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Master Alarm Agreement / Fire All In One / Comments On Taking Over Fire Alarm Panel - December 8, 2016

    I read in your news letter about being able to modify your contracts into a master agreement. Can that be done with the Fire All In One and if so how does one go about doing that.
    In this context Master Agreement refers to an agreement that covers multiple locations and future installations.  It's not a single job using a single contract.  
    Not all types of alarm systems lend themselves to a master agreement because each job is so different it would be too difficult to have a single agreement.  Commercial Fire jobs are not likely to lend themselves to a master agreement.  
    But even the Fire All in One, a commercial fire all in one, can be modified to cover multiple locations and future jobs.  While the details of each job will differ the essential terms and conditions would be the same and governed by the single agreement.  Chances are that the modification needed will require assistance of counsel, so you're better off calling me to negotiate and assist with the modifications.  But, be mindful that I'm likely to recommend that you use separate contracts for each job unless you're going to be selling and installing the same system for the same charges in multiple locations.  Commercial security systems on the other hand may very well be identical in a new housing development, apartment building or a franchise that has identical space build-outs.  In that scenario the specs for the installation and the price may be the same so all that you would need is the purchase order or communication to start the next job, all covered by the "master agreement" entered into at the commencement of the alarm company - subscriber relationship.  Again, assistance of counsel is likely going to be helpful with the modification of the All in One form
         We are currently using your 2014 Fire All In One contracts.  Will you have an end of year sale with updates and do we need updates?
    Also, we signed a contract earlier this year with a customer/subscriber for some re-programing and adding a few devices.  Under "service charges" we struck out the "per call " option and went with the recurring revenue service plan.
    Now the customer wants us to do service work on an as needed basis, "per call".
    At the time they signed, I believe that they were only thinking the contract was for that work, not truly looking down the road.  Should we get a new contract signed or will the previous one that was signed suffice? 
Thank you,
    The Fire All in One underwent major changes in 2014, so that is really the cut off year.  Anything earlier needs to be updated.  Since 2014 the Fire All in One, as well as the other All in One agreements, have had many changes.  I suggest that the 2014 contracts should be updated, the 2015 not so much and 2016 not necessary.  Changes are made from time to time and I am sure that they will continue, so have a plan to update every two years.  Updates are free for 6 months and half price within a year of purchase [but not for the updated forms, just original purchase date].  Check with our Contract Administrator Eileen Wagda at 516 747 6700 x 312 to see if you need an update.  
    There might be some "sale" [nothing planned at moment] but the long wait you'll have for the update may not be worth the wait; order now if you need a new contract.
    I am a little confused on what your repair service is presently.  You state that it's the full labor and material recurring revenue plan.  That means your subscriber pays you monthly, or however often you set up the periodic payment schedule and all labor and material is included.  Now the subscriber wants to switch to "per call".  That's OK unless you have incurred a lot of repair service under the plan, finally straightened out the quirks in the system and now hope for much less repair service.  In other words, now you hope to collect your RMR for repair service and not have to do any repair service, at least not for a while.  Your commercial fire subscriber has already signed a Commercial Fire All in One when you added new devices and did repairs.  You can hold the subscriber to that agreement or agree to modify it by changing the service option to "per call" repair service in the All in One; a new contract is therefore not necessary.  If you want to switch service plans then you could use the opportunity to get an updated contract signed.  That's usually the better option for you.  Not only will you be using an updated contract form but you will be re-starting the commencement date of the term of the contract.  On the commercial All in One forms the printed term is 10 years.
    To the original post on December 3 2016. The 5104b can be defaulted to stock and then simply reprogrammed. Most dailers can be dealt with in this manner. Or there is the upsell to a gsm or cellular option. 
    As an ex FDNY Fire Alarm Inspector, this person should know that there is FAIU Bulletin # 08-03-12 and item # 2.2.4. describes the full process for changing a central station by reprogramming the transmitter as well as what is required.   The process does NOT require an inspections if you can provide the five items stated but you must provide all of them in peculiar the Letter of Approval on what is being monitored.  Make note that there are no guarantees that the job is not audited and after the fact require an inspection.   
    As far as the reprogramming of the existing transmitter, Silent Knight transmitters can be defaulted and therefore the password can be changed.   If not here, just do a one for one swap with the transmitter board only in the current cabinet.   
    Next, what this person failed to state is who owns the current transmitter.   Is its leased and owned by someone else.   If so, then none of this applies and yes a full filing and inspection is required since this is now considered a new installation.   The Letter Of Approval requirement would still apply as well.   
    Lastly, there is no form FAIU A-433 anymore or for some time.   It was replaced by the newer and revised A-433B form.   I know this for a fact since I am the one who designed and made it for and on behalf of the FDNY FAIU. 
    Yours truly,
    AV should just call Silent Knight Tech support who will provide a way to default the panel.
I think he means 5104B communicators not 5105B in which case there are 2 methods depending on if the panel was manufactured before or after May of 1998.
Southern California
    I want to respond to your post about the programming codes for fire alarm panels.  In the 2013 NFPA 72, 7.5.3 (4), clearly states that a digital copy of the site specific software shall be provided to the Owner with the closeout documentation.  Site specific software is defined in  None of these mention that the password/code needs to be provided.  That being said, it is clear that throughout NFPA 72, that there are requirements for the "Owner" to maintain the system.  I would take the position that the site specific software should be provided with the password/code.
    How about a practical example?  My church had an older, hardwired panel installed, and the service provide/installer of the system went out of business, and when modifications where needed to the system, the church was locked out of the system.  For various reasons, we are now on the 3rd fire alarm system in 16 years.  This has been expensive for my church.
    How about a theoretical example?  ABC Alarm company in Podunk, KS has been doing a great job in the 250 mile radius from Podunk.  They have a large share of the fire alarm business in that territory, but an F4 tornado walks down the main street of Podunk, ending ABC Alarm and its ownership (sorry guys!!!!).  Now all of those fire alarm systems that don't have a back door will have to be replaced?  Not good.
    How about a good business practice example?  XYZ customer's contract with you has expired, and they want to make a change, for whatever reason; and the new service company needs the code?  You want to fight them over it?  Hold them hostage?  Do you think that the customer will ever have anything good to say about your business, or that when the new guys fall on their sword, that they will come back to you for another try?  Remember the old adage, it takes 10 positives to overcome a single negative...
    I know, I know, I have heard it all before, if the Owner has the code, then anyone can take over my system.  True, but examine the truth here...
     1. If you are using Ken's contracts, and this is attempted before the end of the contract period, I would say you have Mr. Owner by the proverbial....
     2. If it is after the contract period, and you haven't renewed them, shame on you..., you left the door open
     3. If you are providing great service w/respect to service calls, monitoring, and I&T at a competitive market rate, then are you at risk?  Maybe, maybe not
    In this time, where we keep asking for corporations and government to have transparency, doesn't it just make good business sense that we are too?
    Finally, a recommendation for where to keep this information is on the Record of Completion.  Remember this is a living document with the system, and it should be updated when system changes or modifications are made.  I also strongly urge you to use a document box with a hard copy, and the software and a PDF version of all hard copies on a CD or thumb drive.
    Okay, enough said, and I am now bracing for incoming if Ken chooses to post.  Merry Christmas to all....
Dave Miller, SET, Principal
MCG Design Services