How TMA Supports the Security Alarm Monitoring Industry
The latest efforts and initiatives from The Monitoring Association.
The mission of The Monitoring Association (formerly CSAA) is to advance the professional monitoring industry through education, advocacy, and public safety relationships. Recent TMA actions in several crucial areas stand out as we work to support our members and improve the industry as a whole.
Standards & Codes
TMA worked with NFPA this fall to nominate a representative for the Protected Premises chapter of NFPA 72, the National Fire Code. Our standards committee has proposed an update regarding “Remote Connections to the Automation System” to UL 827 Ed. 8 (Standard for Central Station Alarm Services). In addition, we recently encouraged our members to take action regarding language added to NFPA 72 in 2016 that facilitated a municipality’s ability to prohibit UL-listed central stations from monitoring commercial fire alarms in a municipality.
Our ultimate goal is to involve more knowledgeable fire protection and physical security professionals in the many processes that directly impact them. Only by participating can we assure that we have influence in the processes designed to ensure the public receives the best life safety and security services possible.
ASAP Taking Hold
The growth in the ASAP service in 2017 is bringing us ever closer to a nationwide deployment. Twelve states and Washington, D.C. now have active PSAPs, and there is a growing list of PSAPs in the testing or planning phase. The number of connected states will significantly expand in 2018.
Once a PSAP in any geographic area connects, we witness a “domino effect” as surrounding PSAPs hear firsthand about the benefits, and want to get connected. Virginia, North Carolina and Texas are great examples of this phenomenon, and it’s starting to happen in Arizona, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania. Populous states such as California, Michigan and Illinois are scheduled to connect in 2018. Other states are in the pipeline with an expected connection in 2018.
New Training Course
TMA just released an entirely new training course for monitoring center operators. Our new Level 1 Operator Training course was created to address the challenges of 21st century monitoring. It was produced by TMA volunteers and staff with vast experience in the industry and in training.
The new Level 1 course features current best practices for online learning, and its content reflects the most current technology capabilities and customer service practices.
As of mid-November, the state of Oregon has already accredited the new course for state licensing; other states will follow soon.
Underlying every action we take is the end goal of promoting the value of professional monitoring. In addition to the actions outlined previously, we are promoting our Five Diamond Monitoring Center designation, as well as ensuring that the monitoring centers that receive the designation continue to meet the requirements. We are engaged in raising the level of quality for DIY installations through our standards activity. And we continue to strengthen our ties to first responders by supporting FirstNet, the National Public Safety Broadband Network that provides emergency responders with the first nationwide, high-speed, broadband network dedicated to public safety.