Six private alarm companies have filed suit against the Village of Schaumburg, Tyco Integrated Security, and the Northwest Central Dispatch for what the Illinois Electronic Security Association (IESA) said amounted to the city confiscating customers from private alarm companies. (Read more at www.SDMmag.com/illinois-esa-schaumburg.)
After the IESA attempted unsuccessfully to fight a new law in Schaumburg, Ill., that required any new alarm installations for commercial fire to be monitored by the Northwest Central Dispatch (the 911 center for 10 nearby communities), the aforementioned six companies filed suit March 20, 2017.
Alarm Detection Systems Inc. of Illinois, Alarm Service Inc. of Illinois, DMC Security Services of Illinois, Nitech Fire & Security Industries Inc. of Illinois, SMG Security Systems Inc. of Illinois, and Acadian Monitoring Services of Louisiana are the plaintiffs listed on the brief suing the Village of Schaumburg, Tyco Integrated Security, and Northwest Central Dispatch System in a breach of contract case.
According to the brief, the plaintiffs are alleging “violations of both federal statutes and state common laws.”
The plaintiffs in the case allege that in August 2016, Schaumburg adopted an ordinance requiring customers use only supervising stations operated by Northwest Central Dispatch System. The ordinance further states that Tyco Integrated Security will be the only supplier of transmitters within Schaumburg. Any customer that fails to comply with the new ordinance will be subject to a $75 per day fine.
The plaintiff companies all either operate their own supervising stations or contract with third-party stations to monitor the fire alarms of their customers.
Kevin Lehan of the IESA spoke with SDM in October 2016 when IESA had begun fighting the ordinance and was hopeful it would be resolved after IESA demonstrated to the city sufficient capabilities in a November 2016 meeting.
Before the meeting, Schaumburg Fire Chief David Schumann said the alarm companies “would have to demonstrate a higher level of reliability, a higher level of consistency, and an overall higher level of accountability to their own customers” for the law to be reversed.
The law, however, was not reversed, and the six companies filed suit in March 2017.
IESA would not comment on the lawsuit, but IESA President Rachel Slucki referred to the organization’s official position on monitoring adopted April 27, 2017, and outlined on its website:
Consumers have the right to choose any alarm contractor properly licensed in the State of Illinois to provide alarm installation, service and monitoring, with pricing established by an open, competitive market.
Alarm contractors have the right to choose any remote monitoring station that is properly licensed in the State of Illinois to provide third-party monitoring services, with pricing established by an open, competitive market.
[IESA believes] in promoting alarm monitoring technologies that provide automatic dissemination and sharing of information with dispatch centers and fire departments.
When SDM reached out to Tyco Integrated Security, a spokesperson stated, “As a matter of policy, we do not comment on litigation.”
Also, a representative from the office of Schaumburg Fire Chief David Schumann said they would not comment on an ongoing litigation case.