CSAA General Membership Meeting: 'CSAA is in very good shape'

Video, audio, PERS standards committees hard at work
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

PITTSBURGH—The Central Station Alarm Association was hard at work at the third annual Electronic Security Expo here. CSAA treasurer Daniel Demers (Reliance Protectron) delivered the treasurer’s report to a happy room. “In 2009, despite the tough economic climate, we were still able to finish last year with a surplus. For those of you who were able to attend the annual meeting, you know last year was a challenge,” Demers said. “The dues moved—from 2008 to 2009—over 30 percent … With the dues, we’re going to be over $700,000 for this year … CSAA is in very good shape.”

CSAA president Ed Bonifas extended a welcome to ETL. ETL Director-Life Safety and Security Services Tom Connaughton was present at the meeting and nodded an acknowledgement. CSAA voted to accept ETL listing as sufficient for a company to become a member, effectively adding another layer of choice to security companies looking to be vetted, certified and welcomed into the associations (continue to watch www.securitysystemsnews.com for more on this story).

“The Board of Directors yesterday at our board meeting followed through with the bylaws amendments that they passed back in October and we reviewed the application for recognition by CSAA of Intertek ETL,” Bonifas said. “I’m here to report today—and congratulations to Tom Connaughton in the back of the room—that as of this meeting membership in CSAA can be had by UL-, FM- or ETL-listed central stations.”

Vector Security COO and CSAA secretary Pam Petrow gave an update on the CAD-to-CAD protocol on which she’s been working for a number of years. “We’ve made significant progress since the last meeting. We are ready to move ahead with a case … Within the next 30 days we’re going to have a webinar set up to go over the technical points of it. You can let us know who you want to attend that webinar to get specifics,” Petrow said. “Virginia State Police have approved the integration for the entire state … Houston, Texas, anticipates they’re going to go online in December of this year.”

The need for standards was discussed at a number of the seminars during ESX, including “PERS as a Profitable Solution,” and “Video Verification Challenges.” Lou Fiore, chairman of the CSAA standards committee, gave a report on the current status of up-and-coming standards of which the industry is in need. “Video verification, the draft is still in process, audio verification the draft is completed and is ready to go to SISC [Security Industry Standards Council, SIA]. A year ago we elected to outline a PERS response and it didn’t pass,” Fiore said. “We now find that MAMA is trying to write a PERS response standard, but MAMA is not an ANSI-approved SDO [standard development organization], so we hope to join forces with them and work together to actually put a PERS response standard out there. I characterize this as the Wild West. There’s a very weak UL standard regarding hardware for PERS … but there’s no talk at all about what to do at the central station and for liability purposes we think it would be a good idea.” Fiore also said a Video Dispatch Standard Committee had been formed and would be chaired by Mace CSSS’ Morgan Hertel.

The meeting comprised reports from committee chairs including Bob Bean, Bob Bonifas, Mel Mahler, Stanley Oppenheim, Joe Miskulin, Pat Lowitt, Lou Fiore, Pam Petrow, Bob Bitton, Bud Wulforst, Steve Doyle and Mike Miller among others.