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Comment on ARC radio article

April 20, 2023
Comment on ARC radio article from April 13, 2023
          While I do not know who provided you with all that details on ARCS systems, including a complete history of it to provide the back ground that is only NYC specific, you did not ask the relevant questions that apply to the situation at hand in order to get the full picture.  
          First of all why would a fire alarm firm engage in a product/service that they do not do directly do and have to employ other to do?   Did they also do this with the fire sprinkler system or that is different?   ARCS is not a fire alarm system even though some of the same procedures do apply.  
          Questions at hand are what is the dominant occupancy of the building, is it a new or existing building, is it being enlarged, was there a change of occupancy over all from what is was?   What prompted the requirement for this system such as a full replace of the fire alarm system etc. if any?   Next, this person did not state when the plans for the system were filed with the FDNY in order to determine if it was before or after the height change came into effect.   Were plans filed and approved or are they still there at the FDNY waiting for such.   If filed and not approved they can be withdrawn.   If in fact plans were filed to begin with, then the ARCS firm had to do a complete survey of the building with extensive testing in order to determine what is necessary to accomplish the goals of complete coverage in a site survey, preparing drawings, plans, filing documents with a licensed engineer, pay filing fees just to name a few things.   That accounts for a big portion the job of which they are entitled to be paid for.   What and who prompted this requirement/non requirement issue after the fact with the height that caused this?  
          Answer all these questions so that we can get a full picture here since you feel like a victim without all the information being provide here so see if that is the real case.   If in fact this person adhered to what they do as opposed to what they do not they would have not been in this situation.   Lastly as far as the contractor disappearing, there are only twenty approved companies of which nine are fire alarm firms leaving only thirteen others to choose from.        
          Let see if we get as response here or not. 
          There is nothing wrong with an alarm company engaging a subcontractor with more expertise to assist in performance of a contract.  Here the fire alarm company contracted to install the ARC system and, apparently needing the knowledge of another company, subcontracted that work from planning stage to filing. 
          As the article on April 13, 2023 stated NYC FD changed the rules for ARC after the ARC subcontractor was engaged.  I agree with you that the subcontractor was entitled to be paid, and the alarm company was also entitled to be paid from the Subscriber as long as the alarm company didn’t sell the subscriber a “bill of goods” knowing that ARC rules were changing and the ARC system would not be necessary.  Ultimately the Subscriber should be saddled with the ARC expense, not the alarm company or its subcontractor.
          The history of ARC in NYC was, by the way, provided by the NYC FD in its bulletin describing the change in the ARC rule.
          What I find most interesting is the rule change REDUCING requirements.  How often does that happen?  Can anyone provide instances where an AHJ reduced requirements?  Eliminated something that was necessary?  Reduced the cost of a system? 
          That would be interesting.

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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