You can read all of our articles on our website.  Having trouble getting our emails?   Change your spam controls and white list 
follow up on what do electricians know about fire alarms 
December 22, 2018
follow up on what do electricians know about fire alarms from December 14, 2018
            Your statement in your December 14, 2018 article on the ability of electrical contractor when it comes to fire alarm systems could not be more wrong.   Local # 3 includes that training in their apprenticeship courses.   What makes you believe that the burglar/fire alarm industry possess all the training that is necessary?   Those who are in the fire alarm business have what is necessary in addition to the state license (NICET, FDNY COF S97/98 & 78, manufactures training consisting of many days (not just one with a sales product pitch) and more, NFPA courses as well as ongoing training as required etc.).   The so called alarm industry, some but not all attended a licensing course and maybe a manufactures of one day course and now they are experts?   Ask most of these firms if they even know that codes are in affect and if they own the code books necessary to refer to.   The answer will be no in most cases.   So how can you do this work when you do not know the code and installation requirements?   Electrical contractors known the electrical code as it applies to fire alarm systems, method and wiring ways not like many in the alarm industry.   Electrical contractor know how to run piping and wiring.   Electrical contractors know the proper installation techniques as stated in the electrical code.   Electrical contractors know the proper ground methods other than to just attaching a grounding wire to an electrical outlet and think that’s it.   To state that they only have the ability to make the electrical power connection is incorrect.   Perhaps you (Ken) should take a day trip to a large fire alarm job being installed in the city in order to get your fact straight and understand why this is electrical contractors work.   By the way there is a whole division associated with Local # 3 that addresses communication installation including the internet that you believe only the alarm industry knows about, once again with minimum training.
            Lastly, maybe Gene should investigate some of the electrical work being done in the city.   If he does he will see that many large jobs are being done by non-union electrical firms and this is not new.   This especially applies to very large high rise residential jobs.   So what he states is not limited to unions but applies to many if not most special interest groups (unions are in the bed with the politicians), what else is new?   That why lobbyists exist and will always exist.   It also depends where you stand, like if you are on the receiving side I am sure that you would not complain would you, but on the losing side you do?   When the industry is willing to put its money where its mouth is maybe this will change and the likelihood of that is very slim to none.   Welcome to America!
Yours truly
Richard can’t stand me!   The beach is upset about a grain of sand on it.   Long live large companies!
            In the December 14, 2018 article Mitch Cohen wrote:
            "While an electrician certainly knows how to run wires and conduit, most know little if anything about properly protecting any premises. Designing, planning, and Installing a security system involves knowledge and skills aside from simple wiring. The law is supposed to protect the public from firms that don’t know what they are doing."
            In my response I wrote:
            " What experience would an electrician have that qualifies him for engage in alarm and security work?  Probably none.  Electricians focus on 110v and the alarm industry, for the most part, plugs its systems into an outlet unless the system is entirely wireless powered by batteries.  The Internet router that the wireless system connects with is not installed by alarm companies typically.  The only direct connect to 110v would be the fire alarm panel which is hard wired in commercial systems.  We can agree that an electrician should make that hook-up, and a licensed alarm company should be permitted to subcontract that service to an electrician.  Because of that hook-up NYC requires that only electrician install fire alarm systems.  The reality is that electricians don't know how to install fire alarm system and those installations are done by licensed alarm companies specializing in commercial fire, some of whom employ electricians."
            I stand by my earlier comment, though I should point out that I was generalizing.  Obviously some electricians are expert fire alarm technicians and contractors; they are the exception.  Some electricians are finding their way into the alarm industry; I know because they buy alarm contracts and have alarm industry questions.  But in NYC, where the Fire Department requires electricians to install the fire alarms, it's not uncommon for the electrician to be hired by the general contractor, and then for the electrician to hire the fire alarm company as a subcontractor.  The fire alarm company helps design the system, working with the architect, the electrician pulls the wire, but the alarm company installs the fire detection devices and programs the system; the electrician hard wires the panel.
            Of course there are exceptions.

NOTICE:  You can always read our emails on our website at

alarm classifieds alarm security contractsThis area is reserved for alarm classifieds, alarm company announcements, solicitations, offers, etc. Those wishing to sell or buy; borrow or lend; dealer program or dealer; central stations; insurance brokers; business  brokers, insurance companies. Equipment to sell; looking for employees; subcontractors; mergers;

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 posting, please send an email to  To create a reciprocal link to our website, click here.
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
516 747 6700