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Comments on should alarm companies being doing fire code compliance / webinar registration
February 22, 2022
Webinars Schedule: See below for details and Registration
Today's Webinar:
February 22, 2022:  common legal issues in buy-sell deals
February 24, 2022:  issues buying or selling alarm company and broker's roll
March 1, 2022:        All-in-One Operations and Accounting Software for Security Integrators
March 8, 2022.         Recruiting, hiring and retaining field talent
comment on mPERS 3G Shutdown for unaware customers from article on January 29, 2022
Comments on should alarm companies being doing fire code compliance from article on January 31, 2022
          According to NFPA 72, Test Form, fire alarm doors to be tested by Fire Alarm Technicians.  Fire doors usually controlled by fire alarm system required to close upon all automatic alarms per code (smoke-heat detector and sprinkler water flow ). Fire alarm control modules and usually fire doors are controlled and monitored for integrity by fire alarm.  System Code requirement is to have 1 or 2 smoke detectors depending on height of wall above door opening within 5 feet of doors to signal panel to close doors.  I have failed NYC fire dept inspections on this long time ago.
          Additionally NFPA 72 has a  suggested yearly test form and fire door holders are on the list of fire alarm output devices.
          Your question is way too general in nature to provide a clear response that can’t be misinterpreted.   Provide me with more details.   Test it in what way?   If they are corridor fire/smoke doors do the door holders release when the fire alarm system is activated?   If they are stairwell fire re-entrance doors in a high rise building do they release on the activation of alarm as it applies to specific doors?   Is the test just related to the operation as it applies to the fire alarm system or what?  
          I am sure that the NFPA fire alarm inspection form does not require the inspection of the physical door itself or the closing operation that is hardware related (door closer or spring hinges).   Apparently someone asked a question here and you are looking for a simple answer.   So before I look into this further by looking at the NFPA inspection form provide me with some more details.  
          Also what is a fire alarm door that you stated below?   That in and of itself needs to be clarified and defined as well.   Show me the section/copy that states such to see if it is being misinterpreted or what from the question asker, that is if he even saw and has it.
          Unfortunately nothing is simple without all the details.   With some of them I may be able to formulate some sort of response without misleading the person or persons who asked this.  Everyone is caught up with the Bronx fire and believes that they now have another obligation as it applies to related fire alarm system operations.
          As a last note the landlord has the obligation to maintain the operation of these doors and that is most likely stated in the International Building Code as well as the Buildings/Fire/Housing Codes of NYC, if that applies here having to do with the operation, conditions and who is responsible for such.            Just take a quick look at these four links.   This is a business onto itself and should not be done by a fire alarm technician.   There is a certification and training requirement to do this and it is not just some haphazard look at the door.   The person who asked the question in the first place should have done his own research before making any suggestions for an agreement to do this.  What training does he have?  None
Stu G
          I think we have cleared up some of the confusion.  What obligation does a fire alarm tech have regarding fire doors when doing a required fire alarm inspection? 
          Unless I am missing something, it appears that the fire alarm tech’s responsibility is to inspect and test electronic components of the fire alarm system.  That system may include sensors on doors throughout the building, but as Stu points out, that doesn’t mean the fire alarm tech is looking at quality of the door to make sure it’s fire rated, or the hinges to make sure it closes; only that the sensor monitoring the door operation is functioning.
          I agree that fire inspection of doors and other fire code requirements, other than the fire alarm, is to be done by other trained trades.  That’s not to suggest that a fire alarm company can’t get the credentials to perform that work, just like some fire alarm companies do Fire Protection work and need a separate contract for that [which K&K offers – the Fire Protection All in One].
    Keep in mind that the proper contract to use for commercial fire is the Fire All in One.  For residential customers the Residential All in One covers the fire alarm components. 

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Webinar Title:  common legal issues in buy-sell deals
When:  February 22, 2022, at 12:00PM Eastern time
Topic Details: common issues to consider in smaller buy-sell transactions
Presented by: Jesse Kirschenbaum, Esq.     Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum
Who should attend:  Company owners, CEOs, CFOs
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Webinar Title: issues buying or selling alarm company and broker's roll
When: February 24, 2022, at 12:00 PM Eastern time
Topic Details: How to prepare for negotiations and what to expect
Presented by: Ron Davis and Kelly Bond of Davis Mergers & Acquisitions Group
Who should attend: Company owners, CEOs, CFOs
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Webinar Title:  All-in-One Operations and Accounting Software for Security Integrators
When:  March 1, 2022 12 PM ET
Topic Details:  Software platform created specifically for the security installer industry. FieldHub tackles some of the thorniest operational arenas that other platforms leave behind, including RMR management and inventory tracking, all on a robust, native general ledger platform to keep your revenue and expenses in sync.  Learn how FieldHub provides a single system to manage leads and proposals through project and field service management, inventory, recurring/deferred revenue management, and full accounting.
Presenter:  Miles Fawcett, CEO FieldHub Inc.   Phone: 202.417.8196
Hosted by:  Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq.,
Who should attend:   Company owners, CEOs, CFOs, Manager, back office personnel who work with management software
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Webinar Title:  Recruiting, hiring and retaining field talent
When:  March 8, 2022 12 PM ET
Topic Details:  Even before the pandemic, hiring and retaining field talent in the security industry was growing increasingly difficult.  This webinar will explore the best ways to find talent, prequalify them and develop enthusiasm to consider joining your team as well as how to quickly determine if a candidate’s psychomotor skills match their resume. Webinar will discuss skill matrixes and why they are valuable tools to incentivize and retain talent, help improve morale and promote consistent, transparent compensation.
Presenter:  Peter Goldring, SET, NICET #143428 Fire Alarm Systems, Level IV, ACFE Certified Fraud Examiner.  Peter M. Goldring Consulting LLC Phone  516-640-1410
Hosted by:  Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq.,
Who should attend:   Company owners, CEOs, CFOs, Manager, Human Resource Personnel
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Comments on abort or cancel signals from article on January 22, 2022
          This is regarding the January 22, 2922 post about inconsistent response by “central station” to abort or cancel signals generated by an alarm system.  From the relatively wide variety of responses by different operators at the central station it appears to be an “operator training issue”. 
          A central station should have a regular training regimen for operators with ”retraining” on a regular basis.  The central station should also be establishing standards regarding information and instructions that each dealer should supply when a new account is set up.  Example - when we set up new residential account for burg and fire we instruct central station to call protected premises twice before dispatch, if no contact made or incorrect password, dispatch.  Abort or cancel signal from alarm system does not change the above instruction.  An abort or cancel signal from the alarm system could easily be generated by customer under duress.
Seth Oginz
Security Consultants Unlimited
Another comment
          Regarding Anon and Abort/Cancel Signals from Jan 22, 2022:
          Different alarm companies, of course, may want their signals handled different ways for a variety of reasons, but here are some suggestions which have proved useful over the years:
          First, here are some descriptions which may be useful:
Abort/Cancel signal
Duress disarm signal
Duress password
Panic alarm signal
          The Abort/Cancel Signal is a signal which is sent after a normal non-emergency disarm. I suggest that the central station always call the client on this signal. It gives the client an opportunity to give to the central station the Duress Password, which will be explained below. It also give the client a warm fuzzy to know that his system is actually working, communicating with the central station, and that an actual person saw the signal and responded to it. That builds loyalty, knowing that when he makes his monitoring payment, that there really is someone "watching over" him, and he is not just sending money into a black hole, wondering if his system is actually working while hoping for the best. It is a contact with the client.
          The Duress Disarm Signal is a signal which is sent to the central station when the client disarms with a special disarm code instead of the regular disarm code. This feature can be used in the instance in which a client is being forced by the bad guys to disarm the system. The code can be anything, including something simple and easy to remember, such as reversing the first two digits of the regular disarm code. Most alarm panels can be programmed by the alarm company to send a standard disarm signal when that user disarm code is entered. The alarm siren is programmed by the alarm company to NOT sound. The central station will usually NOT call the premises so as to not alert the bad guys that anything is amiss. But if the central station does happen to call, then the client would give the Duress Password. The central station would notify the authorities that there was a duress situation, NOT a regular burglar alarm signal.
          The Duress Password is a verbal word or phrase which the client would use any time he is talking with the central station and there is a duress situation underway, and the client cannot actively ask for help. Perhaps the bad guys are standing next to him when the central station calls and asks if everything is OK. The client could then reply that everything is OK, but give the Duress Password instead of the usual password. The central station would say something to the effect of "OK Have a good evening." or similar. The central station would then notify the authorities that the client was on location and he actively gave a verbal duress password. Duress and Panic verbal passwords and signals usually are given a higher priority than a standard burglar alarm signal. Well, they were in previous staffing level times.
          A Panic Alarm Signal is a signal the alarm panel would send if a panic button on the keypad was pressed. Most keypads have this feature. Pushing the panic button usually is programmed to sound the local siren. The central station could call the premises and ask for a password. Perhaps the person who pushed the panic button could give further info which could be passed on to the authorities. The central station would call the authorities and say that the panic button at the premises was actively pushed by someone at the location, and stress it was not just a burglar alarm signal.
          I feel that the person who pays the central station is the one who gets to specify, within reason, how signals are handled, not the central station. Most modern central station automation software has the ability to attach instructions to the operators about how to handle each signal. Attaching instructions which pop up when a signal arrives for each type of signal would help eliminate different operators handling the signal differently. In this time of staffing shortages, specific instructions attached to each kind of signals would help poorly or partially trained operators better know how to react to that signal.
          If any central station cannot or will not follow the alarm company's instructions, then the relationship with the alarm company and the central station needs to be re-evaluated. If the central station says, "my way or the highway", then the highway might be the better answer in the long run. There are several central stations listed in Ken's Alarm Exchange which would be glad to follow reasonable instructions given by the alarm company on how to handle alarm signals and passwords.
          Ken, please list me as
          It’s important for central stations to train operators and there should be standard procedures for responding to common signals.  I believe companies like NFPA, ETL and UL offer guidelines for response.  Whatever the procedure it should be in writing, it should be available to the dealers and it should be provided to the customers upon request.  We are not talking about a central station’s proprietary training manual, but a list of signals and how they are to be responded to.
          Despite operator training, technology sophistication, pop-up instructions, I think it increases risk when a customer asks the dealer and the dealer asks the central station to deviate from standard procedures.  I think it adds to operator mistakes.  So be careful what you ask for.

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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