The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has adopted
a standard for the installation of electronic security
systems. NFPA 731 — Standard for the Installation of
Electronic Premise Security Systems — was approved during
the technical committee report sessions at the NFPA’s World
Safety Conference and Exposition that took place from June
6 to 10 at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Resort and Convention
Also approved was NFPA 730 — Guide for Premises Security —
a guide to best practices that reduce security
vulnerabilities. While similar to NFPA 731, it isn’t
considered an enforceable standard.
Security Sales & Integration Technical Editor Al
Colombo, who shows his expertise for NFPA code each month
in his “Fire Side Chat” column, says the one-
standard-fits-all approach may apply well to life safety
products, but may be a burden on the security industry.
“Unlike fire protection, the issue of electronic security
does not lend itself well to the use of a single best-
practice standard,” Colombo says. “Not every application
requires a best practices solution — not only from a risk
standpoint, but also from a cost standpoint.”
Colombo, a member himself of NFPA, adds he is also
concerned that the make-up of the committee that formulated
NFPA 731 wasn’t representative of the alarm industry.
“NFPA 731 committee members include large insurance
companies, hotels, various organizations not directly
involved in the area of installation, large security firms,
and governmental departments and agencies,” Colombo
says. “Most of them are hardly representative of those who
work in the security industry on a daily basis. Most of
them are, in fact, application related and not installation
The National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA) had
voiced strong opposition to NFPA 731 leading
to the committee meetings. A group of four alarm industry
representatives raised objections to the new standard
during the meeting, but the NBFAA failed in its attempt to
get the proposal sent back to committee.
NFPA 731 had received support from other associations, with
members of the Security Industry Association (SIA) and the
Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) serving on the
committee that formulated 731. In a statement a few days
before NFPA 731 was approved, the CSAA gave
its support to the effort to create the standard, but
expressed reservations on some of the aspects of the
proposed standards. Meanwhile, the False Alarm Reduction
Association (FARA) has given its full endorsement of NFPA
NOTE: SSI “Tech
Talk” Columnist Bob Dolph presents a complete look at
NFPA 731 and its ramifications for the alarm industry. See
the June issue of Security Sales & Integration.
Other Recent News
June 12, 2013
Although new, proposed standards for access control are expected to be presented this year, the market will still lag far behind the video surveillance industry due to the complexity of access control systems, according to IMS Research, now part of IHS.
June 5, 2013
Lenel Systems Int’l announced a program to assist end users with end-of-life Casi Rusco and Infographics legacy access control systems to migrate to its flagship OnGuard solution.
May 30, 2013
With its $17 million cash purchase of privately-held RedCloud Security, Avigilon, a high definition (HD) and megapixel surveillance solutions provider, has officially entered into the access control market, the company announced today.
May 24, 2013
As school security continues to be a strong topic throughout the nation, Sonitrol of Fort Lauderdale has donated access control equipment to the Kids in Distress (KID) Preschool.
May 15, 2013
SSI Editor-in-Chief Scott Goldfine will host a Fujitsu-sponsored Webinar titled "The Benefits of Using Biometric Authentication for Access Control" on May 21 at 2 p.m. EDT.