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comment on third party fire alarm inspection reports and recordkeeping

June 14, 2022
comment on third party fire alarm inspection reports and recordkeeping from article on June 7, 2022
    Third-party reporting has been considered one of the best practices in prevention and community risk reduction (CRR). These programs have not only reduced high risk situations, but they've equally reduced false alarms, increased the frequency of system remediation, increased response to systems needing attention, and overall the compliance of entire communities.
    Systems are the first line of defense if and/or when a fire occurs. The service industry has driven legislation to require inspection, testing, and maintenance (ITM), its frequency, etc. The only entity, however, who can drive the enforcement of such systems are those who enforce the code. The issue? There's an abundance! Competing priorities, budget, lack of human resources, and no way to effectively and efficiently receive,track or manage records.
     Third-party platforms have not only engaged those invested in fire and life safety, they've built collaborations and have provided a streamlined, secure and robust process. It's education, engineering, economic incentive, enforcement and emergency response. Technology helps connect people to the information they need to stay ahead of the call.
We know the ultimate responsibility is with the owner, but we also know a high percentage of owners are not licensed to understand system failures, or what a deficiency is. When they hire qualified companies to perform ITM, it has always been (well, for most reputable companies) the service to deliver records to the AHJ. The excuse "I can't tell the AHJ my customer has a deficiency or the system isn't working" is absurd. A company willing to allow the possibility of a fire, or worse, loss of life, is a liability. Period.
    Look at the headlines. We've seen far too many large and deadly fires due to lack of maintenance and no one communicating to those who could have assisted in making sure the system WAS functioning.
Possibly, if we realized being on the same page only increases our owner's responsibilities; it levels the playing field. AHJs want to help. They want to work alongside our ITM companies. Service Providers are the most visible entities in our communities. Their services are literally the definition of Prevention and CRR. Maybe they're not told enough how much they do and that every time they walk in and out of a building, they assist in reducing loss of property, but more so lives.
    Third-party reporting has increased ISO and Accreditation ratings, increased department savings (significantly), reduced fees and fines associated with non-compliance, and has also increased the revenue of our ITM companies. Those who incorporate that model have seen the increase in overall service and repair; why? Because the AHJ is right beside them supporting, educating, and helping our business community build and maintain safe and resilient communities.
    Thank you for your hard work!
Jill Cotton

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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