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Comment on self-monitored systems / Comments on government offering fire alarm monitoring

June 6, 2022
Comment on self-monitored systems from article on May 19, 2022
          AlarmNet’s dealer agreement, unlike, is willing to just include language that there is the expectation that there is a contract and shifts the burden downstream to the central station, to the dealer to the end-user and expects the indemnity to flow back up to them
          To fulfill this expectation the answer is yes you need a contract, not for just the obvious reasons (that you and I tell them what seems to be daily) but the unobvious that is buried in other contractual relationships
Bart A. Didden, President
U.S.A. Central Station Alarm Corp.
Port Chester, NY
Milford, CT
St. Paul, MN
          Dealers need to understand that many of their vendors, manufacturers and central stations included, require contracts and that means terms and conditions.  Alarm dealers are agreeing to many things that they may not fully appreciate or understand.  One issue is indemnity, and it’s a big issue if there is a loss. 
          Be sure to add the vendors as additional insureds on your E&O coverage.  Be sure to get their form agreements signed if that’s what you’ve agreed to do in their Dealer Agreement.  I believe and Notifier require separate contracts or that you incorporate their language into your contract, which I don’t recommend.  K&K offers a Rider to the Residential All in One and the Commercial Fire All in One and the contracts required by and Notifier. 
Comments on government offering fire alarm monitoring from article on May 31, 2022
          Regarding government offering monitoring services. Seems like 20 some years ago they all wanted out of the monitoring game due to liability issues. It would appear they passed some new laws to cover their a$$. Just another way to make a buck regardless of who it affects and how it affects them.
 Bill W
          the anon from Cali stating it must be a Gamewell system is incorrect. We have a local city in Maine which just recently started mandating AES radios on certain occupancy types and is performing all the monitoring services of a central station. Whether or not they are UL remains to be seen. This is frustrating to say the least as I am not sure they realize the impact they have on all the alarm companies in the area. I would love to see all the local alarm companies come together and agree to not do business in that particular city. Maybe the fire department can get into the installation, servicing and annual inspection business too.
 Ken -
          I am reading the comment and your response regarding local fire departments taking over monitoring responsibilities. It certainly feels like a move in reverse to days when Fire Departments did this sort of monitoring to a much lesser effect than what we are currently doing today in the private monitoring business. As we know, there are three main ways to mitigate the damage caused by fires:
•  Sprinkler Systems
•  Electronic Detection (ie: smoke detectors)
•  Early Response
          We all know that the Fire Service can only respond when they get a call, and the turn of the millennium would have been an awfully quiet day for them if our collective clocks/telecommunications had failed. While it is admirable that a community may want to intervene to try and improve Fire Service response times, technology exists today that can accomplish this goal, while not interrupting the all-too-important public-private partnership that currently exists. Built off of initiatives started by NENA and APCO, technologies like the ASAP program and OPEN ACCESS™ exist currently in the industry and can deliver alarms accurately and virtually instantly to any partnering PSAP.  Not leveraging existing technology to partner with private businesses who do an excellent job of providing this service is wrongheaded both from an effectiveness and a fiscal standpoint as it relates to the use of tax dollars. Through Fire Monitoring of Canada (FMC) Inc. and our sister firm FMA Inc., OPEN ACCESS™ can be made available to any PSAP/fire department for the relay of fire alarm data to their dispatch centre, while leaving the monitoring of all other ancillary signals in the hands of the monitoring center where it (rightly) belongs.
          Here's to hoping that we can continue to work together with our partners in the fire community and not turn into competitors.
Kevin A

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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