Crying Foul Over Public Safety Licensing

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The MSCA (Massachusetts Systems Contractors Association) is a trade association of more than 250 companies who are all active in some aspect of the installation, service, maintenance, monitoring, distribution, or manufacture of systems and equipment. Associated Alarms is a proud member of MSCA.

Like other MSCA companies, all our employees at Associated Alarms (including administrative staff) have a Public Safety License which mandates a criminal background check. All of our technicians are licensed and trained professionals.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case with other alarm companies in Massachusetts. In fact, some of the bigger and more well-known companies are frequent violators of this basic safety requirement. Below is a letter that was recently sent out by the MSCA to inform consumers about what is going on and what options they have:

"Dear Consumer:

Technology is constantly changing and new concepts and devices are at our fingertips. Some of the advances simplify our lives and streamline our days. 

You may be aware of advertisements for all-in-one type security systems that allow you to control your property from a smart phone or similar device. Such systems allow you to monitor your property through video surveillance, operate devices, secure locks, and control the environment. 

What you may not be aware of, is that these systems fall under the category of "Life Safety". As such, the businesses and the workers that have your personal protection in mind are highly regulated by the State of Massachusetts. They are required to be licensed by the State Board Electrical Examiners and also to have a Public Safety license, mandating criminal background checks on all security system employees by the Department of Public Safety. This is to protect your valuables from those who may have criminal backgrounds and to assure that the systems will work effectively in responding to any emergency. 

At this time, some national telecommunications companies are operating without such licenses in Massachusetts. Many have been issued "cease and desist" orders and the State Board of Electrical Examiners has written a very strong decision that these telecommunications companies are in violation of and must conform with Massachusetts' Consumer Protection and Public Safety laws. The order to comply with the law has been challenged and counsel in the Office of the Attorney General is waiting for a court hearing date.

We advise that you ask everyone who offers you such a system to show you their Massachusetts licenses. Further, if you have had problems with any such company for any of your properties, we urge you to file a simple consumer complaint with the Attorney General's office by completing the AG's Form at www.eform.ago.state.ma.us

If you want, please contact us and let us know of your concerns. The MSCA and its member companies pride themselves on protection of the public and compliance with all state laws. 

Don't be fooled; protect your home by contracting with any licensed professional."

You can read more about this issue here.