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Building manager’s and your liability for job conditions / private meetings for 3/17 at ISC / Round Table Discussions at ISC
March 3, 2020
Building manager’s and your liability for job conditions
         While this is not directly a alarm or sprinkler contractors’ issue, it could impact them should there be an issue.  This is a situation we are dealing with now as a building alarm and sprinkler vendor:
            NYC Commercial hi-rise building, some floors are rented and some owned (co-op), we deal with the managing agent.
            Last week we were contacted about taking one floor's sprinkler off line for construction on Saturday and Sunday so the GC's sprinkler contractor could do work.  We informed the managing agent they are required to have a FDNY Certified FO1 (Impaired System) Fire Guard;  they asked for recommendations; I suggested my son and they said OK.
            Saturday morning he got to the site and did his pre-start check and found that all fire extinguishers that were on site were outdated, empty and damaged (junk).  The building engineer supplied him with a good one from the buildings supply.  
He then asked if they had a sprinkler permit and was told yes but it was not posted.  I checked the NYC Buildings Info System and could not find one having been issued.  I later confirmed no permit was issued.
            My son asked who the sprinkler licensee was, and was told John Smith.   I checked no job listed on the Buildings info system under that license for this building.
            As the morning progressed my son called me to say OSHA would have a field day there, cutting metal with grinders and wood with saws and no eye protection, standing on top of ladders, etc.  My son pointed out some of the safety issues to the GC on site, and they got a set of goggles for the workers to use, but, that ended quickly because they said they could not see well with them on and they may cut their fingers.
            I sent an email to the managing agent about no permit when we couldn’t find one, and followed up with notifications about the other issues. He thanked me for our concern but wasn’t interested in following up with any of it.
            The contractor said they were going to get a permit yesterday, not sure where that stands.  
            I went to the site yesterday, and have to say, a video of the operation could show almost every aspect of what not to do and cover most OSHA work site issues.  People would probably think it was staged, it was real life.
            In this scenario, since the owner of the floor is hiring the GC who is using some of his own people and sub’s, can the managing agent get dragged into the picture by anyone, either enforcement (City Inspectors or OSHA) or if an injury or death happens?  The managing agent, to me, seems to have taken the stance that they are not involved and isolated from anything.  
            Does the building and/or managing agent have any responsibility?  Shouldn’t they be looking out for their building and the interest of all the other tenants and owners?
            Look forward to your reply.
            We should be worrying about numero uno first, and that’s you and your son.  What responsibilities do either of you have to report conditions to the fire AHJ, which in this case is either the NYC Fire Department or the NYC Building Department?  You are licensed or certified to perform your services and you may have obligations under your license to report to an AHJ.  Absent that, you may also have contractual obligations to report to the owner, or to the owner’s representative, which in this case is the Managing Agent. 
            Many of you sign AIA or equivalent contracts to do fire and sprinkler work, typically as a subcontractor of a General Contractor.  That contract may obligate you to report all dangerous conditions, and that contract will most definitely require you to indemnify the General Contractor, Managing Agent and Owner from claims arising from work on the job.  Your silence, when action is reasonably expected, could constitute breach of your contract or negligence.  
            Without question the Managing Agent and owner have a responsibility to keep the premises in lawful conditions, and so does the General Contractor during the construction.  But shit flows downhill, and you’re at the bottom of the bucket on this one.
            Had you used the Fire All in One for the fire alarm work and the Fire Protection All in One for the sprinkler work, you would be on the top of the bucket, looking down.

Schedule Free Private meeting while at ISC with Ken Kirschenbaum - SOLD OUT [call to get on waiting list]:
            I am scheduling free meetings at ISC now for March 17, 2020. [18th and 19th are booked solid].  The meetings are free and scheduled in half hour increments.  Any issues can be discussed or just stop by to chat.  To reserve a time please contact Stacy Spector,Esq at 516 747 6700 x 304 or

Round Table Discussions while at ISC, at Palazzo Hotel.  Free to participate.  Space very limited so book now.  Call Stacy Spector,Esq at 516 747 6700 x 304 to reserve your seat. [waiting list available for sold out Roundtables]
Round Table:  March 18, 2020 at 11 AM.  Join Morgan Hertel, VP of Technology and Innovation, Rapid Response Monitoring and Ken Kirschenbaum for a round table discussion on current state of monitoring including technology and well as outside influencers like minimum wages and privacy laws. 
Round Table: March 18, 2020 at 1 PM.  Join Mitch Reitman and Ken Kirschenbaum for a round table discussion on Taxes and Corporate issues for alarm companies relevant when selling or buying accounts. Sold Out
Round Table:  March 18, 2020 at 2 PM.  Join Ron Davis and Ken Kirschenbaum for a round table discussion on Selling or buying alarm accounts and RMR issues.  Sold Out
Round Table: March 19, 2020 9:30 AM [note new time change] Join Troy Iverson, VP of Sales, Brian Davis, CFO of AvantGuard Monitoring Centers and Ken Kirschenbaum for a round table discussion on the Current state of the Financial/Capital Market Stability in the Security Industry and necessary agreements needed for security companies. (Titian 2202 Meeting Room just off the show floor)
NEW: Round Table: March 19, 2020 at 11:30 AM.  Join Don Maden, EVP, COPS Monitoring and Ken Kirschenbaum for a round table discussion on how your monitoring company can help you avoid a lawsuit. 
Round Table: March 19, 2020 at 1 PM.  Join Sharon Elder, VP Sales, USA Central Station and Ken Kirschenbaum for a round table discussion on the value of quality video contracts and services  Sold Out
Round Table:  March 19, 2020 at 3 PM.  Join Bart Didden, Executive Claims Administrator, Security America and Ken Kirschenbaum for a round table discussion on Errors and Omissions Insurance Claims and Risk Management

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301