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Comments on whether you should engage and pay fire engineer / inspection v service / Webinars
March 16, 2020
Webinars Series 2020
            We are pleased to offer the below FREE Webinars. Originally scheduled as Roundtable discussions at the ISC we are now opening up attendance in webinar format. Please sign up for one or more webinars and we hope you’ll participate in the discussion.  Other webinars TBA
            For those of you who had a Free private meetings scheduled with Ken Kirschenbaum at the ISC show, please call Stacy Spector,Esq at 516 747 6700 x 304 to re-schedule the meeting via Skype
When:  March 18, 2020 at 11 AM ET
Topic:  Current state of monitoring including technology and well as outside influencers like minimum wages and privacy laws.  
Presented by:  Morgan Hertel, VP of Technology and Innovation, Rapid Response Monitoring
Hosted by:  Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Who should attend: owners and technical staff
Register here:
When:  March 19, 2020 at 1 PM ET
Topic:  on how your monitoring company can help you avoid a lawsuit  
Presented by:   Don Maden, EVP, and David Smith, VP Marketing and Business Development, COPS Monitoring
Hosted by:  Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Who should attend: owners, CEO, CFO, managers
Register here:
When: March 20, 2020 at 1 PM  ET
Topic:  discussion on Errors and Omissions Insurance Claims and Risk Management
Presented by:  Bart Didden, Executive Claims Administrator, Security America and Ken Kirschenbaum, Esq
Who should attend: owners, managers
Register here:
When: March 23, 2020 at 11 AM  ET
Topic:  discussion on Taxes and Corporate issues for alarm companies relevant when selling or buying accounts
Presented by:  Mitch Reitman
Hosted by:  Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Who should attend: owners, CFO
Register here:
When: March 24, 2020 at 11AM  ET
Topic:  discussion on Selling or buying alarm accounts and RMR issues
Presented by:  Ron Davis and Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Who should attend: owners, CFO
Register here:
When: March 26, 2020 at 11AM  ET
Topic:  discussion on the value of quality video contracts and services
Presented by:  Sharon Elder, VP Sales, USA Central Station
Hosted by:  Ken Kirschenbaum, Esq
Who should attend: owners, COO, managers, technical staff
Register here:
When: April 7, 2020 at 12 PM  ET
Topic:  discussion on the current state of the Financial/Capital Market Stability in the Security Industry and necessary agreements needed for security companies
Presented by:  Troy Iverson, VP of Sales, Brian Davis, CFO of AvantGuard Monitoring Centers
Hosted by:  Ken Kirschenbaum, Esq
Who should attend: owners, CFO, managers, 
Register here:  

Comments on whether you should engage and pay fire engineer
    Let’s start with basics.  In NY State, section 7209 of the Education Law (which licenses architects and engineers) requires that all plans submitted to a town or city be stamped by a professional engineer, architect, or land surveyor (how that got In there remains a mystery).  Some localities in NY are stricter in enforcing this requirement, some not so much.  It depends on the local fire code official and their “interpretation” of the Education Law.   The contractor (alarm installer) can contract with the engineer directly and include the price of plans in the overall bid.  This is better for the contractor since his/her name will be on the plans and the plans will need to be revised if the customer (end user) decides to go out to bid or to use another contractor.  The risk is spending the money on the plans and having the customer cancel the job when he finds out how much the system will cost.  
    Having the customer retain the engineer directly leaves the contractor out of the loop, but also allows the customer to copy and distribute the plans for bidding purposes.  In either event, be sure to have some wording in your proposal protecting you from extras that the code requires and the engineer shows on the drawings. The engineer’s allegiance is first to the code, then to his client.  I’m sure K &K Standard Fire Contracts cover that eventuality.   Regarding ownership of the design, the completed design is a work of intellectual property and remains the copyrighted work of the engineer, licensed to the client for use on one project, even though some clients use the same plans on multiple projects. 
    See you on The ALARM EXCHANGE.  We are an independent consulting firm, specializing in fire code consulting and system design. We also provide certified training in the fields of fire alarm and security technology.  As an independent consultant, we work only for our clients on a fee for services basis and are not affiliated with any manufacturer or product.
Joseph Hayes, CPP, PSP, SET
All County Security Inc.
www.firealarmdesign. net 
    We pay a FPE to review and approve our shop drawings in several cases.
    When a plan drawn up by a 3rd party architect or PE (called a Tier I drawing in MA) that we bid on, we then have to create a shop drawing (called a Tier II drawing in MA).  Some PEs won’t review and stamp the Tier II drawing based on their own Tier I.  So we have the pay a 3rd party to review and stamp. 
    Other non-MA AHJ’s require an FPE(not just any PE) to approve ALL shop drawings.  Again, the customer expects us to do it all, so we pay the FPE. Trying to motivate a building owner to find and engage an engineer they don’t know is like pulling teeth. Sometimes there project PE will review our drawings, if there is one. 
    Many AHJ’s are using the FPE review as a crutch.  They are not competent,  or comfortable, reviewing the plans. So a 3rd party makes them feel good. The disservice it causes is two-fold: 
           Many FPEs are not truly competent with fire alarm however, will review anyway or, are a rubber stamp for pay. Which is true for sprinkler shop drawings as well.
    Truly competent alarm designers have to add carrying costs for even small jobs when the FPE review is a blanket requirement.  State licensing based on a trade education foundation (or maybe NICET III/IV certification) should be accepted as evidence of competency for many drawings.
    Nationally, only a small minority AHJs can even fully understand a basic battery calculation or riser diagram.  This is not usually an AHJ’s unwillingness to learn.  AHJs need better training, the NFPA and ICC need to offer more and better training.  What little is out there does not serve them or the industry well.
    Alarm contractors need to have a strong relationship with a FPE (not just any PE) to work with.  It’s a coordinated effort when either it’s a job or regulatory requirement.
Chad Putney, CFPS
    Some of you may be wondering what the fuss is about Plans because in some jurisdictions the alarm company is authorized to prepare and file the plans, and in a select fewer jurisdictions, there are not plans [I don’t know if I believe that but it’s what I’ve been told]

Inspection v service
            Inspection and repair service are two different services and they are treated differently in the Fire All in One [in the residential and commercial All in One too].  Too many of you are covering inspection under your repair service category.  Even if you are charging “per call” or T&M you need to separate inspection from repair service.  Why?
            Inspection, generally required for fire alarms, is required by the AHJ.  The number of inspections can vary from one to four per year, and the what is covered in an inspection is, I suspect, covered by NFPA and adopted by the AHJ.  If any cleaning or repairs are expected to be covered during an inspection you need to make that clear in your agreement.  
            You should know your cost of providing an inspection and that enables you to price the Inspection Service for RMR.  
            Repair Service is a bit more uncertain since you can’t control how often you will be called to the premises and what labor or material you’ll need to perform or provide.  But, the Repair Service Plan only covers ordinary wear and tear; other repairs are charged to the subscriber.  
            The point is that inspection is just that, and no repairs.  After an inspection you report the condition of the system to the subscriber and point out if any repairs are needed.  If any preventative service is recommended then you point that out too, but inspection service should not include any actual repairs unless specifically stated in the agreement with the subscriber.
            The All in One provides for separate pricing for Inspection and for Repairs.

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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