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Zwirn comments on non-conforming control units / Hobson’s Choice
March 5, 2021
Zwirn comments on non-conforming control units
          This dangerous defect exists on many UL® 365-864 Commercial Combination Listed Burg/Fire Alarm Control Units as my testing has identified and scientifically proven. Besides watching my videos, each of the forensic tests which I performed can be duplicated by any alarm dealer to verify the dangerous non-conformity themselves.
          The problem is both real and it is deadly.  Just to be clear, I have already been forensically involved in litigation cases and claims where people have been both seriously injured and even died as a result of the data-bus wiring being attacked by Fire, there has also been increased property damage and loss.
          UL’s admissions and “interpretations” in their letter proves non-conformity and demonstrates that UL did not test this “UL Listed” control unit as it was required to perform.  Standards Expert Merton Bunker, PE former employee of the NFPA, Staff Liaison for NFPA 72, and former NFPA Chief Electrical Engineer completely agrees that UL is wrong, and that these control units do not comply with both UL and NFPA 72 Standards.
          Johnson Controls openly admits in their letter that their keypads fail to provide any audible or visual warning as is required under NFPA 72 and UL 985, stating, “the statement about the blank keypad display is accurate, due to the keypad powering down in such a situation…” if there is a short circuit on the CORBUS wiring it causes the control unit to instantly fail which is strictly forbidden by the standards.
          Alarm dealers immediately need to act to help protect their subscribers and their companies since this equipment not only violates statutory fire codes, but it endangers the welfare and safety of all of the families who  rely on their fire alarm systems like all of us do for early warning life safety protection.
          In my opinion, alarm dealers should retain your firm to put the equipment manufacturers on notice and hold them legally accountable in order to correct the problem and pay the alarm dealers to install the fix. I do not believe that it is an understatement to claim that no consumer would ever knowingly purchase a life safety fire alarm system if they knew that it did not conform to minimum fire code and reliability standards.
          Time is the most important commodity when it comes to fire protection and saving lives. Undeniably, the same rationale holds true when the professional and technical community of the alarm industry identifies a danger in any alarm equipment which they select, recommend, install, inspect, test, maintain and monitor for their subscribers.
  Very truly yours,
Jeffrey D. Zwirn, CPP, CFPS CFE, SET, FASI&T, CHPA-IV, MBAT, NFPA 3000(PS), President 
IDS Research and Development, Inc.
          There is no doubt that manufacturers are on notice of Jeff’s findings and conclusions.  I commented in my February 23, 2021 article that dealers are faced with dropping the equipment Jeff has identified as a potential problem or relying on manufacturer representations that the equipment is safe; that dealers were in the middle, facing a Hobson’s choice.  Well don’t say you don’t get valuable – vital – information on this forum.  Here’s what your Hobson’s choice came from.  Turns out that Hobson’s Choice was really no choice.  Thanks to Peter Goldring for letting us know. 
Hobson’s Choice
          Because someone will point it out, here you go. Be careful your horse theme of late doesn’t typecast you as a one-trick pony. 
          According to a plaque underneath a painting of Hobson donated to  Cambridge Guildhall, Hobson had an extensive stable of some 40 horses. This gave the appearance to his customers that, upon entry, they would have their choice of mounts, when in fact there was only one: Hobson required his customers to choose the horse in the stall closest to the door. This was to prevent the best horses from always being chosen, which would have caused those horses to become overused. Hobson's stable was located on land that is now owned by  St Catharine's College, Cambridge.
Peter Goldring

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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