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can you contract for unlicensed fire system inspection work / installing single smoke in house June 19, 2018

KEN KIRSCHENBAUM, ESQ 
ALARM - SECURITY INDUSTRY LEGAL EMAIL NEWSLETTER / THE ALARM EXCHANGE 
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can you contract for unlicensed fire system inspection work / installing single smoke in house 
June 19, 2018
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can you contract for unlicensed fire system inspection work
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Ken,
    We use your Fire All in One contract on all our commercial fire jobs. A new subscriber has asked us to take over the existing fire alarm monitoring, service, and inspections from the existing vendor. The previous vendor also inspected the Ansul system in the kitchen as well as the Sprinkler system installed in the building.
    The subscriber knows that we do not do Sprinkler or Ansul work nor are we licensed to do so but he is willing to have us sub-contract that service to a company of our choosing that does that type of work. Does the Fire All in One cover us and is it legal for us to include those services in the scope of work if we are not licensed.
    Thanks,
Anonymous
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Response
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    I would be very careful wording the Fire All in One for the sprinkler and ansul inspections. Certainly, you are licensed to install, monitor, inspect and repair the fire alarm system. All of that is covered in the printed form Fire All in One. But you don't have the license to perform the sprinkler or ansul inspection and you will want to make that very clear in the Contract. You will want to make clear that you are acting as the subscriber's General Contractor, or Agent, to contract the sprinkler and ansul inspection work to a licensed contractor. Under that circumstance, I think you can contract for the work for which you are not licensed because you and the subscriber intend that you will engage, on behalf of the subscriber, a licensed contractor.
    Another related issue concerns me, and that's enforcing the contract in a collection action against the subscriber. You may not be successful recovering money for services for which you are not licensed. I would not advance money to the subcontractors, and I would engage them on behalf of the subscriber, as its agent, and have the subcontractors invoice the subscriber directly. 
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installing single smoke in house
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Ken
    What is your understanding of installing only one smoke detector in a residential installation or taking over an existing system with only one smoke detector connected to a low voltage alarm system in a house that has no other smoke devises present. I see these system being installed by many ADT service providers.
Thanks,
Rich
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Response
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    First, let me say clearly that I have no idea what ADT installs or if it installs one or any smoke detectors. 
    Second, I don't know what code, NFPA 72 or any AHJ requires in a residence for smoke detectors. Here's what I do know.
    If you are installing a "fire alarm system" then you need to comply with code and AHJ requirements. That applies to commercial and residential jobs. Your contract [the Residential All in One or the Commercial All in One] should not describe the system as a Fire Alarm System unless it meets the code; otherwise, it's not a fire alarm system, it's just a smoke detector or whatever it is.
    The Fire All in One, which is a commercial contract, presumes that the fire alarm equipment will constitute a fire alarm system that meets code. In fact, there is a specific provision that has to be checked off if the system is not to code.
    The Residential All in One is opposite. The fire alarm detection components are not to be considered a fire alarm system to code unless the Schedule of Equipment and Services specifically describes the system as a fire alarm system to code. 
    In a residence, you may find many deficiencies if you measure the system by the current standards [your inspection or take-over date]. However, that system may have been installed long ago and meet the then current standards or no standards for the installation of a fire alarm in a residence. Or, it may just be deficient and inadequate, when installed and now when you're taking it over.
    You would note the deficiencies and non-code compliance in the contract and especially in the Disclaimer Notice
    Best practices would be you insisting on current code compliance. If the subscriber doesn't want to pay for the upgrades then be sure to get theResidential All in One signed without any changes and also get the Disclaimer Notice signed - in which you point out the deficiencies and your subscriber's insistence that you take it over as is.
 
 
 
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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
ken@kirschenbaumesq.com
516 747 6700
www.KirschenbaumEsq.com