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article where ADT reportedly paid subscriber to remove old wiring / follow-up comment on wiring removal
November 21,  2019
article where it was reported that ADT paid subscriber to remove old wiring
    FYI here is the article where it was reported that ADT paid subscriber to remove old wiring. This article is on your website under Articles – June 10, 2017.  Thanks for maintaining a library of such informative articles.  
Red Alarm

    All articles are posted and maintained on our 
website.  The articles are often posted in advance so you can read and comment on the articles before circulation.  Here is the June 10, 2017 article referred to, which remains a timely topic.
removing old equipment and following code June 10, 2017
     Did you ever read something in the newspaper, and the more you re-read it, the more upset you get?  In today's Star Ledger, in the Bamboozled section, there was a story about a Millburn, NJ resident who had an old alarm system that apparently was not functional and the alarm company wanted to "charge him for the repair."  (Who does repairs for free?  Unless he was paying for a service contract.)  He was just paying for monitoring.  Before I go any farther, let me tell you, there were several things in this article that pissed me off.  So the unhappy homeowner decides to contract ADT to sell him and install a new wireless system.  (So far I'm OK with that.)  But then the guy tries to sell his house, and the installers from ADT failed remove the old non functioning smoke detectors.  Consequently he failed inspection, and rightfully so.  The guy called ADT and they refused to come back to remove the old equipment.  This has been a sticking point for some time.  According to code, you remove any equipment or wiring that you have access to that will no longer be used.  I won't touch 
110V.AC hardwired, interconnected detectors, as I'm not an electrician.  But the code does allow burg/fire contractors to add smoke detectors to an existing system, and would only need one detector per living level.  In this case, there was an old hard wired low voltage system that ADT just didn't bother to remove.  
      Here is where I started to get pissed off.  Bamboozled contacted David Kurasz of the New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board.  They also contacted Richard Silvia who is the president of the NJ Fire Prevention and Protection Association.  Silvia is also a fire marshal in Bergen County. 
 Ultimately ADT refunded the homeowner over $700.00 that he had to spend to have the old system removed.  
They called it a "token of good will."  I call BS on this, and they were looking to avoid getting fined.  Silvia went on to say that alarm installers, technicians and salesmen generally don't know the code.  That made my blood boil.  I'm sure there are some companies that don't know or follow code.  And I'm sure there are some fire officials who haven't updated their knowledge of the code since McColluh transmitters were still being used.  It's our damned job to know the fire codes.  This is life safety, we don't do this stuff for shits and giggles.  And what really pisses me off, is that many and I mean many of the fire sub code officials are old school and don't care what the new codes may say.  There was a bulletin issued by the NJ Division of Community Affairs in October, 2008 (Bulletin 08-01) that explicitly states low voltage smoke detectors may be used in place of 
110V.AC interconnected smoke alarms.  Provided the system is supervised and monitored by an alarm monitoring company, and a testing and maintenance provision is in place.  I have had several fire marshals tell me over the years, they don't care what the DCA says about fire protection, they are requiring a 110V.AC interconnected smoke alarm system.  And I would probably be OK with that, but in the same bulletin and in other parts of the code, it states that if the residence needs to have more than 12 smoke alarms, then a low voltage system is necessary.  My argument has always been, so if the house requires 15 smoke detectors, low voltage is required and it meets code, but on a smaller house the same low voltage system would be sub-standard?  Can anyone tell me where or how that makes sense?  Some time ago, I got sick and tired of arguing with the LAHJ's.  I said fine, let the electrician install the smoke alarms.  After they pass inspection, I'll come back and install my smoke detectors (one per living level.)  Maybe it's me, but this whole argument seem somewhat absurd? It just seemed to me that Mr. Silvia took an unnecessary swipe at the entire alarm industry.  And they wonder why we say the LAHJ doesn't always mean Local Authority Having Jurisdiction.  Emphasis on the A and H.
    As always,
John from New Jersey

Another follow-up comment on wiring
            You mentioned to me that some “alarm expert” familiar with NYC claimed that wiring had to be removed or tagged.  That he doesn’t make any sense is certainly no surprise.
           It doesn’t have to be tagged.  They did it back then to prove that it wasn’t scrap.  That is immaterial now since the antitrust decree has long since been vacated.  It’s strictly a contractual matter now.  Mr. Anonymous needs to hang it up, although it’s hard to fight a battle of wits with an unarmed man.  Actually, in his case its possibly worse since he does know a few things…just enough to be dangerous.
    Robert K

            Let’s bring a few things into proper perspective.  NYC fire department and building department rules are not universal, and in fact usually apply to NYC buildings, commercial in particular.  Also, removing wiring, almost always this will be fire alarm wiring, is not the obligation of the alarm company unless the alarm company owns the wiring.  That would entail a “lease” relationship, not a sale.  Once an alarm company installs a code [and AHJ] compliant alarm system, including wiring, its responsibility for that wiring ends and it then becomes the owner’s responsibility to remove or replace wiring if another fire alarm system is installed and the AHJ wants the wiring removed for some reason.  
           ​Of course the alarm company can contract for this responsibility, and may unwittingly do just that if it agrees to install a code and AHJ compliant fire alarm system and the AHJ won’t approve the installation without removing the wiring [and BTW I am not suggesting that the NYC AHJ or any AHJ will insist that the old fire alarm wiring be removed – that I leave to the fire alarm experts].  
           ​An alarm company would have a good argument for an “extra” if the contract is silent on removal of old wiring owned by the owner that the AHJ now wants removed.  

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
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