FOLLOW UP ON LICENSED CONTRACTOR ISSUE FROM JANUARY 28, 2016 ARTICLE
On the installation of fire alarms in California. Just want to disseminate the correct information for your readers.
There are two licensing bodies in California, the Department of Consumer Affairs and the the State Contracting Board. The State Contracting Board licenses individuals to install fire alarm systems in CA ,not the Dept of Consumer Affairs. A C10 license, Electrical Contractor, is needed for commercial or residential fire alarms to be installed, so if you want to hang a smoke in the hallway of your grandmothers home (and connect to the burglar alarm panel) or service a 10-story apartment building's life safety system, the C10 takes precedence. Perhaps you could review again and post as I would be interested to hear the answer.
Yours for better security,
Member, Department of Consumer Affairs Disciplinary Review Committee
This is a response to the question regarding the question: "Is it legal for a Alarm Company to sub-contract to Electrical Contractor?" The answer is YES.
I am a Systems Integration Engineer with over Fifty years of experience across multiple industries. The scenario questioned goes back many years. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) union is a very political participant in licensing. Respectively, in many areas when licensing legislation was being introduced or modified, the union pushed the requirement that Fire Alarm Systems have to be installed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor. The law says so. However, the majority of Electrical Contractors do not know the codes and standards to perform Fire Alarm work.
In California there are many licensing issues.
A High Voltage Electrical Contractor has a C-10 License, which can also perform low-Voltage projects.
A Low-Voltage Contractor has a C-7 license and cannot perform High-Voltage projects.
An Alarm Company requires a Alarm Company Operators License. (ACO)
Alarm companies should also have a contractors license, but many do not. The law in California requires that a licensed contractor can ONLY sub-contract to another licensed contractor, Not an individual. Additionally, the C-10 Contractor should have technicians that are certified to perform Fire Alarm systems. A licensed Alarm Company Operator (ACO) that does not have a C-10 license CAN sub-contract to a C-10 Contractor to do the Installation, and the ACO can monitor the system.
The way I read the question an Alarm Company hired a Licensed Contractor to do the Installation, but kept the monitoring for themselves.
YES, They can do that along as both are licensed.
Thank you for the opportunity to reply.
Larry Hansen, Consultant-Systems Integration Engineer
TechTen Technologies, Inc.
Local Office (760) 648-4332 Ext. 401
CA License: C-10 # 998242
CA ACO# 7515
Another point on state license requirements. Dealers need to make sure the state does not also require them to have a Contractor License.
Some states not only require the alarm company to have an alarm license to operate, they may also require a company to have a contractor’s license. To name a few, if the job is $50K and above in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana or $20K and above in Arkansas you are required to have a contractor license. They require a company to not only have to have a Qualifier for alarm/low voltage, but also a Qualifier for Business and Law which requires a proctored test on such things as lien law, record keeping, contract law, etc.. Some states use the alarm license for the low voltage Qualifier some don’t and require a proctored test.
The monitoring of fire alarms does not require an alarm company operator’s license. Fire Alarm installations are covered by the Contractor’s code. An alarm system under the Alarm Act, is a system to which the police are expected to respond.
Alan L. Pepper
In CA a C-10 electrical contractors license is required to install smoke or heat detectors. The ACO license is for installation and monitoring of intrusion alarm devices.
The question was wether an alarm company without the C-10 license can subcontract someone to install the devices and then monitor them along with the whole system. If the alarm company charged the client for the devices to be installed than, yes it's clearly required. If the client paid the subcontractor directly than, no.
But what about monitoring the equipment after its installed, is the contractors license required? That's a good question. My attorney would say yes, buts that what every attorney would say to their client to minimize risk.
Scott Wagenseller, Chief Executive Officer