Recently we have seen several incidents in which Mijac Alarm clients have been contacted, or in some cases visited (business accounts) by scam artists, claiming to be alarm company employees. The person calling is stating that they are technicians who need to service the fire alarm system even going so far as to leave a bill for “services” performed on a commercial account.
There are three different types of fire alarm inspections that may be completed at a local business depending on building codes. The first completed by the City’s Fire Department is to check on general overall fire codes. They come by once a year to most businesses and look at the fire extinguisher compliance, electrical cord problems, exit pathways etc. They currently do this at no charge.
The second type of fire alarm test for a building is an inspection on the sprinkler system. This is required by most cities once every 5 years. They test the pressure of the pipes and make sure the sprinkler heads and coverage are in compliance. This report may be forwarded to the building owner’s insurance company or the City officials. The sprinkler company charges a one time charge each 5 years and may recommend updates to bring the system into compliance.
The third type of fire alarm inspection completed for a building would take place on the “fire prevention” or “water flow” system. Devices might include smoke detectors, heats or manual pull stations along with any annunciators such as a horn or strobe. Also included would be any type of water flow monitoring device attached to the sprinklers. This test should ONLY be done by the authorized Fire Alarm Company who does the buildings fire monitoring under contract with either the building owner, landlord or tenant as the case may be.
This third test is the one you are referring to. Several of our clients have reported a 2 man crew showing up to their building with a clipboard and asking for a signature of authorization to proceed with the fire test. The billing can be upwards of several thousand dollars and since the customer has signed for it and the crew has performed the work, an expectation of pay is forthcoming.
Please warn your customers to make sure they know who their fire and burglar alarm company is. Do not sign for something unless you know it is the correct company you may have already contracted to do this for you. At Mijac Alarm, our maintenance and testing schedule is billed along with the monitoring charges so the customer never receives a separate billing for this service.
While it is true that during these tough times, shysters will pop up trying to take advantage of you, selecting a well established security company is a good first choice. As with all service providers entering your home or business, ask for documentation that they actually work for the company they represent. All Mijac Alarm employees wear a shirt with the Mijac Alarm logo, carry a Mijac Alarm Identification Card and drive a Mijac Alarm vehicle. The exception to this would be a manager or a sales representative of the company, who will have an identification card, as well as a business card stating they are employees of Mijac Alarm.
If you are suspicious of anyone who you feel is misrepresenting Mijac Alarm, ask for the employees identification card or call our office to verify that an appointment was scheduled. In the event that this is not a Mijac Alarm representative, please contact your local police department.
During these difficult times unscrupulous thieves prey on unsuspecting people wherever they find an opportunity. Don’t let this happen to you. Trust your instincts and help us broadcast “Burglars Beware!”
For more information on this and other solutions to your problems, don’t hesitate to call on one of our terrific sales representatives.
Yours for better security,
Steve Sopkin, President