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Damage during installation / Multiple locations and add-ons
August 9, 2019
Damage during installation
            During alarm installations we are often required to move furniture, décor, empty closets, rummage around in attics and actions of the sort.  This has always been standard practice. What happens when we damage a client’s asset while doing so?
            What if the client  helped with the move . Example, move a glass table and it breaks. Are we covered with the All in One contract?  We recently sold asset  devices  that  assemble to the backs of paintings.  Several of the paintings exceed one million dollars.  A coworker was surprised to find out that I refused to install them or handle the paintings. What if a painting is damaged because the owner dropped it to present it to me for the self-sticking device to be adhered to it?              Is a technician personally liable if company standard operating procedure is not to touch expensive items? Your thoughts?
            Damage during installation should be a concern everyone in the alarm industry has.  It’s a concern shared by every other contractor that works on customer premises.  Careful as you may be, the possibility of damage is always a threat.  
            The Standard Form Agreements do have “protective” provisions that reduce the likelihood you will be sued, and limit the exposure.  Though these protective provisions are designed to insulate you from claims for alarm failure, these provisions can be invoked to shield or reduce exposure for damage caused during installation.
            We don’t, however, invoke the protective provisions all the time when damage is caused during installation.  Breaking the glass table is a good example.  That’s something that could happen to any contractor.  One modification I often make when negotiating with subscribers is to agree that the alarm company will be liable for damage caused while actually working on the subscriber’s premises; a concession you don’t have to make.
            Many contractors, alarm and non-alarm, have a policy of not moving furniture or working in areas that are inaccessible or that have hazardous conditions; It’s a good policy.  
            When you are working with expensive personalty, such as paintings, you would not want to change the printed provisions of the All in One agreement, and you should emphasize in the Schedule of Equipment and Services that you will have no responsibility for any damage to these items.  
            The All in One will protect the company and its workers, as long as the workers are working within the scope of their employment.  Just because you have a policy of not moving furniture does not mean that your employee who decides to move furniture is acting outside the scope of employment.  An employee who is negligent can be sued for negligence.  The employer can be sued for breach of contract and under certain circumstances, negligence.  Employees acting within the scope of their employment are entitled to indemnity from the employer.
            Confused?  Just use the All in One forms, the Disclaimer Notice, and carry enough insurance.
Multiple locations and add-ons
            A couple of years ago, you wrote an article on using a single contract to provide services to multiple systems/locations.  A typical application was for a School District that was consistently adding new schools to an existing contract.  Is this still an acceptable practice?
            I assume that the same Rider could be used to add additional services to an existing Contract (e.g., add Test and Inspect services to an existing Monitoring Contract)?
Dorsie M
            We offer a Rider for Multiple Location to be used with the All in One agreements [Commercial or Fire].  This rider would be used when the subscriber expects to add additional locations.  It can be used when the system and price at each location is the same, or when each location will have its own scope of work and pricing.
            For add-ons you would use the Supplemental Rider.  We give you this Rider when you buy the All in One agreement.  This Rider is used to add or change equipment or services after the All in One has been signed, during the installation or shortly thereafter.  If some time has gone by since the installation and additional equipment or services are requested it would be better practice to get a new All in One signed, though you could use the Supplemental Rider.

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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