At the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA) Strategic Summit, board members voted to propose a name change. The motion was approved with 31 in favor, one opposed and one abstention. The name, â€œElectronic Life Safety and Systems Associationâ€ (ELSSA), is up for vote to the general membership and results will be announced at NBFAAâ€™s spring conference in Las Vegas in April.
The name change has been in transition for several years, according to Merlin Guilbeau, executive director of NBFAA, Irving, Texas, who said that board members knew a name change was inevitable. In 2000, the association moved to change its logo to the acronym NBFAA, while adding the tagline, â€œElectronic Life Safety, Security and Systems Professionals.â€ In 2003, the association conducted a membership survey as part of a strategic planning process and, building off of this, ultimately decided to recommend the name change to its general membership.
â€œFor years now, a lot of folks in the industry felt the name doesnâ€™t mirror todayâ€™s reality of the industry and doesnâ€™t reflect the broad range of products and services our members provide now,â€ Guilbeau said. Many systems integrators or company owners today, for example, install more than burglar and fire alarms. Some companies do not install either.
The association hopes that by changing its name, the new name will not only better reflect what current members do, but expand its membership â€“ opening the association up to those who formerly thought the NBFAA didnâ€™t target them.
With the proposed name, by taking out the word â€œnational,â€ the association is poised for international growth.
â€œItâ€™s certainly a long-term plan to grow internationally,â€ Guilbeau said. â€œWe already have members outside the U.S., but we havenâ€™t attempted to establish chapters in some of those areas. That is what we will work toward.â€
NBFAA wants members to know that the proposed change doesnâ€™t mean a de-emphasis on â€œsecurity.â€ The name change is meant to more accurately reflect the industry that the NBFAA represents.
Georgia Calaway, director of communication, public relations and marketing at NBFAA, emphasized that, if passed, the change would not take effect immediately, but rather would roll out gradually. In order to retain its identity and not incur additional costs, the name change would be done in phases beginning in 2006, with implementation and launch of an identity campaign in 2007.
â€œWe donâ€™t want our members to rush out and change things,â€ Calaway said. â€œFrom a branding perspective, we donâ€™t want to lose what NBFAA has built up through the years. We want people to get used to the idea and tie it to the old name. We need time to do that.â€