“Testing is really expensive, isn’t it?”
“Didn’t we just certify last year?”
“Why is our insurance company threatening to end our policy?”
Questions like these come up a lot, especially when it comes to life safety systems. These testing requirement intervals are based on the NFPA standards. All AHJ’s require testing of fire alarm and fire suppression systems at specific intervals. This typically includes quarterly, semi-annual, annual and 5-year inspections of certain elements of the fire suppression and alarm systems. These tests and inspections are designed to ensure proper operation of your systems and have possible repercussions for your insurance premium or even your policy’s existence.
If your test and inspections are not up to date with certifications, and an initiating device or sprinklers fail then bigger problems can occur and the potential for loss is greater. In the event, loss occurs as a result of a malfunctioning system the insurance company can deny your claim or even cancel your policy. Most insurance companies have a non-renewal compliance program, which says the insured person, group, location or entity will not be able to renew their insurance policy until they are up to date with their fire and life safety inspections. On the other hand, many insurance companies offer discounts for keeping inspections current without prompting.
At our core, Statcomm is all about prevention and helping to prevent the loss of life and property from fires and life safety threats. We are committed to helping you maintain your fire and life safety initiating devices along with fire suppression systems stay up to date with their certifications and ensuring your life safety systems are ready in the event they are needed. Our auto-renewing contracts for testing and inspections offer a hassle-free way to help keep your fire alarm, fire sprinkler and fire suppression systems compliant with AHJ regulations and your insurance company.
One of the chief objections we hear at Statcomm concerns the cost of a five-year inspection. If the inspections cost $5,000, this may seem like a lot of money all at once. However, consider the following scenario.
Two apartment complexes, right across the street from each other, are insured by the same insurance carrier and come due for five-year inspections at the same time. The complex on the left has their five-year inspection; the one on the right doesn’t, citing cost concerns. A couple of months later, a fire breaks out in both complexes at the same time.
The occupants of the complex on the left get plenty of warning, allowing them to escape without injury. The fire alarm and suppression systems work flawlessly to minimize property damage. While the insurance company isn’t exactly delighted to have to write that check, they acknowledge the owners of the complex on the left did their due diligence and so worked to reduce the loss associated with the fire. No one was injured, no one died, and the minor cosmetic damage and modest losses could have been a great deal worse.
The occupants of the complex on the right aren’t so fortunate. A pair of key system components have failed, causing the alarms not to sound and the sprinklers not to go off. A few people die and many more are injured due to burns or smoke inhalation. By the time the fire department arrives, the buildings are fully involved and end up burning down to the foundations. The insurance company reviews the testing and inspection records and determines the incident, and associated losses of life and property numbering in the millions of dollars were preventable and the result of negligence on the part of the governing board. Citing noncompliance, the carrier declines all claims against the complex’s policy, leaving hundreds of people homeless and a number of people needlessly dead and injured. The HOA board, especially the president, will most likely be considered liable for any damages as they were at fault.
All to save $5,000?
At Statcomm, we strive to strike the best possible balance between budget-conscious service and thorough inspection, to help prevent losses before they can be incurred. Our suite of life safety testing and inspection services are designed to keep your complex, community or multi-occupant building compliant with the local AHJ and your insurance carrier, so you’re prepared for fires or other life safety emergencies. Contact our Business Development Team today at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how Statcomm can help bring your community into compliance!
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