You can read all of our articles on our website Having trouble getting our emails?   Change your spam controls and white list 

Comment on bankruptcy issue / Can insurer spec out house for smoke detectors
December 4,  2019
Comment on bankruptcy issue from November 27, 2019
            This is one I’d like to chime in on. I had a similar situation years ago with 2 accounts with different outcomes. When Permanents went bankrupt (in 2001) somehow they were able to pay my company saying it was a necessary service since they needed to maintain and monitor the Fire alarms in the existing buildings. I didn’t ask for the particulars since I got paid. I had a very different outcome when Mosler went bankrupt and I had to Painfully give back $50,000.00 in recent payments. OUCH!
 Thomas Papa, President
LPC Incorporated
North Amityville, NY

            Thanks for sharing your experience.  Experienced bankruptcy counsel may have had a slightly different outcome.
            When Pergaments [a home improvement store] filed it was undoubtedly a chapter 11 and they continued in operation and required a fire alarm.  They could have rejected your contract and selected another fire alarm company, but it was more expedient to continue with you.  They should have gotten court approval to continue with you and to pay you, and show the payments in monthly operating reports.  You should have insisted on either an assumption of the fire alarm contract by the Debtor in Possession, or a new contract from the DIP.  You may have had to file a proof of claim for damages before the bankruptcy ended.
            Mosler gave you a different experience.  I don’t know what bankruptcy relief Mosler filed for, but if you had to return $50,000.00 then the Trustee [of DIP] claimed you received a “preference”, which is a payment for an antecedent debt within 90 days of the filing of the petition.  You obviously returned the money, and there may have been no way to avoid that outcome.  But there are defenses to a preference claim and it would be easy for an alarm company providing continuous services to meet the criteria for those defenses.  I don’t know if you consulted bankruptcy counsel, but I know you didn’t consult me.  I probably would have charged less than the 50K.

Can insurer spec out house for smoke detectors
            If an insurance provider wants a residential home owner to have their home monitored for smoke, but they do not specify the level of coverage, as the installer, I would assume I am obligated to place monitored smoke detectors in every single bedroom and all common areas?
            Or is it acceptable to place smoke detectors in common areas and leave the bedrooms out?

            I know that some have a broad definition for an AHJ, and I guess an insurer could be an AHJ under certain circumstances, but not the situation you describe.  The insurer would be the AHJ if the issue was whether the carrier would provide insurance that the subscriber wanted.  But you are concerned with your exposure and responsibility, not whether the subscriber and its carrier are satisfied.
            Home owner’s insurance company wants a fire alarm.  You know that because the Certificate of Alarm Services has a box for fire alarm.  But the insurer didn’t offer any installation or service requirements [probably wants to know system is monitored].  So you’re not sure what to install?
            The fire guys are probably going berserk by now.  You shouldn’t be guessing.  NFPA 72 tells you exactly what you need to install if you are installing a fire alarm in a residence.  I don’t know if it’s smoke detectors in every bedroom or common area or both.  I don’t know if battery power or hard wired is required.  And I don’t have to know, I am not in the alarm business, but you are, and you should know.
            Your obligation for the fire alarm and anything else you install is found in your contract with the subscriber.  The 
Residential All in One provides that unless a box is checked the fire alarm system is not designed to code.  You get that signed that way when you aren’t installing in accordance with code, which likely is modeled after some vintage of NFPA 72.  You don’t need to know the rules throughout the United States, just where you install fire alarm components.  A smoke detector does not make a fire alarm system, and a subscriber’s home owners insurance company isn’t your AHJ for the fire alarm system, the municipal building department or fire department is your AHJ.

To order up to date Standard Form Alarm /  Security / Fire and related forms, click here:
You can check out the program and sign up here: or contact our Program Coordinator Stacy Spector, Esq at 516 747 6700 x 304.

NOTICE:  You can always read our Articles on our website at
THE ALARM EXCHANGEalarm classifieds alarm security contracts

    This area is reserved for alarm classifieds, alarm company announcements, solicitations, offers, etc. 
    There is no charge to post a listing here.Include your contact information, phone, email and web site.  If you would like to submit a post, please send an email to  To create a reciprocal link to our website, click here.

Getting on our Email List / Email Articles archived: 
    Many of you are forwarding these emails to friends or asking that others be added to the list.  Sign up for our daily newsletter here: Sign Up.  You can read articles and order alarm contracts on our web site
Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301