LEGALLY speaking, not just any company can nor should any company – install security, camera systems or even Nest doorbells.
Installation of security cameras seems relatively innocent? The best home alarms have fingerprints. For starters, you are inviting a stranger inside your home for a security survey. Of course we don’t run background checks and fingerprints on every contractor who enters our home but we aren’t asking them to assess risk at that point either. In addition homeowners are allowing someone access to view their homes, often interior and exterior with camera and security permissions. If not properly set, allowing a potential hacker access as well. Fire alarm and security monitoring are more serious. In the event of an emergency, not having expert installation could be catastrophic.
Licensing and why you should care
Fire and safety are categories of service that lend themselves to heavy liability and licensing requirements. These are LIFE SAFETY categories of service. For example, if a small AV firm wanted to begin selling security systems and they were exercising a low voltage exemption by the state, they would not only need to be licensed by the North Carolina Alarm Systems Licensing Board but ALSO retain an actual Low Voltage license classification SP-AF-LV. Even an electrician currently licensed by the state to do electrical work is not automatically licensed to security oriented work.
Neither of which are relatively easy to obtain in a short amount of time. Requirements include relevant work experience certification, additional education, exams, verifiable references with notarized affidavits, background checks and meeting with an investigator all subject approval of the actual NC Alarm Systems Licensing Board during a hearing in Raleigh.
In order to renew Michelle’s license, who works exclusively in the office and does not set one foot inside a client’s home, this was what was required:
- Completion of a 3 hour state approved CEU course (which included an exam)
- New fingerprints (every 2 years) at the Moorseville Police Department, which were more challenging to obtain than usual due to Covid19 restrictions this year. Not all police departments are doing fingerprints and for Mooresville Police, there was a significant delay in the scheduling.
- Finally, a background check.
This process occurs upon hire and then every 2 years afterwards for all employees. For this reason, we have to be very selective of potential staff members.
It is frustrating for us to see unlicensed contractors doing this work. In the event of catastrophe, homeowners (and their insurance companies) will wish they had hired a properly licensed and insured professional. Be careful of who you let into your home. Click here to check if your contractor is licensed for security with the state.