News

October 26, 2012

Today, there are nearly 300 companies here in Michigan licensed to provide security alarm services across our state.  This is a very competitive industry that ensures safety for our customers.  Yet very large and influential telecommunication corporations seek legislation to undo the industry license - a model license for the industry - and in doing so the legislation jeopardizes consumer protections.

The industry welcomes the addition of large telecommunication competitors to the already competitive industry.  However, BFAAM advocates for a level playing field for all competitors in an industry licensed by the state of Michigan to provide appropriate safeguards for consumers.  In other words, BFAAM recommends simplification and amendments to the current industry licensing standards, not the creation of a new registration provision that adds additional regulations and definitions.

BFAAM needs your help! 

Click here to view a sample memo you can use and share it with your state representative TODAY! 

Click here to find your state representative. 

Click here to download the chart comparing the safeguards in the current license to the proposals outlined in the new registration process.  You may wish to share this your state representative as well. 

If Senate Bills 1291 and SB 1292 continue to move through the legislative process, BFAAM believes that the package can still create a level playing field for all alarm businesses and still ensure consumer safety through a few very reasonable changes.  Without these amendments Michiganconsumers risk inviting criminals into their homes and businesses.   BFAAM recommends the following in order to protect our customers and Michigan consumers:

  • BFAAM recommends the background checks should be performed by the Michigan State Police (MSP) or Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as they are in the current act.  After all, who better than MSP or FBI knows if an individual has a felony on record?  BFAAM is concerned that private background checks are neither consistent nor accurate enough for this industry from a consumer safety standpoint. 
  • Staff who monitor alarms at a central station should also not have a felony record and should have to comply with the regulations the same as any other security alarm employee.  BFAAM recommends for SB 1291, Section 4, (2) adding the word “monitor” after the word “install” in that subsection.  BFAAM believes it is just as important for a consumer to know who is watching the alarms and cameras as it is for them to know who is installing them.
  • The bill provides for enforcement on unregistered alarm companies.  BFAAM recommends extending enforcement for these bills on registered companies as well.  This would make the registrants accountable for what they do when operating in this industry and allowing the department to go after bad actors who try to skirt this registration act.  After all, why create a process if there are no penalties for not following the rules laid out in the process?  And registered companies should be treated any differently than unregistered companies. 
October 26, 2012

As you know, large telecommunication companies are behind legislation that circumvents the current security alarm license requirements by creating a new registration requirement and an updated definition for internet security monitoring.  In doing so, these bills undo the consumer protection for our constituents across the State of Michigan that has existed for over 30 years.

The industry welcomes the addition of large telecommunication competitors to the already competitive industry.  However, BFAAM advocates for a level playing field for all competitors in an industry licensed by the state of Michigan to provide appropriate safeguards for consumers.  In other words, BFAAM recommends simplification and amendments to the current industry licensing standards, not the creation of a new registration provision that adds additional regulations and definitions.

 At this time, BFAAM opposes SB 1291-1292 as they passed out of the Senate as the industry believes the new registration process the bills seek to create should better reflect current licensing practices. While BFAAM wholeheartedly agrees with the premise to update and simplify the current requirements and definitions for the industry, SB 1291-1292 eliminates too many provisions from the current license statute and does not do enough to protect Michigan consumers.

Michigan’s license has been recognized across the country as a model state for the security alarm industry.  Michigan’s security alarm license statute has been viewed as an easy entry for businesses while protecting our valued consumer’s homes and businesses, as evidenced with roughly 300 companies currently licensed and 0 serious violations to consumers.  If the license is not broken then what are these bills truly trying to fix?

The Burglar and Fire Alarm Association of Michigan (BFAAM) strongly believes that the security alarm industry should be a licensed profession; without criminals working in nor licensed in the state; licensing should be done statewide without duplicate licenses at the local government level; and that the definition of a security alarm company be updated to fit with modern alarm platforms and applications.

Following is a chart demonstrating the differences between the current safeguards under the security alarm license and the proposals for the industr as outlined in SB 1291-1292. 

 

 

 Current License Requirements

 Registration Requirements

License

No license, instead this is registration

$500 every two years

$50 per year

Must be at least 25 years of age

Must be at least 18 years old

Must have at least high school education

Must have at least high school education

No felonies

No felony within the last 5 years

Not dishonorably discharged from military service

No mention of military service discharge

Has had the security business for at least 3 years or has been an employee of a licensee for at least 4 years  -or- is able to pass a competency test

No competency or experience requirement

Has posted a bond or liability insurance with LARA

No bond or liability requirement

Is sane

Is sane

No outstanding warrants

Warrants are acceptable

File an employee roster with LARA on a quarterly basis

LARA would have no idea who is actually working in the field, installing alarms, nor monitoring security systems.  LARA simply would have a list of companies that register as security alarm contractors.

Conduct fingerprint background checks, by the State Police and the FBI, on all employees to ensure no criminals are employed in the industry.

Legislation now includes a background check provision; however, there is no definition of who does it or what constitutes a background check

Current statute includes the monitoring of security alarms

Does not include monitoring of security alarms nor are staff monitoring alarms required to have background checks

No local governments can create nor charge for a duplicate license.  In other words, one license is good throughout the state of Michigan.

No local governments can create nor charge for a duplicate license.  In other words, one license is good throughout the state of Michigan.

Enforcement possible on licensed alarm companies only.  No enforcement exists for unlicensed activities.

Enforcement possible on unregistered alarm companies only.  No enforcement on the registered alarm companies.

 

August 19, 2011

As you know, on Monday, August 15, 2011, the Detroit Police Department (DPD) unexpectedly announced a change in direction and created what they refer to as Verified Response for security alarms.  BFAAM opposes this new policy and is fighting hard to convince DPD that their new policy is flawed.  BFAAM needs help from you, the licensed security alarm dealer and your customers. 

 

Please click here for a sample letter you can use.

Please cick here for a list of contacts who should receive your letter.

 

BFAAM recommends:

  1. You send the letter to your customers.
  2. Make contact with the Mayor, Chief and City Council.
  3. Provide your customers with the Contact List and encourage them to contact these same people.

 

If there is enough action, outrage and concern by the citizens, then there will be positive changes in Detroit!

July 26, 2011

In a recent decision, an Illinois Court has ruled against a local municipal ordinance regarding fire protection.  Attached is a permanent injunction Judge Milton Shadur issued against the Lisle-Woodridge Fire Protection District barring it from entering the fire-alarm monitoring business.  Click here to view the court order. 

March 16, 2011

The Burglar and Fire Alarm Association of Michigan is pleased to unveil its Apprenticeship Program which has already been authorized by the US Department of Labor. Click here for more information and frequently asked questions that may help you better understand the apprenticeship program.

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