ESA backs Michigan Alarm Association

Thursday, October 4, 2012

IRVING, Texas—The Electronic Security Association has thrown strong support behind the Burglar and Fire Alarm Association of Michigan by opposing legislation that would potentially facilitate the entry of telecommunications companies into the state’s electronic security and life safety sector. According to a statement from the trade association, the legislation would place an undue burden on existing providers.

Two recently introduced bills—Senate bills 1291 and 1292—would create separate licensing requirements in Michigan for IP-enabled security systems, while also circumventing existing statutes currently followed by BFAAM members and other providers.

Rather than working within the boundaries of existing statutes, ESA and BFAAM say the new legislation would create new and unnecessary licensing structures, require many current providers to obtain two licenses, and allow new entrants in the industry to bypass criminal background checks.

The associations are both concerned by the speed at which the bills passed. In a letter to several state legislators, ESA President John Knox emphasized the group’s reasons for opposing the bills, and noted that one of the major proponents of the legislation is AT&T, a telecommunications giant which is fast moving into the electronic security market. In the letter, Knox stated that “proponents of the bill should instead update the definitions of a security alarm company or system contained in the present statutes, rather than creating a new and burdensome licensing scheme.”