We are electrical contractors that install fire alarm systems as part of the electrical scope of work. Typically there will be a construction industry contract and it is usually an AIA document. After following your post for the last few months, it appears that we are at a substantial risk on these installations. Can you elaborate?
David A. Wessel, RCDD
Power Pros, Inc.
    It is customary for electrical contractors to sign an AIA contract, typically as a subcontractor of a general contractor.  That's not the case in the alarm industry, though it's not uncommon for an alarm dealer to be asked to sign the AIA form.
    There are a number of problems and I'll address a few, not in any particular order of importance.
    It's likely you haven't read the AIA contract before signing, and not likely that you ever will read it.  The AIA form is not only the long small print form you've been asked to sign, but by reference, the general contractor's contract, plans and specification, terms and conditions, and any other document referred to in the form you are asked to sign.  Good luck with that.
    The AIA form will require you to indemnify the GC and probably the owner - and don't forget the architect, him or her too.  If you're not careful you may be asked to indemnify them even if you didn't contribute to the damage or loss - just because you were on the job.
    The most important feature of the alarm contract is the provision protecting the alarm company from liability even if caused by its negligence or breach of contract.  You won't find that in the AIA form.
    Bottom line.  You have to use proper alarm contracts - the Commercial Fire All in One sounds like the one you should start with.  You'll need that after the sale anyway if you're lucky enough to get the monitoring, service and inspection work.  You're certainly not going to perform those services with an AIA contract.  So you can live with the AIA contract for the installation, but it ends there.  Then you have to use the alarm contract.
    There are insurance requirements that you will need to meet; make sure you can met them before you sign the contract.  Keep in mind that you may be subject to terms and conditions that you haven't seen because they're not in the form you were given, but other forms referenced in that agreement.
    Alarm business is natural extension of your electrical business.  Just keep in mind they are very different businesses with different exposure, different business models and different contracts.
                                 Webinar Anouncement - no charge to attend

Title: Learn how to design sales presentations using tablets and computers.

When:  October 8, 2014  12 noon to 1 PM EST.  Sign in on your computer and dial in to participate.  Register here (space limited so register now):  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2478859221657647105

Description:    This webinar will introduce you to sales techniques and tools using tablets and computers to do sales presentations.  Puffington will customize your sales tools utilizing our templates and proven sales presentations designed specifically for the alarm / security industry.

Presenter:  Luke Goetting  Luke@Puffingston.com;  312-620-0704  Puffingston is listed on The Alarm Exchange under Technology that increases or preserves your RMR.

Who should attend:   Alarm company owners and sales managers and sales personnel

TO SUBMIT QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS REPLY TO THIS EMAIL OR EMAIL Ken@Kirschenbaumesq.com.  Most comments and questions get circulated.


                                                 Speaking Engagements
If you would like to schedule a free live video/webinar presentation for your association meeting or event contact Eileen Wagda at 516 747 6700 x 312.


Texas Burglar and Fire Alarm Association.  October 1 - 4, 2014,  annual convention at San Luis Resort Spa & Conference Center, Galveston, TX.  Register here:  http://tbfaa.org/tbfaa-2014-convention-trade-show-attendee-registration/
For more info contact Debi at 281-859-4569.  Brad Shipp, Executive Director

Alabama Alarm Association.  AAA's Fall Meeting and Trade Show - October 21, 2014 from 3 to 5 PM at DoubleTree Hotel 808 South 20th Street Birmingham, AL 35205  for more info contact AAA Executive Director: director@alabamaalarm.org  (205) 933-9000