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comments on cross manufacturer for non-UL installation / Subcontractor issue
May 23, 2019
comments on Cross manufacturer for non-UL installation from May 9, 2019 article 
    In answer to the smoke detector question, the panel manual will have a listing of the smoke detectors that it’s been approved with (by UL) in the manual. The Qolsys smoke detector will have a listing of the panels that it’s been approved to work with (by UL) in it’s manual. You get into “listed for the purpose” questions if neither one has taken the time (and money) to get their device listed with the other. Qolsys makes panels and will typically only want to list their detectors with their panels so you buy the whole package. Interlogix will do the same, only listing their detectors with the panel so you buy the whole package. There is a fee (used to be $5000 about 5 years ago) for each detector you want to cross list with each panel (assuming it passes UL testing on the first pass), so as a manufacturer I’m not likely going to spend a whole lot of time, effort, and money to help my competitor sell devices. 
   So, if the detector and the panel are not listed together and something goes awry, I’m not a lawyer but I’m guessing that there would be liability. At the very least I’m guessing you’d spend money trying to defend my way out of the problem. 
Dave Watkins 
    UL 217 is the standard for SMOKE ALARMS. Usually self powered, not connected to a SYSTEM. May or May not activate all notification devices in the system.
    These are usually the 110 VAC detectors installed to meet the BASIC requirements of the code for new construction and the battery operated single station units usually sold at the big box stores or lately donated to the end user by fire departments because ANYTHING is better than NOTHING.
    Professional alarm dealers usually install SMOKE DETECTORS listed under UL268. These are called SYSTEM TYPE SMOKE DETECTORS Because they are usually installed in a SYSTEM (Combo burg/fire or fire only) They are SUPERVISED and have sufficient back up power (((SHOULD))) to maintain operation for 24 hours and still ring off for 5 minutes 4 in residential))))
    The place we would normally see UL217 listed SMOKE ALARMS in a system would be when they are used in conjunction with any of the self contained panel./control/keypads. Lynx, Simon, Visonic, Interlogix. (((I know I am leaving names out but not intentional) You get the idea though.
    The reason that SMOKE ALARMS with self contained power is used is that the standby time for the CONTROL is not up to the 24 hour requirement, so the smoke alarm becomes an independent device when the control goes to sleep.
    If I have not put you to sleep I hope I have covered the subject and Await my score from Jeffery Z.
  Thanks for listening.....
FBN Security 
       Regarding Lior Rubin’s inquiry about mix and match of devices on “non UL systems”,  I would look for a “compatibility list” published by the manufacturer to see if the two devices (smoke detector and control panel, for example) are designed to work together.  If not, I would not want to cobble together a system using those parts.  In the unlikely, but possible, event of a large loss (fire or other disaster) there would be someone (an expert witness) who would be able to point out to a jury that “even the manufacturer did not design the pieces to work together, so why did this respondent?”  Avoid the problem, don’t re-engineer what the manufacturer spent valuable time and money to design.
Joseph Hayes, CPP, PSP, SET
All County Security Inc.
joseph@firealarmdesign. net
            Regarding the non-UL installation query, Lior couldn't have given a worse scenario.  If it was all burg I'd say use what you know is best but once you add fire detection to a system, the rules change dramatically and anyone properly trained and licensed must know this.  
            Regardless of whether or not a fire alarm device will function properly has nothing to do with proper design.  If the panel manufacturer was able to get approval as a fire alarm device (in this case residential), it must have documented guidelines as to which devices shall be used. You must use fire alarm devices that are listed for the panel.  When it comes to foreign smoke detectors, usually both companies exchange info and the detector becomes listed for the panel, good business for everyone.  
            Seldom are there any difficulties with 4 wire smokes, but not so with 2 wire smokes.  There's a very popular combo panel that's been sold for years that only has their own manufacture 2 wire smokes listed.  Unfortunately, rules are disregarded and the most popular brand (which works flawlessly) is consistently recommended and sold by the ignorant then installed by the even more ignorant.  (Sorry, there is no room for silly mistakes when it comes to fire.)  Radio brings a new monkey wrench into the works, one I wouldn't even consider altering it with a 10 foot pole, that's a job for the manufacturers.  As usual, all is well until there is a loss and some paid gun has a look at the system.  If the alarm company wasn't compliant in the proper choice of equipment, even the Kirschenbaums will have a hard time helping.     
            There are some things that the new generation of "Lick and Stick" dealers should not try to change even though there is a quick and easy payday at the end.  Learn about proper fire alarm design and installation (even in a residence) or step away from it.  Never know when the Karma dog will come back to bite.  

Subcontractor issue from May 9, 2019 article 
    Great forum. On the subject of subcontractors. Florida State Law forbids alarm companies from using sub-contractors unless they are state licensed themselves. I don't know if you are familiar with Florida Statutes 489 that govern the alarm industry, but I know there are companies that pay their employees as sub-contractors. They are required to be an LLC themselves and have insurance. They get 1099's at the end of the year. But, these sub-contractors are NOT state licensed. I am just wandering how they are getting away with it? I'm sure other companies would love to be able to lease employees or hire sub-contractors but are obeying the law. Any response is greatly appreciated.
  Best Regards,
Isaac Hayden 
Dynamic Security Professionals, Inc. 
    I believe the company that prompted the policy change was Uber. Many people only work for Uber, though they are free to take other work in their spare time. Whether or not they do, Uber is now allowed to classify the drivers as subcontractors which changes the age old qualification that the contractor must work for multiple firms.
    That’s why I brought it up. It is a change in policy
Mitch Cohen
    In Connecticut to hold yourself out as a SUBCONTRACTOR you MUST BE LICENSED AS A CONTRACTOR.
Each technician working on a system MUST HAVE a LICENSE in his/her pocket as a L-6, C-6,E-2 journey person or be a registered apprentice. In order to enter into contracts for services you must hold a L-5, C-5 or E-1 Contractors license.
Contractor level licenses are allowed to do craft work because you MUST complete a period of work as a JOURNEYPERSON before you can become a CONTRACTOR.
  From high atop my soapbox.....
Joel Kent 
    Any jurisdiction that requires a license will require the subcontractor to be licensed or covered under the licensed company hiring the subcontractor, and that looks very much like an employee. Make sure your subcontractor is licensed and insured. You can find plenty of them on The Alarm Exchange in the subcontractor category.

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
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