It’s time to come together on standards

Friday, July 1, 2005

It's been more than two years in the works and finally the National Fire Protection Association took its first step toward becoming a standard setting body for the security industry when its members approved its efforts last month.
The standard, referred to as NFPA 731 Installation of Premises Security Equipment, would provide instruction to the application, installation, performance, testing and maintenance of security equipment. And even though its membership approved the initiative, it's not a done deal yet. It still requires approval by NFPA's Standards Council and adoption by authorities having jurisdiction.
It also needs to make it past the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association, which initiated an eleventh hour attempt to defeat it. Weeks before NFPA's vote on the standard, the association issued a position paper saying that it did not support the standard as it is now written.
The reason, according to the NBFAA, is that it requires the installation of additional equipment to meet its requirements, a costly endeavor for security companies and customers alike.
But now that the first vote on the standard passed, the NBFAA plans to file an appeal claiming the vote was not fair because those who voted on the measure are not familiar with the security industry.
Many of us agree the security industry needs standards. But to make it work, standards need the backing of the entire industry, not just a portion. Whether the industry likes it or not, it's time for all groups to come together to find a solution, because it's the industry's future at stake.