When your association wants to install a fire alarm, there are a few things that you need to know before hiring a company to install it.
1. Is the company a “UL” listed contractor? Many cities and counties in the State of Florida require that the company you hire to install the fire alarm is a “UL” listed contractor. Ask to see a copy of the “UL” certificate.
2. The next important question to ask before hiring a company to install a fire alarm is whether the company has an EF or EC license. A company that has an EC license can do everything related to a job, including electrical. A company that only has an EF license cannot do electrical. You need to ask the company to show you a copy of their license.
3. You need to ask to see a copy of their liability insurance policy. The purpose is to make sure the company is insured and that the policy has not expired.
4. Ask to have the association listed as an additional insured on the company’s insurance policy. Make sure your contract includes this requirement and that this must be done before the job begins.
5. Call your local fire marshal and ask him/her if he is aware of this company. Ask the fire marshal is he or she has had any problems, complaints or code violations with this company.
6. As with any company, ask for references and the company history.
If a company tells you that they are insured, licensed and a “UL” contractor, it will not help your association unless you ask to see the documentation. You need to verify that the contractor is telling you the truth.
7. Since every building and situation is different, you should consult with an attorney before signing a contract. You attorney should be able to advise you on how to protect your association.