New Legislation Threatens Industry License

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


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.