News

August 9, 2017

The City of Troy has reversed its decision to make amendments the 2012 International Fire Code in conflict with the Michigan Building Code (MBC) after BFAAM filed a complaint in October of last year. In response to the complaint, the City of Troy repealed all but one of the amendments that precipitated the complaint.

Because of the Bureau of Construction Codes (BCC) review, the following amendments have been repealed by the City of Troy;

  • Amendment 903.4.2 requiring audible-visual devices connected to every automatic sprinkler system, provided on the interior and exterior of the building (a more stringent requirement than the 2012 MBC required).
  • Amendment 904.3.5 adding a requirement for remote monitoring for systems installed in buildings that do not have a building fire alarm system (something that is not required by the 2012 MBC).
  • Amendment 907.6.3.1.1 requiring that visible appliances to remain active when the alarm is silenced (the MBC requires the visible appliances to be deactivated when the alarm is silenced while the NFPA 72-2010 states that, “When an alarm signal deactivation means is actuated, both audible and visible notification appliances shall be simultaneously deactivated). 
  • Amendment 907.6.2.1 1 requiring fire alarm systems to provide power for anticipated future expansion to the system, and references a guide of “10 amps per 10,000 square feet,” (adds unnecessary ambiguity and arbitrary requirements that are not found anywhere in the 2012 MBC).

BFAAM is pleased with the decision by the City of Troy to reverse course on these amendments and acknowledges the work done on behalf of the BCC to resolve this issue. BFAAM will continue striving to protect its membership from regulations and municipalities that overreach their duties and creates burdensome and harmful policies that contradict the Michigan Building Code. 

August 9, 2017

On January 4, 2017 Governor Snyder signed Senate Bill 1025, which amends the Electrical Administrative Act and the Skilled Trades Regulation Act (STRA) to allow Fire Alarm Specialty Technicians to design fire alarm shop drawings, instead of having to have the drawings stamped by an Architect or PE when applying for a permit to install a fire alarm system.

Prior to this legislation, some jurisdictions were requiring fire alarm contractors that were submitting fire alarm shop drawings with a permit application, to have the drawings sealed or stamped by an Architect or Professional Engineer.  This was based on the requirement in the Michigan Building Code, section 107.1, which requires construction documents be prepared by a registered design professional when required by PA 299 of 1980, also known as the Occupational Code.  The Occupational Code regulates 17 occupations, including Architects and Engineers.  Article 6 of the Act prohibits engaging in regulated occupations without a license, with exceptions noted in Section 601(10), which states “This act does not apply to a person engaging in or practicing the following:”, and subsection (c) states: “Any activity for which the person is licensed under the Electrical Administrative Act, PA 217 of 1956.”

Senate Bill 1025 and the Skilled Trades Regulation Act both changed the definition of a fire alarm specialty technician to include the design of fire alarm systems.  Consequently, the preparation of fire alarm shop drawings is an activity that fire alarm specialty technicians are licensed for under the Electrical Administration Act and the Skilled Trades Regulation Act, and are exempt from the requirements of PA 299 of 1980, which them removes the requirement that fire alarm shop drawings be prepared by a registered design professional.

Addressing and resolving this issue was a collaborative effort between the Burglar and Fire Alarm Association of Michigan, Licensing and Regulatory Affairs staff, and Bureau of Construction Codes staff.  The legislative changes were also supported by the architects and engineers state association.

 

August 9, 2017

There’s a common saying in sports that “you’re only as good as your last game.” If the last few months are considered BFAAM’s last “game”, then we’re headed to the Super Bowl…..and it’s something that all of the membership should be proud of.

In December of 2016 Governor Snyder signed into law our biggest legislative priority. This legislation codified into law that shop drawings for a fire alarm systems are not required to be stamped by a design professional. Our membership had been in disputes with some local governments for years on this issue arguing how there was no legal basis for this requirement.

The acknowledgment and respect for our industry from the legislature and governor was very clear throughout the process. Our legislation was introduced in the middle of June and signed into law at the end of December which is warp speed for an issue at the Capitol. It garnered a total of 141 “yes” votes to just 2 “no” votes from the legislature and BFAAM board members were invited to attend a bill signing ceremony at the capitol with Governor Snyder.

Last year was also a record year for attendance at the BFAAM Code Update courses held throughout the state.  We had 365 technicians and inspectors attend the five courses designed to facilitate the Michigan Electrical Administrative Act requirements for 15 hours of code update classes for Fire Alarm Specialty Technicians. In addition, the courses satisfied the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) recertification requirements for continuing professional development credits.

And in March of 2017 BFAAM received word back from the Bureau of Construction Codes (BCC) that the City of Troy was repealing several amendments they made to the 2012 International Fire Code that directly conflicted with the Michigan Building Code.  This was set in motion after BFAAM filed a complaint with BCC over these burdensome amendments that were creating headaches for our membership.

To all of our membership I say thank you for your participation in the association and I hope that you continue your membership with our organization.  The purpose of the association is to provide strength in numbers when we see issues arise within our industry and we cannot accomplish our goals without you.

I also ask that you continue to be involved with the association.  Our conferences provide valuable knowledge for your business. Get to know your legislator.  Our relationships have never been stronger with the legislature and we need to continue that for the sake of our industry.  Finally, I ask you to support the BFAAM PAC.  The PAC provides us a voice in Lansing and no donation is too small.

As we turn our focus to the new and never-ending issues surrounding our industry I again say thank you and please continue to be active.  We’re only as good as our last game.

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.

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