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Monitoring Fire Sprinkler covering subscriber and adjoining premises
June 30,  2021
Monitoring Fire Sprinkler covering subscriber and adjoining premises 
          We just learned that one of the commercial fire sprinkler system which we monitor is quite unusual in that the sprinkler pipes extend not just throughout our Subscriber's premises but, in addition, the adjoining building which is owned by an unrelated party. This means: one riser, one flow switch, one valve tamper switch, one fire panel with one system number.
          Our fire sprinkle monitoring service therefore, we just learned, monitors for waterflow events in both buildings. And, should we receive an alarm signal (caused by sprinkler waterflow) we do not know in which of the two properties the activation occurred.
          Both properties, our Subscriber's and the adjoining property, are multi-tenant, and each is about 10,000 sqft., and each has a different street address.
          We are also providing burglar alarm monitoring service for our Subscriber, and have the KK All in One agreement in place with our Subscriber for all of the services we provide.  The security alarm panel is different from the fire alarm panel.
          Apparently this arrangement has existed for many decades and perhaps at one point in time both properties were under the same ownership, but not for at least 20 years. I've learned that the two current property owners split the costs of operating the common sprinkler system.
          I have this concern: How do we protect ourselves from potential claims by the other property owner or their tenants?
          For sure, the KK agreement requires our subscriber to indemnify/defend us from such claims, but is there a better way?  Should we insist that the other property owner sign our KK agreement?
          Perhaps other alarm companies could chime in on this...
Anon in Calif 
          You are right to be concerned.  While it’s true that you have indemnity from your subscriber, hopefully backed up by the subscriber’s insurance policy, as well as your own insurance E&O, a claim could well exceed that coverage and in any event, who needs the aggravation of a claim, especially when it’s from a non-contracting third party.
          You should never do alarm work without a proper contract so you shouldn’t be providing monitoring services for the adjoining owner’s premises without requiring a contract, in this case a Fire All in One.
          Because you have a Fire All in One from your subscriber I don’t think you need to panic and take immediate drastic action of terminating monitoring, but I do think you need to attend to this as quickly as possible and I would not encourage you to continue monitoring for much longer.  The problem is that you have contracted with your subscriber for the monitoring and you should have known what system you were monitoring.  That was very sloppy on your part.  You will have some leverage over your subscriber who probably hasn’t provided a Certificate of Insurance showing you as an additional insured, so you can threaten termination of the insurance is not procured.  In fact, if there is no insurance the subscriber has already breached the agreement permitting you to terminate service. 
          But the goal should be to keep your subscriber and sign up the adjoining owner too.  There may be a way to correct the system, though I am certain that it will require AHJ approval. You may need to install additional equipment so you can better identify the affected premises in the event of activation.
          One thing’s for sure, you have to do something; you should not let this go.

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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