Alarm industry, fire officials at odds over proposed NFPA 72 revisions

A vote will be held during NFPA’s annual conference next week on two motions that seek to amend language in the proposed 2016 edition of NFPA 72, which could have a significant impact on both private alarm monitoring providers and municipal fire districts that provide alarm monitoring service.
Update (06-25-15): According to Kevin Lehan, executive director of the Illinois Electronic Security Association, motion 72-8, which would change Section 26.5.3.1.3 of the proposed 2016 edition of NFPA 72 back to the original language permitting AHJ approval of monitoring service providers, passed at the NFPA’s annual conference in Chicago on Thursday. SIW original story can be found below:
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Next week, members of the National Fire Protection Association will vote on two motions at the organization’s annual conference to amend language in the proposed 2016 edition of NFPA 72, which could have a significant impact on both privately-run alarm monitoring service providers and municipal fire districts that provide alarm monitoring for businesses and residents in their community.

At issue is language that was changed in Section 26.5.3.1.3 of the code to read: “Alarm, supervisory, and trouble signals shall be permitted to be received at a listed central supervising station.” However, the previous version of the code added the prerequisite: “When permitted by the Authority Having Jurisdiction,” which gives local governments the ability to choose who can and cannot provide fire alarm monitoring in their area.

Opponents of the change have put forth two motions as part of an effort to maintain the status quo. The first motion, 72-8, would add the clause back that gives AHJs the authority to approve or reject monitoring service providers, while the second motion, 72-9, would eliminate the proposed paragraph altogether.

“We’re hoping that these motions will be rejected and that the industry will vote negative on 72-8 and 72-9,” said Kevin Lehan, executive director of the Illinois Electronic Security Association. “What that means is that an AHJ could no longer arbitrarily reject a UL-listed central station from being able to provide remote supervising station services. The way (opponents) would prefer it to read is with AHJ approval. With the caveat of AHJ jurisdiction, the local fire marshal, community, fire district or whatever entity it is can then take the position that UL-listed central stations are not allowed to provide remote monitoring service.”

Subsequently, Lehan said that this would enable fire officials to designate the local public safety answering point to be approved as a remote supervising station and, in effect, bar private industry and create a monitoring monopoly. This has been an ongoing issue in the Chicago area for years and has resulted in the filing of several federal lawsuits.
Ref: http://www.securityinfowatch.com/article/12085477/alarm-industry-fire-officials-at-odds-over-proposed-nfpa-72-revisions

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