The Security Week That Was: June 22, 2007

FCC not AMPed

The big news in our industry this week was that the FCC decided not to back down on its stance about analog cellular systems. Maintaining such "AMPS" systems will not be required of cellular providers after Feb 2008, and thus analog systems used for either primary or secondary alarm communication may no longer be supported, depending on the vendor and when they shut their systems down. Those of you who are dealers and/or provide security and fire monitoring are probably fairly aware of this issue, but I think the major problem at this point is educating the users of this technology, who may have such a system mounted atop their building or in a control closet, about the expected termination of analog communications.

Fortunately, the FCC has said it will commit to an awareness campaign, and hopefully columns like this one will raise the awareness as well.

A Little Foggy about It
Security fogs questioned by leading safety and security organizations

We received a good deal of attention on our brief story about concerns over security fog systems, which emit a fog-like substance (usually water and glycol) to deter robbers. A number of persons involved in the industry with experience and knowledge of these products have contacted SIW, and we'll be sharing more information as you contemplate the value, need and safety of such equipment. However, I do want to make two points. First: Such systems largely use the same chemical composition of their "fog," and secondly, best practices in installing these systems would be to place them in such a manner that they drive burglars off the premises, rather than trapping them in the facility.

Summer Contests
It's hot, so you might as well try to win something

Are you feeling lucky? Two vendors notified me this week of contests/giveaways they're doing this summer, and since trade journalists like me aren't eligible, I thought you might be interested.

Contest #1: Airship is giving away a DVR to the person who can show the best cable routing and "clean" installation of security equipment in a server room. Route those cables well and you could win a DVR worth up to $2,750.

Contest #2: Z-Wave is holding a contest to hear about the most innovative use of its equipment. The winner gets $500 worth of the companies home systems control products.

In Other News
Verdict on retailer's hidden camera, ASIS to advise ISO on standards, surveys, more

Not far from our office here in Atlanta, a retailer in Athens, Ga., lost a lawsuit this week over a hidden camera in a back area of the store where some employees went to change clothes for shifts. According to the retailer, the camera had been placed there for surveillance of internal theft, but that didn't sway the court. ... ASIS is now an ISO liaison, and as such will have input on the International Standards Organization's development of security standards. ... Bosch Security is bringing its service and repair operations under one roof in Lincoln, Nebraska. ... Dealers are asked to respond to a joint survey from Security Dealer and on growth and M&As, and security end-users are being surveyed by the Security Executive Council to create industry benchmarks for security directors.

Finally, a look at our most read stories of the week: