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Removing Fire Alarm System - Do You Need A Permit? How About For Shutting Down Monitoring? / Comment On How To Handle Claim - January 13, 2017


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REMOVING FIRE ALARM SYSTEM - DO YOU NEED A PERMIT? HOW ABOUT FOR SHUTTING DOWN MONITORING? 
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    We know that fire alarm systems are different than other alarm systems.  For one thing they are not optional; the subscriber has to get a fire alarm and has to have it inspected, serviced and monitored.  Only question the subscriber needs to consider is what alarm company it will engage and whether it will buy or lease the fire alarm system.  Most fire alarm systems are sold and then installed, but some alarm companies will only lease their systems, including commercial fire.  And even fire alarm systems that are sold can be liened.  The Standard Fire All in One provides for a security interest in the installed equipment, which means the equipment is collateral for the payment and can be removed if not payment is not made. 
    Commercial fire alarm installations require a permit.  Plans and specifications need to be filed and approved by the AHJ.  Once installed the fire alarm system needs to be inspected by the AHJ.  Generally the AHJ isn't that interested in the Fire Alarm Agreement between the alarm company and the owner, and certainly not interested in the specific terms and conditions of the agreement.  The AHJ is concerned with one issue, have the plans been approved, does the installation comply with the demands, and if for any reason the AHJ changes it's mind, have the changes been implemented.  If not, a violation is issued.  
    So, getting to the topic at hand, it's time to take the fire alarm out, or to terminate monitoring services, for any reason [default or just end of the contract term].  The contract may address when and how that is accomplished, but as pointed out above, the AHJ doesn't give a hoot about your contract.  The AHJ requires compliance with its rules.
    An alarm company [I'm sworn to secrecy] solicited an opinion from a Fire Marshal about removing a fire alarm system.  Here is the AHJ response, which I think is clear enough:
    "Well, if the contractor wants to remove an existing fire alarm system, they need a permit to do so. Any removal without a permit would be subject to stop work order, fines and a complaint with the SFMO/DBPR. I would even issue civil citations if caught in the act of removal without a permit. Zero tolerance."
    So the question I pose to you, have you removed a fire alarm system, disconnected the system or terminated monitoring, without notifying the AHJ?  Do you now if you're supposed to notify the AHJ in your jurisdiction?  You need to know.
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COMMENT ON HOW TO HANDLE CLAIM FROM ARTICLE ON JANUARY 12, 2017
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Ken
    Your advice on how to handle a fire loss and claim is good advice for any kind of claim,
Bart A. Didden, Executive Claims Manager
Security America Risk Retention Group - SARRG
877-872-1266
bdidden@securityamericarrg.com 
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