New Industry association materializes in the Gem State

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

BOISE, Idaho--When some members of the Idaho security industry witnessed a lack of licensing and standards within the state's industry, they formed a state association and became a chartered state association under the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association in an effort to streamline regulatory options.
An official name of the association or its organization structure, such as dues and an election process, has not been ironed out, but those details are expected to be finished in the coming months.
Industry professionals in Idaho have talked about the lack of licensing and standards in the state for more than a year. The shortage of regulation upset some industry members, who want to ensure professionalism at all levels of the industry in the state.
"There needs to be some regulation," said Bill Herbert, branch manager of a local ADI office here and one of the leaders involved in developing the new association. "The lines are very gray and a lot of companies are doing things that they shouldn't be doing," Herbert added.
However, with an official association, there would be options to develop standards and provide state association sponsored training to various sectors.
Idaho is one of the four fastest growing areas in the country and many of the buildings are new, so there is very little retrofitting. With the quick construction turnaround, the association can offer training to ensure standards are met, noted Herbert.
However, the association not only wants to work internally to promote professionalism, but it plans to propose legislation on the state government level.
Recently, the state's municipalities investigated developing a verified response ordinance--legislation that would potentially affect alarm companies. However, because there isn't a recognized association, if a company went to the government to discuss the issue they might not be heard, noted Ken Webster, president of Allied General Fire, a systems integrator and a leader in creating the association.
"But as an industry group, the government welcomes the communication," Webster said.
With the support of NBFAA representatives, who provided advice and oversaw the association's direction, the state association plans to launch in the next few months, added Herbert.
"Now the association is getting off the ground, we are able to muster up information and communication," Webster said. "When we approach our government, they will look at the subject more deeper."