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Comment on Who owns the fire alarm system / Central station 2020 webinars

July 8, 2020
Central Station* 2020 webinar series starts July 13, 2020.  K&K will be hosting webinars by central stations, one at a time, who will address "why you should be using our central station".  Each webinar will be approximately 20 minutes and then Q&A opportunity.  See what your central station has to offer or what others offer, enabling you to choose the right central station for you.  
You should be using a central station listed on The Alarm Exchange to be assured of quality and more importantly, accountability
  *  only central stations on The Alarm Exchange will be invited to participate
Register Now for the CS webinar series: 
AvantGuard Monitoring Centers - July 13, 2020
UCC – United Central Control - July 14, 2020
Rapid Response - July 15, 2020
Dispatch Center - July 16, 2020
Statewide Central Station - July 17, 2020 
Affiliated Monitoring - July 20, 2020

Stanley Security Wholesale Monitoring  July 22, 2020

Allstate Security Industries Inc – July 23, 2020

General Monitoring Services  - July 28, 2020
Comment on Who owns the fire alarm system from article on June 29, 2020
            All of the fire alarm systems that we service here in New England are mandated to be installed and maintained per the individual State Building and Fire codes. As such these systems  are considered to be part of the existing ” building structure” and therefore cannot be removed.
            The  monitoring equipment for the fire alarm system however is in most cases is the property of the  alarm company servicing the property & can be removed upon termination of their contract.
            Whenever we remove fire alarm monitoring equipment, we notify the local Fire Dept. official (AHJ) in writing.
 Thomas F. Norton, President
NOREL Service Co., Inc.
Waltham, MA 
            Thanks for all you do for our industry.  In SC fire alarms usually are  part of the electrical contractors job and are installed for the builder.  Having said that they are not leased back to the owner of the building but are part of the overall package sold to the owner by the General Contractor. 
            In 42 years I have never seen a General Contractor lease the fire alarm to the owner.  So if the alarm company had them sign a lease when it was time to move in, would that be enforceable and prevent the original installing company from removing the life safety parts of the installation?   I can see security systems can be leased but fire alarms installed by for the electrical contractor under a contract with the general contractor should be owned by the owner of the building.  
            When we run into companies say they leased the fire alarm, we tell the owners to contact the General Contractor and seek proof that the alarm company owns it.  
  Corona free in SC
            You wanted my comment on your June 29th response so here it is: your analysis is substantially correct.    As we have done many times, one of which you experienced first-hand, AFA has been successful in removing its fire alarm systems (including wiring) from subscribers’ premises when its service is terminated and the contract provides the system is personal property and owned by AFA.  The one thing I would say differently is that in a “leased” situation the customer isn’t technically “locked in” to a permanent relationship nor are competitors “locked out.”  What it does mean is that in order to switch, the customer and competitor must consider the additional cost of installing a new system.  Sometimes it might actually pay to do so, but realistically not often.  Therefore, while technically not locked in, practically speaking it does foster “loyalty.”
  Robert Kleinman
AFA Protective
            The Standard Form Agreements, including the Commercial Fire All in One, describe the equipment as personalty; that means personal property as opposed to “real property”.  If leased, the equipment can be removed.
            The next issue is who has to know about the discontinuance of the fire alarm monitoring service and the removal of the equipment?  I think it’s the AHJ, and by AHJ I mean the governmental agency who has oversight over the installation of the fire alarm.  That will usually be the fire department, fire marshal or building department; maybe all of them.  
            While your relationship with your subscriber is established by the contract between you, there are other considerations.  You needed approval to install the system and the end user needs on-going inspections and operation of the fire alarm system to maintain the Certificate of Occupancy in the building.  There may be licenses that are required by the end user to occupy the building and use the premises for certain purposes, like a child care facility, large assembly recreational use, a school or hospital.  
            Notice to the AHJ that you intend to terminate fire alarm monitoring is appropriate.  If you remove a fire alarm you should also notify the AHJ.

Central station 2020 webinars
            Our central station's webinars begin soon.  Register now.
            Central stations will have the opportunity to tell you what services they offer, to what extent the services are unique or specialized and, with some pressing, what you can expect to pay.  The webinars are starting July 13 and the central stations are lining up to participate.  
            The webinars offer an excellent opportunity to interact with your central station, scope out another central station, and consider whether you want to move accounts or open new accounts with a particular central station.  Am I encouraging central station hopping?  No, but I am encouraging you to use central stations listed on The Alarm Exchange.  Why, for you, not me.  You get the added protection of knowing that the listed central stations are expected to deal with dealer issues and cooperate with a goal of resolving disputes. Those that fail to co-operate risk having their post removed from The Alarm Exchange.  That may not sound like a big deal to you, but check out The Alarm Exchange central station category.  Every major reputable central station is participating.  If your central station isn’t, move to one that is.  If you don’t, don’t bother complaining to me about problems you have with the central station; I have no relationship with that central station and won’t be able to make a call to resolve your issue.  
            So make some time to attend the webinars, by video or on your phone.  They will all be recorded and you will be able to view or hear them by visiting the K&K website and navigating to the alarm webinars:

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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