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Comments on Does Fire Marshall have to be notified prior to termination of commercial fire alarm monitoring
May 23, 2023
Comments on Does Fire Marshall have to be notified prior to termination of commercial fire alarm monitoring from article on May 16, 2023
May 16, 2023

Regarding PM’s question about notification of the Fire Code Official, I will quote the Fire Code of Tennessee, current version (2012)
  901.9 Termination of Monitoring Service
For fire alarm systems required to be monitored by this code, notice shall be made to the fire code official whenever alarm monitoring services are terminated.
Notice shall be made in writing, to the fire code official by the monitoring service provider being terminated.
          Not addressed in Fire code,  but here is verbiage related to impairments
901.7 Systems Out of Service
Where a required fire protection system is out of service, the fire department and the fire code official shall be notified immediately and, where required by the fire code official, the building shall be either evacuated or an approved fire watch shall be provided for all occupants left unprotected by the shutdown until the fire protection system has been returned to service.
Where utilized, fire watches shall be provided with not less than one approved means for notification of the fire department and their only duty shall be to perform constant patrols of the protected premises and keep watch for fires.
901.7.1 Impairment Coordinator
The building owner shall assign an impairment coordinator to comply with the requirements of this section. In the absence of a specific designee, the owner shall be considered to be the impairment coordinator.
901.7.2 Tag Required
A tag shall be used to indicate that a system, or portion thereof, has been removed from service.
901.7.3 Placement of Tag
The tag shall be posted at each fire department connection, system control valve, fire alarm control unitfire alarm annunciator and fire command center, indicating which system, or part thereof, has been removed from service. The fire code official shall specify where the tag is to be placed.
901.7.4 Preplanned Impairment Programs
Preplanned impairments shall be authorized by the impairment coordinator. Before authorization is given, a designated individual shall be responsible for verifying that all of the following procedures have been implemented:
          1.       The extent and expected duration of the impairment have been determined.
2.       The areas or buildings involved have been inspected and the increased risks determined.
3.       Recommendations have been submitted to management or the building owner/manager.
4.       The fire department has been notified.
5.       The insurance carrier, the alarm company, the building owner/manager and other authorities having jurisdiction have been notified.
6.       The supervisors in the areas to be affected have been notified.
7.       A tag impairment system has been implemented.
8.       Necessary tools and materials have been assembled on the impairment site.
          901.7.5 Emergency Impairments
Where unplanned impairments occur, appropriate emergency action shall be taken to minimize potential injury and damage. The impairment coordinator shall implement the steps outlined in Section 901.7.4.
901.7.6 Restoring Systems to Service
Where impaired equipment is restored to normal working order, the impairment coordinator shall verify that all of the following procedures have been implemented:
          1.       Necessary inspections and tests have been conducted to verify that affected systems are operational.
2.       Supervisors have been advised that protection is restored.
3.       The fire department has been advised that protection is restored.
4.       The building owner/manager, insurance carrier, alarm company and other involved parties have been advised that protection is restored.
5.       The impairment tag has been removed.
901.8 Removal of or Tampering With Equipment
It shall be unlawful for any person to remove, tamper with or otherwise disturb any fire hydrant, fire detection and alarm system, fire suppression system or other fire appliance required by this code except for the purposes of extinguishing fire, training, recharging or making necessary repairs or where approved by the fire code official.
          Fire Code of NYS (International Fire code 2018-adopted by NYS) 
For the purposes of your writer, Tenn. uses the same code, except the 2012 version.  
Joseph Hayes
          Regarding PM’s question on May 16th asking whether he needs to notify the Fire Marshal prior to terminating fire monitoring for non-payment.  I would think that it would be a good collection tool, “please be aware that if we terminate the fire monitoring we will have to notify the Fire Marshal.”  It doesn’t seem extortionate to me, he would jut be educating the customer regarding the laws.
 Mitch Reitman
817 698 9999 x 101
          In the simplest terms possible, 
          Just cover your ass by emailing the AHJ, the Owner(s), and the tenants. (all parties concerned or affected by this)
          Also, send certified RECEIPT REQUESTED hardcopy letters. 
Even if they don't sign it, you have covered yourself, and the letter will be returned to you. (Hold onto it, and don't open it.)
          Lastly, follow whatever specific guidelines you have with the agreement that was signed by an authorized representative for the location.
Dimitry Boss
          In Nevada we have to provide the client and the AHJ a 30 day written notice prior to cancellation of monitoring and inspection services.
I’m not sure about other jurisdictions.
Mark E. Swanson
          Yes, you do need to provide AHJ about monitoring termination. In Ohio it is 1301:7-7(9) or directly 901.9 it reads as follows:
(9) 901.9 Termination of Monitoring Service
          For fire alarm systems required to be monitored by this code, notice shall be made to the fire code official whenever alarm monitoring services are terminated. Notice shall be made in writing, to the fire code official by the monitoring service provider being terminated.
          Hope this helps out,
          We had a similar circumstance with TWO Pizza Places in different states (Mo & KS) and the Fire Marshal became our BEST FRIEND.
We informed the AHJ of need to terminate service due to non-payment and all of a sudden I got a personal phone call from the owners asking me to PLEASE not turn service off!
          And, in one case, he is now wanting us to auto-debit his account to ENSURE he never again gets a ‘friendly visit’ from the Fire Marshal!!!
Joseph Pfefer
          I am sure you will receive a number of responses to your May 16, 2023 email.  From an NFPA 72 perspective, you are absolutely correct that when terminating monitoring, both the client and the AHJ must be notified.  The 2013 Edition of NFPA 72, and every edition (2016, 2019, 2022) since, it has stated this:
          The supervising station shall report to the authority having jurisdiction any fire alarm system for which required monitoring has been terminated. [10.21.3 – 2013 Edition]
          Supervising station customers or clients and the authority having jurisdiction shall be notified in writing within 30 days of any scheduled change in service that results in signals from the client's property being handled by a different supervising station. [ – 2013 Edition]
          The supervising station shall notify the authority having jurisdiction prior to terminating service. [ – 2013 Edition]
          The onus for this requirement is placed on the “supervising station”, but usually that flows down to the entity that contracted the monitoring with the client.
          Interestingly, the above requirements were new to the 2013 Edition of NFPA 72.  In Tennessee, they are still on the 2012 Version of the IBC/IFC (according to, which references the 2010 Edition of NFPA 72, unless the local jurisdiction has adopted a newer version.  However, while their may be a “loophole” that would not directly require AHJ notification, it is a long-standing rule in 4 editions of NFPA 72 and it is the correct thing to do.  What an AHJ might do with that information is another matter.  If fire sprinkler system monitoring is involved, then an AHJ will most likely strongly enforce the requirement of the client to continue (and pay for) monitoring services.
          Have a similar dilemma. We took over, serviced & monitored an existing permitted residential fire alarm system. The system was installed by the original builder of the house with plans, permits, etc. 
          Recently the fire up panel went bad & we quoted the customer to have it replaced like-for-like. Next thing we know he's found another company to bootleg the fire detection into the existing burglar alarm which we also monitored & no longer. This is a non-approved application & deviates from the original permitted standalone fire system.
          We're negotiating with the owner to pay the balance of his contract off but are we obligated to inform the AHJ of the current 'facts on the ground'?
  Thanks you for all you do,
          There are references to this in NFPA72 2010, 2016, and 2019. In Indiana (NFPA72 2010 with Indiana amendments) only the “owner” must be notified for out of service or impairments. In Indianapolis, however, there is a program that requires a provider/participant to update a portal when deficiencies are found or a system is out of service.
          One would need to check the state’s current code adoption to determine what version they follow and what amendments are in place at any given time. Attached is a reference from TN.
Bryan Smith
          Thank you to all who took the time to share their expertise and knowledge. 
          Notify the AHJ if terminating service or if suspension of service will be extended time.  If you install fire alarms you should be familiar with NFPA 72 or at least have the cell number of one of the above on your speed dial.
          The Fire Marshal can be your best friend when it comes to enforcing your fire alarm contracts.  A Fire Marshal that notifies your subscriber that the building will have to shut down or incur the expense of a fire watch should bring all but the most hardened dead beats to the table to sign the contract or make the payment owed.
          For commercial fire use the Fire All in One.

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
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