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Why spend so much time on contracts / AHJ wants additional equipment
July 27, 2019
Why spend so much time on contracts   
            Every so often someone will comment to me with their astute observation that many [most] of my articles and discussion on this forum are about the contracts.  I’ve given those comments considerable thought and I can honestly say, guilty as charged.
            But I’ve also figured out why.  I think it’s because I didn’t go to medical school and practice medicine, nor can I come up with enough good recipes to make this a good forum for chefs.  This forum is not about chopped liver.
            Coincidentally this forum is for alarm – security – fire – home automation professionals, and I happen to be a lawyer familiar with that area of practice.   
            It’s also fortuitous that contracts happen to be the most important asset you will acquire in your alarm business.  Your success in the alarm industry is in direct correlation with your RMR under contract.  
            I want to thank everyone for contributing to this forum.  Your remarks enhance the content and provide invaluable information and exchange of ideas.  If you’re thinking about sending in a comment, please do.  You all should know that this forum is read by thousands of alarm professionals daily and I am confident that the daily circulation equals or exceeds all other communications to the alarm industry.  
            I hope you have time to visit our website,  You will find a wealth of information for the alarm industry, and other areas of law as well, because K&K’s practice is not limited to the alarm industry.
AHJ wants additional equipment
            Recently we were awarded a fire alarm bid. The scope of the bid indicated fire alarm installed to code, NFPA72 and local code compliance.
            Upon our design we referenced all codes required to fulfill the project. Submitted the drawings for filing but were rejected. Due to the size of the project and occupancy the fire marshal requested many additional devices that superseded the local codes / bid scope requirements.
            The construction management wants us to provide these additional devices as per original bid scope at no additional cost.
            Can this be legal? For example, if they want 500 more devices can we be accountable for such a demand?
            Please let me know your thoughts
            If you have the Fire All in One then you have specified the equipment you are installing and the contract states that anything additional required by the AHJ must be paid for by the subscriber.
            It’s not clear what you agreed to in the bid.  You may very well have agreed to provide and install whatever the AHJ demands.  You would be foolish to agree to that.  Agreeing to code and NFPA does give you parameters; you should know what is required before signing the contract or accepting a bid award.  
            You would be foolish to sign a contract that provided that you would install “whatever the subscriber wants”.  That contract could probably be challenged successfully.  Don’t get into that kind of bind.
            The All in One agreements provide that any equipment or service required by AHJ or subscriber that is not in the contract will be provided at additional charge.
            If you use the Standard Form Agreements then I know what you are proposing and agreeing to.  Once you use a different form or change the form, I have no idea what trouble you are getting into, and neither do you, so don’t do it without having the alternate or altered form reviewed by knowledgeable counsel, if it’s not me, then call that attorney when the quicksand reaches your neck.

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301