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What Protection Does A License Provide?

Discussion in 'Security Alarms' started by Tom.Brooklyn2, Jul 28, 2004.

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  1. What protection does a consumer recieve from an alarm supplier or installer
    who has a license versus one who doesn't have a licence? Who issues these
    licenses and what does a company have to do to recieve one?
  2. Frank Olson

    Frank Olson Guest

    In addition to the information Russ provided, most licensing agencies also
    require the alarm companies under their jurisdiction carry insurance
    liability and bonding for their employees. Indeed some jusidictions (like
    Florida for instance) also require individuals attend ongoing industry
    sponsored training.

    Whether you choose to deal with a licensed company (over an unlicensed one)
    is entirely up to you. In most instances, unlicensed companies will be
    unable to pull an electrical permit. This may be (on the surface) not be
    such a "big deal", but it could well turn into one when it comes to sell the

    Frank Olson
  3. Norm Mugford

    Norm Mugford Guest

    I can't speak for any other State, but here in Florida we believe
    in protecting the public from unskilled, unscrupulous,
    felonious and financially unstable contractors.

    Electrical, Alarm and low voltage Contractors in Florida are required
    to be licensed. They must make application to the State. That application
    must show experience, financial stability, arrest record and
    the many other forms of information. If the applicant is approved
    by the Board, the applicant must take a comprehensive written exam.
    Once the applicant passes the test and proves they have proper amounts
    of Liability Insurance and Worker's Comp coverage they are issued a
    license in their particular field of work. The license holder must take
    14 hours of Specific Continuing Education in order to renew
    the license. Every salesperson and craftsman in the alarm field must
    have a FASA (Fire Alarm System Agent) or BASA (Burglar Alarm
    System Agent) card if they have been employed more than 90 days,
    signed by the license holder. The agents also must attend continuing
    education classes every two years, and get a Florida Department
    of Law Enforcement background check to include fingerprints.

    The Department is very active in enforcing the licensing laws for
    all licensed professions in Florida and most local governments
    will not knowingly issue permits to unlicensed companies. "Stop
    Work" and "Cease & Desist" orders are used very effectively in
    our State.

    To hope that answers your question:

    "What protection does a consumer receive from an alarm supplier or installer
    who has a license versus one who doesn't have a license"?

    I'd much rather have a State Licensed company that has proven
    his experience, financial stability,clean arrest record and proper
    insurance coverage's before I'd let them in my house or business.

    Norm Mugford
    Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulations
    Electrical Contractors Licensing Board
  4. --

    -- Guest

    Its called business protection more than quality...
  5. Bob Worthy

    Bob Worthy Guest


    Due to some technical difficulty, I am chiming late on this one. After
    reading all of the other input, which is rather obvious in any trade, you
    need to make a decision made on good common sense. You have read that a
    license doesn't necessary relate to quality. That is true, however when was
    the last time you seen a doctors GPA on the diploma hanging on their wall? I
    will still take my chances with him rather than a doctor who's office is in
    an apartment somewhere with no diploma on the wall. Secondly, no one
    mentioned the possibility that your insurance company probably won't insure
    your lose when they investigate and find that an unlicensed contractor
    installed the alarm, if one is required in your local that is. Don't be
    penny wise and dollar foolish. Just do your homework.

  6. Bob Worthy

    Bob Worthy Guest

    Norm, Congradulations on your new position. I am happy to see the Governor
    re-appointed you to another term and the Board thought enough of your work
    to elect you to this new position., "Chairman is waiting".

  7. Norm Mugford

    Norm Mugford Guest

    Mr. Worthy wrote:

    "Congratulations on your new position. I am happy to see the Governor
    re-appointed you to another term and the Board thought enough of your work
    to elect you to this new position., "Chairman is waiting"."

    Thanks for the vote of confidence Bob.

  8. Bob Worthy

    Bob Worthy Guest

    You missed the point Robert. I was trying to point out that every trade,
    regardless of licensing, has different levels of quality. Licensing is
    regulating more than just technical (skill) ability and quality. I am sure
    that there are unlicensed people out there that are very good tradesmen but
    they can't balance a check book just as there are very good business people
    that don't know which end of screwdriver to use. In general, the difference
    is that a good tradesman doesn't necessarily even think that there is more
    to the law (if applicable) than running a wire from point A to B but a good
    business man knows he needs to hire that good tradesman to run that end of
    the business if he isn't qualified himself. It is true in all trades. Back
    to my analogy, even our medical indusrty is nothing more than big business
    and. there are doctors that are better than others. I forgot that I need to
    be careful using analogies.
  9. Frank Olson

    Frank Olson Guest

    "When you were getting started"...

    Let's see... You got licensed in 1983. You moved to Florida in 1999...
    Even *if* you "apprenticed under this "licensed tech" you *say* you hired...
    that's 20 years Robert... Where do you get 27?? Are you "applying your
    modest markup" here as well??

    Is that like "cement"??
    Hmmm... I don't think you know what NFPA 72 or NEC requires either (from
    the frequent mistakes you make)...
    Heh... What "nonsense" have I posted?? I only ask because I don't think
    you can get much more ridiculous than this:

    You're talent for comedy is prodigious (as is your waistline)...

    Frank Olson
  10. Frank Olson

    Frank Olson Guest

    That should be "your" (as in "your talent for comedy...)

    Don't get your fingers in a knot there Tom... :))
  11. Aegis

    Aegis Guest

    Protection? On the surface, none. In my state, Texas, it means the
    individual has had a rudimentary background check performed on them by the
    State of Texas and the FBI (for out-of-state information). It also means
    that the individual, in order to maintain that license, has CEU's
    (education/training credits) related to their field.

    In a civil court, however, it may easily be found that the licensee should
    be considered an 'expert' (as opposed to an 'uninformed consumer') in their
    field which could increase their liability in suits related to what they
    knew or SHOULD have known.
  12. Aegis

    Aegis Guest

    When I got my security and fire alarm licenses, they neglected to speak of
    ANY legal issues. During CEU training, again, they neglect to speak of them.
    When I got my real estate license, though... WOW! 90% of the hours (I've got
    240 classroom hours now) are what you can't do, shouldn't do, and lawsuits
    related to both.

    The last class I had was Real Estate Law which is pretty much a typical law
    course. Some pretty scary stuff in there, especially when the feds get
    involved... Anyway, if the courts can hold that a real estate agent, due to
    the fact that he is licensed and required to take courses to maintain that
    license, is an 'expert', then it follows they can for virtually any other
    license with similar requirements.

    btw: for info on good
    laws gone bad (related to real estate... like YOUR land, even...)
  13. Norm Mugford

    Norm Mugford Guest

    Aegis wrote:

    "In a civil court, however, it may easily be found that the licensee should
    be considered an 'expert' (as opposed to an 'uninformed consumer') in their
    field which could increase their liability in suits related to what they
    knew or SHOULD have known".

    Let me analyze that:

    If Frank is licensed, he is considered an "expert".....(I thought you'd like
    that Frank)
    and since Mr. Bass is unlicensed, he's "uninformed" and
    could increase liability related to what he knew or
    should have known, such as selling monitoring without
    a license and leading people to believe he does not need a license.

    I have a stronger word for Mr. Bass than "uniformed", but it
    is Friday. And I have experts I'd rather read posts from.

    Norm Mugford
  14. Frank Olson

    Frank Olson Guest

    Heh... As much as I'd like to agree with you Norm, I can't. I've talked to
    security professionals around the world (some work in jurisdictions in which
    licensing is not required). I can't attest to their expertise (neither
    could you), and I don't think you can simply say a license is any indicator
    that the individual is an "expert" (besides which, Robert *was* licensed at
    one time). In the lower mainland a few municipalities (Vancouver included)
    require fire alarm technicians that perform annual testing on equipment to
    be certified through ASTTBC. The certification in the opinion of the Surrey
    Fire Marshal (and many others) is a joke. A lot of the "old hands" look on
    it as a "money grab" (you have to pay to renew the certification on an
    annual basis). I've personally seen many systems "pass" the annual test
    when in fact they shouldn't. Most of the ASTTBC techs I've actually worked
    with don't even know how to properly test the system battery (or calculate
    the stand-by time based on the panel's current draw and battery size).
    There's a procedure for testing fire extinguishers that actually requires
    them to be *removed* from the wall bracket. I've actually seen a supposed
    "tech" remove the old inspection tag and put on a new one with only a glance
    to make sure the gauge is "in the green".

    The only "positives" with respect to industry licensing and certification
    (in BC at least) that I can see is that the company has to maintain the
    required insurance and bonding and that security tradesmen are screened by
    the RCMP and are required to sucessfully participate in an apprenticeship
    that lasts three years before they can obtain a Technical Qualification


    Frank Olson
  15. Norm Mugford

    Norm Mugford Guest

    I knew you were a fellow Canadian, but I was not aware you
    were from BC. I have a cousin that lives somewhere on Vancouver
    Island. (makes me sound like Bass).

    As a teenager I drove a motorcycle coast to coast. Took two
    months and had a blast. That was in the mid sixties.....Yes! they had
    motorcycles back then. (BSA 650). Drove from Montreal to P.E.I. then
    took a boat to Newfoundland, came down thru Northwest Territories,
    back thru Quebec and drove the Trans Canada Highway (Queens Way)
    to Vancouver. And I did have a license.

    Does that mean I've been "in the trade" for 40 years?

    Norm Mugford
  16. Bob Worthy

    Bob Worthy Guest

    Security is so diverse, anyone would be hard pressed to believe anyone that
    just blankly professed to be a "security expert". I can believe that someone
    could claim to be a security expert in his/her particular field of security
    and a license is a good piece of evidence that they are on their way to be
    an expert. This along with alot of education, both in the field and in the
    class room will get you there as long as you continuously apply all of your
    new found knowledge. Keeping up with it is also mandatory. I have been
    called as an expert witness on two different occassions and both times I had
    to make it very clear, at the attorneys guidance, that I was an expert in
    the case at hand and not necessarily in general. I don't claim to be either.
    Again, the industry is to diverse.

  17. petem

    petem Guest

    "Frank Olson" <> a écrit dans le
    message de

    I have seen worst..someone taking all the fire extinguishers from a building
    to test them and leave nothing...
    same for fire hose hydro test..going with the hose and leave nothing in the
    cabinet..and come back weeks later to reinstal the hose
    we have the same 3 year apprenticeship here in QC but if you dont monitor
    alarm you dont need much bonding or insurance..
    that make me sick...
  18. petem

    petem Guest

    Are you from Montreal? since you started your trip from there?
  19. Norm Mugford

    Norm Mugford Guest

    Yes! I lived in Ville LaSalle

  20. Aegis

    Aegis Guest

    I never said the license makes you an expert. I said the LAW will likely
    find that since you have a license you are an expert AS COMPARED to the
    general public (i.e. the uninformed, or ignorant even, consumer).
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