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Does alarm industry need contract update to perform fire code compliance inspections
January 31, 2022
Does alarm industry need contract update to perform fire code compliance inspections
          The deadly apartment building fire which occurred in the Bronx, NY on January 11, 2022 and resulting in 17 deaths suggests a need for a new service and a new contract, and the alarm industry is well suited to undertake this service.
          NFPA 80 - Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives:  This standard regulates the installation and maintenance of assemblies and devices used to protect openings in walls, floors, and ceilings against the spread of fire and smoke within, into, or out of buildings.
          The deaths at the Bronx fire were not caused by smoke inhalation and it is generally believed and accepted that it was lack of a self-closing door or a faulty self-closing door which allowed the smoke to spread. 
          There is now a frantic effort to inspect doors. Many of us inspect fire alarms and rely on your contracts to minimize our exposure.
          One of my subscribers has already inquired about door inspections. Will the present All In One protect us if we offered this as an added service?   Or perhaps you might need to create a new agreement.
 Thank You
Jersey Jerry
          Just when you thought we were all out of ideas for new contracts or updates to existing contracts, something comes along that requires it.  Usually it is something terrible like the fire, or a change in law, which is often prompted by something terrible.
          Alarm companies that offer fire alarm service are focused on the electronic alarm devices that report fire, smoke, temperature change, water flow, etc.  I know that you’re not in the “alarm” business anymore; you’re in the “life-safety” business.  But what are you actually licensed to do and trained to do?  Fire safety inspections are likely performed by other licensed professionals; risk managers, safety inspectors, code enforcement experts.  Thus, while closely aligned with the fire alarm industry these other fire safety issues are not necessarily “electronic”, though certainly all doors could be alarmed.  I alarm companies should stick with the alarm systems, and for me that includes all security systems and fire alarm systems.  The Fire All in One covers commercial fire alarm services and the Residential All in One covers fire systems in residences.
          The fire suppression [or fire protection] industry installs fire suppression and preventative equipment; that might include fire doors.  These professionals are required to test their systems just like commercial fire alarm systems are required to be tested.  The Standard Fire Suppression Agreement covers services performed by the fire suppression businesses.  Their services can be expanded to include safety checks and code compliance, if they are properly trained to make those inspections.
          As I respond to this inquiry I don’t know what professional would be inspecting doors and checking for other building and fire code compliance in a building.  I don’t know what license is required, what certification may be required, educational level or experience is required.  What I do know is that the typical “alarm license”, even the “fire alarm license” when there is one, does not, I believe cover fire code compliance.  If you do decide to include fire code compliance in your Schedule of Equipment and Services in your Kirschenbaum Contracts  make sure you are properly credentialed and qualified to perform the service and make sure you do it correctly.
          Other [and more informed] opinions are welcome.

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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