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Comment on disconnected communicator / GC hires you for residential project – how to contract deal  
June 10, 2020
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Comment on disconnected communicator from article on June 1, 2020
            I’d like to respond or add to Johnny’s question on “disconnected communication on fire alarm.
            You probably remember as I had you contact this party. We were subcontracted under the electrician who was on a county public library remodel project, to install a fire alarm system. The bid we were under was to the electrician for just the installation. Upon completion we presented our Fire all-in-one contract for the monitoring. The librarian turned it over to the county attorney who, of course, found 21 issues with our contract. He then went and wrote his own contract for us to sign instead. I told him, No that’s not how this works and he became quite upset over the indemnity clause that excludes us from our own negligence, “YOUR OWN NEGLIGENCE”. 
            We informed the AHJ , who is a county employee, that the county would not sign our contract and they were free to obtain monitoring from any vendor they choose. There was an email chain about all this and the AHJ explained they could do self-monitoring during business hours by having employees trained in such matters. 
            We had to go in last week and finish another project and noticed the panel still shows “Comm Error”.    I sent another email, replied to the email chain mentioned earlier, of the issue. With no response.
            I’m a little nervous that if they do have an issue how it will play out.
Thanks for all you do for our industry
            You did an installation of a fire alarm system, engaged by the electrician, not the owner.  You only contracted work was installation.  I assume you didn’t contract to connect the system to a central station for monitoring.  The owner has not signed your All in One, has not signed up for monitoring.  You have no responsibility, and you have no liability.
            If you want to you can email the county executive, and copy the county attorney and fire marshal, advising them that they are in violation of building codes and safety codes.  Let them worry about it.
GC hires you for residential project – how to contract deal
            We have a residential new construction project where we are going to be installing an alarm system, among other systems.  All billing for the labor and products is going through the general contractor.  What is the best procedure as far as our All in One residential contract?  I would normally have the client sign the All in One agreement at this point.  Is it OK not to list the system cost on the agreement since the contractor is billing the client for it directly (and marking it up I am sure)?
            Great question.  The GC hired you for installation, but what you really want is the after installation services, the RMR; monitoring and repair service.  For that you need the owner to contract with you and the Residential All in One is the correct contract.
            You should have the owner sign a Residential All in One where you detail the sale and installation and provide for the RMR items.  
            For the installation you will state that the GC has included the alarm system installation in its GC contract and that the GC will be paying for the installation.  The owner will be paying for the RMR items.  
            You don’t indicate what contract you signed with the GC.  I suspect it was the GC’s contract.  That’s tolerable since it’s only for the installation, but be careful signing GC’s contracts.  They really should be read by counsel. [hopefully one who knows what the terminology means and what’s customary]

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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