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Taking Over Fire Alarm And Needs Codes - December 3, 2016

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TAKING OVER FIRE ALARM AND NEEDS CODES
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Ken
    We are a client of yours and have a question about dealers changing default pass code on the fire alarm external communicator.  Our customer is changing central station account to us and the current dealer changed the pass codes on the Silent Knight 5105b communicators.  Is there anything we can do, or does the customer has to pay us to change the communicators out, which then includes a A433 form from a licensed electrical and then I have to get an inspection from the FDNY.
    As a former FDNY electrical inspector I can tell you that the paperwork and process is timely.
Any suggestions,
Thanks
AV
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RESPONSE
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    Shoe's on the other foot on this one.  When this "new" customer signs on with you [and you probably eat the cost of the new panel] you are going to have the subscriber sign the Commercial Fire All in One.  If you have an updated version of that agreement your subscriber is going to be signing an agreement that provides that you own all the Intellectual Property related to that fire alarm system.  That includes all the codes and all the programming, none of which needs to be disclosed, ever.  Does that give you a competitive advantage to retain that account?  Yes, I think it does and that is the intention of the provision.
    A few caveats.  I believe NFPA may have a guideline that codes or passwords should be revealed.  You would have to know if your jurisdiction adopted that NFPA regulation [assuming I am right that there is such a regulation - anyone know?]  If there is a law requiring you to disclose the codes then your contract will contradict the statute.  You can get around this easily by the way, just lease the system.  Then not only do you own the codes, programming but also the entire system, equipment and wire too.  Just ask AFA Protective has that works out [very well, for them].  
    You might be able to divert the communication from the alarm panel without compromising the alarm system or violating codes in your jurisdiction.  I know there are such devices for alarm systems but not sure if they can be or should be used for commercial fire.  Better check with the AHJ.
    Better yet, sell a new panel, reprogram the system and be sure to inspect the entire system.  Once you take it over you are going to be responsible for that system and first party on the hit list if there is a fire loss.
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