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Comment on Area of Refuge and asking about In-Building Wireless Communication
January 14, 2023
Comment on Area of Refuge article on January 4, 2023 and asking about In-Building Wireless Communication 
          As always John Drucker is always waving the flag for the alarm industry and is a wealth of knowledge for our industry.  After I read the article from January 4th, it made me wonder if the installation of Emergency Responder Radio Coverage Systems as referenced and required in all new construction per Chapter 9 section 918 of the IBC, is also covered under the Commercial Fire All in One Contract?  These systems retransmit radio signals for Emergency Services use.  These also interconnect to the fire alarm system to indicate troubles in the radio system and are required to be maintained annually.
          My other thought and concern is that the actual users from the system are from town/emergency services that have no tie to the building and or contract and is there liability from a township in the event of a system failure during an incident.
      Ken, thanks again for your support to the alarm industry.
 Best Regards,
Rich Trevelise
Reliable Safety Systems, Inc
          Rich, you jumped to gun a bit because John also asked about In-Building Wireless Communication Systems, and that was addressed in the article on January 5, 2023.  If anyone missed it all K&K emails are archived on the K&K website under the Alarm & Security link / alarm articles:
          Both Area of Refuge and In-Building Wireless Communication Systems are covered in the Fire All in One
          If you’re not using the Fire All in One you should.  This is really a comprehensive all-inclusive commercial fire alarm agreement that has you covered from design, installation, repair service, inspection and monitoring.  While it works best when you are complying with AHJ requirements, code compliance, plans and permits, it does have provisions for when you are not complying, for whatever reason [which I am not recommending].
          That brings us to the last question, liability to others, especially First Responders.  As you recognize, First Responders and others who may be injured in a fire are not signatories to your fire alarm contract.  There is no contractual protection, but that doesn’t leave you defenseless.  First of all you will have to have done something wrong.  You aren’t a guarantor of the fire alarm and other systems you have installed.  What undertaking and duty you have assumed and have will need to be determined and your contract with your fire alarm customer should be given considerable deference; I think it should be conclusive.  For example, while you may have installed the systems you may not be under any obligation to inspect or repair; perhaps you’re not even doing the monitoring.  Even if you are performing some or all of these tasks, the undertaking was accepted and assumed under very clear terms and conditions, your Fire All in One.  You have no responsibility, contractually, beyond the Fire All in One provisions.
          Failure to perform is quite different than negligent performance, and intentional conduct intended to cause injury is of course different still. 
          The potential for a claim against you from someone injured at a fire site is very real and it’s why you should be using the Fire All in One, carry E&O insurance coverage, and be diligent in the performance of your services.  Keep good records too. 

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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