Ask the Security Alarm and Monitoring Expert

Various Functions
SIA, NBFAA CSAA, ASIS and NFPA are associations often mentioned in the magazine. Can you please explain their function?”

A: There are several associations helpful to security professionals on a variety of levels. The breakdown goes something like this: dealers generally belong to NBFAA and also CSAA, if they are UL listed or FM approved. Manufacturers generally belong to SIA. Security professionals belong to ASIS as individuals. NFPA is comprised of industry folks whose main activity is fire.

Through a federation of state associations, the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA) reaches grass roots members, enabling them to band together on national issues. NBFAA delivers information, professional development tools, products, and services. The purpose of the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) is to foster and maintain the relationship among providers, users, bureaus, and other agencies of UL listed and/or FMRC-Approved central station protection services. CSAA promotes the mutual interests of the UL listed and/or FMRC-Approved central station alarm industry members with public officials, the insurance industry and customers. This differentiates CSAA from the others.

The Security Industry Association’s (SIA) role is to responsibly drive demand for industry technologies and services. SIA promotes the growth, expansion and professionalism of the security industry through the development and promotion of education and training programs, research, technical standards, and legislative advocacy of its members’ interests.

ASIS is dedicated to increasing the effectiveness and productivity of security practices by developing educational programs and materials that address broad security concerns, as well as specific security topics. ASIS helps lead the way for advanced and improved security performance.

The mission of the international nonprofit National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating scientifically-based consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. In fact, NFPA’s 300 codes and standards influence every building, process, service, design, and installation in the United States, as well as many of those used in other countries.

NFPA’s focus on true consensus has helped the association’s code-development process earn accreditation from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). From among NFPA’s code making process come the National Fire Code (NFPA 72) and the National Electrical Code (NFPA 70) and the newly developed Premises Security Guide and Installation Standard (NFPA 730 and 731).

These associations work together on many levels. For example, NBFAA, CSAA and SIA hold reciprocal Board seats on each other’s Board of Directors. NBFAA, CSAA and SIA are all members of the Alarm Industry Communications Committee (AICC). Joined also by ASIS, all the associations are members of the Security Industry Standards Council (SISC), another super committee dedicated to providing a vehicle to assist in standards approvals under ANSI rules.

>Louis T. Fiore is a consultant from Sparta, NJ. He is Past President of CSAA (1997-1999) and President of L.T. Fiore, Inc. His practice includes the use of wireless and the Internet for alarm monitoring, as well as regulatory issues for security systems in general. He also serves as Chairman of Central Station Alarm Association’s (CSAA) Alarm Industry Communications Committee (AICC) and Standards Committee. He is the current chairman of the SIA’s Security Industry Standards Council (SISC) and a long-time member of the Supervising Station Committee of NFPA 72. Send your questions to