Survey respondents sound off on NBFAA name change

Thursday, March 30, 2006

YARMOUTH, Maine--Should the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association name stay or should it go? The NBFAA will announce the verdict at an ISC West press conference next week; this week, however, the majority of respondents to a Security Systems News survey expressed this opinion: Stay, stay, stay.
Fifty-one percent of the 149 people who responded to the survey said the NBFAA should not change its name; 35 percent favored a name change and 14 percent were not sure.
One respondent called the NBFAA moniker "iconic,'' and many others echoed this sentiment. "It's a very old, established name, leave it alone!"
Whether they favored a change or not, only 22 percent liked the proposed name, the Electronic Life Safety & Systems Association. Nearly half (47 percent) did not like ELSSA, while 14 percent were unsure.
Problematic for many was the term "life safety." Numerous respondents called it confusing. Said one, "[Electronic Life Safety and Systems Association] sounds like a nurse's association that installs stereo equipment on the side." Many others believe the term "life safety" implies that it's solely a fire industry association.
The word security was a common thread among alternative names suggested by those who took the survey. Suggestions included: Electronic Life Safety & Security Association; National Security Systems Association; National Fire & Intrusion Security Association; National Electronic Security & Safety Association. One person proposed including "theft" in the name: National Fire Alarm & Theft Association. Another proposed "Alarm Monitoring Association."
Those who dislike the current name called NBFAA "outdated," saying it had a "50s or 60s sound to it," and several pointed to the word "burglar" as the word that needed to be changed.
Proponents of ELSSA, said the proposed name says it all, and includes all the specialties that fire and security integrators and installers offer today.
Of those responding, 44 percent were current NBFAA members, 38 percent were non-members and 18 percent said they planned to join the group in the future.
While most respondents expressed strong opinion about the name change, a smattering of survey respondents wondered what's really in a name? "I don't think the name matters as far as enticing industry professionals to join. The organization's agenda is much more important to me."