else come in and put a new ceiling up, not us."

Even for those contractors that install more than keypads and panels, Gunning said he still doesn't see the rule as being a hindrance to them.

"I really don't see a lot of problems for an integrator and if I was an integrator, I would probably hire somebody that knows what they are doing cutting out walls and then having to repair them," he said.

Though the lead paint rule may not affect all security installers, Chwat believes that there could be more regulations on the way that could have a detrimental impact on the industry.

"At least for the next two years, the EPA will be an aggressive agency among many agencies that will take anti-business policy positions and try to implement them through regulations, as opposed to getting legislative authority," he said. "This is going to be a great battle in the next two years. We are very active with the business community in Washington, so I predict that there will be many, many more regulations coming down that will affect the security industry."