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More on when is fire alarm trouble signal not a trouble signal
June 14, 2024
More on when is fire alarm trouble signal not a trouble signal from article on May 18, 2024
My central station is trying to get me to agree to using “procedures” or “special notes” to address E380 sensor troubles and other troubles for commercial fire alarm systems. This is nothing more than them putting the responsibility on the dealer to determine or layout how the central station should be addressing signals instead of the them following the codes/laws.
 Name withheld
            This is an important issue for a few reasons.  First, I agree that the central station response procedures should adhere to industry standards, particularly those dictated by the NRTL. Equally important is that the central station communicate its procedures to the dealers, and that the dealers communicate these procedures to the end users.
            I am called upon to negotiate contract changes several times a week for companies all over the country [almost all of whom are Concierge Clients uses the free half hour each month for contract review].  It’s not uncommon for subscribers and their counsel to “redline” the Monitoring Provisions which outlines with some specifics - in generally - how alarm signals will be handled and the response procedure.  The provision is not detailed by any means and does suggest that the central station have a Response Procedure Manual that it can give to the dealer.  I routinely reject any change to this paragraph, explaining that even when the central station and dealer agree that special arrangements can be accommodated I believe it’s a mistake to accept these response requirements dictated by the subscriber, or worse its lawyers who know even less about response issues. 
            Why?  Operator error; that’s the number one issue when central stations don’t respond as they should to an alarm signal.  Operators are trained how to handle signals.  They shouldn’t be expected to change their response procedure for every subscriber who thinks they have a better idea.  Of course, when necessary accommodations can be made, but this should be the exception, not the rule. 
            This is an important issue for the central station and even more important for the dealer.  Why?  Well dealers need to keep in mind that they agree to indemnify the central station, even for the central station’s negligence.  This is accepted and customary in the industry.  If a dealer is smart enough to get and demand that the K&K Rider to Central Station be attached to the central station Dealer Agreement then the dealer’s exposure for the indemnity will be limited.  A reminder; if your central station is not listed on The Alarm Exchange or will not accept the Rider to Central Station Dealer Agreement what you should do, without doubt, is find another central station, and fast. 
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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