Bevy of Benefits Make Security Trade Associations More Attractive

Learn why installing security contractors should consider joining security trade associations.

The Alarm Industry Communications Committee (AICC) is an affiliated organization of CSAA. The committee meets four times a year in the Washington, D.C., area to discuss matters concerning the use of communications paths such as POTS, cellular, voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) and radio.

AICC has been closely involved with the AT&T 2G network sunset as well as other aspects with the telecommunications industry including the sun setting of POTS and the use of LTE and FirstNet for alarm signal transmissions.

ESA Advocates Awareness of State Licensing & Legislation

The Electronic Security Association (ESA) is the former NBFAA, having approved the name change back in 2009. Established in 1948, this is the original trade organization for the burglar and fire alarm industry. Through the years the NBFAA’s focus shift-ed more toward the burglar alarm industry while AFAA became the primary fire alarm trade organization. This is not to say that ESA is uninvolved with the fire alarm industry. ESA representation sits on a number of NFPA Technical Committees, and over the past few years ESA has started to become involved with code promulgation through the ICC.

ESA maintains chapters throughout most of the United States. Similar to AFAA, if a joining company resides in a state that has a chapter, they will become a member of the state chapter as well as the overall ESA; those that are not in representative states would become a member of ESA national.

ESA has a superb training program through its National Training School (NTS). A number of states recognize the Level I and II courses and certification for the application of a technician license or registration. The NTS also offers several online courses whose content is directly related to the fire alarm industry.

As a member benefit, ESA makes available itsState Licensing Guide, which details each state’s requirements to obtain a license for the installation of intrusion detection and fire alarm systems. Through its Governmental Committee, ESA produces a monthly report covering all 50 states on bills that are being considered in the statehouses that could have an effect on the industry.

CSAA and ESA have linked up to produce the annual Electronic Security Expo (ESX) and conference. In addition to a tradeshow, ESX offers training and networking opportunities.

Improving Business Operations Among NSCA Goals

The National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA) principally is for the audiovisual integration segment of low-voltage contracting, but it also has involvement with security and fire alarm systems. NSCA offers abundant resources that are avail-able to members for aiding operation of their business. NSCA holds an annual Business & Leadership Conference, as well as sprinkling in regional events, presented in conjunction with SSI sister publication Commercial Integrator, during the year.

NSCA offers its own Guide to State Licensing Regulations, out-lining various laws, requirements and deadlin
es for low-voltage contractors. Members receive discounts on educational courses and events as well as other operational perks, plus access to a wealth of exclusive research such as the organization’s Compensation & Benefits Report and biannual Electronic Systems Outlook.

No matter what segment of the industry that you work in, as a provider of fire/life-safety systems you should be a member of at least one if not several of these industry trade organizations. They offer training, networking and are in place to support the low-voltage industry through advocacy at the national level and state levels through chapters and regional associations. Don’t sit on the sidelines, join an association.

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About the Author


Shane Clary, Ph.D., is Security Sales & Integration’s “Fire Side Chat” columnist. He has more than 37 years of security and fire alarm industry experience. He serves on a number of NFPA technical committees, and is vice president of Codes and Standards Compliance for Pancheco, Calif.-based Bay Alarm Co.

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