ESA issued a statement calling for involvement from the
security industry in fighting legislation being proposed in
The proposed legislation would give fire protection districts the right to create a profit center. ESA and the Illinois Electronic Security Association (IESA) believe the profit center would allow the fire protection districts to build central monitoring stations. Such a move would effectively place private alarm dealers in direct competition with public entities. It also provides incentive for municipalities, needing to boost their budgets, to mandate that all fire alarms be directly connected to the fire protection district.
Some municipalities and fire protection districts have already passed such mandates. On the City of Crystal Lake’s website, the following information can be found:
“Q: I have a fire alarm system that is currently monitored by a private company. Do I have to connect to the city?
Yes. The Crystal Lake City Code requires all fire alarm
signals monitored by a private company to be transmitted to receiving equipment
housed by the City of
§ Systems currently connected to the City’s Dispatch center need to convert by March 18, 2011.
§ Fire alarm systems monitoring a sprinkler system that are monitored by a central station need to convert on or before March 18, 2013.
§ Fire alarm systems monitored by a central station need to convert on or before March 18, 2016.”
According to ESA, the city claims, “This is in order to reduce response times and maintain better oversight of fire alarms, it is important to have fire alarms directly connected to the City’s dispatch center.” The city also claims that by having their systems directly connected to the city’s dispatch center, businesses can save approximately $44 per month in monitoring fees.
This ordinance, and ones similar to it in the Illinois towns of Naperville, Algonquin, Northbrook, Hoffman Estates, Highland Park, Lisle/Woodridge, Elmhurst, Wheaton and Woodstock, threaten to create a monopoly of the fire alarm monitoring business.
To help combat this trend, ESA and IESA asked that if you
live and work in
This information will also help guide IESA when planning
emergency meetings taking place within the next few weeks throughout the state.
In addition, ESA remarked it is important for individuals to be on the lookout
for other municipalities and states throughout the country that may take
similar actions, especially if the initiatives in
According to the association, involvement in this issue is critical. Sitting on the sidelines could seriously damage your company’s ability to compete in a free market. To get involved, contact IESA executive director Kevin Lehan at (630) 305-8800.
Any correspondence members have with their elected officials should be shared with both Kevin and ESA’s director of government relations John Chwat at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com respectively.