Most insurance companies offer a variety of discounts based upon the projected reduced risks for certain features. The options may include: Multi-Policy, Group, Non-Smoker or Senior Discount Alarm, Dead Bolt, Automatic Sprinkler, Smoke Detector, Fire Extinguisher credits New home, new wiring credits, new plumbing credits
Their credits vary for the type of device; usually 2% for smoke alarms and up to 15% for an alarm system that notifies a third party.
The Massachusetts Systems Contractors Association (MSCA) has just released a letter they are sending out to educate and inform consumers.
We are the MSCA (Massachusetts Systems Contractors Association), a trade association of companies engaged in the business of installing and servicing a variety of systems including security alarm, fire alarm, camera and home automation systems. We are distributing this pamphlet to alert you to what we believe to be a disturbing new trend.
You may be aware of advertisements by national telecommunications companies for all‐in‐one security systems that allow you to control your property from a smart phone or similar device. These companies claim that this new technology allows you to monitor your property through video surveillance, operate devices, secure locks and control your home environment.
What you may not be aware of is that the work of installing and servicing these systems is highly regulated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. MSCA members are required to hold licenses from the State Board of Electrical Examiners and the Department of Public Safety. The state regulations require certain levels of education and training, as well as criminal background checks, in order to protect consumers and ensure that security and fire alarm systems will work effectively.
Currently some of these national telecommunications companies believe they have created a new type of security and fire alarm system that allows them to escape the Commonwealth’s licensing requirements altogether. On December 31, 2012, the State Board of Electrical Examiners rendered a decision affirming determinations from municipal wiring inspectors to require permits, inspections, and licenses for the installation of these types of security systems. The case is currently on appeal in the Superior Court. The MSCA agrees with the Board’s decision. In our opinion, it is not in the Consumer’s best interest to permit unlicensed employees or subcontractors of national telecommunication companies to install and service security systems.
Given the current landscape, we recommend that you ask anyone who offers you such a system to show you his or her Massachusetts Licenses. If you are not sure whether the people installing or servicing your alarm system are licensed, please call us and we can help. The MSCA and its member companies pride themselves on protection of the public and compliance with all Massachusetts state laws.
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