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False Alarm Reduction

“Students from the Pestalozzian Academy” | Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1806} | Meadows Museum Southern Methodist University

Security standards for the education industry develop on a near-weekly basis.  Every incident spawns new workgroups that compete with incumbents, consortia and open source licensing organizations to set the standard of care through documents, accreditation, training and other revenue-capture instruments.  We count the better part of 100 of them including the standards spawned from ad hoc alliances and partnerships.

The Security Industry Association in an ANSI-accredited standards setting organization that develops consensus products that promote interoperability and information sharing in the industry.  The landing page for its standards setting enterprise is linked below:

SIA Industry Standards

Interoperability problems in the digital transformation of the education communities has been a challenge for decades.  Competition among providers inevitably results in vendor lock-in.  Given high degree of rehabilitation activity in facilities, getting legacy and new fire alarm systems to talk to one another is a worthy goal.   The original University of Michigan standards advocacy enterprise had a few modest “code wins” in this domain from 2000 to 2016.

Interoperability challenges remain and are the signature characteristic of the transformation.

Last year the SIA initiated a revision cycle for its standard — SIA CP-01 Features for False Alarm Reduction — which asserts leading practice for reduction of false alarms.  To paraphrase the benefits of this ANSI-accredited consensus document:

  • Saves facility management enterprises time and money with decreased alarm dispatches and programmable swinger shutdown.
  • Provides technical specifications for cross zoning and carbon monoxide zoning.
  • Provides commissioning, inspection, testing and maintenance guidance.
  • Provides guidance for installing security measures like the duress alarm that can be entered by a user to trigger a silent call for help while under threat from an intruder.
  • Features, including specifications for carbon monoxide zones and qualifications for swinger shutdown.

From the ANSI Project Initiation Notification Announcement:

Project Need: False Alarms and False Dispatches continue to be a thorn in the side of municipalities and law enforcement.

Stakeholders: Security integrators, security manufacturers, law enforcement, central stations, monitoring companies, and
some end-users (consumers) of security.

Scope: This standard details recommended design features for security systems, control panels, and their associated devices to reduce the incidence of false alarms. These features are applicable to both residential and commercial properties protected by an electronic security system. This standard is intended for use by manufacturers in the design of security systems and alarm signal receivers. It is also intended for reference by all affected parties, including security system installers, specifiers, and users; central station owners and operators; manufacturers of central station products, such as receivers and automation software; and local authorities

We will be watching for release of public review drafts.  You are encouraged to communicate directly with SIA: CONTACT 

The SIA suite is on the standing agenda of our periodic Security, Risk and Prometheus teleconferences.   See our CALENDAR for the next online meeting; open to everyone.


Issue: [13-143]

Category: Security, Risk, Prometheus

Colleagues: Mike Anthony, Josh Evolve, Jim Harvey, Richard Robben


Fire Alarm and Security Industry Terminology



Readings / K-12 School Security

CLICK ON IMAGE (Note that the link may move around quite a bit)


H.R. 3665 / School Violence Prevention and Mitigation Act of 2019

434 lawmakers, including 89 new freshman Members, were sworn in to the 116th Congress on January 3, 2019. Photo by Phi Nguyen.

A BILL: To establish a grant program to encourage schools to conduct independent facility security risk assessments and make hard security improvements, and for other purposes.

Campus Security Based on Internet of Things

Hunan Railway Professional Technology College

Design and Implementation of Campus Security System Based on Internet of Things

Hu Pinggui &  Chen Xiuqing

Hunan Railway Professional Technology College


Abstract.  In order to prevent campus theft incidents, campus intelligent security was put forward to solve campus security problems. At present, most security systems in campus are mainly video surveillance. In most cases, some measures are just as later view tool. In view of the above problems, campus intelligent security is selected as the main research object. On the basis of in-depth analysis of the Internet of things technology, this paper makes innovative and exploratory research on RFID tag chip technology, GSM communication technology, keyboard input and LCD display. The results show that the new design of security can effectively prevent campus safety accidents. Based on the above finding, it is concluded that the school should realize the campus security system based on Internet of things as soon as possible, and provide a good living and learning environment for students at school.

To order complete paper: IEEE Explore



NFPA 1 & 101 | Education Facility Safety

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