Since 2013, TMA members have been working to reverse standards language added to NFPA-72, the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, which threatened our industry’s ability to provide the life safety services our customers depend on. The new language essentially requires privately-owned and operated NRTL-listed central monitoring stations to gain approval from local municipalities in order to monitor fire alarm signals. Ever since, TMA has engaged in a coordinated effort to preserve our members’ (as well as members’ customers’) interests by correcting this unfair standards language. Most recently, members came together in a remarkable display of industry solidarity at the 2018 NFPA Technical Meeting. Scores of companies sent multiple associates to vote in person (as is required) on the language. While the vote went our way in Las Vegas, ultimately the NFPA Technical Council overruled us, and our later appeal was not successful. However, we did not really “lose.” We have the council’s attention now. It is actively seeking greater representation from our industry into the pertinent committee. We will continue to pursue this initiative in 2019.
Education, Training, Technology
Recognizing that technology is a critical issue for our members, TMA held our inaugural Technology Summit last March, inviting CTOs, CIOs, and IT directors of monitoring companies; dealers, owners, and interested participants from manufacturing companies were also invited. We attracted nearly 100 participants, 90 percent of whom said they would recommend the event to a colleague next time. That time is coming up: the second annual Technology Summit is February 27-28 in Salt Lake City. https://tma.us/tma-tech-summit/.
Also in 2018, we developed a False Alarm Training course for consumers. And our Level 1 Operator Training course, launched at the end of 2017, has received wide praise from industry training managers. Coming up in 2019, we will be offering a cyber security webinar series.
Five Diamond Expansion
Our Five Diamond designation remains the most prestigious mark for monitoring centers. Consumers frequently contact us to ask why they should choose a Five Diamond company. We’ve been hearing more and more that qualified dealers want in on the action. So last year, our Five Diamond Committee, Contract Monitoring Council, and the TMA Board of Directors came together to develop a Five Diamond Dealer program. We expect to launch in early 2019.
The ASAP service continued its expansion in 2018, including the first connection in the state of Maryland (Prince George’s County). TMA believes ASAP is the future of communication between PSAPs and monitoring companies and plans extensive outreach and support in 2019.
Finally, on October 31, Jay Hauhn retired from TMA, and I was honored to be chosen as the executive director. I am committed to promoting TMA and our mission, to engaging and supporting our members, and welcoming new ones into our association, which we firmly believe is made up of the “best of the best.”