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more on not to code fire alarms

August 26,  2021
more on not to code fire alarms from article on August 19, 2021
     Code establishes the minimum. Installing devices below the minimum because of an AHJ would need specific liability relief from the AHJ. Going above the minimum and adding devices that are beyond code to a code compliant system will need a customer willing to pay for them, not liability relief. If the AHJ is requiring devices beyond code requirements, you may need a statement by the AHJ for the purpose of collecting payment, not for liability.
     Also, there is a 'know deficiencies or other deviations from code' type statement opportunity directly on the NFPA record of completion form. If the AHJ is requiring something, this is your chance to get their ink signature on it.
     "Liability relief from the AHJ"? I don't think you're going to get that, from any AHJ. Not all fire alarms are subject to code or AHJ. In those cases you are free to follow industry standards, typically set by independent laboratories, NFPA comes to mind. When there are code requirements there is generally a requirement to file plans and obtain approval, which is written approval in the form of a permit. If a Fire Marshal requests and change and doesn't want to confirm it in writing you could file amended plans, which would have to be signed off on. I could be wrong but I think it's just as wrong for you to add equipment as not install equipment required by approved plans.
     If you do modify an installation so that it's no longer exactly what the filed plans called for, I suggest you modify the plans on file. Approval by the AHJ in writing is what you're looking for.
Failing to install a fire alarm to code or to AHJ requirements does not mean you are absolutely liable for a loss. A damaged party would still need to show that you negligence was the proximate cause of the loss. Breach of contract is another matter. You have to comply with your contract provisions.
     The Fire All in One protects you contractually for commercial installations, and the Residential All in One will cover you contractually for residential alarms, fire alarm included. The contract will specify if the system is to code; it will specify the equipment and services. If the AHJ asks for more equipment than the contract calls for then the contract specifies that the subscriber has to pay for that equipment and installation. If you don't install what the contract calls for then you may be called upon to justify why, and some vague undocumented direction from the AHJ isn't going to cut it.
another comment
     Response to Dave Miller of MCG Design Services regarding " More on Not to code wireless fire alarm"
Well Ken, you are not alone: I was also very confused with all the codes, terms and details this guy was throwing at us. Way too much non-related information.
     The issue is VERY simple: If you need to install a new (Not required) Fire Alarm system: you have to do it 100% per code. EXACTLY the way you would do it as if you do it if you needed to submit plans and have a Fire Department inspection.
     Non-required systems can be in several scenarios and the person or entity requiring the system may have a different reason or prospective for the request:
     Whether he needs more NOTIFICATION appliances - as he has a large industrial building - and as required by code he only has one "interior audible" and the person is asking the FA dealer to provide "a few Horns and Strobes here and there...". It happened to me before and my answer to the person asking for the work was that although this is a non-required add to the basic monitoring system in this building: I agree to do a FULL notification coverage or nothing. My concern was a possible complaint or exposure to the ADA code and possibly discrimination...
     Another option is to have only "Some" smoke detector coverage. If the building is fully sprinklered smoke detectors could be excluded anyway, and the code allows "Partial" coverage (i.e. server rooms, elevator lobbies, etc.). But if there is no sprinkler in the building and the insurance company is asking the owner to provide Automatic detection (to protect the building), you must do 100% coverage. So here the Insurance company are telling the building owner what to do (if they want to be insured by this company), and the dealer needs to follow the installation details as per NFPA 72 with no deviations.
Israel Jackont
Regency Fire & Security
Van Nuys, CA
     First issue is that you need to know code requirements, if any, and NFPA requirements, if any, or other laboratory guidance. Then you need to deal with your subscriber and its budget. Stay compliant; it's safer and more lucrative in the long run

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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