NBFAA proposes name, association makeover

Thursday, February 2, 2006

IRVING, Texas--The National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association hopes to do a lot more than just change its name to the Electronic Life Safety & Systems Association in the coming year--it also plans to develop technology focus groups and establish parameters for members of its board of directors.
The new name proposal is one of the most significant items to come out of a two-day strategic summit hosted by the NBFAA in late January. It would mark the first new name in 50 years for the NBFAA. The last time it changed its name was in the 1950s, when it incorporated the word fire.
Of the 33 voting board members who attended the summit, 31 gave the thumbs up for adopting a new name. It will now go to NBFAA's 2,400 members companies for a vote.
"The term burglar is somewhat outdated," said Merlin Guilbeau, executive director of the NBFAA. "We felt as though it didn't accurately represent members today. They also do other things, like telecommunications, home theater, home automation and all the different aspects of low voltage work."
Guilbeau expects the new name to appeal to a broader audience and help attract new members. Today the national association lists 28 state associations as members, plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.
The NBFAA began flirting with the idea of a new name five years ago, but the association could not come to a consensus. In 2003, it added a tagline to its name, "Electronic Life Safety, Security & Systems Professionals." The proposed new association name was derived from that.
In the next week, the NBFAA plans to send out ballots to its member companies to vote on the proposed name. Results will be released at the ISC West Show in early April.

For more on NBFAA's name change proposal, and initiatives that came from its strategic summit, see the March issue of Security Systems News.