[IMAGE]346[/IMAGE]WASHINGTON — President Obama this week signed into law a bill that will give electronic security companies relief from onerous energy efficiency requirements, as well as food safety legislation that is anticipated to provide new business opportunities for installing security contractors.
Energy efficiency standards originally outlined in the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 applied to security and life-safety devices — such as video surveillance and access control systems — despite always being set in “active” mode.
The Security Industry Association (SIA) organized a coalition that included both industry and environmental groups to draft legislative language and advocate for a fix. On Tuesday, Obama signed into law H.R. 5470 from Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., and Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., which provides an exemption from the “no-load” requirements for security and life-safety products while retaining EISA’s “active” mode efficiency standards for those devices.
“This is a very important fix for the security industry,” says SIA Director of Government Relations Don Erickson. “It’s a common-sense measure that is good for both business and the environment, as is demonstrated by our coalition partners.”
Also on Tuesday, Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act into law. The legislation will overhaul the nation’s food safety system and build up the FDA’s capacity to detect and respond to outbreaks of food-borne illnesses. The law will increase FDA inspections at all food facilities and give the FDA the authority to order a mandatory recall of contaminated food products.
SSI reported on the food safety bill in the August 2010 issue. The wide-ranging legislation will, in part, require food facilities to develop a written “food defense plan” to safeguard food products from intentional contamination. While the law does not regulate the use of security systems, installing contractors are considered well positioned to help food manufacturers, processors, growers and distributors achieve their food defense goals.