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Dating fire alarm inspection reports
December 19, 2022
Dating fire alarm inspection reports
          One of our inspectors went to a facility in July, performed the monthly inspection and ran the fire pumps.  Prior to leaving for the facility the blank inspection forms were not ready but to stay in compliance he did the inspection, initialed and dated the onsite tags and forms.  In November he reviewed the loose-leaf binder with all the monthly forms and realized the July forms were missing and request that we reprint blank forms for July.  We did; he completed them, signed and dated with the November date. The following day he submitted them to the facilities director to be countersigned and put in the book.  An hour later I received a text with a picture of the form with a comment, what is wrong with this?  I called and he said that the form needed to be signed and dated July not November. He feels the State Inspectors will not accept a November date on a July form.
          Is there anything wrong with back signing the paperwork if the inspection was done?  
  Thank you
          Some of the fire alarm experts may disagree, but I think the correct date on the Inspection Report is the date of the inspection, not the date it’s filled out and signed.  To be fair, I haven’t seen the “official” report form and I don’t know that the forms are uniform throughout the country.  The report should clearly state when the inspection was performed and date is the operative date, not when the form itself is signed.  An inspection report could be filled out and not signed by mistake.  There would be little point in the form having three dates, date of inspection, date form filled out and date form signed. 
          Unfortunately trying to reason out legal issues doesn’t often or usually work.  If the law is clear then it needs to be complied with.  But if there is no specific requirement addressing this issue I think my advice is sound.
          Here’s what you can’t do: You can’t do the inspection in December and back date it to July. 
          When filling out the form the date you should use is the date of the inspection.  I don’t think it necessary [unless required by law] that the date the form is signed is also to be provided. 
          One thing I am sure of is that you should not be doing any fire alarm inspection [or repairs or monitoring] with a properly executed Fire All in One; you need the protection in that contract from claims. 

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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