Update to CP-01 False Alarm Standard Accounts for Mobile Device Interfacing

The latest revision accounts for residential and commercial security systems and control panels, as well as fire alarm and carbon monoxide (CO) detection devices.

SILVER SPRING, Md. – Hailed as a crucial breakthrough in the fight to combat false alarms when it was implemented in 2007, industry stakeholders behind the SIA CP-01 standard remain intent on maintaining its vitality amid technological advances.

Those ongoing efforts by the CP-01 Working Group, a special group of the SIA Intrusion Subcommittee, have resulted in the release of a new update – CP-01-2014 – that includes definitions for remote devices and updated language.

CP-01-2014 details recommended design features for control panels and their associated arming and disarming devices, including smartphones and tablets. It also includes updated verbiage stemming from requests for interpretation from the last update of the standard in 2010.

“The revision was the industry being proactive to any future problems,” Joe Gittens, director of standards for the Security Industry Association (SIA), tells SSI. “As technology advances – especially technologies that have folks interacting with security devices in new ways – the committee wanted to ensure that the standard evolves as well.”

CP-01-2014 is also intended for reference by all affected stakeholders, including security system installers; specifiers; central station operators; manufacturers of control panels and central station products, such as receivers and automation software; and local authorities.

The standard has been widely acclaimed for reducing false alarms. It includes key false alarm reduction features such as exit-delay and entry-delay defaults, plus fail-to-exit protections and an automatic restart feature.

Even though the standard is primarily applicable to residential and commercial security system control panels and their associated devices, the latest revision does account for fire alarm and carbon monoxide (CO) detection devices, explains Richard Roberts, industry affairs manager at Honeywell Fire Safety.

“False dispatches cause fire departments time, money and endanger the lives firefighters and the public,” Roberts tells SSI. “The CP-01-2014 standard contains requirements for smoke detectors connected to household fire alarm control units that will help to reduce unwanted alarms.”

In the past, revisions have been made to CP-01 in response to changing technology with many major manufacturers closely involved on a volunteer basis.

“They are just trying to act responsibly to make sure that the false dispatch issue of the 1990s and early 2000s doesn’t return as a result of innovation. You will likely begin seeing new products marked as CP-01-2014 compliant beginning in 2015,” Gittens says.

Panels already in the field can be updated to be compliant with the newly released CP-01-2014 standard, although the ease of the reprogramming varies from product to product, Gittens says. CP-01 compliant panels have been shown to reduce false alarms in municipalities by as much as 90%, according to SIA. The reduction in false dispatches is credited with saving first responders time and money. It’s also saving consumers as many municipalities charge fees in excess of $500 for unnecessary dispatches.

“There are hundreds of ordinances and a couple of state laws that mandate the use of the CP-01 control panel so we applaud the effort to keep the standard updated,” Stan Martin, executive director of the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), tells SSI.

Despite the rapid change in technology and the alternatives available to reduce unwanted alarm dispatches, installing security contractors that utilize CP-01 compliant panels will continue to reap the benefits of reduced alarm signals, Martins says.

“Using CP-01 panels along with the implementation of Enhanced Call Verification [ECV] or two-call verification are still the two very best practices in reducing unnecessary dispatches,” Martin says. “This is good for law enforcement; and for dealers, it’s good for your customers and your business.”

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About the Author


Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for latimes.com. Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

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