Fire Alarm Distributors

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NJMoo3652
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Fire Alarm Distributors

Postby NJMoo3652 » Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:54 pm

So I was looking to pick up a system sensor carbon monoxide detector from my local ADI Global Dist. branch but I soon found out that they wouldn't sell to the public. What's the reasoning behind this and do all fire alarm distributors only sell to companies?
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Robert A
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Re: Fire Alarm Distributors

Postby Robert A » Mon Apr 03, 2017 4:05 pm

They do this because fire alarm equipment isn't like consumer electronics. They're not meant to be purchased by everyone - only installers and contractors to be installed once.
Of course, they wouldn't want to be held liable in case a hobbyist bought a product from them, attempted to use it in an unlicensed installation, and it ended up not working properly or resulted in burning a house down.
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firefreak57
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Re: Fire Alarm Distributors

Postby firefreak57 » Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:13 pm

NJMoo3652 wrote:So I was looking to pick up a system sensor carbon monoxide detector from my local ADI Global Dist. branch but I soon found out that they wouldn't sell to the public. What's the reasoning behind this and do all fire alarm distributors only sell to companies?


eBay's your best bet, or you can try calling System Sensor and ordering it from them directly if they let you, but that might cost more money rather than buying from eBay because companies will charge you the MSRP (Standard Retail Price) rather than someone just guessing the product's value.
You could try calling your local distributor's office and seeing what they charge for it, but they probably want to install it themselves due to the liability and all that. Or order from ISA; I believe they sell to the public. And if that fails, look up "fire alarm companies near me" on Google, and chances are you might find something.

I know several people who have called the manufacturers and ordered from them directly, but I'm not sure how many hoops you'd have to jump through to get there. I'd wait until one pops up on eBay personally. Another option could be a local third-party fire alarm inspection company if you know of any near you; they might be more willing to sell you something than licensed distributors.

I'm not too sure about this though as I've ordered just about everything in my collection from eBay or have gotten some alarms from building demolitions, etc.
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Re: Fire Alarm Distributors

Postby Lambda » Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:33 pm

Why go through all that trouble? Just order it online! You'll probably pay a premium verses what ADI will charge a legitimate company, but even if you were able to buy it from ADI directly, they are still going to mark it up. The main reason is volume. You are just one person, walking in there buying one thing. Whereas a company buys on a consistent basis. They will more than likely buy a case of System Sensor CO detectors, along with wire, panels, smokes, pulls, AV's, etc... The other reason they don't want to sell to the public is because they are assuming that you walking in the door, knows what you want and how it needs to be hooked up. They don't have time for Harry Homeowner to be asking a dozen questions, only to question them again on what they are being sold, then have the guy return everything in a couple of days because he couldn't figure out how to hook everything up. There is a totally different atmosphere when you look at a distributor verses a retailer. They gear their entire way of doing business towards contractors and to open themselves up to the public changes that, making things much more complicated and will drive the contractors away.


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