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Question - does adding to system void warranty



    We have a situation where the (competing) alarm company installed a “core-and-shell” fire alarm in a strip mall.      We are asked to do a tenant improvement, adding onto the non-proprietary branded system.  Now the original company is crying foul, saying that if we touch any part of the system (adding horns and strobes) the warranty will be voided.  I won’t say we haven’t used that tactic before to try to protect future work, but is this legal?  My understanding is that if the work we do does not contribute to a failure of the original products then warranties cannot be voided.  Please also clarify the split between product and labor warranty.

Tom B.






    Interesting question and I don't really have the answer, because I am a little confused.  I'm not sure what a"core and shell" fire alarm is.  Jurisdictions I am familiar with would require a single fire alarm system in the building, which means only one fire alarm company would be able to service and monitor that system.  If you install fire detection devices in one of the stores how do you get it connected to the fire alarm panel?  

    So let's assume that a fire alarm company agreed to install a fire alarm system in the strip mall but didn't provide service to all of the stores.  Did the alarm company relinquish all rights to the fire alarm system installed?  I ask because the Standard Fire Alarm All in One provides that the software - programming - remains the intellectual property of the alarm company and the codes are not disclosed.  

    Warranties or service contracts can define precisely what is covered, what is not covered, and under what circumstances warranties are voided and when service will not be performed.  While there are some laws that affect product warranties, for the most part you can fashion your warranty any way you want provided you don't violate a statute or public policy. 


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