The New Jersey Burglar & Fire Alarm Association (NJBFAA) is considering whether or not to cease its affiliation with the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA). According to a NJBFAA press release, the group plans to hold a special meeting of the association’s membership on August 11 to vote on discontinuation of its affiliation as a chartered state association of the NBFAA.

The NJBFAA Board has met on several occasions over the past few months to consider the association’s continued NBFAA affiliation. During the most recent meeting, the NJBFAA Board met with representatives from National to determine the benefits of remaining affiliated as well as identify the risks and solutions if New Jersey were to secede. 

“The purpose of this discussion was to ensure that the board thoroughly considered all of the conceivable issues associated with the possible disaffiliation with National,” said Chris Mack, NJBFAA president. “We are not taking this decision lightly.”

According to Mack, the economic crisis has had an effect on membership. New Jersey lowered its dues this year while the NBFAA dues remained the same. The NJBFAA-issued press release said many members have told the Board that they do not want to pay National dues and may opt out of the local chapter as well if they had to pay both. Currently members pay one fee to the local chapter. From these dues, NJBFAA then pays NBFAA its portion.

In addition to monetary matters and loss of membership, there have been several other factors that have been pushing the issue to a head. According to the NJBFAA-issued press release, these include what members of the NJBFAA view as a lack of communication between National and NJBFAA, and a lack of action on the part of NBFAA. 

Mack added, “For instance, we were very disappointed with NBFAA's lack of action on the International Residential Code (IRC) R-213 issue. NJBFAA is now fighting this battle alone because New Jersey alarm dealers who install low voltage smoke detectors with residential security alarms are losing income.

“We certainly recognize that there are many benefits National provides to New Jersey,” stated Mack, “such as the National Training School (NTS), affinity programs, the benefit of a national collective voice, national legislative matters and the intrinsic value, but we must do something to address these issues.”

Despite the recent loss of membership, the NJBFAA remains the second largest state chapter in terms of overall membership enrollment. Both regular members and associate members with current dues paid in full will be allowed to vote on the proposed amendment to the Association’s by-laws, which, if adopted, would cause the NJBFAA to cease its affiliation as an NBFAA chartered association as of December 31, 2009.For information, contact the NJBFAA at 609-695-4444 or visit the Web site at www.njbfaa.org.