“Know who you are dealing with” is the 2016 theme for the Ontario Association of Chiefs’ of Police (OACP) Crime Prevention campaign.  Fraud and a variety of scams are highlighted in this awareness campaign to help the public be alert to crimes that affect us all.  I was honoured to represent CANASA at the media launch in Toronto to highlight the need for everyone to recognize these types of criminal activities.  You can access a copy of the 2016 OACP Crime Prevention Booklet here or at your local police station.

CBC richardOne of my volunteer roles is to serve as National President of www.CANASA.org , the industry association that serves electronic security members across the country.  Recently, CBC Go Public contacted us for information and comment concerning a story about an Alberta alarm installer accused of fraud.  The installer is alleged to have stolen personal credit card information from a homeowner during the installation of a security system.  The same security system designed to keep criminals away may have contributed to this event.  Sadly, our industry is not immune to such activity.

Clearly, the overwhelming majority of security professionals are committed to public safety and have undergone extensive background checks. Federal government departments and agencies maintain a very effective Industrial Security Program (ISP) specifically designed to provide security screening and provide assurance to stakeholders.  Our own FCi facility and team members have been granted security clearance by Public Works and Government Services Canada.  This level of security clearance allow us to help protect sensitive documents, classified and protected information, assets and people.  FCi goes beyond the standard criminal background check to ensure we not only meet minimal requirements, but that we exceed them.

FCi also maintain a comprehensive Health & Safety program to ensure compliance to standards.  We maintain extensive insurance to safeguard our employees and our customers.  All of this is designed to ensure consumer confidence and give them the assurance that they need.

Knowing who you are dealing with is critical.  How do consumers protect themselves from this type of occurrence?  Many provinces legislate the practices of security firms.  Quebec, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Manitoba have provincial requirements that include regulatory oversight designed to protect the consumer and industry.  Some municipalities also have requirements for criminal background checks for those engaged in the electronic security industry.  Consumers are encouraged to do their own homework to ensure that their contractor or provider maintain these minimums.  As well, they should ensure that minimum insurance coverage is maintained by their security provider.

Be vigilant and never be afraid to ask questions of anyone offering you services, especially when it comes to security.  Asking for references is one way to ensure you are dealing with a trusted partner.  Another important factor is to visit their place of business.  This can provide you, as a consumer, the insight as to the size and type of operation that the provider has.  Learning all that you can will mitigate risk and make you a better informed consumer. FCi always welcome our clients to visit us to see the latest electronic security technology.  We are also pleased to provide references.