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What should you do if fire alarm is non-compliant 
November 12, 2020
What should you do if fire alarm is non-compliant
            We have a client that is non-compliant with their fire alarm system. It is a multi-family dwelling and one part of the complex is not working. We have repeatedly told the management group this needs to be addressed and fixed. 
            We had spoken with the fire Marshall about the building to see if the whole complex would need to be brought up to code. He came out and looked and said no but the client would need to be put on fire watch and he is giving them 30 days to get it fixed. 
            The client has asked our company to get off the property, do not speak with the fire department and stand down.
            Did we do something wrong in this case?
            We do faithfully us your agreements and have one on this property.
Name withheld
            You may not have done anything wrong, but I’m not so sure you did everything right.  
            You state that “your client” has a non-compliant fire alarm system.  I’m not sure what you mean by “your client”.  Did you design and install the system; do you service it; do you monitor it?  What exactly is your involvement with this customer and fire alarm?
            Let’s assume you monitor the system and make repairs when asked to.  Maybe you inspect the system and file reports with the customer or AHJ, or both.
            You should be using the Commercial Fire All in One, checking the boxes for monitoring, service and inspection.  If you’re not under contract then you have no standing to report a deficient fire alarm other than as a private citizen.  If you are under contract to provide monitoring then you would be within your authority.  In some jurisdictions it would be your obligation to notify the AHJ that monitoring is terminated.
            Other than notification that monitoring is terminated, I am not aware of any obligation to notify the AHJ that a system is deficient.  Your subscriber obviously believes you are stirring the pot hoping the get the work that the AHJ will order done.  I know you think of yourself as a Good Samaritan, but last I checked, no good deed goes unpunished.  
            You should have notified management of the deficiency, in writing, but only if you are under contract to provide services.  If you don’t live there and you’re not under any contract, you really have no standing to call in the AHJ.  Who’s next?  IRS?  
            You’ve managed to antagonize the customer, and you’ve been discharged. You now have two options: 1) if you have a Standard Form Agreement with unexpired term you can turn it over to K&K for collection; 2) if you don’t have a contract you can walk away and learn from the lesson.

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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