News

September 1, 2016

Burglar and Fire Alarm Association of Michigan

Membership Meeting

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Bavarian Inn

Frankenmuth, Michigan

Notice is hereby given that the Board of Directors of the Burglar and Fire Alarm Association of Michigan (BFAAM) calls a special meeting of the Active Members of BFAAM.  The meeting shall be held at the BFAAM 20016 Fall Conference on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at the Bavarian Inn in Frankenmuth, Michigan.  All active BFAAM members are invited to attend.  The purpose of the meeting shall be to:

The BFAAM Board of Directors shall propose changes to the BFAAM Bylaws for the membership to consider.  The proposed agenda for the meeting follows:

 

BFAAM Membership Meeting Agenda

  1. Opening Remarks – Dean Belisle – BFAAM President
  2. Discussion and Vote to Amend the BFAAM Bylaws*
  3. Old Business
  4. New Business
  5. Adjournment

 

The Proposed change to the by-laws is contained in the ARCTICLE II which references Applicant membership.  The proposed change is in red.

a.         Applicant Membership.  Applicant membership shall be open to any person or business entity, except a public utility or subsidiary thereof, and which shall meet the following requirements:

i.          Be engaged, as its primary source of revenue, in the burglar, security, and/or fire alarm business, and/or the installation and servicing of electrical systems supporting such business under a maintenance contract.

ii. Have been engaged in such activity described above for a period of not less than one (1) year; provided however, this requirement may be waived by the Board of Directors in the event the designated representatives of such applicant member shall have been a regular member in the Association for at least one (1) year preceding the date of such application.

iii. Agree to conduct their business in accordance with the Code of Ethics (as amended from time to time) of the Association.

iv. Have first complied with the provisions of MCLA 338.1051 et seq as amended (more commonly known as the Private Security Guard Act of 1968) or have first complied with the provisions of MCLA 338.881 (more commonly known as the Electrical Administrative Act of 1956), or have first complied with MCLA 338.2181 – 338.2187 (more commonly known as the Security Alarms Act of 2012), or have an application for a license pending, but in good standing prior to February 1, 1981.

An applicant member shall be entitled to all the benefits of the Association, except holding of office, and shall not have voting status.

An applicant member shall be entitled to all the benefits of the Association, except holding of office, and shall not have voting status.

b.             Regular Membership.  Regular membership in the Association shall be open to any individual, partnership, firm or corporation engaged primarily in the business of installing burglar, security or fire alarm services, pursuant to a contract of maintenance and/or service for a period of at least one (1) year preceding the date of application for membership. Regular members must maintain the qualifications of an applicant member.

 

* - the proposed changes to the BFAAM Bylaws can also be found on the BFAAM website (www.bfaam.org) for review and will be distributed to members at the Membership Meeting.

November 26, 2014

In late October, BFAAM held its Annual Conference at the Suburban Showplace in Novi.  Our Board of Directors and membership were very pleased with all facets of this year’s conference. Attendance was up and our speakers offered some great information on various topics.

We opened the conference with our vendor showcase followed by our business meeting where we elected our officers, gave a PAC report and provided a legislative update. As an association, we always try to stress political participation from our members.  Personal relationships with legislators and political involvement helps us relay the issues our industry faces on a day-to-day basis.  There is no doubt that political involvement directly impacts our business!

Our first discussion of the morning featured Dean Mason with Honeywell and Cliff Thompson with AES.  They updated attendees on the latest news on POTS telephone communications and the cellular 2G phase-out.  This discussion was helpful in keeping membership apprised of the ever changing technology in our industry.

Our last agenda item for the morning was a presentation from Matt Stephens from Sandler Training.  Sandler specializes in developing the skills of people in sales and provides proven strategies on becoming the best sales manager possible! Matt’s upbeat, engaging presentation provided all attendees with useful tips in sharpening their sales skills.  Owners and sales people found the presentation to be very effective and a useful tool to bring back to the office.

Our lunch lecture featured two return speakers from the State of Michigan. Georgia Harris from the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) and Jennifer Fields from MIOSHA discussed three state laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Program;

·         PA 154 – Michigan wage and overtime

·         PA 166 – Prevailing Wage on state funded projects

·         Payment of Wages and Fringe Benefits

Attendees have found this to be such an informative presentation the last few years.  As small business owners and employees, we simply don’t always have the time to keep with all of the changes in state bureaucracy.  This presentation helps to ensure that we are correctly adhering to the policies of state government and allows us to ask important questions to those that are regulating our industry.  Ms. Harris and Ms. Fields have done a wonderful job of working with BFAAM in the past and have provided us with a great communication line in state government.

The final panel of the conference featured Tom Kramer from Riverside Integrated Systems, Jeff Wickman from Vanguard Fire & Security Systems and John Romano from Audio Sentry Corporation to discuss “Real Life Situations” pertaining to fire alarms.  The discussion was very informal and allowed attendees to bounce different situations that they have seen in the field off of the panel.  The topics discussed included different regulations by different municipalities, code enforcement and maneuvering through local agencies.

I hope that those of you that attended found this year’s conference to be a good use of time and helpful to your business operations. Thank you for attending and I look forward to seeing you again next fall! For those of you that could not make it, I hope you consider attending next year.  I have no doubt that you will come away satisfied by the topics and information offered at our conference.

Our association prides itself on striving for the good of our industry.  We always welcome more participation and feedback from membership.  If there is a topic or issue that you are facing that you feel BFAAM needs to address at its conference or otherwise, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Dean Belisle

President, BFAAM

 

 

Thank you to our 2014 Annual Conference Sponsors!

ADI

Altronix

Axis Communications

Clinton Electronics Corp

El Dorado Insurance Agency Inc

Emergency24

Quick Response

RSI Video Technologies

SIC Consulting

Tri-Ed Distribution

November 26, 2014

At BFAAM”s 2014 Annual Fall Conference, President Dean Belisle presented PAC Chairwoman Karen Majeske with the “Outstanding Service Award”. Majeske was presented the award because of her years of dedication to political participation within the association. “Karen’s tireless efforts in raising money and ensuring that BFAAM has a voice in Lansing cannot be duplicated.  Our membership owes her a debt of gratitude for her selfless, and at times thankless, job of steering our PAC Committee,” said Belisle.

 

November 26, 2014

Passage of the “security alarm systems act” in late 2012 has created two state laws on licensing and registration among Burglar and Fire Alarm companies in Michigan. The new act now allows companies to either receive a license from the State of Michigan or register with the state of Michigan.

To view the “PRIVATE SECURITY BUSINESS AND SECURITY ALARM ACT” (Licensing Act), PA 330 of 1968, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

To view the “SECURITY ALARM SYSTEMS ACT” (Registration Act), PA 580 of 2012, you can visit;  http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2011-2012/publicact/pdf/2012-PA-0580.pdf

November 26, 2014

The Burglar and Fire Alarm Association of Michigan (BFAAM) participated in work groups this fall to assist in changes to the “Private Security Business and Security Alarm Act.”

Sen. Darwin Booher (R-Evart) has sponsored Senate Bill 984 that would amend the act to remove the regulation of private security agencies and security guards from the law. Sen. Booher introduced this legislation as a way to “clean-up” the act and

The bill also would do the following:

-- Require a licensee or applicant that was not an individual to designate an individual as the licensee's principal license holder.

-- Revise requirements that a licensee conduct a criminal background check on an applicant for employment.

-- Revise certain fees for issuance and renewal of a license under the Act.

-- Require the waiver of an initial license and application processing fee for an honorably discharged veteran.

-- Repeal Section 19 of the Act, which establishes uniform and insignia requirements for a licensee and a licensee's employees. 

December 20, 2012

BFAAM has responded to the city of Flint Home Rules City Act which has caused quite a stir recently.  Many security alarm companies have received numerous citations as a result of recent enforcement of the Act.  BFAAM has requested the city of Flint cease enforcement of the Act until further meetings and discussions take place. 

In an act of good faith, BFAAM has offered the city of Flint assistance with its alarm management goals.  BFAAM has also offered ideas for an upcoming meeting between the city of Flint and the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC).

In the meantime, you can view the formal letter from BFAAM to the city of Flint.  If you have questions or concerns, please contact Karen Majeske at (248) 233-1600 or kmajeske@guardianalarm.com.

December 20, 2012

As you know, BFAAM has been enbroiled in a war with AT&T and Comcast who pushed  legislation (Senate Bills 1291-1292) to undermine the industry license and allow them to enter the industry with no regulatory oversight and no criminal background checks.

SB 1291 and SB 1292 passed the House, returned to the Senate for a concurrence vote, and are now on their way to Governor Snyder for his signature.

BFAAM lobbyists and BFAAM leadership worked tirelessly on these bills.  In fact, President Belisle was in Lansing multiple times working on this legislation on behalf of the industry, and BFAAM lobbyists drove across the state meeting with legislators on this issue.

BFAAM scored some victories namely by making the large telecommunications companies compromise on several fronts when they are not accustomed to compromising at all.  While BFAAM remains opposed to both bills, BFAAM was able to substantially impact the shape of both bills.  All told, BFAAM won 2 of its 3 top priorities, and 6 of its 7 requests in all.  The only item BFAAM was not able to win was background checks for monitoring staff.  The BFAAM victories include: 

  • those security alarm companies who register with the state will no longer need to be licensed by the state, so security alarm companies will not face duplicate regulations;
  • the BFAAM definition of alarm system used to update the definition instead of the definition devised by AT&T;
  • background checks with fingerprint requirements remain a requirement for all security alarm company employees who enter customer premises;
  • enforcement is now across the board for registered and un-registered activity;
  • re-instatement of bonding/insurance requirements; and
  • those with felonies are not able to enter customer homes when working within the industry. 

 

Also as a result of BFAAM conversations, those with criminal sexual conduct records are not allowed in the industry either.  This does not exist under the current license.

BFAAM will communicate its opposition to Governor Snyder and try to convince him not to sign this poor public policy into law.

October 26, 2012

Today, there are nearly 300 companies here in Michigan licensed to provide security alarm services across our state.  This is a very competitive industry that ensures safety for our customers.  Yet very large and influential telecommunication corporations seek legislation to undo the industry license - a model license for the industry - and in doing so the legislation jeopardizes consumer protections.

The industry welcomes the addition of large telecommunication competitors to the already competitive industry.  However, BFAAM advocates for a level playing field for all competitors in an industry licensed by the state of Michigan to provide appropriate safeguards for consumers.  In other words, BFAAM recommends simplification and amendments to the current industry licensing standards, not the creation of a new registration provision that adds additional regulations and definitions.

BFAAM needs your help! 

Click here to view a sample memo you can use and share it with your state representative TODAY! 

Click here to find your state representative. 

Click here to download the chart comparing the safeguards in the current license to the proposals outlined in the new registration process.  You may wish to share this your state representative as well. 

If Senate Bills 1291 and SB 1292 continue to move through the legislative process, BFAAM believes that the package can still create a level playing field for all alarm businesses and still ensure consumer safety through a few very reasonable changes.  Without these amendments Michiganconsumers risk inviting criminals into their homes and businesses.   BFAAM recommends the following in order to protect our customers and Michigan consumers:

  • BFAAM recommends the background checks should be performed by the Michigan State Police (MSP) or Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as they are in the current act.  After all, who better than MSP or FBI knows if an individual has a felony on record?  BFAAM is concerned that private background checks are neither consistent nor accurate enough for this industry from a consumer safety standpoint. 
  • Staff who monitor alarms at a central station should also not have a felony record and should have to comply with the regulations the same as any other security alarm employee.  BFAAM recommends for SB 1291, Section 4, (2) adding the word “monitor” after the word “install” in that subsection.  BFAAM believes it is just as important for a consumer to know who is watching the alarms and cameras as it is for them to know who is installing them.
  • The bill provides for enforcement on unregistered alarm companies.  BFAAM recommends extending enforcement for these bills on registered companies as well.  This would make the registrants accountable for what they do when operating in this industry and allowing the department to go after bad actors who try to skirt this registration act.  After all, why create a process if there are no penalties for not following the rules laid out in the process?  And registered companies should be treated any differently than unregistered companies. 
October 26, 2012

As you know, large telecommunication companies are behind legislation that circumvents the current security alarm license requirements by creating a new registration requirement and an updated definition for internet security monitoring.  In doing so, these bills undo the consumer protection for our constituents across the State of Michigan that has existed for over 30 years.

The industry welcomes the addition of large telecommunication competitors to the already competitive industry.  However, BFAAM advocates for a level playing field for all competitors in an industry licensed by the state of Michigan to provide appropriate safeguards for consumers.  In other words, BFAAM recommends simplification and amendments to the current industry licensing standards, not the creation of a new registration provision that adds additional regulations and definitions.

 At this time, BFAAM opposes SB 1291-1292 as they passed out of the Senate as the industry believes the new registration process the bills seek to create should better reflect current licensing practices. While BFAAM wholeheartedly agrees with the premise to update and simplify the current requirements and definitions for the industry, SB 1291-1292 eliminates too many provisions from the current license statute and does not do enough to protect Michigan consumers.

Michigan’s license has been recognized across the country as a model state for the security alarm industry.  Michigan’s security alarm license statute has been viewed as an easy entry for businesses while protecting our valued consumer’s homes and businesses, as evidenced with roughly 300 companies currently licensed and 0 serious violations to consumers.  If the license is not broken then what are these bills truly trying to fix?

The Burglar and Fire Alarm Association of Michigan (BFAAM) strongly believes that the security alarm industry should be a licensed profession; without criminals working in nor licensed in the state; licensing should be done statewide without duplicate licenses at the local government level; and that the definition of a security alarm company be updated to fit with modern alarm platforms and applications.

Following is a chart demonstrating the differences between the current safeguards under the security alarm license and the proposals for the industr as outlined in SB 1291-1292. 

 

 

 Current License Requirements

 Registration Requirements

License

No license, instead this is registration

$500 every two years

$50 per year

Must be at least 25 years of age

Must be at least 18 years old

Must have at least high school education

Must have at least high school education

No felonies

No felony within the last 5 years

Not dishonorably discharged from military service

No mention of military service discharge

Has had the security business for at least 3 years or has been an employee of a licensee for at least 4 years  -or- is able to pass a competency test

No competency or experience requirement

Has posted a bond or liability insurance with LARA

No bond or liability requirement

Is sane

Is sane

No outstanding warrants

Warrants are acceptable

File an employee roster with LARA on a quarterly basis

LARA would have no idea who is actually working in the field, installing alarms, nor monitoring security systems.  LARA simply would have a list of companies that register as security alarm contractors.

Conduct fingerprint background checks, by the State Police and the FBI, on all employees to ensure no criminals are employed in the industry.

Legislation now includes a background check provision; however, there is no definition of who does it or what constitutes a background check

Current statute includes the monitoring of security alarms

Does not include monitoring of security alarms nor are staff monitoring alarms required to have background checks

No local governments can create nor charge for a duplicate license.  In other words, one license is good throughout the state of Michigan.

No local governments can create nor charge for a duplicate license.  In other words, one license is good throughout the state of Michigan.

Enforcement possible on licensed alarm companies only.  No enforcement exists for unlicensed activities.

Enforcement possible on unregistered alarm companies only.  No enforcement on the registered alarm companies.

 

August 19, 2011

As you know, on Monday, August 15, 2011, the Detroit Police Department (DPD) unexpectedly announced a change in direction and created what they refer to as Verified Response for security alarms.  BFAAM opposes this new policy and is fighting hard to convince DPD that their new policy is flawed.  BFAAM needs help from you, the licensed security alarm dealer and your customers. 

 

Please click here for a sample letter you can use.

Please cick here for a list of contacts who should receive your letter.

 

BFAAM recommends:

  1. You send the letter to your customers.
  2. Make contact with the Mayor, Chief and City Council.
  3. Provide your customers with the Contact List and encourage them to contact these same people.

 

If there is enough action, outrage and concern by the citizens, then there will be positive changes in Detroit!