ESA Seeks Revisions to Lead-Paint Certification Rule

Security companies installing fire and intrusion alarms in pre-1978 residential structures will need a special lead-based paint certification under a new federal regulation that will take affect in April.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the “Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting” rule earlier this year to prohibit work practices that can create lead hazards.

The Electronic Security Association (ESA) believes the requirement will “create a major economic hardship and undue burden on our customers and small business members,” ESA President Michael Miller wrote in a Nov. 27 letter to the agency.

The rule requires contractors who work in older homes and child-occupied residences to take precautions to avoid creating and spreading lead debris and dust. The rule also requires firms to have at least one employee who has completed a one-day lead-safe work practices training class.

Paint dust, which is likely to be lead-based on a home built before 1978, can be released into the air when an installer drills holes for alarm or intrusion wiring.

The requirement will affect the association’s 2,800 member companies that make up 70 percent of the market for security systems integration, Miller says. The ESA is asking for three changes to the regulation that is scheduled to take effect April 22.

In his letter, Miller asked the EPA to delay the rule until 2011, provide alarm companies an “opt-out” option, and exclude minor maintenance. An opt-out option would allow security companies without the certification to attain a waiver from customers without pregnant women or children younger than 6-years-old.

ESA recently sent a letter to its membership detailing aspects of the regulation and advising dealers “affected by the rule to begin preparing to become trained and certified as lead-safe firms as soon as possible.”

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