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still more on grandfathering fire alarm systems and AHJ issues /  concealed carry permit
June 15,  2017
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still more on grandfathering fire alarm systems and AHJ issues
    This is in response to SG's comments on June 7, 2017 regarding NYC and AHJ issues.
    SG, first please do us a favor and provide your true identity here and in LinkedIn discussion groups. I think we all want to know, who is the man behind the mask.
    Okay, yes, I work primarily in the Pacific NW, but I have clients in throughout the USA and have done work international work as well.  So, not the center of the world where I am, but I think my experience and knowledge stands on its own merits.  (By the way, I am in the center of the Oregon wine country, so not a bad place to be...., especially if you like Pinot Noir....)
1. If you don't ask, you can't get a written response.  And yes, many AHJs won't take the time, interest or care to do it; but personally, if you are willing to enforce it, you should be willing to document it.  One of my biggest peeves is that you have the discussion with an AHJ and they don't stand up for what they said prior to the review, or like you state, the Inspector tries to apply his own ideas in the field.  Ultimately, this hurts the end user, because they can't be assured of set price going in to the work.
2. If you as a contractor/installer or designer/engineer of the system, have had the discussion with the AHJ, and they won't respond in writing, then send them an email summarizing the conversation, and request that they reply to confirm or re-state their requirement in reply.  Again, they may not comply, but you have the start of a document trail. If they acknowledge that email and that it is correct, then share with the Owner.
3. Licensed Engineer?????  I don't assume that all "licensed engineers" are competent in fire alarm design; and there aren't enough "competent, licensed engineers" around the USA to cover the needs of the fire alarm industry.  This is why many states and local jurisdictions are moving to require proof of a NICET Level III or IV in fire alarm on the drawings.  Some states have even created a "stamp" for NICET (as I understand it); examples are Ohio and Texas.  When placing my designer info on a drawing, I have a statement below "THIS IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS A STAMP", so that I am in compliance with NICET's requirements.
    So SG, you are correct, I do have a glass half-full outlook, but I set the bar high, and then make ethical and moral compromises to accommodate the daily realities of the industry.  By the way, based on my approach in the last three years, I believe that I am running in the high 90's for no change orders to my fire alarm design projects.  I think my way works....., and I think my clients agree that it works.
    Thanks Ken.
Dave Miller, SET
MCG Design Services
    You shouldn’t need to ask what their requirements are, the codes are published for all to see.    These codes exist so you don’t have to ask for their opinion.   You are the expert, not them.    They have no authority to do anything except to enforce the adopted codes and standards.  The AHJ doesn’t have requirements, the state does.   The AHJ is the enforcement section.    There must be a basis in the code for EVERYTHING they do.  Big city or small, if they are making it up, report it to the state building officials since this is the foundation for graft.
Greg K
    Some construction situations may require exercise of discretion, and that's going to be the discretion of the AHJ.  Working with them rather than against them would be the path of least resistance.
concealed carry permit
    What is your take on the legality of an alarm installer or service tech carrying a concealed weapon? (obviously there are places with the no gun signs)
    Alarm industry people have the same rights as others, and that includes the right to bear arms.  If your employee mishandles his weapon while working the employer is likely to be included in any civil lawsuit for damages.  There is insurance available for those with a license to carry a concealed weapon.  Probably be good idea to get that coverage.  Not sure if your E&O policy would cover that kind of claim. [probably would be covered in a Guard insurance policy, but not sure about alarm / fire policies.  Would be nice to hear from some of the insurance brokers listed on the alarm exchange who have been too lazy, too shy, too something, to respond to issues lately.
    I suppose it would be acceptable to have a policy that employees not be armed.

Good News Announcements:
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC adds two new attorneys to its Alarm Division:  Jonathan Rogoff, Esq., has been promoted from Law Clerk to Staff Attorney in the Alarm Licensing Division.  Kieran Bastible,Esq. has joined the firm as counsel in the Complex Litigation Division.  Maureen Beil and Alision Gallub join the litigation department.


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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
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