It was time for the hardwood floors in my house to be refinished. As I prepared for the flooring guys arrival, I began moving furniture and clearing out appliances. No small feat, but it had to be done. As I was moving the washer and dryer out of the laundry room I noticed the carbon monoxide detector on the wall. Note to self: call my alarm company and put that zone on test - expecting the fumes would set it off. I kept on with the tasks at hand and I forgot the note to self and to call. This is where it gets interesting.
The flooring was sanded and my wife, Luette, and I made plans to stay with friends as the smell of the stain and poly finish coats made sleeping in the house impossible. The next day I stopped by the house to check on the progress of the job. I saw the workers had their respirator packs on while they worked and it reminded me that I had forgotten to put the C.O. detector on test. Thankfully, it had not activated. I grabbed some Saran Wrap and covered the unit that was in the laundry room.
As you know, carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas that mixes with air. It does not rise or fall. It is a byproduct of combustion. My C.O is in the laundry room where the hot water heater is located and it is adjacent to my garage should a car be left running.
After the floors were completed and we were back in our house, I realized I had not removed the Saran Wrap from the detector. When I removed the plastic wrap I decided to test it. I pressed the test button – nothing. Hmmm. I called my alarm company (my wife and I started the company and sold it in 2009) to find out what zone the C.O. was on and to verify the programming. To my surprise, there was no zone listed for the for the C.O detector and it was not in the program.
My research into the installation file revealed that the device was installed in 2001. I have had a number of annual inspections since then to verify the operation of all devices. No service ticket showed the device was not functioning, all said “tested devices to monitoring station all OK.” Yet, the device was not operating. I had the unit replaced this week but it caused me to ponder what the potential liability would be if this happened to your company.
If a C.O. detector that you installed failed and the owner of the premises died of C.O. poisoning you would, no doubt, be sued by the victim’s family. Your insurance company would provide your defense and need to understand what you do as an alarm company, how these components function, and why your contract protects you and your company from these types of suits.
At Security America Risk Retention Group we understand your business because it is our business. Our teams of lawyers don’t need to be brought up to speed on your industry because they are well versed in alarm systems and alarm company’s defense. You want an experienced team at your side during the most difficult of times. You want Security America.
The moral of this story is a simple one. Demand that your technicians verify that every device they install is functioning as designed and is tested through to your monitoring station. Lives depend upon it.
And when it’s time to renew your insurance, call Security America.