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Comment on reliability of FD and police depts monitoring / Webinar announcement   
September 1, 2022
Webinar announcement for Sept 13, 2022 on performing due diligence
          We’ve all heard the terminology, due diligence, in connection with a transaction to buy alarm accounts, but what due diligence actually consists of and how you get it done is not as familiar to everyone. In fact, due diligence can run the gamut from a cursory review of records to a comprehensive analysis that comes close to [and sometimes exceeds] a forensic financial audit.  Who you can and should engage for due diligence can also be an elusive choice. 
          Jim Wooster, Jr., of AFS [Alarm Financial Services], a lender to the alarm industry collateralized by alarm accounts, is opening a new service to perform Due Diligence.  I asked Jim to do a webinar to introduce his new Due Diligence service and it will be presented on September 13, 2022 at noon ET.  See you then.
Webinar:  Due Diligence in alarm industry on buy-sell or loan transaction
When:  September 13, 2022  12PM  ET
Topic:  Due diligence; what it means, what it involves, how it's performed and who  you can get to do it
Presented by:  Jim Wooster, Jr., President of Alarm Financial Services, Inc 
Hosted by:  Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Who should attend:  Alarm company owners, CFO, buyers and sellers
Comment on reliability of FD and police depts monitoring from article on August 12, 2022
               Many consider agencies other than the municipality as an “AHJ” e.g. The Joint Commission or insurance companies. While the municipality may find the “limited” monitoring provided by the Police and Fire Departments acceptable, the insurance provider may not. In such a case it might be necessary to utilize dual reporting and have the alarms communicated to both the local Police Department and a central station approved by the insurance company. I can’t imagine the municipality’s requirement that they monitor the alarm requires exclusivity. That would seem to be inconsistent with most “restraint of trade” statutes or regulations, but then that’s your area of expertise. 
                NFPA does publish standards, other than 72, that prescribe Fire Department response times, etc. These are frequently not codified like building codes referencing NFPA 72, but they are often used by organizations like Insurance Services Office that rate Fire Departments based on these and other criteria. Those ratings are then used by insurance companies to help determine the insurance rates for the community. Money has a powerful influence!
   Just my two cents!
           Chuck White
          It is interesting that the term “AHJ” can encompass many different categories of those in charge.  I generally limit the use of AHJ to a government agency, usually fire department or police department.  NFPA would not be an AHJ, but NFPA’s guidelines could very well be used as the acceptable criteria by an AHJ.
          Other non-governmental scenarios where the term AHJ may apply is an insurance company is has criteria for issuing policies or determining premiums; a Landlord who has the authority to compel or approve tenant activity; a GC in charge of a project.  More loosely related relationships might include the employer and employee, a school and student, etc. 
          In the Standard Form Agreements the term AHJ appears in the monitoring provision and refers to government agencies who have requirements for alarm monitoring, and in the installation provision where there are requirements for the installation, such as fire alarms.  Sort of reminds me that “everyone is answerable to someone”. 
another comment

         RE: the Fire Dept ignoring trouble signals:  Further, consider this scenario. Suppose the alarm panel sent in a trouble signal indicating that the smoke detectors were no longer working. The Fire Dept ignored the trouble signal. Sure enough, shortly thereafter there is a fire and the inop smoke detectors do not detect it. The building burns and maybe there is a loss of life. The Fire Dept does not respond because no one knew the smoke detectors were inop because said Fire Dept ignored that information. What then??
Anon, please


              Fire Department liability is going to depend on the terms under which the FD decides to assume fire alarm monitoring, which will no doubt be communicated to the fire alarm customers.  The notice to customers may include language from whatever code or law that authorized the FD to engage in the monitoring business or service.  Those laws could very well severely limit the actually assumed duties and limit any liability, at the same time warning fire alarm customers that they have the responisbility to maintain their own fire alarms and that the FD will not respond in any manner to anything other than a live active fire alarm signal.  The law may go further and require those monitored by the FD to have a local fire alarm company to provide service and inspection; maybe duel or back-up monitoring.  
             We will have to review each FD independenly to determine what the FD intends to do and to what extent the FD has usurped the role of the professional monitoring center and the local alarm dealer.

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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