Security Dealer & Integrator

SEP 2018

Find news and information for the executive corporate security director, CSO, facility manager and assets protection manager on issues of policy, products, incidents, risk management, threat assessments and preparedness.

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Page 76 of 84

S mall or careless errors in project estimation, docu- mentation and education can be silently waiting for the alignment of the right set of circumstances to create what may be a catastrophic issue. I have put together a list of some of the ills that may be endangering your employees, customers and, ultimately, your company. If you recognize any of these errors, omissions and shortcom- ings as ones you may have committed, it should give you pause. Some may simply cause you stress; however, oth- ers will directly equate to loss of profit. If you would like to add to this list, write a short description in an e-mail to Errors on Estimates and Proposals 1. Failure to include the cost of the permit/plan inspection fees. When quoting a job, stipulate who will be paying these fees – you or the cus- tomer. You could even make it an item the customer has to initial when they accept your proposal. ese costs can run hundreds of dollars (sometimes thousands), so it is not something you want to forget, or decide at a later date. 2. Failure to ask for the ongoing test and inspection contract. is con- tract is the cherry on top of the sun- dae that makes your new fire alarm job an even more lucrative asset. In addition to the profit, you will be back in the building at least every year, which may enable you to see potential building expansions early and provide additional services. 3. Omitting the costs for under- ground cables and required lightning protection. Both of these items are required at each end of an outdoor fire alarm circuit, and they should be included in the total price estimate to your customer. At each point where a circuit enters or leaves another building, a lightning arrestor is required – either over- head or underground. e lightning arrestor must be UL "fire alarm" listed under #497B. 4. ere is no clause in your con- tract that clearly states that in the case of any changes to the project, the cost to the customer will be adjusted to reflect the change. Anything that alters your parts or labor must be accounted for by a payment adjust- ment or you will be nickeled and dimed to the point that all you do is worry, and spend time trying to iden- tify and address all the changes. Documentation Errors 1. Failure to provide the required paperwork and tags. It can cost a mere $10 to get it right the first time (visit for more information). 2. Failure to provide a Test Plan and/ or a statement describing what you will be testing and what you are not testing. For example, let's suppose that you are testing the activation of a smoke detector and relay – you would not want the customer to think that systems or equipment involving other trades are included, such as HVAC or elevator controls. 3. As-built or "record drawings" are not provided for each and every job. When you turn in submittals to the Plan Approval Department, you pro- vide four or five (perhaps six) copies – but minimally according whatever the jurisdiction requires. ey will, how- ever, stamp as many as you provide for the same fee. Submit as many as you need to keep one or two approved copies in your office, and another on the job site, per NFPA 72. Your installer should pencil on that copy any notes and lit- tle changes. Combine and transfer all these changes to the clean office sets and these become the as-builts that you will have to provide the customer and the AHJ at the Final Acceptance Test. 76 Security Dealer & Integrator / September 2018 Fire & Life Safety BY GREG KESSINGER, SET, CFPS, IMSA, CDT, ICC Little Mistakes Can Be Big Trouble Avoid these common errors to increase profit potential on fire alarm business Anything that alters your parts or labor must be accounted for by a payment adjustment or you will be nickeled and dimed to the point that all you do is worry."

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