I don't know, is it just me?  Or is there just so much government over-regulation being applied to this industry that soon it won't be worth doing business?  I thought it was just New Jersey, but apparently it is all over.  When licensing first came about in NJ, I was in favor of it.  It did away with having to get licenses for individual towns and cut down on some of shady deals that went on.  But it never really did much to put the "trunk slammers" out of business.  All I ever read about in your daily blog are licensed contractors getting fines.  I don't believe I have ever read about an unlicensed contractor being fined or put in jail.
     Every time they change a law, it seems to necessitate an exponential growth in the size of government.  I'm an honest contractor.  In over 35 years in business, I have never once been sued.  At every turn, new regulations are added to "prevent" this or that.  And it just allows government to put their hand into our pockets a little deeper.  I attended the NJESA Annual Symposium in Atlantic City this past February.  One of the alarm contractors made an interesting comment.   He asked: "Do you see any young contractors or new licensees here?"  The answer was a resounding "NO."  Almost all of us had gray hair.  And the reason has become obvious.  If I was twenty something and was considering going into business, one look at all the regulations and the fine schedules for alleged infractions, and I think I would choose another line of work rather quickly.
John from NJ
    I don't think it's just you. There is a lot of regulation out there, and it's not limited the alarm industry.  When you went from alarm low voltage tech to "security / home integration / fire / life safety professional" you should have anticipated more regulation.  Much of it is justified, some of it just revenue raising.  Some jurisdictions take enforcement seriously, others don't for either monetary issues or other issues.  When state wide alarm licensing was talked about and finally enacted in New York in 1992 my thoughts were "be careful for what you wish for".  NY is not particularly over regulated when it comes to the alarm license, but enforcement is spotty to say the least.  I suppose that in theory,  more regulation and enforcement would make for a better industry.
    Reading the post from Detective Robinson on September 14, 2016.  I agree with Dan Zeloof's comments on September 21, 2016  …I’m moving to Phoenix because that’s where money grows on trees.  But seriously, as a comment on Det. Robinsons statement on Sept 21, 2016  that companies would rather just pay the fines and chalk it up to the cost of doing business, well, that’s not my experience at all. 
    Our alarm business in the early years, consisted largely of residential new construction and the biggest false alarm problem we faced was with monitored model homes and the cleaning people. No one ever knew how to disarm the system (or spoke English) and with the alarm blaring, everyone just kept on vacuuming. It got so bad that this particular home builder decided to drop the monitoring on the model homes. To quote: “John, it’s cheaper to let them steal everything than to pay the fines we’re getting”. A few months later, I’m digging a digital video recorder out of its hiding place and reviewing the video of a 1 ½  hour theft which took place at 4 in the morning. The first image shows an inside view of an exploding sliding glass door and then probably the second funniest thing I’ve ever seen on a video: The first guy through the broken door walks right by one of our cameras sort of slow and sneaky like, gets ten feet in, turns slightly, sees the camera then (I’m not kidding) backs out of the building the same slow and sneaky way with his head turned away from the camera. Then we see a hand reach in, grab the camera and tear it off the wall. The next hour and a half of video shows two guys stealing various pieces of furniture and home theater equipment. (Which we put in!). They never bothered with the other cameras but spent a lot of time searching for the DVR. (This was before off-site storage guys.) The builder wasn’t at all happy but it had been his decision to drop the monitoring. The cops on the scene all enjoyed the video. No one was ever apprehended of course.
            I also agree completely with Zeke Lay in his comment about changing technology and changing consumer buying habits. But Zeke, the real “800 pound gorilla” is the hard reality that you are not in the monitoring business, you are in the recurring monthly revenue business. Everyone reading this should be looking for additional RMR streams. Check out our AD in
The Alarm Exchange under Technology and Services that increase or preserve your RMR. Your business clients can cancel their monitoring or switch providers but they all need phone service. Take advantage of this fact and generate RMR. Contact me directly at 866-362-0705 and we’ll have a conversation about the technology and explore how you can benefit by joining. We also have a three tiered residential phone service program that can generate significant RMR for you. By the way, the incident with the model home burglary was only the second funniest thing I’ve ever seen reviewing a tape after the fact. Give me a call and I’ll tell you about the funniest thing.
John Haenn
    Great comment in the Sept 23 2016 article about sales taxation issues for a company entering the DIY arena.  In addition to sales tax compliance, security companies also face state income, franchise, and privilege taxation issues. 
    As your readers are aware, not only do we understand taxation regulations in all 50 states, we understand the security industry.   Our clients are all security and systems integrators and operate in 32 states, three Canadian Provinces, and three countries.  Our Taxation Manager, Angela Roberston is a CPA with over 30 years of experience.  She has the resources and experience to help companies with any State or Federal taxation issue.
    Your readers should keep in mind that sales and use tax issues not only come into play in sales and installations but also monitoring.  You may recall that I was able to secure an opinion from the State of Indiana that monitoring is not taxable.  We received calls from CPA’s all over the State telling us that it was, but they didn’t quite understand what monitoring is.
    Avalara is a great product and we work with them on several clients.  We can also advise your readers strategy and compliance.
Mitch Reitman
Reitman Consulting Group
Fort Worth, TX