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Comment on Not to Code wireless firm alarm - how to protect yourself

August 9, 2021
Comment on Not to Code wireless firm alarm - how to protect yourself from article on July 29, 2021
            Ask an AHJ to put his approval in writing and see how far you get; not far I will bet.
            There are commercial listed wireless fire alarm systems available now so I see no need to take on liability for "not to code" systems. I like to use a phrase that an instructor used to explain how to deal with customers and installers that attempt to justify a reason to not follow code. "There will be a fire here today that will involve a fatality, tomorrow you will be in court to explain your actions or inactions. Now, how do you want to proceed?"   
  Best regards,
Scott Clausen
            I agree with you that it's risky to install or provide services for a fire alarm system you know isn't to code.  The Fire All in One does have a provision that states that the system is not to code and that you did recommend it to be to code.  That provision is not implicit or express endorsement for not installing code compliant fire alarm systems.  The provision is in response to the fact that some alarm companies will undertake to install or provide services to non-compliant systems and therefore the contractual protective provision was thought necessary and appropriate. 
            Not all jurisdictions will permit a wireless fire alarm system.  It's your responsibility to know the fire alarm codes and comply with them. 
            Apparently from the emails I get on this topic not all AHJs are particularly helpful; getting written confirmation of instructions or orders from the AHJ is not always forthcoming.  If the AHJ won't commit in writing to a non-conforming installation then you should write to the AHJ confirming a conversation or directive. 
            The best practice is to comply with code and AHJ requirements.  That will be your second best defense after the Fire All in One.

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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