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Comments on nightmare take-over fire alarm account

August 12, 2021
Comments on nightmare take-over fire alarm account from August 2, 2021
          We cannot cancel “just because or sole discretion”?  There HAS to be some type of breach within the contract?
          When you are a reputable company the fire marshal can be your best asset and bill collector.  Most, if not all, AHJ’s would not stand for this situation.  I would call the AHJ with back-up email.  I guarantee you that the system will be fixed in 24 hours!
          Another remedy is the AHJ.
          The can and in most cases WILL mandate that the subscriber make the required repairs, or face substantial fines and possibly building closure.
While the AHJ is NOT your enforcement arm, they ARE the Jurisdictions, and swing a BIG fine book.  The AHJ will often (especially if notified) make a random inspection of the property.
          The client, since under contract, will most likely use the "company" to remedy the violations (and put some additional cash in your coffers), and you save the RMR of the account.
          All good points.  While you cannot terminate your alarm contract for no reason, you can certainly terminate if the subscriber is in breach of the contract, and that can occur in various ways. 
          Fire alarm accounts typically include monitoring, service and inspection.  You may not be providing all three of these services.  For example, you may be monitoring but not contracted for repairs and inspection.  As long as the alarm continues to communicate properly you are able to monitor, and unless you get trouble signals you have no reason to communicate with the customer or the AHJ.  You may not even be aware that the fire alarm isn’t to code or requires service.
          But if you provide inspection service you will know about deficiencies and those deficiencies should be reported to the AHJ, especially if the customer won’t let you make the repair [either under the prepaid service plan or the per call T&M arrangement]. 
          Ordinarily the AHJ should be and is on your side; both of you have an interest in seeing to it that the fire alarm is to code and operating efficiently as required by law.  Your interest is by contract and the AHJ’s interest is as a government employee. 
          When you don’t do your job the AHJ is likely to fine someone, you or the customer.  Just try doing a fire installation without a required permit – you will be fined.  It’s the AHJ’s job to enforce the permit law and it’s entirely your fault for starting work without the permit.
          When the AHJ isn’t doing his job you, unfortunately can’t fine the AHJ.  Complaints may fall on deaf ears.  You’re not likely vested enough to bring on a Court Proceeding to compel the official to do his job. It’s unlikely that an AHJ is going to ignore a letter notifying his office of code violations; it’s his job to enforce the code. 
          Needless to say, a good working relationship with the Code Enforcer [AHJ] is a good idea.  You’ll probably find that by doing a good and diligent job you will earn the appreciation and cooperation of the AHJ.  Before taking an adversarial position against the AHJ make sure you are on correct, and that means there should be no room for interpretation or discretion by the AHJ, because if there is, then he isn’t wrong.
          One more thing about take-overs.  Upon the take-over it’s your account, no “if, and or buts.”  Be sure to do an inspection and make sure the system is fully operational or note the deficiencies; that’s one purpose of the Disclaimer Notice; make sure you use the Disclaimer Notice on every take-over.

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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