Legal Brief: Things you ought to know about your Alarm Business

Although you certainly don’t need to know every detail or know your financial information in precise detail, you should have a pretty good idea of it. It strikes me as odd when someone says, “I have to ask my accountant.” The funny thing is, most who say that probably don’t even have a regular accountant!

You should conduct your business — from start to finish — as if you’re planning to sell. You should be maximizing the equity in the business. In the alarm business, this is typically done by increasing your recurring monthly revenue (RMR).

RMR is derived by charging for your “after-install” services. Those services can (and often do) include monitoring, repair service plans and inspection plans.

Per-call service and per-call inspection may generate better cash flow when you look at a single account, but, overall, getting all or most of your subscribers into an RMR relationship, rather than per call, will generate the same or more revenue. And, of course, it’ll be more reliable and steadier.

I’ll give an example: You have a fire alarm inspection subscriber for whom you perform an annual (or semiannual, or quarterly) inspection, and you get $1,200 a year. It’s a per-call relationship for the inspection service. When you sell, that customer’s inspection contract will be excluded from the sale purchase price because it’s not contracted RMR.

Now, take the same account, but, this time, charge RMR of $100 per month. It’s a term contract with automatic renewal. That contract is worth $3,000 or more when you sell the accounts.

All security systems — cameras, audio, intrusion, fire, environmental, medical alert, PERS and access control — are still valued and sold based on the RMR model; that is, as a multiple of the RMR.

RMR is generally determined by calculating the gross amount billed to the subscriber and then deducting sales tax and third-party monitoring charges. Often, the central station basic charge is not deducted — it depends on your negotiations.

New Overtime Rule Effective July 1, 2024

Starting July 1, 2024, a new overtime rule will take effect, significantly impacting small businesses across the United States. The Department of Labor (DOL) has updated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations, adjusting the salary threshold for overtime exemption. This change aims to ensure fair compensation for employees working extensive hours while addressing economic shifts and inflation. Here’s what small businesses need to know to stay compliant and effectively manage this transition.

Key Changes in the Overtime Rule

  1. Increased Salary Threshold: The new rule raises the salary threshold for exempt employees from $35,568 annually ($684 per week) to $55,000 annually ($1,058 per week). Employees earning below this threshold are now entitled to overtime pay, regardless of their job duties.
  2. Regular Updates: The DOL has introduced a mechanism for regular updates to the salary threshold every three years. This adjustment will be based on economic indicators to ensure the threshold remains relevant with the cost of living and wage growth.
  3. Non-Discretionary Bonuses and Incentive Payments: Employers can continue to include non-discretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) to satisfy up to 10% of the standard salary level. However, the payments must be made on a quarterly or more frequent basis.

Implications for Small Businesses

  • Financial Impact – Small businesses will need to reassess their payroll budgets to accommodate the increased salary threshold. This change might lead to higher labor costs, especially for businesses with a significant number of employees currently classified as exempt but earning below the new threshold.
  • Reclassification of Employees – Businesses must review their employees’ classifications to ensure compliance. Employees who no longer meet the exemption criteria must be reclassified as non-exempt and are eligible for overtime pay. Proper documentation and communication of these changes are crucial to avoid legal repercussions.
  • Adjustments in Work Schedules – To manage overtime costs, small businesses might need to adjust work schedules or redistribute tasks among employees. Implementing stricter time-tracking policies and encouraging a more efficient workflow can help control the number of overtime hours worked.
  • Employee Morale and Productivity – Reclassification and changes in pay structures can impact employee morale. Transparent communication about the changes, emphasizing the benefits and legal compliance, can help mitigate negative reactions. Additionally, consider offering training programs to enhance productivity and reduce the need for overtime.

Steps to Ensure Compliance

  1. Conduct a Salary Audit: Review current salaries and classifications of employees to identify those affected by the new rule. Determine if pay adjustments or reclassification are necessary.
  2. Update Payroll Systems: Ensure your payroll system is configured to accurately calculate overtime for non-exempt employees. This includes tracking hours worked and applying the correct overtime rates.
  3. Train Management and HR Personnel: Educate managers and HR staff on the new rule, its implications, and how to implement necessary changes. This includes understanding how to track hours, handle reclassifications, and communicate changes to employees.
  4. Communicate with Employees: Develop a clear communication plan to inform employees about the changes, how it affects their pay and classification, and address any concerns they may have.
  5. Seek Legal and Financial Advice: Consulting with legal and financial advisors can provide valuable insights into compliance and help develop strategies to manage increased labor costs effectively.

The new overtime rule effective July 1, 2024, marks a significant shift in labor regulations, aiming to provide fair compensation for employees. Small businesses must proactively prepare for these changes by reassessing their payroll, reclassifying employees, and ensuring robust compliance mechanisms. By taking these steps, businesses can navigate the new landscape efficiently, maintaining legal compliance while supporting their workforce.

Smoke Alarm Alerts Sleeping Homeowner to Fire

SHREVEPORT, La. – A homeowner and her dogs are safe, after an overnight house fire.

It happened at 12:42 a.m. Sunday in the 3200 block of Pines Road.

The Shreveport Fire Department arrived on scene within five minutes and were able to bring the fire under control at 1:52 a.m.

No injuries were reported. The homeowner is crediting her smoke alarm for waking her up and alerting her to the fire. This gave her time to get her and her dogs out to safety.

The cause of the fire and full extent of the damage remains under investigation.

The SFD reminds everyone that smoke alarms save lives! Everyone should have a working smoke alarm installed in the immediate vicinity of all sleeping areas, and on each level of the home. Remember also to have a home escape plan in case the alarm does sound. If you need assistance developing a plan or would like to request a free smoke alarm, contact Shreveport Fire Prevention at 318-673-6740 or visit

HB607 Signed by the Governor as ACT 385

Louisiana House Bill 670 (HB 607) was signed by the governor as ACT 385.   This bill provided for changes that directly affect locksmith licensing.

HB 607 was introduced to create additional licensing categories for locksmith under Life Safety and Property Protection.

Key Provisions of HB 607, Now ACT 385

  1. This law adds that automotive locks are included in property protection systems and equipment.
  2. The law adds additional definitions for “automotive locksmith endorsement”, “automotive locksmith technician”, “limited conveyance device mechanic endorsement”, “limited conveyance device mechanic”, “limited locksmith endorsement”, “limited locksmith technician”, “limited security endorsement”, and “limited security technician”.
  3. The law allows the Board of Dentistry to require an applicant to complete an initial clinical licensure examination.
  4. The law allows a board to require adds licensing fees for firms for limited locksmith, automotive locksmith, and limited security. It also adds licensing fees for employees for limited locksmith, automotive locksmith, limited locksmith, limited security, and limited conveyance device mechanic.
  5. The law will be effective January 1, 2025.

Louisiana HB 607 represents a significant step forward in ensuring public safety and enhancing the standards of the life safety and property protection industry. These additional categories will provide for the licensing of additional locksmith in the state and create peace of mind for those using their services. 

SB60 Signed by the Governor as ACT 253

Louisiana Senate Bill 60 (SB 60) was signed by the governor as ACT 253.   This bill has significant implications for the life safety and property protection industry in the state. The legislation aims to enhance public safety standards and streamline regulatory processes for businesses involved in these sectors.

SB 60 was introduced to simplify the licensing process to reduce bureaucratic hurdles and support industry growth.

Key Provisions of SB 60, Now ACT 253

  1. This law requires a board to issue an occupational license or certification to a person if:
    1. The applicant holds a current and valid occupational license or certification in another state in an occupation with a similar scope of practice.
    2. The applicant has held the license or certification in the other state for at least one year.
    3. The other state required the applicant to pass an examination or meet certain standards.
    4. The other state holds the applicant in good standing.
    5. The applicant does not have a disqualifying criminal record as determined by the board in this state.
    6. The applicant does not have a disciplinary action or investigation pending in another state.
    7. The applicant pays all applicable fees; and the applicant provides proof of Louisiana residency.
  2. The law requires the Board of Medical Examiners and the Board of Veterinary Medicine to issue a conditional license pending normal licensure.
  3. The law allows the Board of Dentistry to require an applicant to complete an initial clinical licensure examination.
  4. The law allows a board to require a jurisprudential examination.
  5. The law allows the Horticulture Commission to administer an examination as necessary.
  6. The law provides for an appeals process.

Louisiana SB 60 represents a significant step forward in ensuring public safety and enhancing the standards of the life safety and property protection industry. While the streamlined licensing process is intended to reduce bureaucratic obstacles, the overall impact is expected to be positive, fostering a safer environment for the public and encouraging technological innovation within the industry.   Businesses not licensed in Louisiana currently will find it easier to do business within the state if their current licenses are comparable to Louisiana standards.  The long-term benefits of improved safety and professional standards are likely to outweigh any initial challenges.

Louisiana biggest cities see drop in police arrests

Police departments across the country have reported an astounding drop in the number of arrests over the past 10 years.  

Tracking arrest information from the four largest cities in Louisiana provided varied results in terms of transparency. New Orleans, Lafayette and Baton Rouge provided data on the number of arrests online. Shreveport was the only city that did not post recent arrest data online. That city’s data on arrests is updated through 2021.

New Orleans police have seen arrests drop from 39,097 in 2010 to 6,407 in 2023. That’s according to its online dashboard that provides annual arrests data broken down by the arresting agency, the charges and the arrested person’s race and gender. The city’s 2022 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (the most recent released) shows Driving While Intoxicated arrests have dropped from 1,392 in 2013 to 169 in 2022.

Lafayette police arrests have dropped from 14,460 in 2013 to 9,135 in 2023. However, arrests in 2023 were up from 5,063 in 2022. That data came from the city’s 2023 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report.

The city of Baton Rouge posts its arrest data for the past few years on its “Crime Trends Analysis” website. It also posts arrest data in its 2022 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report, the most recent year released. That shows arrests have dropped from 16,458 in 2013 to 8,659 in 2022.

The city of Shreveport does provide annual crime reports online as far back as 2016, with 2021 the most recent.

For the city of Shreveport, arrests went from 11,473 in 2016 to 5,770 in 2021.

Shreveport also didn’t submit data to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Crime Date Explorer, which tracks arrests by incident for many cities. The FBI compiles the data from information provided by participating municipalities.

Shreveport Police didn’t respond to questions asked about reporting arrest data to the FBI. They did respond to a request for the arrest information by filing a Freedom of Information Act request for that data on behalf of The Center Square.

The Center Square reviewed spending and employment in the police departments from 2019 – a year before the pandemic and the defund the police movement started with the murder of George Floyd – to 2024.

In New Orleans, total spending on police has dropped from $192 million in 2019 to a projected $186.2 million in 2024. The city had 1,468 budgeted positions in the police department in 2019 and that dropped to 1,277 in 2022.

The New Orleans Police department reported that violent crime in 2024 as of March 4 was down 34% as compared to 2023.

The city of Baton Rouge budgeted 882 positions in the police department in 2019 and that increased to 889 positions in 2024. Funding increased from $93.5 million in 2019 to $107 million in 2024.

The city of Baton Rouge provides a crime dashboard with weekly updates. It reported actual homicides were up 71% as of May 6 as compared to the previous year and assaults and batteries were up 19% and theft had increased 10%.

The city of Lafayette decreased the number of “police personnel and officers” from 334 in 2019 to 318 in 2024. However, total positions in the police department have increased from 349 in 2019 to 364 in 2024, including administrative and clerk positions. Total funding for police has gone from $34.76 million in 2019 to $48.02 million in 2024.

The Lafayette Parish crime data is updated only to 2020.

In Shreveport, spending on police increased from $59.96 million in 2019 to $71.8 million in 2024. The city increased the number of positions in the police department from 715 in 2019 to 770 positions in 2024.

The city of Shreveport’s crime data was updated to November 2023. It stated that homicides had increased from 48 to 77 from 2022 to 2023, a 60% increase, while rape (-12%), robberies (-6%) and aggravated assaults (-5%) had dropped over that same time period.

The 2024 Dealer Conference is in the Books!

The 2025 Dealer Conference hosted by the Louisiana Life Safety & Security Association (LLSSA) is always a significant event in the life safety and security industry. It was held May 22-23, 2025, at the Natchitoches Events Center. This conference marks the 11th annual gathering of industry professionals, innovators, and policymakers.

Attendees participated in a comprehensive program featuring sessions that offered Continuing Education Units (CEUs) toward LSPP license renewals. The event covered both business and technical tracks, ensuring that participants gained valuable insights into the latest trends and technologies in the industry. The conference also included a state meeting with updates from the State Fire Marshal’s Office, the False Alarm Reduction Association, and discussions on legislation impacting the industry​​.

A notable addition this year was the event application, designed to enhance the attendee experience by providing access to the event schedule, speaker information, vendor details, and real-time notifications. This app also facilitated networking opportunities, allowing participants to connect and collaborate more effectively​.

The conference featured a vendor tradeshow with 27 exhibitors showcasing cutting-edge products and services, ranging from surveillance systems to AI-driven threat detection algorithms and emergency communication systems. This platform provides an excellent opportunity for industry stakeholders to explore new technologies and form strategic partnerships​.

Highlights of the event include keynote speeches from industry leaders, such as Kenneth Kirschenbaum from Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum and Jim Wooster, President of Alarm Financial Services, among others. Additionally, the welcome reception on the first evening promised a chance for attendees to socialize and engage in friendly competition.

Overall, the 2025 LLSSA Dealer Conference was a transformative event, fostering collaboration and innovation in the life safety and security sector. For more details you can visit the LLSSA’s official website.

Welcome New Member!

We would like to Welcome our newest Members to the LLSSA.

CDVI is our newest Associate Member with Cory Bush as their representative.  The CDVI Group is a global manufacturer of leading-edge security solutions, offering a wide range of innovative products from online and standalone access control to locking, door automation, and next-generation biometric entry systems. CDVI makes high-quality, high-performance products to enhance security and improve mobility in any commercial or residential building.  Visit their web Page at


Encore Pro Services is our newest Regular Member.  At Encore Pro Services, they are not just a service provider; they are your dedicated partner in safeguarding what matters most to you. With a passion for innovation and an unwavering commitment to excellence, they have earned their place as a trusted leader in the realm of security, access control, and technology-driven solutions.  You can visit their website at

Make sure you welcome them to the association the next time you see them.

See you next week in Natchitoches!

Don't miss the 10th Annual Dealer Conference

As the life safety industry continuously evolves to meet the demands of a changing world, the focus on safety and security has never been more paramount. Against this backdrop, excitement is mounting for the Louisiana Life Safety and Security Association (LLSSA) 2024 Dealer Conference. Scheduled to take place May 22 and 23 in the historic city of Natchitoches, LA, this highly anticipated event promises to be a time of collaboration and education in the realm of life safety and security solutions. 

The LLSSA 2024 Dealer Conference is set to bring together a diverse array of stakeholders, including industry leaders, innovators, policymakers, and practitioners. Attendees can expect a rich tapestry of insights and perspectives as they delve into the latest trends, technologies, and best practices shaping the landscape of life safety and security. From cutting-edge surveillance systems to state-of-the-art fire detection solutions, the conference will serve as a platform for showcasing the most innovative products and services designed to safeguard lives and property. 

At the heart of the LLSSA 2024 Dealer Conference lies a spotlight on innovation. Exhibitors will showcase their latest advancements in life safety and security technology, offering attendees a firsthand look at the cutting-edge solutions poised to redefine industry standards. Whether it’s breakthroughs in biometric access control, AI-driven threat detection algorithms, or resilient emergency communication systems, the conference promises to be a showcase of innovation at its finest. 

By bringing together stakeholders from across the industry ecosystem, the conference aims to foster a culture of collaboration and collective action in addressing shared challenges. From manufacturers and distributors to integrators, participants will have the chance to explore mutually beneficial opportunities for collaboration that drive innovation and advance the cause of safety and security. 

As the countdown to the Louisiana Life Safety and Security Association 2024 Dealer Conference begins, excitement is building. The LLSSA 2024 Dealer Conference holds the promise of being a transformative event that fosters collaboration and strengthens the fabric of safety and security. As industry stakeholders converge in Natchitoches, LA, they do so with a shared commitment to leveraging the power of technology and collaboration to safeguard lives and property.