CSAA Faithful Fraternize at Mid-Year Gathering

TUCSON, Ariz.—Training, false alarms, new technology and networking were the focal points of the 2002 Central Station Alarm Association’s (CSAA) 2002 North American Monitoring Technology Symposium and Exhibition (NAMTSE) at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Ariz., April 26-30. The event, formerly known as the CSAA Mid-Year Meeting, attracted about 200 CSAA members, exhibitors and other industry professionals.

Educational opportunities ranged from daylong sessions on being UL Listed and fire alarm codes and standards, to half-hour seminars addressing phone line services and CCTV.

During the “Everything You Wanted to Know About Insurance—But Were Afraid to Ask!” seminar, a panel of insurance experts spent an hour answering whatever questions attendees threw at them. Increased liability exposure related to the rise in CCTV use, the proliferation of electronic data and additionally insuring other parties were among the hot topics.

David Crawford of Sur-Gard covered how central stations can more efficiently handle incoming signals in his “Phone Line Services That Will Save You Money” presentation. According to Crawford, a channel bank can help central stations keep their phone lines 80-percent active, allowing them to either increase volume or reduce the number of lines.

Another seminar, “The Dos and Don’ts of Video Sales, Installation and Monitoring” featured Tannenbaum & Chanin’s Eric Pritchard going into some depth about the legal and privacy issues pertaining to CCTV use, particularly if it is covert. Pritchard said companies are leaving themselves open to potential liability if their installation or monitoring falls into one of the following five areas: 1) Wrongful design or installation; 2) Product defect; 3) Failure to monitor or respond; 4) Invasion of privacy/improper use; 5) Violation of wiretap use laws.

Robert Blair of Optex Inc. explained how event-driven CCTV monitoring and outdoor perimeter protection can meet all the desirable criteria for solving the false alarm problem. During the session entitled “Real Business for CCTV,” Blair said, “Addressing and solving the false alarm problem ourselves could create great opportunities for monitoring facilities.”

Speaking of the false alarm issue, CSAA Board member Robert Bonifas of Alarm Detection Systems Inc. said progress is imminent in the form of widespread implementation of second-call verification. “We believe that second-call verification is going to take a chunk out of our false alarms,” contended Bonifas. This approach is said to have the potential of eliminating about 75 percent of false dispatches.

The exhibition portion of the event took place April 29. More than 30 companies, including Radionics, Ademco, DMP, Fire-Lite Alarms, and Security Sales & Integration, demonstrated their wares for attendees. Many, however, expressed disappointment with the light floor traffic.

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