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Comment on Monitoring fire sprinkler covering subscriber and adjoining premises / ISC schedule - still time to host a round table
July 8, 2021

ISC round tables
            I have round table discussion groups scheduled for July 19, 20 and 21.  Please contact Stacy Spector,Esq at 516 747 6700 x 304 or to reserve a spot or initiate your own round table discussion group [we have a few timeslot openings as of now on Wednesday July 21]
Confirmed round tables:
Monday July 19 from 2-3pm Ron Davis - discussion on selling and listing with broker
Tuesday July 20 from 11 am to 12pm Troy Iverson, Avantguard.  Central station issues and what's new at Avantguard
Tuesday July 20 from 2-3pm  Mitch Reitman.  Selling, taxes and structuring issues
Tuesday July 20 from 4-5PM Morgan Hertel, Rapid Response.  What's new at Rapid and exciting in central station operations
Wednesday July 21 from 10 -11am.  Shawn Iverson, The Insurance Center.  E&O coverage and insurance issues for alarm industry
Wednesday  July 21 from 2-3pm  Open
Wednesday July 21 from 4-5 pm  Open
Comments on Monitoring fire sprinkler covering subscriber and adjoining premises from June 30, 2021
You should be looking at the County Assessor's website every time you consider entering into a contract with anyone.  You should be doing business with the owner FIRST then any tenant(s)
Richard Metz

          In the June 30, 2021 newsletter you covered a question from a guy who found out that the Fire Alarm system that was monitoring a customer’s sprinkler system extended into the adjoining premises and he did not have a contract with the owner of the adjoining premises. I believe you are 100% correct that he should try and get a contract signed with the owner of the adjoining premises.
          But is the adjoining owner really a non-contracted 3rd party? It was said that the owners of these two premises, one of which is the customer of the questioner, have an agreement where they split the costs of operating and maintaining the sprinkler system.     Fire Alarm Supervision, Monitoring and Occupant Notification are part of those said costs. Since there is such a longstanding agreement (at least 20 years according to the questioner) between the two, wouldn't the two of them be considered in a partnership (or some other kind of legal entity) For the purposes of operating and maintaining the sprinkler system and therefore the other owner not really a non-contracted 3rd party?
          Do you want to wait until your canoe is in a raging river before checking if you have a paddle? 
          Both buildings burn down and the sprinkler alarm malfunctioned; the lawsuits come for many millions of dollars.  You then pull out the contract and see that it has protective provisions, such as limiting liability or waiver of subrogation, and the contracted party concedes the contract renders the lawsuit a waste of time.  But what about the adjoining owner?  His deal is with his neighbor, not you.  He never had any agreement with you and never paid you directly.  He certainly didn’t agree to the protective provisions in your contract with his neighbor.  He never even saw that contract; didn’t know it existed. 
          Is the adjoining owner claiming a cause of action for breach of contract, asserting that he is a third party beneficiary, or is he claiming a cause of action for tort because you were negligent and he had an expectation of you performing in a reasonable manner?  Is the lawsuit just about the cost of the building and contents, or did someone get injured or die, because bad facts make for bad law. 
          It’s one thing if the alarm company didn’t know, despite reasonable inquiry, that the sprinkler system extended beyond the premises covered by the alarm monitoring contract [perhaps the extension was concealed when originally installed and the alarm company would have no reason to inspect the sprinkler system – I am not sure what gets inspected by the alarm company when inspecting the fire sprinkler alarm]. But the alarm company certainly knows about the extension now.
          My advice stands, it would be prudent to get the adjoining owner to sign a Fire All in One covering the alarm company services; in fact, it would be dumb not to.
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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
516 747 6700