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adding access control to fire system with proper contracts
December 15, 2018
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adding access control to fire system with proper contracts
            We currently have a subscriber who has signed the Fire All in One and the regular central station monitoring agreement.  We did not install the magnetic door holders or the magnetic locks.  We installed a panic system that includes police pull stations and panic buttons.  They would like me to tie the magnetic releases and magnetic locks into our systems. 
             The access control magnetic door locks would Release if there was a fire and Lock if there was a panic or active shooter activation. 
             What contracts do we need?
name withheld
            This could be confusing; I'll explain why. 
             A commercial fire alarm should be installed and monitored pursuant to a Fire All in One.  Most jurisdictions require that a commercial fire alarm be installed pursuant to plans and specifications approved by the AHJ, usually the fire department fire marshal.  The plans and specs would need to include the access control system.
            In your case the fire alarm system is already installed.  You used the correct contract, the Fire All in One.  I am not sure why you used a “regular central station monitoring agreement” because the Fire All in One includes a provision for monitoring.  Perhaps you mean a contract provided by your central station?  If you use the Fire All in One, or any All in One, the central station’s separate monitoring contract should not be necessary, though you will still need to provide the central station with all zones and call list. 
             The access control magnetic door locks could have been and should have been included in the original plans and specifications filed with the fire department or building department, whoever is the AHJ.  The magnetic lock equipment, and its functionality, would have been included in the plans for the fire alarm system.
            Here the magnetic access control equipment was installed by others, or by you.  That system should have been installed pursuant to the Commercial All in One.  You now want to connect the access control to the fire alarm system.
            If you are in a jurisdiction that permits fire alarms, and most of you are, you will need to submit new plans and specification and get AHJ approval to connect to the fire alarm. 
             By the way, the updated Fire All in One already has a provision for including Area of Refuge two way communication system and another provision for In-Building Wireless Communications Systems for Emergency Responders, Signal Boosters and Bi-Directional Amplifiers (BDA).
            I really don’t see any way around getting AHJ approval to connect to the fire alarm system.  You can do the work, once approved, using the Supplemental Rider to the Commercial All in One, or you can create your own rider to the Fire All in One.  You can also get a new Fire All in One signed for the upgraded and newly permitted fire alarm system.
            Any fire experts have a different answer?


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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
516 747 6700