Ensure Access Control Systems Are A-OK by AHJ

Failure to comply with requirements issued by authorities having jurisdiction when designing and installing access control systems could lead to serious or even fatal injury.

When designing and installing access control systems it is critical that you comply with each of the requirements of the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) and then take the necessary steps to ensure their proper implementation.

Failure to do so could lead to serious or even fatal injury to someone since the flawed design and installation of this particular type of system could potentially delay, impede and/or trap the occupant(s) from exiting in an emergency.

In light of all that, you must recognize each of the inherent risks and always fully test each of the systems that you are contracted to install, service and maintenance. In the event that you ever find a dangerous access control system or something else that could delay, impede and/or trap the occupants inside a building, always notify building management and the AHJ.

Ensure that your communications can be verified, such as by getting the information noted and signed for by building management on one of your work orders, and by using Certified Mail/Return Receipt Requested delivery service.

Finally, all contracts for access control systems must be drafted by legal counsel familiar with our industry to help minimize your liability exposure with claims relating to these types of systems. In other words, a burglar alarm, fire alarm and/or monitoring contract should never be utilized instead of having the appropriate contract in place with each of your subscribers who want this particular type of access control service and system.

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Tagged with: AHJs Access Control

About the Author


Jeffrey D. Zwirn, CPP, CFPS, CFE, FACFEI, CHS-IV, SET, CCI, FASI&T, MBAT, writes Security Sales & Integration’s “Security Science” column. He is also president of IDS Research and Development, an alarm and security consultation, expert witness and training authority providing nationwide services on all issues related to alarm and security matters. He can be reached at 800-353-0733.

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