Amendments Ensure Fair Framework for Wireless Security System

MACo Legislative Director Natasha Mehu testified in support with amendments of House Bill 645, “Business Regulation – Wireless Security Systems – Local Government Licenses and Permits”, before the House Economic Matters Committee on February 20, 2018.

As introduced, this bill would have prohibited local governments from requiring any permit or license to install wireless security systems that do not require a fire protection plan review. The bill sought to provide a framework for installation of wireless security systems, but the language was vague and did not include longstanding safeguards for security systems. MACo worked closely with stakeholders championing the bill to develop amendments to address lingering concerns and create a sensible framework for regulation.

From MACo Testimony:

HB 645 defines a wireless security system and prohibits local governments from requiring any license or permit to install, maintain, inspect, replace, or service a wireless security system that does not require a fire protection plan review. As introduced, the bill is vague on the specific license or permit prohibition. It does not account for longstanding, commonsense state and local public safety protections for security systems, which should apply regardless of whether the security system is wired or not. MACo believes an amended version of the bill could accomplish these objectives more clearly, and without upending important and appropriate local oversight.

The amendments sought by the counties would ensure that:
(1) Low voltage is explicitly defined as 50 volts or lower;
(2) Only electrical licenses or electrical permits are prohibited for wireless systems;
(3) Individuals who install wireless systems must comply with state laws governing security system technicians;
(4) Wireless security system operators and users comply with any local alarm business registration and alarm system registration laws; and
(5) Wireless systems must meet the appropriate building codes wherever installed.”

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2018 legislative session here.