Sunday, February 20, 2011

Do you need a permit?

Why do I need to file permits and get training and follow the National Electrical Code
It is only Low voltage wiring

Once again I have had to break off from doing subcontract electrical or Security/Fire systems work because the company I was doing work for does not want to comply with building code laws.
It seems like an Industry wide practice because only 12/24 volts Dc or AC wiring is involved with, there is no need to get involved with Following codes the anwer is They are Dead wrong.
It is exactly this lazy attitude which puts lives at risk and your as a Firefighter at risk every time you step into a burning structure.

All low voltage wiring comes under the statutes of the NFPA National Electrical code
and it is Specifically listed under class types of 1 , 2 and 3 in Article 725
and 800 etc plus it comes under many other areas of various codes.

Unfortunately if you took a poll of companies who do low voltage wiring you would find less than 30% even now there suppose to follow NEC and other codes and unfortunately there work shows every time one of there installers drills a gas pipe or electric wire or runs the wrong wire
with its flammable jacket which can put off highly toxic fumes that have been run in duct work or runs wiring incorrectly around explosive atmospheres or tries playing Electrician .And studies of the low voltage industries ( Cable ,Phone ,Alarm )shows that education of installers is sorely lacking. In fact you may be surprised how many are not even High School Graduates.
The last Company I was working for had a Commercial Sales Rep out there specking out Fire Alarm
Systems with absolutely no Idea what the codes are what permits, plan filing etc or what had to be used.
and when I submitted the bill for all the stuff she forgot to figure in the bid I had to install so it would meet code I got nothing but grief.
Seems many of these companies have no Idea the amount of liability they leave them selves open to when they do there work. In Particular the Alarm Industry thinks it has shielded it self from liabilities by making customers sign an Exculpalary Clause in there contracts(check your own alarm contract its in there) that they can not be sued even if they Gross negligently install the alarm . and so far for the most part Courts around the country have allowed these clauses to stand .A very large mistake in my opinion , I have been at industry events and heard Alarm companies brag how there suit protected.
just imagine any other industry or business that you can charge a customer for thousands of dollars in product put it in gross negligently and then not be held accountable for it .When it fails
I do not require my customers to sign an Exculpalary clause but then again I try my best to put all my Integrity into designing and installing there alarm correctly in the first place. But many Companies figure since they are covered under the Exculpalary clause they can and do get away with any thing they please. Of course they think I am crazy because I still do alarm Deals on a gentleman’s Hand Shake.
.This even goes as far as required permits they feel it is the customers responsibility to make sure there are permits issued not the Alarm company’s .Of course some company’s gambled and lost it is now to the point in the industry that small company’s like my self can not get or afford Errors and Omissions or Completed Operations insurance because so many large judgments have been won against alarm company’s. and it is getting this way with general liability insurance also .In my previous articles I have pointed out all the wrong things being done by Installers and in Pennsylvania alone there are many major suits being launched against Alarm company’s the latest to come about is a 2,000,000.00 dollar suit against a large national company in York pa.
a couple lost there home even though they put in a sophisticated fire/Security system .A Fire started and even when the wife hit the manual alarm buttons the fire alarm had failed to operate.
While working for this last Alarm company Often times I would call the 911 center to warn them
that we were doing a hot test of the fire alarm to make sure the central station was doing its job
and the 911 center never got the call and if they did it was 15-20 minutes before the central station called 911 .I reported this problem thru proper channels and nothing was done
and afterwards I started notifying the alarm Owners and Fire marshals to the problem hoping
enough pressure would be put on this company to change there practices.
And once again I am preaching to the choir.

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