Industry leaders discuss municipal monitoring legislation

Fire protection districts working to pass legislation that would allow them to operate their own central monitoring stations


Editor's note: The following article is abbreviated from the Feb. 2011 issue of SD&I magazine.

More than 100 central station owners and representatives, dealers, security distributors and industry professionals gathered late last month to attend the Illinois Electronic Security Association's (IESA) quarterly meeting. The main and heated topic of discussion was legislation opposed by the IESA, Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) and the Electronic Security Association (ESA), that fire protection districts are working to pass that would allow them to operate their own central monitoring stations.

According to IESA Executive Director Kevin Lehan, a NFPA 72 technical committee member who worked as a consultant to a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) claimed central stations take too long to respond to an alarm-up to 15 minutes. PSAP leaders plan to communicate this to municipal leaders, who will proceed to argue this case alongside a bill IESA believes will be presented by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) in Springfield.

Lehan confirmed that this is false and a clear misrepresentation of information, citing that NFPA 72 requires a maximum of 90 seconds to respond to a signal and transmit that signal to 911 emergency dispatch.

The bill, if passed, would potentially allow municipalities to take subscribers from private monitoring companies.

"The only option we have here is to go to the politicians," explained Patrick Devereaux, senior vice president, EMERgency24. "They may understand it better than anyone else."

To read more of this story, check out the February issue of Security Dealer & Integrator magazine.