Changing Contract Terms to Suit Your Operation /

Working on Fire Alarm Systems Not to Code  

April 25, 2013


 Question - changing contract terms to suit your operation


Ken -

    I have a quick question on the Residential All In One. There are a couple places where specific hours are mentioned such as #7 under Service and Inspection. Because of my business model, I am not available to run calls 9a to 5p (as I hold another job). I generally schedule jobs evenings and weekends, with the selling feature that such offers "convenience" to my residential customers (not having to take time off of work to accept a technician.)

    The model involves premium for unscheduled work;  but so long as I schedule the call I do not require a premium for after 5 and so forth. 

    I am considering hiring a salesman/technician at some point, and at such time the convenience to myself of banker-hours scheduling may be something worth considering. The question is how to reword that language such that it doesn't bind me to specific hours, nor give the subscriber some right to demand me at some time not within my working business model hours?






    The Standard Form Contracts are prepared with terms that are generally adhered to by most alarm companies - that's why we call it standard.  However, it's "your contract" and you can design it and word it as you wish to accommodate your business model and plan, as long as you don't negate the protective provisions or run afoul of consumer or other laws that are specifically prohibited or unenforceable.  

    Generally the "business" terms, as opposed to the "legal" terms can be changed to suit your operation.  Service call hours are a good example.  In fact, an important point should not be missed here.  Your are on the money when you recognize that the contract has terms you can't or don't want to comply with - by all means change them rather than breach your own contract.  

    In your case you should change the service response language to the times you intend to actually provide the service.  You can provide that your response will be within a "reasonable" time, or give yourselve a little more breathing room by providing for 72 hour or more response time.  


Comments - Working on Fire Alarm Systems Not to Code



    Comments on Anons post Question from April 20, 2103 article- addition to fire alarm not to code- civic duty. 

    I had a village hall that wanted devices installed in an addition to the building that was built 7 years prior that had no devices in the fire department quarters or  second floor offices. During the upgrade we found defects and sub standard work, for example there was 18 gauge wire leaving the panel and then connected to 14 gauge wire 100 feet away powering indicating circuits. 

    While preforming the upgrade they reluctantly approved fixing that wire. We found those indicating devices did not work in a wing which included a 24 hour staffed 911 dispatch center.  They also wanted us to install a sounder with a volume control in the fireman sleeping area so they can turn it down at night. Finally we suggested the entire system be tested as we found it had not been since it was installed seven years prior. They refused the inspection. The fire chief himself told me that's the ugly side of government. 

    Wow, really those that enforce the code against us all don't keep their own hose in order. They also refused to sign the all in one contract. When the job was done I wrote them to say they dealt in bad faith and the we terminate any obligation of warranty and we have no liability for any work preformed on that system for any claims due to loss. 

    To this day I wonder if I have a civic duty to tell press or the state fire Marshall that  this building is not safe for its personnel and they don't comply with the code they enforce against others. 




    Good answer [see April 20, 2013 article]

Eddie Harden, CET


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