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Do insurance companies consider Fire Department direct monitoring less reliable?  
July 13, 2022
Do insurance companies consider Fire Department direct monitoring less reliable?
          With all the complaining about fire department direct monitor and cutting out the alarm dealer, no one mentioned the insurance ramifications to the client.  
          Many years ago I was privy to such a situation.   
          Many if not most insurance companies do not recognized the fire department as a reliable source to do monitoring since that are attending to other items such as ambulance called etc. unlike a central station whose sole purpose is to do this without other distractions.   They also do not meet any requirements such as UL or FM.   ISO, Insurance Service Organization use to do all the fire ratings that is now not the case.   They would not allow any discounts for direct fire department monitoring but would do so for central station monitoring.   The discounts when provided would apply to fire insurance policies written by insurance companies.   Unlike in the past the discounts are not as great but in many cases can save money.   If those complaining had the customer’s insurance agent who may care look into this, they may find that connecting to the central station has merit over the connection to the fire department.   In turn they could use that as leverage with the fire department to provide those services instead of them via a central station.  
         The 2015 Building Code of New York State section 907.6.6 states that fire alarm systems shall be monitored by an approved supervising station in accordance with the NFPA 72 standard 2013 addition.   The new State Code is 2020 and uses NFPA 72 of 2016 which states the same.   Fire departments do not meet this requirement or even come close.    So technically direct fire department monitoring is not acceptable by the state code.   Those complaining should start a lawsuit to put this to an end.   But it takes money and commitment by the industry (those complaining) to do that.   In the past was not an issue and the big firms put up most of the money; that will not happen now.   Want direct fire department monitoring to go away then do something; otherwise stop complaining.   The opportunity is here!
          Why no one out there mentioned this shows how little the industry know the true facts of how this works.
          Those in the know, please comment.  
           If you, the alarm expert, believe that the local fire department is not going to do the best job monitoring then you should include that in the Disclaimer Notice and the Fire All in One, noting that the local law requires FD direct monitoring.  Maybe back-up or dual monitoring is the answer.

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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