You can read all of our articles on our website Having trouble getting our emails?   Change your spam controls and white list 

Follow up on who owns the wiring
November 4, 2019
Follow up on who owns the wiring from October 28, 2019
            Some jurisdictions require the removal of unused cable. This came about mostly from commercial facilities where tenant after tenant leaves abandoned cable. Ultimately, this responsibility falls on the owner. However, if the installing company contracts for the wire to remain property of the installing company, correct me if I’m wrong but, wouldn’t there be a duty for the alarm company to remove such wire once the contract is terminated? In most cases, sending a truck to remove cable that has little to no value represents an unnecessary cost. So, perhaps trying to hold on to the ownership of the cable goes under the “be careful of what you ask for because, you might just get it.”
David C
            In response to Zeke’s comment on who owns the wiring on an alarm company owned (“leased”) system let me first correct his misunderstanding about the 1968 divestiture.  The antitrust case was against Grinnell who had to divest itself of not only ADT, but Holmes Protection and the Automatic Fire Alarm Company (AFA) as well.  The decree did include a provision that these defendant alarm companies could not remove any portion of their systems that if removed would have value “primarily as scrap”.  In response, some predatory competitors seized upon this as justification to steal these defendants’ accounts, and in particular use their systems…especially the wiring.
            In response, ADT made a conscious choice not to contest the ownership of the wiring and in effect abandoned it.  Holmes Protection did as well.  
            AFA decided to contest that interpretation and fought those competitors in court.  The issue culminated in an enforcement proceeding in US District Court wherein the court determined that AFA had established the wiring’s value was NOT “primarily as scrap”.  AFA convinced the court of this by proving that it actually reused wiring (which it had tagged) in new customer accounts that it had removed from other buildings.  As a result, from that point forward AFA has been legally removing its systems, including wiring, from cancelled customer accounts where those systems are company owned. 
            Of course, the right to remove the systems or any portion thereof must be spelled out in the contract between the parties, which is the case with AFA’s contracts.  In the event the right to remove is not in the agreement I believe the customer could successfully block an alarm company from doing any removal as a court would then award money damages instead.
            Mr. Anonymous: did I get that right? 
Robert Kleinman
CEO & General Counsel
AFA Protective Systems, Inc
            Who owns the wiring is only an issue when the system is leased.  In that case you would be using the Lease All in One.  All of the All in One Agreements [commercial fire; commercial security; residential] come in Lease or Sale format.   
            If you use the Sale format then the subscriber owns all of the equipment and material, and that includes wiring.  There is no issue of removal.  At the risk of complicating this issue, I will point out that the All in One Agreements do provide for a security interest in the equipment [and sometimes more than the equipment] and if properly perfected you would be able to remove the equipment, including wiring.  But that security interest aside, when you sell the equipment and material belongs to the subscriber.
            The Lease is another matter.  When you use the Lease All in One the subscriber never gets to own the equipment or anything attached to the equipment, and that includes the wiring.  The Lease All in One does give you the option to sell that equipment to the subscriber but only once the subscriber defaults on the agreement.  You have the option to remove the system or sell it for an agreed upon price.  If this is confusing you it’s because you don’t have the All in One forms or you haven’t read them.  Get the updated All in One agreements and read them.  Get them here:  Need help selecting what you need?  Contact our Contract Administrator Eileen Wagda at 516 747 6700 x 312 or email

To order up to date Standard Form Alarm /  Security / Fire and related forms, click here:
You can check out the program and sign up here: or contact our Program Coordinator Stacy Spector, Esq at 516 747 6700 x 304.

NOTICE:  You can always read our Articles on our website at
THE ALARM EXCHANGEalarm classifieds alarm security contracts

    This area is reserved for alarm classifieds, alarm company announcements, solicitations, offers, etc. 
    There is no charge to post a listing here.Include your contact information, phone, email and web site.  If you would like to submit a post, please send an email to  To create a reciprocal link to our website, click here.

Getting on our Email List / Email Articles archived: 
    Many of you are forwarding these emails to friends or asking that others be added to the list.  Sign up for our daily newsletter here: Sign Up.  You can read articles and order alarm contracts on our web site
Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301