Third Edition Provided as a service to the insurance industry and fire

Third Edition Provided as a service to the insurance industry and fire
A Practical
Guide to Fire
Alarm Systems
Provided as a service to the insurance
industry and fire protection
community by the Central Station
Alarm Association
Central Station Alarm Association
8150 Leesburg Pike
Suite 700
Vienna, VA 22182
703.242.4670Voice
703.242.4675 Fax
admin@csaaintl.org Email
www.csaaintl.orgWebsite
The Association of the Professional Monitoring Industry
Third Edition
A
Practical Guide
to
Fire Alarm Systems
(Third Edition)
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication can be reproduced or transmitted in any form,
or by any means, including photocopying and recording,
without the written permission of the Central Station Alarm Association.
Written permission also is required if this publication is stored in a retrieval system of any nature.
This guide contains references to copyrighted standards published by
several nationally recognized testing laboratories.
In each case, the copyright and any associated trademarks are the property
of the respective organization.
While the advice contained in this guide is based on information supplied
by recognized fire and fire protection experts, no guide can provide total assurance
that a home or business will be completely safe from fire.
The membership of the Central Station Alarm Association
has experts on staff to help in designing the proper fire alarm protection.
Copyright 2011, Central Station Alarm Association
v.1.0
Acknowledgements
This third edition of A Practical Guide to Fire Alarm Systems is the first electronic version of the
guide. The guide is a collaborative effort of many, but particular thanks must go to Dr. Shane M. Clary
of Bay Alarm Company in Pacheco, California, whose outstanding and detailed review and comments
were instrumental in the production of the guide. Additional thanks go to Lou Fiore, of L.T. Fiore,
Inc., and Peter Tallman of Underwriters Laboratories, for their review and comments. The guide was
graphically designed by Jay Tribich of DGA Security Systems, Inc. in New York.
The guide is a living document and all comments and suggestions are welcome and encouraged.
Stanley Oppenheim
Committee Chairman
DGA Security Systems, Inc.
New York, NY
July 2011
Table of Contents
6
About the Central Station Alarm Association
7
Basic Fire Alarm Systems Overview
13
1. Selecting a Fire Alarm System for your Application
Life Safety
Property Protection
Mission Protection
Heritage Protection
Application Guidelines
19
2. Basic Fire Alarm Systems
Fire Alarm System Components
Alarm Initiating Devices
Notification Appliances
Fire Alarm Control Units (Panels)
Remote Annunciators
Battery Standby Power
Fire Safety Control Functions
Fire Alarm System Wiring
Types of Fire Alarm Systems
Protected Premises
Emergency Voice / Alarm Communication
Central Station
Proprietary
Remote Station
Auxiliary Systems
The Building Codes and Listed Central Station Service
38
3. Fire Alarm Transmission Systems
40
4. Equipment and Trained Personnel
4
Central Station Alarm Association
41
5. The Fire Alarm Certificate Service of Underwriters Laboratories Inc.
About Underwriters Laboratories
Background
Certificates
Inspections
Listings
Required Services
UL Certificate Verification Service (ULCVS)
Benefits of ULCVS
Certificate Reports
UL Procedures for Issuing Alarm Certificates
46
6. Factory Mutual Research Corporation (FMRC) Approval Process
About Factory Mutual Research Corporation (FMRC)
Factory Mutual Approval Guide
Factory Mutual Central Station Approval
Factory Mutual Protective Signaling Service – Local Companies
49
7. ETL Listed Alarm System Certification Program
About Intertek
Background
Certificates
Inspections
Intertek’s Alarm Service Company Database, My Test Central
Additional Information
51
8 Residential Fire Alarm Systems
53
9. Fire Detection to Comply with Insurance Requirements
55
10. Highly Protected Risks (HPR) Fire Protection and Surveillance
57
11. Special Appliance for Fire Protection
Combination Systems
Special Hazard Systems
Automatic Sprinkler Systems Interface with Fire Alarm Systems
59
12. Maintaining Fire Alarm System Reliability
Fire Alarm System Reliability
Testing Requirements
63References
64
Appendix: Glossary of Terms
5
Central Station Alarm Association
About the Central Station Alarm Association
The Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) is the national nonprofit trade organization for individuals or companies whose primary business is the operation of central station facilities. Its purpose,
from its founding in 1950 to the present, has been to foster and improve relationships among providers
and users of NRTL Listed and Approved central station protective services, and with agencies that have
jurisdiction over, or regulate such services.
CSAA was incorporated on November 30, 1950 in the State of Illinois as the Central Station Electrical Protection Association. According to the original Articles of Incorporation, the stated purpose of
the Association was “to foster and improve relations between users and sellers of burglar and fire alarm
equipment and between bureaus and other bodies and agencies having jurisdiction over or regulating
the Central Station Electrical Protection Services industry.”
Today, the purpose of the CSAA, as stated in its bylaws, is: “To foster and maintain relationship among
providers, users, bureaus, and other agencies of NRTL Approved Central Station protection services,
and to promote the mutual interests of the NRTL Approved Central Station alarm industry with public
officials, the insurance industry and our customers.” As the Association continues to expand, there is
little doubt that its mission will also continue to evolve and grow.
In addition, CSAA recognizes other goals essential to the well being of its members, including,
but not limited to:
• Working with law enforcement, fire and insurance industry officials:
• Working with and serving on National Fire Protection Association committees;
• Resolving unwanted alarms;
•
Involving CSAA with the Alarm Industry Communications Committee (AICC),
which has been serving member needs for more than 30 years. Composed of members
of major companies and allied organizations, AICC lobbies Congress and the FCC
on behalf of members’ interests;
• Developing industry-driven standards to determine a level of performance for
professional Central Stations;
• Investigating, involving itself with, and reporting on potential future technologies; and
• Conducting annual meetings, seminars, legislative conferences and other gatherings
of benefit to the industry.
6
Central Station Alarm Association
Basic Fire Alarm Systems Overview
This Guide was commissioned by the Central
Station Alarm Association to enable those
who come in contact with fire alarm systems
to have a better understanding of how these
systems work. This edition has been updated
to reflect Code changes and includes additional information to assist the reader in a better
understanding of the part Central Station
connected fire alarm systems play in meeting
the Life Safety Protection, Property Protection, Mission Protection and Heritage Preservation fire protection goals of the owner. Since
the second edition of this publication, there
have been three editions of NFPA 72® published. These are the 2002, 2007 and the 2010
editions. This guide is not meant to replace
knowledge of various code and standards,
but is meant as a guide to give the reader
an overview.
What constitutes a useful and reliable fire
alarm system? Generally a fire alarm system
is installed for protection of life, property
and mission. In order for a fire alarm system
to be useful, it must be able to perform these
functions:
1. Detect the presence of a fire.
2. Notify the occupants
3. Notify the fire department (usually through a central station connection)
4. Operate other fire safety functions, e.g., release magnetically held open smoke doors.
Heat and smoke detectors are the most commonly used fire detection devices. Heat detectors are designed to detect a fixed amount of
heat present at the detector or a rapid increase
of heat in the area of the detector. Smoke detectors can detect the presence of smoke in an area
(when it reached the ceiling where the detector is
normally located.) There are two common types
of smoke detectors, ionization and photoelectric. Care should be taken in selecting the type
of detector to be used. Ion detectors will detect
a flaming fire faster, but a photo electric detector will detect a smoldering fire quicker in most
situations. Manual fire alarm boxes are usually
placed (as a minimum) at all exits on each floor
in a building. If an automatic sprinkler system
is present in a building, waterflow devices are
used to indicate that system’s operation. More
detailed information on all of these devices is
covered in later sections of this Guide.
In order for the automatic detection devices,
such as heat and smoke detectors, to provide
the intended protection, care must be taken in
7
Central Station Alarm Association
Duct Detector
Elevator Recall
Smoke Detector
Heat Detector
Notification Appliances
Manual Pull Station
Door Release
Fire Control Panel
Waterflow Switch
Central Station Transmitter
Typical Fire Alarm System
8
Central Station Alarm Association
selecting the level of coverage to be used. A common misconception is that “strategically” placing a few smoke or heat detectors in a particular
area of a building (such as smoke detectors in
an apartment building hallway) provides good
“early warning protection.” It should be obvious that if the fire is remote from the detector
location, the fire will not be detected “early.”
Most individuals involved in fire protection
would not consider a few automatic sprinklers
placed in a building “complete sprinkler coverage.” But, these same individuals seem to think
partial coverage of a building with automatic fire
detectors will meet the goals of life safety and
property protection. The fact is that a detector
of any type cannot detect a fire (in a reasonable
amount of time) unless it is intimate with the
fire. So in order to effectively detect the presence
of a fire, total coverage using smoke and heat detectors should be provided. In some cases where
property protection or mission protection is the
goal, the owner may choose to install a complete
automatic sprinkler system. This system would
then be monitored by the fire alarm system to
ensure its operational integrity.
Automatically notifying the fire department, as
early as possible, is extremely important to effectively reduce losses due to a fire. If the detection
portion of the fire alarm system has been designed properly, the fire will be relatively small
at detection. Early detection helps to give the fire
department time to respond and then to control
and suppress the fire. Ideally this should be the
goal of any fire alarm system design. The most
uniformly accepted method to reliably notify
the fire department is through a connection to a
Listed or Approved Central Station.
The National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code,
NFPA 72 and the National Electrical Code,
NFPA 70 govern the entire installation of a fire
alarm system. The requirements found in these
codes apply to all types of fire alarm systems.
The importance of having a basic understanding of what makes up a typical fire alarm system cannot be overemphasized. It is as equally
important to be familiar with the applicable
codes and standards governing fire alarm system
applications and installations, as it is to understand how the system functions. More detailed
information regarding fire alarm system operation is contained in the remaining sections of
this Guide.
Notifying the occupants is usually accomplished
by producing enough sound to attract their attention and indicate that emergency evacuation
is necessary. Horns, bells, sirens, stroboscopic
lights and speakers are the most common appliances used to provide this notification. These
appliances are as important as the detection
portion of the fire alarm system. A number of
notification appliances (horns, bells, etc.) must
be strategically placed throughout the building
to provide the amount of noise needed to get
everyone’s attention while they occupy their
normal environment.
All systems must comply with the requirements
of NFPA 72. The current edition of NFPA 72 is
the 2010 Edition renamed National Fire Alarm
and Signaling Code. Jurisdictions have adopted
various older editions of NFPA 72 into law. It
is important to find out which edition is law in
your location.
The 2010 Code consists of 29 Chapters. NFPA
72, as stated above is now called the National
Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. The title change
recognizes that NFPA 72 addresses signaling
systems used for more than just fire hazards.
9
Central Station Alarm Association
NFPA 72® National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code — 2010 Edition
Chapter 1 Administration
1.1 Scope
1.2 Purpose
1.3 Application
1.4 Retroactivity
1.5 Equivalency
1.6 Units and Formulas
1.7 Code Adoption Requirements
12.4 Pathway Survivability
12.5 Nomenclature
Chapter 13 Reserved
Chapter 14 Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance
14.1 Application
14.2 General
14.3 Inspection
14.4 Testing
14.5 Maintenance
14.6 Records
Chapter 2 Referenced Publications
2.1 General
2.2 NFPA Publications
2.3 Other Publications
2.4 References for Extracts in Mandatory Sections
Chapter 15 Reserved
Chapter 16 Reserved
Chapter 3 Definitions
3.1 General
3.2 NFPA Official Definitions
3.3 General Definitions
Chapter 17 Initiating Devices
17.1 Application
17.2 Purpose
17.3 Performance-Based Design
17.4 General Requirements
17.5 Requirements for Smoke and Heat Detectors
17.6 Heat-Sensing Fire Detectors
17.7 Smoke-Sensing Fire Detectors
17.8 Radiant Energy–Sensing Fire Detectors
17.9 Combination, Multi-Criteria, & Multi-Sensor Detectors
17.10 Gas Detection
17.11 Other Fire Detectors.
17.12 Sprinkler Waterflow Alarm-Initiating Devices
17.13 Detection of the Operation of Other Automatic Extinguishing Systems
17.14 Manually Actuated Alarm-Initiating Devices
17.15 Fire Extinguisher Electronic Monitoring Device
17.16 Supervisory Signal–Initiating Devices
Chapter 4 Reserved
Chapter 5 Reserved
Chapter 6 Reserved
Chapter 7 Reserved
Chapter 8 Reserved
Chapter 9 Reserved
Chapter 10 Fundamentals
10.1 Application
10.2 Purpose
10.3 Equipment
10.4 Personnel Qualifications
10.5 Power Supplies
10.6 Signal Priority
10.7 Distinctive Signals
10.8 ECS Priority Signals
10.9 Fire Alarm Signals
10.10Fire Alarm Signal Deactivation
10.11 Supervisory Signals
10.12Trouble Signals
10.13Emergency Control Function Status Indicators.
10.14Performance and Limitations
10.15Protection of Fire Alarm System
10.16Annunciation and Annunciation Zoning
10.17Monitoring Integrity
10.18Documentation
10.19Impairments
Chapter 18 Notification Appliances
18.1 Application
18.2 Purpose
18.3 General
18.4 Audible Characteristics
18.5 Visible Characteristics — Public Mode
18.6 Visible Characteristics — Private Mode
18.7 Supplementary Visible Signaling Method
18.8 Textual Audible Appliances
18.9 Textual Visible Appliances
18.10 Tactile Appliances
18.11 Standard Emergency Service Interface
Chapter 19 Reserved
Chapter 20 Reserved
Chapter 11 Reserved
Chapter 21 Emergency Control Functions
and Interfaces
21.1 Application
21.2 General
Chapter 12 Circuits and Pathways
12.1 Application
12.2 General
12.3 Pathway Class Designations
10
Central Station Alarm Association
21.3 Elevator Recall for Fire Fighters’ Service
21.4 Elevator Shutdown
21.5 First Responders Use Elevators
21.6 Elevators for Occupant-Controlled Evacuation.
21.7 Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning
(HVAC) Systems
21.8 Door Release Service
21.9 Electrically Locked Doors
21.10 Exit Marking Audible Notification Systems
26.6 Communications Methods for Supervising
Station Alarm Systems
Chapter 27 Public Emergency Alarm Reporting Systems
27.1 Application
27.2 General Fundamentals
27.3 Management and Maintenance
27.4 Communications Methods
27.5 Alarm Processing Equipment
27.6 Alarm Boxes
27.7 Public Cable Plant
27.8 Emergency Communications Systems (ECS)
Chapter 22 Reserved
Chapter 23 Protected Premises Fire Alarm Systems
23.1 Application
23.2 General
23.3 System Features
23.4 System Performance and Integrity
23.5 Performance of Initiating Device Circuits (IDCs)
23.6 Performance of Signaling Line Circuits (SLCs)
23.7 Performance of Notification Appliance Circuits (NACs)
23.8 System Requirements
23.9 In-Building Fire Emergency Voice/Alarm
Communications
23.10Prerecorded (Digital) Voice and Tone Fire
Alarm Systems
23.11Two-Way Communication Service
23.12Signal Annunciation
23.13Suppression System Actuation
23.14Off-Premises Signals
23.15Guard’s Tour Supervisory Service
23.16Suppressed (Exception Reporting) Signal System
23.17Protected Premises Fire Safety Functions
23.18Special Requirements for Low-Power Radio
(Wireless) Systems
Chapter 28 Reserved
Chapter 29 Single- and Multiple-Station Alarms
and Household Fire Alarm Systems
29.1 Application
29.2 Purpose
29.3 Basic Requirements
29.4 Assumptions
29.5 Detection and Notification
29.6 Power Supplies
29.7 Equipment Performance
29.8 Installation
29.9 Optional Functions
29.10Maintenance and Tests
29.11Markings and Instructions
Annex A Explanatory Material
Annex B Engineering Guide for Automatic Fire Detector Spacing
Annex C System Performance and Design Guide
Chapter 24 Emergency Communications Systems (ECS)
24.1 Application
24.2 Purpose
24.3 General
24.4 One-Way Emergency Communications Systems
24.5 Two-Way, In-Building Emergency Communications Systems
24.6 Information, Command, and Control
24.7 Performance-Based Design of Mass Notification Systems
Annex D Speech Intelligibility
Annex E NEMA SB 30, Fire Service Annunciator and Interface
Annex F Sample Ordinance Adopting NFPA 72
Annex G Wiring Diagrams and Guide for Testing Fire Alarm Circuits
Chapter 25 Reserved
Annex H Informational References
Chapter 26 Supervising Station Alarm Systems
26.1 Application
26.2 General
26.3 Alarm Systems for Central Station Service
26.4 Proprietary Supervising Station Systems
26.5 Remote Supervising Station Alarm Systems
Annex I Cross-Reference Table
Index
11
Central Station Alarm Association
Systems used for weather alerts and warnings,
terrorist attacks, chemical releases and other
threats are now directly incorporated in NFPA
72. In addition to the name change, there are
structural changes aimed at making the Code
easier to navigate and easier to grow in the
future.
The preceding table shows the organization of
the 2010 edition. Although chapters are numbered up to 29, there are only 14 being used in
the 2010 edition. This allows for future changes
and expansion without having to relocate existing text. These 14 chapters represent the 11 chapters of the 2007 edition plus three new chapters.
12
Central Station Alarm Association
1.
Selecting a Fire Alarm System for your Application
Once the decision is made that a fire alarm system is to be installed in a property, whether the
system is required by a code or not, you must
determine what type of system and what type of
equipment is needed. This determination should
consider the specific building and fire codes
in force in the jurisdiction as well as fire alarm
system design meeting the application requirements. The selection of a fire alarm system
should take into consideration the following:
A survey should be made to determine the type
and quantity of the contents (also known as
determining the fuel load) to ensure that the appropriate detectors are used for the application.
The owner must determine his or her fire
protection goals and communicate that information to the fire alarm system designer. In many
instances the owner has not considered any
fire alarm system or protection goals beyond
“just meet code.” “Just meeting code” has little
significance unless the system designer is aware
of all of the applicable state and local codes and
standards that are in force in the jurisdiction
where the fire alarm system is being installed.
In addition, the owner should be advised that
compliance with the applicable codes and standards may not meet his or her fire protection
goals.
• The purpose of the system
• The fire protection goals of the owner
• The type of occupancy to be protected
• The type and quantity of the contents
to be protected
• The required response time of the system; i.e. how fast must it operate?
Another misconception that often arises during
a fire alarm system installation is that if the system is “not required” by any specific code, then
the designer and installer is not bound to follow the requirements of NFPA 72, the National
Fire Alarm and Signaling Code®. Nothing
could be further from the truth. The 2010 edition of NFPA 72 states that even non-required
fire alarm system installations must follow the
requirements of the Code. Logic would seem
to require that in any case. Would you expect a
doctor to not follow conventional and accepted
operating procedures when the operation was
elective?
• The basic function of the system
• The applicable fire alarm system codes
and standards
• The other fire protection systems that must be interfaced
• The response time of the fire department
• The available water supply
The purpose of the system is generally to notify
the occupants and the fire department of a fire
condition in the building. The system may also
be used to actuate suppression systems or shut
down equipment and manufacturing processes.
The building and fire codes and the NFPA
Life Safety Code® NFPA 101-2009 edition will
provide the minimum fire alarm system requirements and guidance for the occupancy classification of the building.
Building and fire codes are designed to avoid
conflagrations, not ensure the building will
survive a fire. A “code minimum” often provides
less protection than the owner expects. This fact
13
Central Station Alarm Association
needs to be explained to the owner and then assistance should be provided to develop his or her
fire protection goals for the specific building or
application. Typically fire protection goals can
be thought of as one or more of the following:
safety protection, the installed system must be
stable, as well as reliable, to ensure it will be
credible in the eyes of the occupants. The environment is an especially important consideration
when designing smoke detection systems.
• Life Safety
Another important consideration of life safety
fire alarm system applications is to ensure that
notification appliances provide adequate warning. NFPA 72 – 2010, Chapter 18, paragraph
18.4.3.1 states that for “public mode notification,” that is, where all of the building occupants
are notified of the fire, a sound pressure level of
15dBA above the ambient noise level or 5dBA
above a maximum sound level lasting for at least
60 seconds, whichever is greater, is required. In
addition the Life Safety Code - 2009 edition and
the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) require that visible appliances be installed to assist
in alarm notification of the hearing impaired.
• Property Protection
• Mission Protection
• Heritage Protection
Life Safety Protection
Most residential (apartments, hotels, condominiums, etc.) applications of fire alarm systems are
designed to enhance the life safety protection of
the occupants. The phrase “life safety” is considered synonymous with “early warning.” The
smoke detector is the automatic detection device
of choice when an early warning fire alarm system is contemplated.
NFPA 72 – 2010 Chapter 10 and 18 requires that
a fire alarm evacuation signal shall be distinctive
in sound from other signal, and shall comply
with the requirements of 18.4.2.1. Their sound
shall not be used for any other purpose. Paragraph 18.4.2.1 describes a temporal pattern. The
temporal three pattern shall only be used if total
evacuation of the building is required.
The Life Safety Code - 2009 edition, defines
complete protection in paragraph 9.6.2.9 Where
a total (complete) coverage smoke detection system is required by another section of this Code,
automatic detection of smoke in accordance with
NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling
Code, shall be provided in all occupiable areas in
environments that are suitable for proper smoke
detector operation.” It should be obvious that if
the fire protection goal is life safety protection
and therefore early warning of a fire is desired,
smoke detectors must be installed as defined in
the Life Safety Code – 2009 edition.
Property Protection
The amount and type of detectors and the type
of fire alarm system that one chooses for property protection will depend on the owner’s property protection goals, the value of the property
and the requirements of the owner’s insurance
company.
In reality, there are very few complete detection systems installed, as this would include
detectors above the ceilings and similar spaces
within the building. Even with detectors places
throughout the premises below the ceilings,
the system would be defined as be “partial” as
defined by NFPA 72.
Generally, heat detection will be used in all areas
that are not considered high value. Here again,
one of the most common mistakes in fire alarm
system application is to provide partial protection of a building and expect high performance
from the installed system. Most insurance and
fire service professionals would never consider
a partial automatic sprinkler system consisting
of sprinkler heads installed in selected rooms
Striking the balance between effective protection and a stable fire alarm system can often be
elusive. In order to accomplish our goal of life
14
Central Station Alarm Association
or the hallways of a building to be effective in
suppressing any size fire. But many individuals
seem to think that a few heat or smoke detectors
scattered about the building constitutes a “complete” fire alarm system.
ten dictate which detection devices will meet the
owner’s goals. If the area or business function is
critical to the mission of the owner, faster forms
of detection such as flame detectors or aspirating
(active air sampling) types of smoke detection
may need to be used.
Remember the goal for property protection is to
reduce property losses due to fire. For any fire
alarm system to be effective in accomplishing
that goal, the building must have 100% coverage using automatic detection and be connected
to a listed supervising station The fire alarm
system does not suppress the fire. To be of any
use in property protection, the fire alarm system must be able to detect the fire and provide
off-premises notification in enough time for the
fire department to respond while the fire is still
relatively small.
If the loss of a particular area will have no appreciable impact on the ability of a company to
conduct business in the future, the slower forms
of detection (i.e., heat detection) can be used in
that area or space.
Heritage Protection
Protecting historical landmarks can be challenging. Many of these facilities are, or contain,
treasures that cannot be replaced. Detection for
this application normally must comply with
two criteria: Early detection and preservation
of the historic nature of the facility. The second
item is often the most difficult to deal with. The
directors of these facilities often agree that a fire
alarm system is necessary but they do not want
the system’s presence to detract from the presentation of the history of the facility.
Typically but not always, heat detectors are used
to provide property protection. The type of
automatic heat detectors installed, fixed temperature, rate-of-rise, or rate compensated, will
depend on the ambient temperature and environment in which detection is needed. Other
forms of detection, spot type smoke detection,
beam type smoke detection or flame detection,
may also be used. Information regarding ceiling
height, detector response time, fire department
response time and availability of water should be
considered to ensure the owner’s goals are met.
Refer to Table on Page 18 for guidance.
In addition, many of these buildings are located
in areas not easily accessible by the emergency
responders and water availability is limited.
The buildings are most often highly combustible structures and fire can spread very rapidly.
These factors create a need for complete or total
detection coverage throughout the building.
Mission Protection
Because these buildings are irreplaceable, early
detection is paramount. Generally spot-type
or linear beam smoke detectors will provide
the needed detection, however, air-sampling
(aspirating-style) smoke detectors will provide
the earliest protection. For more information
regarding Heritage Protection, consult the
National Fire Protection Association document, NFPA 909-2010, Code for the Protection
of Cultural Resources Properties - Museums,
Libraries, and Places of Worship.
“Mission protection” can be defined as the
ability of a company or organization to stay in
business after a major fire in their facility. Another way to look at the protection required in a
facility is to determine whether or not each area
of the building or an area which houses a certain
business function (i.e., receivables computer,
special finishing processes, etc.) will be able to
withstand the impact of a fire. Then determine if
the business function can maintain its operation
after the fire. The results of this survey will of-
15
Central Station Alarm Association
Detector Description
Application
HEAT DETECTORS
Fixed temperature, spot-type
Enclosed Areas (rooms, closets, etc.), primarily for property protection.
Not considered an early warning device.
Rate of rise, spot-type
Enclosed areas (rooms, closets, etc.); primarily used for property protection
where design goals require more sensitive heat detection and response
to developing fires. Avoid use in areas of fluctuating ambient temperature.
Not considered an early warning device.
Rate compensation
Same as for fixed temperature, spot-type heat detectors. Because of
sealed design, may be used in dusty and moist areas. Spacing ratings
are better due to reduced thermal lag.
Fixed temperature, line-type
Application is similar to spot-type. Used in severe environments, cable trays,
wharf applications, and historic buildings.
FLAME DETECTORS
Infrared/Ultraviolet
Special applications such as oil refineries, aircraft hangers, explosion
or special hazard protection. Avoid use in areas where detectors are
exposed to sunlight or welding unless the detector is listed for this
environment. Must have an unobstructed view of the protected area.
SMOKE DETECTORS
Ionization, spot-type
Early warning or life safety. This detector is most efficient when
flaming fires are expected.
Photoelectric, spot-type
Most efficient when smoldering fires are expected or where the smoke
has to travel a distance before reaching the detector (“aged” smoke).
Photoelectric, beam-type
Used in high ceiling environments such as churches, atriums and warehouses.
Photoelectric, air sampling-type
Used in high value applications, such as computer rooms; also used air
sampling-type in high airflow areas and some rack storage application
Notification of occupants or others of potentially dangerous conditions,
such as the presence of fuel gases or toxic gases such as carbon
monoxide shall be permitted.
CO, GAS AND OTHER FIRE DETECTORS
CO Detectors
Signals from carbon monoxide detectors and carbon monoxide detection
systems transmitted to a fire alarm system shall be permitted to be
supervisory signals.
Gas Detectors Gas detection equipment shall be listed for detection of the specific gas
or vapor to be encountered. Other Fire Detectors
Detectors that operate on principles different from those covered by
Sections 17.6 through 17.8 of NFPA 22-2010 shall classify as “other fire
detectors. Such detectors shall be installed in all areas where they are
required either by other NFPA codes and standards or by the authority
having jurisdiction.
16
Central Station Alarm Association
Application Guidelines
Detector Selection
In the design of a fire alarm system, consideration must be given to the types of detection
that will meet both the owner’s fire protection
goals and the system design goals. The detector’s
operating characteristics, environmental conditions where the detector will be placed; the type
of combustible material and ceiling height all
affect the ability of the detector to provide the
expected protection.
Time considerations
In addition to the type of fire and the rapidity with which it spreads, another important
element to consider is the impact of time in
the design of a fire alarm system. Heat detectors, sprinklers, and many other extinguishing
devices or systems are rated in terms of response
time. The fire resistance of building materials
and assemblies are also rated in terms of time.
The evacuation needs of the occupants are also
measured in terms of time.
The concept of “levels of coverage” has been
used in generally three ways in NFPA 72-2010,
paragraph 17.5.3:
Time considerations are of paramount importance in the detection of a fire and in safe evacuation of occupants from the protected premises.
1. Total (Complete) Coverage
Where required by laws, codes, or standards,
and unless otherwise modified by 17.5.3.1.1
through 17.5.3.1.5, total coverage shall
include all rooms, halls, storage areas, basements, attics, lofts, spaces above suspended
ceilings, and other subdivisions and accessible spaces, as well as the inside of all closets,
elevator shafts, enclosed stairways, dumbwaiter shafts, and chutes.
For life safety applications , the main objective
of the design is to ensure that the occupants have
time to escape safely before the conditions in
the protected premises reach intolerable levels of
smoke, hear and gas.
For property protection, the design should take
into consideration the response time of the fire
department as well as their capabilities. An extended response time allows the fire to grow to
a size beyond the capabilities of the dire department to control and extinguish the fire before a
major loss occurs. Similar consideration should
be given to the availability and condition of the
water supply. If the water supply is questionable
or inadequate, the fire department will likely
have to “bring the water with them” in order
to suppress the fire. If this is the case, the fire
alarm system will need to detect the fire while it
is small enough to allow the fire department to
respond and still be able to control and suppress
the fire with the available water supply.
2. Partial Coverage or
Selective Area Coverage
Where codes, standards, or laws require the
protection of selected areas only, the specified areas shall be protected in accordance
with this Code. As stated above, the majority of fire detection systems that are installed
are partial. The coverage of the detectors still
may cover most areas below the ceilings, but
may not be in spaces such as closets, underneath stairs and similar locations.
Selective coverage is where a specific hazard
within a room or space is being covered,
but other spaces are not. With partial and
selective coverage, the prescriptive coverage
requirements of the Code still must be
followed for the spaces or areas that are to
have detection.
17
Central Station Alarm Association
3. Nonrequired Coverage
Detection installed for reasons of achieving specific fire safety objectives, but not
required by any laws, codes, or standards,
shall meet all of the requirements of this
Code, with the exception of the prescriptive
spacing criteria of Chapter 17.
Detector Spacing
The National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code
- 2010 edition, Chapter 17 provides guidance
for spacing and placement of smoke detectors.
Early installation, that is installing smoke detectors prior to the final cleanup by all construction
trades, is not allowed by the Code.
A detector application guide is given in Table
2.1. This guide should be used in conjunction
with Chapter 17 of the National Fire Alarm and
Signaling Code - 2010 edition and with the guidance of a qualified fire alarm system designer
such as a licensed fire protection engineer.
Guidance for the spacing for all detectors is outlined in Chapter 17 of the National Fire Alarm
and Signaling Code - 2010 edition and for some
detectors (heat detectors, for example) spacing
is dictated by the results of test conducted by
Underwriters Laboratories or Factory Mutual
Research Corporation. In most cases, building
codes and fire authorities will refer all spacing
considerations to the requirements of NFPA
72, Chapter 17 and to engineering judgment. If
faster response by a detector to a fire is desired,
spacing should be reduced. Detector spacing is
also reduced if there are ceiling obstructions or
high velocity air movement. High airflow affects
smoke detection and must always be considered.
Smoke detectors should not be located in the
direct airflow path, or within three feet, of an
air-supply diffuser.
Two major factors that impact the effectiveness
and reliability of automatic fire detector operation are ceiling height and detector spacing.
Ceiling Height
When ceiling height exceeds 10 ft., heat detector
spacing must be reduced. The reduction required
is given in NFPA 72 -2010, paragraph 17.6.3.5
High Ceilings. Early detection of smoldering
fires with spot-type smoke detectors installed
on high ceilings (greater than fifteen feet, for
instance) is nearly impossible. A fire plume
has an inverted cone shape; as the fire intensifies, smoke and hear rises and the cone angle
narrows. The fire plume becomes almost nonexistent where there is a smoldering fire. The
smoldering fire is difficult to detect because
there is no flame or heat to drive the combustion
products to the ceiling. Once the fire intensifies,
the combustion products will be driven to the
detector, however, detection at this time could
hardly be called early warning.
18
Central Station Alarm Association
2.
Basic Fire Alarm Systems
Basic components of a fire alarm system
The following is a list of the basic components
that can be installed together to make up a
typical fire alarm system:
Fire Alarm systems perform several functions
vital to limiting life and property losses during fires. They can provide fire detection, early
warning for evacuation, and local fire brigade
(Emergency Response Team) or public fire department notification.
Alarm Initiation Devices
Manual Fire Alarm Boxes
Waterflow Initiating Devices
Heat Detectors
Smoke Detectors
Radiant Energy Sensing Fire Detectors
Other Fire Detectors
As stated previously, the importance of having a
basic understanding of what makes up a typical
fire alarm system cannot be overemphasized. It
is equally important to be familiar with the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, as it is to
understand how the fire alarm system functions.
Notification Appliances
Bells
Horns
Speakers
Sirens
Strobes
Combination units
Fire Alarm System Components
A designer can create a complex fire alarm
system that serves the purpose but is difficult to
maintain. Or that same designer can create a fire
alarm system that bristles with simplicity. The
primary goal of any fire alarm system should
be to operate reliably over the life of the installation. To accomplish that goal, one must understand the operation of the fire alarm system
components and the basic requirements for the
installation of fire alarm system.
Fire Alarm Control Units
System Operating Configuration
Conventional fire alarm systems
Addressable fire alarm systems
Analog-addressable fire alarm systems
Remote On-Site Annunciation
Point Lighted
Alphanumeric
Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD’s)
Graphic
Equipment constructed and installed in conformity with the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, shall be listed for the purpose for
which it is used. System components shall be
installed, tested, and maintained in accordance
with the manufacturer’s published instructions
and this Code. All devices that receive their
power from the initiating device circuit or signaling line circuit of a control unit shall be listed
for use with the control unit.
Batteries
Standby Power
19
Central Station Alarm Association
Alarm Initiating Devices
Manual Fire Alarm Boxes
Manual fire alarm boxes should be installed
at unobstructed, readily accessible locations
throughout the protected area with at least
one box on each floor. Travel distance to a box
should not exceed 200 ft. from any point in
the area. The operable part of each manual fire
alarm box shall be not less than 42 in. (1.07 m)
and not more than 48 in. (1.22 m) above floor
level and, the box location should be positioned
in the normal path of exit from the area. The
mounting surface shall be of a contrasting color.
Breakglass Fire Alarm Box
Types of Manual Fire Alarm Boxes (Stations)
1. Non-coded
(a) Contains a normally open or closed switch that is housed within a distinctive
enclosure. Once actuated, the box must be reset to restore the unit to normal.
(b) Contact and circuit arrangements
may very to provide a number of
functions simultaneously.
2. Coded
(a) Contains a mechanically or electri-
cally driven motor, or an electronic pulse
generator. When activated, the motor turns a code wheel causing contacts to
momentarily open or close or the pulse generator operates to reproduce the code of the box. The box is required to repeat its code a minimum of three times.
(b) Contact and circuit arrangements
many very to provide a number of
functions simultaneously.
3. Breakglass
To initiate an alarm, one must first
break glass or some other element.
The purpose is to identify which box
was operated and to discourage tamper
ing with the box when there is no fire
to report.
4. Non-Breakglass
A manual fire alarm box that does not have a breakglass feature.
5. Single Action
A single action of breaking a glass or
other frangible element or pulling a leaver or other movable part initiates
an alarm.
6. Double Action
Two actions are necessary to initiate an alarm. Either break a glass to open a
door or lift a cover to gain access to a switch or lever to initiate an alarm.
NFPA 72 -2010, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code further specifies in Chapter 17 how
manual fire alarm boxes are to be installed and
distributed.
Depending on the type of manual fire alarm box
that has been selected, it will have several of the
features that have been described above.
Manual fire alarm boxes may be used for the following types of systems:
General Alarm
When activated, the fire alarm evacua
tion signals sound immediately throughout the premises.
20
Central Station Alarm Association
Pre-signal
Initial fire alarm signals only sound at
designated areas. The subsequent actuation
of a key switch on the box (or control panel)
causes an evacuation signal to sound
throughout the premises.
There are four basic types of automatic
sprinkler systems that an alarm system may
be connected to:
• Wet Pipe
• Dry Pipe
• Pre-Action
Waterflow-Actuated Fire Alarm
Initiating Devices
The fire alarm system should monitor the operation of the automatic sprinkler system and other
fire extinguishing and suppression systems by
means of listed fire alarm initiating devices.
When the automatic sprinkler system operates,
the waterflow-actuated fire alarm initiating
device will initiate a fire alarm signal.
• Deluge
While a vane flow switch may be used on a wet
pipe system, a pressure flow switch is required
for the supervision of dry pipe, pre-action and
deluge systems.
Automatic Fire Detectors
Fire produces well-defined signatures, most
commonly: heat, smoke, and radiant energy.
Fire alarm system designers normally select
automatic fire detectors to detect these signatures in accordance with the requirements of
Chapter 17 of the National Fire Alarm and
Signaling Code. This Chapter not only details
the selection of detectors, it also sets forth the
rules for the spacing and installation of these
devices.
The fire alarm system should also monitor the
normal standby condition of these extinguishing or suppression systems by means of listed
supervisory initiating devices. If someone closes
a sprinkler system control valve or otherwise
impairs the protective system, the supervisory
initiating device will cause the fire alarm system
control unit to indicate a “supervisory off-normal condition.” When the valve is reopened or
the other impairment is cleared, the supervisory
initiating device will cause the fire alarm system
control unit to indicate a “supervisory restoration to normal signal.”
Automatic fire detectors may have a defined
linear spacing that is assigned through testing by
a nationally recognized testing laboratory (spottype detector), or protect an area along the entire
length of a detector (line-type detector).
The waterflow alarm and the supervisory initiating devices must be monitored separately to
enable the differentiation between waterflow,
trouble and supervisory conditions. Generally
with conventional hard-wiring systems this
requires a separate zone for waterflow alarm
and one for supervisory initiating devices with
the supervisory device being a “normally-open”
device.
Heat Detectors
Heat detectors respond to the thermal energy
signature from a fire and are generally located
on or near the ceiling. They respond when the
detecting element reaches either a predetermined
fixed temperature or a specified rate of temperature rise occurs. Knowing the difference
between types of detectors is very important.
Periodic tests must be made of all detectors.
Applying a safe source of heat can test restorable detectors, while non-restorable detectors
must be tested mechanically or electrically. It is
21
Central Station Alarm Association
important to know which types of heat detectors are installed so that tests can be made on all
restorable heat detectors, but not on the fusible
elements of non-restorable detectors.
and door fusible links commonly use a similar material. The operation of the detector
destroys either the entire unit (or at least the
operating element) which the person who
maintains the system must replace. Another
form of spot-type fixed-temperature heat
detector uses a bimetallic element. After
operating, the bimetallic type automatically
restores when the temperature falls to a
point below the set point of the detector.
Fixed-Temperature Heat Detectors:
These detectors initiate an alarm when the
detecting element reaches a predetermined
fixed temperature. Because of inherent thermal lag, when the detector actually operates,
the temperature of the air surrounding the
detector has always extended considerably
higher then the set point of the detector.
Rate-of-Rise-Compensated Fixed
Temperature Detector:
In a slowly developing fire, this form of detector responds when the temperature of the
air surrounding the detector reaches a predetermined level. In a rapidly developing fire,
the detector anticipates the air temperature
reaching the operating point, and accelerates
the operation of the detector. This produces
a fixed temperature detector with virtually
no thermal lag.
One form of a spot-type fixed temperature
detector uses a fusible element made from a
eutectic metal alloy that melts rapidly at a
predetermined temperature (commonly
135°F). Automatic sprinklers, fire dampers
Rate-of-Rise Detector:
A rate-of-rise detector will operate when
the rate of temperature increases from a fire
exceeds a predetermined level, typically
around 5°F in twenty seconds or 15°F per
minute. Small, normal changes in ambient
Combination Rate-of-Rise/Fixed-Temperature
Heat Detector
Ionization Smoke Detector
22
Central Station Alarm Association
temperature that can be expected under nonfire conditions will not operate the detector.
These detectors are available as both linetype or spot-type detectors, and are restorable.
detectable quantities of smoke precede detectable
levels of heat in nearly all cases. Thus fire alarm
system designers use smoke detectors more
extensively today. The common operating characteristics of smoke detectors include the ionization spot-type smoke detector, the photoelectric
spot-type smoke detector, liner beam-type
smoke detector, the air-sampling smoke detector
and the duct-type smoke detector.
Linear Heat Detector:
For some applications, the use of a linear
heat detector is an option to consider. These
may be installed in head to reach areas,
or areas that are subject to high heat. The
detector is contained within a cable which
when exposed to heat that is greater than its
rating, will short circuit, causing an alarm.
Ionization Smoke Detector:
An ionization smoke detector has a small
amount of radioactive material that ionizes
the air in the sensing chamber, thus rendering it conductive and permitting a current
flow through the air between two charged
electrodes. When smoke particles enter the
chamber, they attach themselves to the ionized air molecules and decrease the conductivity between the electrodes. This decrease
in conductivity can be measured by an electronic circuit that initiates a fire alarm signal
when the reduction in conductivity reaches
a pre-set threshold.
Combination Detector:
Detectors can contain more then one element to respond to a fire. Examples include
a combination rate-of-rise and fixed-temperature heat detector, or a combination of a
smoke detector and a heat detector.
Smoke Detectors
The result of full-scale fire tests, using typical fires in family living units, have shown that
Photoelectric Light-Scattering Smoke Detector
Photoelectric Linear Projected Beam Smoke Detector
23
Central Station Alarm Association
Photoelectric Light-Scattering
Smoke Detector:
In a photoelectric light-scattering smoke
detector, a light source and a photosensitive
sensor are arranged so that the rays from
the light source do not normally fall on the
photosensitive sensor. When smoke particles
enter the light path, some of the light is scattered by reflection and refraction onto the
sensor, causing the detector to initiate a fire
alarm signal.
has been a move by some jurisdictions to
either not allow the use of ion detectors or
require the use of a combination.
Air-sampling Smoke Detector:
In an air-sampling smoke detector, a system
of tubing and sampling ports draws a sample
of air from a protected space into a detection
unit. When smoke particles in the air sample
enter a detection chamber, the presence of
the particles causes the detector to initiate
a fire alarm signal.
Photoelectric Linear Projected
Beam Smoke Detector:
In a photoelectric linear projected beam
smoke detector, a light source and a photosensitive sensor are arranged across a protected space so that the rays from the light
source normally fall on the photosensitive
sensor. When the smoke particles enter
the light path, the intensity of the light
is reduced, causing the detector to initiate
a fire alarm.
Air Duct-type Smoke Detector:
Detects smoke for the primary purpose
of controlling the propagation of smoke
through the heating, ventilation and air
conditioning system (HVAC). This helps
prevent possible panic and damage from
distribution of smoke and gaseous products. These detectors only detect smoke
when smoke is circulation in the duct. They
sample a small amount of great volumes of
air from large areas of coverage. Air duct
smoke detectors are not a substitute for:
There have been recent discussions on when
to use an ion or a photoelectric detector. The
system designer and user should be aware of
the type of fire that may have a higher probability of starting in a space where detection
is to be installed. Ion detectors are better
at the detection of fast, flaming fires while
photoelectric detectors have demonstrated
a higher response to smoldering fires. There
• Area smoke detection
• Early warning
• A building’s regular fire detection system
Heat detectors have a listed spacing, smoke detectors do not. The manufacturer of the smoke
detector determines the recommended spacing. If the manufacturer does not recommend a
specific spacing, then the National Fire Alarm
and Signaling Code Chapter 17 recommends a
spacing of 30 ft. on center.
When spot type heat detectors are to be installed, Table 17.6.3.5.1 from NFPA 72 needs
to be consulted. This table specifies the spacing
reduction for spot type heat detectors as the ceiling height is increased. There are required reductions for any ceiling that is above ten feet.
While there is not height reduction for smoke
detector, the stratification of smoke does need to
be taken into consideration.
Air Duct-type Smoke Detector
24
Central Station Alarm Association
Typical Notification Appliances
Radiant Energy Detectors
Radiant Energy Sensing Fire Detectors:
Designers specify flame and spark/ember
detectors for sophisticated detection application. Custom-engineered for each particular
protected space, these detectors often actuate
special hazard fire extinguishing of suppression systems.
Bells
Bells may be used for fire alarm signals where
their sound is distinctive and will not be confused with similar audible signals used for other
purposes. Bells are normally operated by 12 or
24 volts DC (direct current) and may be of the
single-stroke or vibration type connected in
parallel.
Bells may be provided with 4-inch through
12-inch gongs (in 2-inch increments). The 6and 10-inch sizes are the most commonly used.
Usually, bells with 4-inch gongs are reserved for
use as trouble signals. Generally, the larger the
diameter of the gongs the lower the frequency
and the louder the audible signal (expressed in
terms of decibels [dB]).
Notification Appliances
NFPA 72-2010, Chapter 18 requires that audible
appliances provide a minimum sound pressure
level of 15dBA above the ambient noise level
or 5dBA above a maximum sound level lasting
for at least 60 seconds, whichever is greater. In
addition the Life Safety Code – 2010 edition
and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
requires that visible appliances be installed to
assist in the alarm notification of the hearing
impaired. Strobes must be placed in accordance
with NFTA 72-2010, Chapter 4 requirements to
ensure proper coverage while avoiding excessive
flash rates that may trigger a seizure with photosensitive epileptic prone individuals.
Horns
Horns are provided for applications that require
louder or more distinctive signals, or both.
Horns may be operated by either alternate or
direct current and may be connected in series or
parallel. Care should be exercised to see that circuits are electrically compatible when powering
both types of appliances. Horns that are manufactured today are generally 12 or 24 VDC.
NFPA 72 also requires that all audible evacuation signals conform to the American National
Standard Evacuation Signal, ANSI S3.41. This
temporal code 3 signal must be synchronized
within a notification zone. The temporal three
code is only to be used when total evacuation of
a building is to occur.
Horns are usually of the continuous vibrating
or electronic type and may be used to provide
either coded of non-coded audible alarm signals.
25
Central Station Alarm Association
Strobes
Strobe lights operate on the energy discharge
principle to produce a high intensity flash of
short duration. These lights are very efficient.
The short bright flash is not only attention getting but is effective when general visibility is
low. Strobe appliances come in a wide range of
light intensities and operating voltages. Repetition rates are not allowed to exceed two flashes
per second nor less the one flash every second
throughout the listed voltage range of the appliance.
They may be of the surface, flush, semi-flush,
single projector, double projector, or trumpet
type.
In very noisy areas, resonating, air-powered or
motor-driven horns are sometimes used because
of their inherently higher decibel output. NFPA
72 stipulates that the sound pressure from a notification appliance may not exceed 110 dBA.
Speakers
Speakers are frequently used as fire alarm signaling appliances. Since they reproduce electronic
signals, they can be made to sound like any
mechanical signaling device and have the capability of reproducing unique sounds that are not
practical on mechanical appliances. In addition,
they may be used to give live or recorded voice
instructions. Speakers are either direct radiating
cone type, or of the compression driver and horn
type.
Combination units
The audible and visible functions can be combined in one unit to produce both sound and
light from a single appliance. For example, the
sounder can be a horn, bell, or speaker. The
light is required to be a strobe with specific
characteristics as described in Chapter 18 of the
2010 National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.
Advantages of the combined signals are:
Speakers are generally operated from audio amplifiers delivering standard output line levels of
70.7 or 25 volt AC rms. The speakers are driven
by an electronic tone generator, microphone, or
voice synthesizer and an electronic amplifier.
Two types are in wide use:
• The visible signal localizes the particular audible alarm appliance that is operating.
• The visible signal produces a recognizable alarm when an ambient noise level may
affect the audible signal.
Integral – that type in which the tone
generator amplifier, and speaker are enclosed
in a common housing.
• Persons having impaired hearing can see the visible portion of the alarm signals.
The combined signals are available in all voltages
up to line voltage. Twenty-four volt dc units are
the most prevalent. Polarized versions facilitate
line monitoring. Two or four-wire connected
types permit application of either a common or
separate power supply.
Remote – that type in which the speaker
is energized from a remotely located tone
generator, microphone and/or voice
synthesizer and amplifier.
Sirens
Sirens usually are limited to outdoor applications but are sometimes used in extremely noisy
indoor areas. Sirens are motor-driven or electronic appliances and may be either alternating
or direct current operated. They are not very
practical for use as coded audible signals.
Combination appliances are not required at
every location throughout a building. Fire
alarm system designers normally (following the
requirements in Chapter 18 of NFPA 72-2010)
will design the visible appliance layout first and
then design the audible appliance layout. Then
wherever both audible and visible appliances are
in the same general location, those units would
be specified as combination units.
26
Central Station Alarm Association
Fire Alarm Control Units (Panels)
Addressable and Analog/Addressable fire alarm
systems are designed to identify the device that
has been actuated. Analog/Addressable detectors may be adjusted for different sensitivity
levels, depending on the environment that the
detector is to be installed within.
The primary purpose of the fire alarm control
unit is to process signal received form initiating devices and to output appropriate signals
to notification appliances and the off-premises
supervising station. Typically the control unit is
a microprocessor (similar to a computer) and can
be programmed for many additional functions.
The 2010 edition of the National Fire Alarm
and Signaling Code requires that a detector be
installed to provide protection of the fire alarm
control unit in accordance with Chapter 10. This
requirement for smoke detection applies to any
remote power supplies or NAC extenders as
well. Where ambient conditions prohibit installation of automatic smoke detection, automatic
heat detection shall be permitted.
These systems will also indicate when a device is
approaching an alarm state due to contamination
and will allow the sensitivity of analog smoke
detectors to be individually set at the fire alarm
control unit. The more complex systems require
programming and specialized maintenance but
once properly installed have proven to be more
stable.
Remote Annunciation
Annunciation is designed to direct the responding fire department to the fire location. Because
of this important function, the fire department
should always be consulted as to the acceptable labeling of the zones or point identification
supplied by the fire alarm control unit. There
are many types of annunciators that can be used
depending on the complexity of the building or
area to be described. The most common are:
In addition, where connected to a supervising
station, fire alarm systems employing automatic
fire detectors or waterflow detection devices
shall include a manual fire alarm box to initiate a
signal to the supervising station. This is intended
to provide a backup means to manually activate
the fire alarm system when the automatic fire
detection system or waterflow devices are out
of service due to maintenance or testing, or
where human discovery of the fire precedes
automatic sprinkler system or automatic detection system activation.
• Point lighted
• Alpha-numeric
• Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)
• Point-lit graphic
Fire alarm system can have multiple operating
configurations:
• Back-lit graphic
• Conventional
Battery Standby Power
• Addressable
Batteries are used to supply the fire alarm
system with the required amount of secondary
(standby) power. Most fire alarm systems that
are connected to a central station must have 24
hours of battery standby power with an additional amount of power to operate the notification appliances for 5 minutes. If a voice evacuation system is installed, then 15 minutes of alarm
power is required.
• Analog/Addressable (sometimes called “intelligent” system)
Conventional systems are normally used in
small buildings applications where point identification of the device in alarm is not considered
necessary. Addressable fire alarm systems provide detail as to the device in alarm or trouble.
27
Central Station Alarm Association
There are various types of batteries, the most
commonly found in fire alarm systems are:
• Sealed gelled electrolyte
• Sealed lead acid
• Sealed lead calcium
• Sealed nickel cadmium
On some occasions, the standby power is supplied by a generator. When this is the case, four
hours of standby battery power is required.
“T” Tap Diagram
Battery Calculations
How do you ensure the battery that is to be
used with the fire alarm system under evaluation
will provide the standby power required by the
National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code? After
everything that will be connected to fire alarm
control panel and the size of the control panel is
known, the amount of standby power required
can be calculated.
It is not expected that the system reviewer will
actually calculate the amount of battery standby.
It is enough for you to know that it can be done.
Your responsibility is to ask for these calculations and be able to review them for completeness.
A typical battery calculation could look like the
following:
Fire Alarm System Secondary Battery-set Calculation Worksheet
ITEM
FACP
ANN
SMOKE
HEAT
PULL
BELL
HORN
STROBE
H/S
0
0
0
0
DESCRIPTION
Fire Alarm Control Panel
Annunciator
Smoke Detector
Heat Detector
Pull Station
FDC Bell
Horn
Strobe
Horn/Strobe
0
0
0
0
Prepared for:
Prepared by:
STANDBY
CURRENT
PER UNIT
(AMPS)
0.2500
0.1250
0.0001
0.0000
0.0000
0.0000
0.0000
0.0000
0.0000
0.0000
0.0000
0.0000
0.0000
QTY
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
1 =
1 =
24 =
10 =
14 =
3 =
0 =
14 =
26 =
0 =
0 =
0 =
0 =
TOTAL SYSTEM
STANDBY CURRENT (AMPS)
REQUIRED
STANDBY
TIME (HRS)
NFPA 72-2010
10.5.6.3.1
24 X
TOTAL
SYSTEM
STANDBY
CURRENT
(AMPS)
0.3774
REQUIRED
STANDBY
CAPACITY
(AMP-HOURS)
9.06 +
REQUIRED
ALARM
CAPACITY
(AMP-HOURS)
0.7387
=
TOTAL
STANDBY
CURRENT
PER ITEM
0.2500
0.1250
0.0024
0.0000
0.0000
0.0000
0.0000
0.0000
0.0000
0.0000
0.0000
0.0000
0.0000
0.3774
ALARM
CURRENT
PER UNIT
(AMPS)
0.5000
0.2500
0.0010
0.0000
0.0000
0.0500
0.0500
0.1000
0.1500
0.0000
0.0000
0.0000
0.0000
QTY
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
1 =
1 =
100 =
10 =
10 =
1 =
20 =
40 =
20 =
0 =
0 =
0 =
0 =
TOTAL SYSTEM
ALARM CURRENT (AMPS)
REQUIRED
REQUIRED
TOTAL
STANDBY
ALARM TIME
SYSTEM
CAPACITY
(HOURS)
ALARM
(AMP-HOURS) NFPA 72-2010
CURRENT
10.5.6.3.1
(AMPS)
9.0576
0.083 X
8.9000
TOTAL
TOTAL
CAPACITY
CAPACITY
(AMP-HOURS) (AMP-HOURS)
=
9.7963
9.7963 +
8.9000
REQUIRED
ALARM
CAPACITY
(AMP-HOURS)
=
0.7387
=
ADJUSTED
BATTERY
CAPACITY
(AMP-HOURS)
12
SAFETY
FACTOR
20%
TOTAL
ALARM
CURRENT
PER ITEM
0.5000
0.2500
0.1000
0.0000
0.0000
0.0500
1.0000
4.0000
3.0000
0.0000
0.0000
0.0000
0.0000
Typical battery calculation
28
Central Station Alarm Association
NOTES:
1. Please observe the codes, standards, and common sense prosecuted in your fiefdom.
2. Convert electrical current units to amperes and time units to hours (5 minutes = .083 hour).
Copyright (c) 2004 Michael B. Baker
http://www.etnews.org
Fire Safety Control Functions
cable had been designed to continue functioning
during a fire up to the melting point of copper.
Its use will cause the fire alarm circuits to meet
the survivability requirements of the National
Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. If the system is
critical to the fire protection goals of the owner,
a designer will want to include the requirement
of Circuit Integrity Cable in his or her specifications.
Elevator recall, automatic door unlocking, door
hold-open, and smoke damper release are all
examples of fire safety control functions. In
fact, any function that is designed to make the
building or occupants safer from the impact of
fire can be called a fire safety control function.
These functions are always interconnected to
the fire alarm control unit. The interconnections
between the fire safety control function and the
fire alarm control unit are monitored for integrity unless the operation of the fire safety control
function is connected in a fail-safe fashion. The
detailed requirements for these fire safety functions can be found in Chapter 23 of the National
Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. NFPA 2010
NFPA 70-2009,
National Electrical Code® (NEC)
In addition to compliance with the National
Fire Alarm and Signaling Code the installation
wiring must comply with the requirements of
NFPA 70-2009, the National Electrical Code.
Article 760-8 of NFPA 70-2009 requires that
“fire alarm circuits shall be stalled in a neat and
workmanlike manner. Cables shall be supported
by the building structure in such a manner that
the cable will not be damaged by normal building use.” In addition, Article 760-10 states “Fire
alarm circuits shall be identified at terminal and
junction locations, in a manner that will prevent
unintentional interference with the signaling
circuit during testing and servicing.”
Fire Alarm System Wiring
The National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code
requires that all fire alarm system wiring be
monitored for integrity. This function may
be accomplished in one of two ways. In conventional system, a small amount of current is
passed through the wire, through the end of
the line resistor, and back through the wire to
the fire alarm control unit. To achieve continuity of the monitoring, no branch circuits (called
“T-tapping” – see figure below) are permitted in
conventional systems. In addressable and analog
addressable systems, the connection devices are
interrogated and if they answer the fire alarm
control unit, then they are connected and the
wiring is obviously intact.
The following additional requirements are based
on the National Electrical Code (NEC):
• All cable must be Listed for the purpose
• All wire used in a fire alarm system must be copper
•
Several classes of wiring configurations or pathways are described in Chapter 12 Circuits and
Pathway. Pathways shall be designated as Class
A, Class B, Class C, Class D, Class E, or Class
X, depending on their performance. This chapter also deals with Pathway Survivability.
Where system wires pass through floors
of fire rated walls, the installation shall be
made to prevent the spread of fire from floor to floor.
• A minimum of 6 inches of free conductor
is required in each electrical box to
facilitate terminations.
•
A cable that was permitted to be used by NFPA
72 several cycles ago called Circuit Integrity
(CI) Cable, has been recognized in the 2010
National Electrical and Signaling Code. This
All wiring shall be terminated with
Listed devices such as wire nuts, pressure connectors or terminals. Electrical tape covering connections is not acceptable.
29
Central Station Alarm Association
Types of Fire Alarm Systems
In addition, the following are recommended:
• The fire alarm system should comply with local wiring requirements
Although there are six general types of commercial and industrial fire alarm systems: central
station, protected premises (local), auxiliary,
Remote Supervising Station, Proprietary Supervising Station, and emergency voice/alarm communication, there are some basic features to all
systems. Each has alarm initiating device circuits
that provide a means of interconnecting the fire
alarm control unit with manual fire alarm boxes,
waterflow – actuated alarm initiating devices,
automatic fire detectors, or other fire alarm
initiating devices. The control unit has both a
primary (main) power supply and a secondary
(standby) power supply.
• All initiating device, notification appliance
and signaling line circuits must be free from grounds and short circuits.
•
The manufacturer will specify the
maximum allowable loop resistance
allowed on each circuit to be connected
to the control unit. This loop resistance must not be exceeded.
Annex G within NFPA 72 contains the outline
of each section of Article 760 of the National
Electrical Code that states the requirements for
the installation of fire alarm systems. The installation wiring must comply with Article 760 as
well as the referenced sections of Chapter 3 of
NEC.
Protected premises (local) fire alarm systems
and emergency voice/alarm communication
systems have one or more notification appliance circuits that connect audible and visible
alarm notification appliances to the fire alarm
control unit. These alarm notification appliances notify people at the protected property
of the fire condition. Depending on the needs
of the property protected, the audible or visible alarm notification appliances may consist of
bells, horns, sirens, chimes, loudspeakers, strobe
lights, annunciators, punch tape registers, alpha
– numeric printers or digital displays on a visual
display unit.
There are two types of installation wiring allowed for fire alarm systems:
• Power Limited
• Non-Power Limited
The advantage of using power limited fire
alarm systems is that the wiring may run exposed where it is not subject to physical damage. The requirements for both power limited
and non-power limited wiring configurations
are contained in Article 760 of the NEC. One
must keep in mind that a low voltage (12VDC
or 24VDC) fire alarm system may not be power
limited. The manufacturer and the listing
process determine whether or not a fire alarm
system circuit is power limited. If the circuit
is non-power limited then the wiring must
conform to non-power limited wiring
configurations or the wiring methods described
in Chapter 3 of the NEC.
The four types of systems which have signaling
line circuits that interconnect the fire alarm control unit with a supervising station that in turn
monitors the signals from the fire alarm system
include:
• Central Station
• Proprietary Supervising Station
• Remote Supervising Station
• Auxiliary
Generally, protected premises fire alarm systems
and emergency voice/alarm communication systems provide life safety protection by notifying
occupants to evacuate or relocate during a fire
30
Central Station Alarm Association
emergency. Such systems may provide property
protection by notifying members of the guard
force of a local fire brigade of the need to
respond to the location of a fire.
communication system, special requirements in
NFPA 72, the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, also cover the survivability of the system, so that fire damage to one paging zone will
not result in loss of communication to another
if there is to be partial evacuation.
In contrast, central station, auxiliary, Remote
Supervising Station and Proprietary Supervising
Station system provide property protection by
summoning the public fire department. Proprietary Supervising Station systems may also summon the local private fire brigade or emergency
response team. These systems may provide life
safety protection if they have an interface to a
protected premises fire alarm system or emergency voice/alarm communication system.
The voice/alarm system consists of a series of
high reliability speakers located throughout the
building. They are connected to, and controlled
form, the fire alarm communication console
located in an area designated as the building
fire command station. From the building fire
command station, individual speaker zones or
the entire building can be selected to receive
voice messages that give specific instructions to
the occupants. Some systems have fire warden
stations on each floor, or fire zones, to which a
fire warden would go to assume local command
and pass on specific evacuation instructions. The
fire command station is usually operated by a
trained building employee until the fire department arrives, at which time the officer in charge
takes over. The system may also be used during
fire fighting operations for communication with
the fire fighters.
Protected Premises Fire Alarm System
The main purpose of a protected premises fire
alarm system is to sound local alarm signals for
evacuation of the protected building.
A system could be limited to the basic features
indicated earlier. A protected premises system
stand by power supply must operate the system
for a minimum 24 hrs under normal load and
then be able to operate the alarm system for 5
min in an alarm condition.
One important aspect of a voice communication
system is that since complete building evacuation is not always feasible, it can instruct occupants to relocate to “Safe” areas where they can
wait out the fire. In such cases, communication
with these people must be maintained to prevent
panic and to facilitate further relocation of necessary. NFPA 72-2010 requires that the notification appliances circuits meet certain survivability characteristics and continue to operate during
a fire. The Code offers various alternatives to
meet these requirements including installing the
cable serving the notification circuits in a 2-hour
shaft of in a stairwell in a completely sprinklered
building or through the use of Circuit Integrity
(CI) cable or other 2-hour rated cable installed
in a raceway. The goal of course is allow the
voice communication system to be used continuously throughout the fire incident.
In a protected premises fire alarm system, the
alarm is not relayed automatically to the fire
department. Instead, when the alarm sounds,
someone must use some other means to notify
the fire department. If the building were unoccupied at the time of the alarm, fire department
response would depend upon a neighbor or
passerby hearing the audible fire alarm signaling
appliance and notifying the department.
Emergency Voice/Alarm
Communication System
This system is used to supplement a protected
premises where it is necessary to select evacuate
or relocate occupants to areas of refuge, rather
then evacuate them. Its standby power supply
must operate the system for 24 hrs, followed
by 15 minutes of operation during an alarm.
Because of the emergency nature of a voice
A relative new requirement within NFPA 72
31
Central Station Alarm Association
communications center is a part of a listed central
station. This allows the central station to dispatch
fire fighting equipment directly.) In addition, the
central station either directly of through a subcontractor provides emergency runner response
to the various signals received. The central station also must supply repair service in case of a
trouble signal, with the repair person reaching
the protected premises with 4 hours.
is voice intelligibility. This is the ability of a
person that is within a space to be able to understand the message. NFPA 72 recommends
that a Speech Transmission Index (STI) of 0.7 be
achieved within a space. When laying out a voice
evacuation system, the designer shall specify
Acoustically Distinguishable Spaces (ADS).
Each ADS shall then be identified as requiring
or not requiring voice intelligibility. A new
Annex D in NFPA 72 provides useful information on this subject.
The power supply at the protected premises
must provide a minimum of 24-hour standby
operation from rechargeable batteries. The
standby power supply at the central station
must supply energy to operate the system for
24 hours. This standby supply at the central
station may consist of rechargeable batteries, a
combination of a single-engine-driven generator (with a trained person on duty 24 hours a
day) and 4-hour capacity rechargeable batteries,
or multiple-engine-driven generators. The high
level of system security and personnel response
or central station service is most often employed
by high-valued facilities, such as those commercial and industrial properties insured under the
highly protected risk (HPR) property insurance
plan. For this reason, central station systems are
generally considered to be principally for property protection.
Central Station Service
The most effective means of transmitting alarms
off-premises is through the use of Central Station Service. A fire alarm system for central
station service is designed to receive signals from
a protected premise at a constantly attended
location operated in accordance with UL (Underwriters Laboratories Inc) or FMRC (Factory
Mutual Research Corporation) standards; by
a company whose purpose is providing central
station service.
In the past, signals may have been transmitted
from a protected premises using either traditional direct-current-coded circuits, often referred
to as McCulloh circuits or by means of three
types of multiplex signaling systems, including telephone-company-provided derived local
channel systems.
The most common way today is by means
of digital alarm communicator systems. Other
methods are by means of two-way radio frequency (RF) multiplex communications systems; by means of a combination of single-line
digital alarm communicator transmitter and a
one-way RF transmitter system; or by means of
a one-way RF communications system. A more
detailed list of fire alarm transmission methods
is provided below.
Central station systems may monitor fire
alarms, supervisory signals, guard patrol tours,
and trouble signals. One of the greatest values
of signaling systems for central station service is
their ability to supervise the availability of other
fire protection systems, such as automatic sprinkler systems or special-hazard fire extinguishing
systems. For example, the ability of a central
station system to supervise the position of an
automatic sprinkler system control valve adds
significantly to the overall management capability of a building fire protection system.
When they receive fire alarm signals, operators
at the central station retransmit those signals to
the public fire service communications center.*
(NOTE: In some cities the public fire service
Important and new to the 2010 NFPA 72 Code
is a requirement for training of operators.
All operators in the supervising station shall
demonstrate competence in all tasks required of
32
Central Station Alarm Association
Proprietary Supervising Station System
The Proprietary Supervising Station fire alarm
system is widely used in large commercial or
industrial occupancies.
them in Chapter 10 by one or more of the following:
1. Certified by the manufacturer of the receiving system or equipment or the alarm-monitoring automation system
Signals transmitted over a Proprietary Supervising Station system are received and automatically and permanently recorded at a constantly
attended Proprietary Supervising Station located
either at the protected premises or at another location of the property owner. In very simplistic
terms, a Proprietary Supervising Station system
is a central station system with the central station located at the protected premises. However
Proprietary Supervising Station supervising stations are not listed.
2. Certified by an organization acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction
3. Licensed or certified by a state or local authority
4. Other training or certification approved by the authority having jurisdiction.
An example of an organization providing alarm
monitoring operator training is the Central
Station Alarm Association (CSAA)
A modern central station service office
33
Central Station Alarm Association
Many Proprietary Supervising Station systems
have separate initiating device circuits for each
building zone or subsection, similar to the protected premises, auxiliary, and Remote Supervising Station systems. Proprietary Supervising
Station systems for larger buildings often have
signal multiplexing and built-in micro-processor
systems. These systems receive all signals from
the building over one or more pairs of wires, and
determine the exact location of the fire by use of
different frequencies of digitally coded information transmitted over the conductors.
that will operate the system for a minimum of
24 hrs of normal signal traffic plus five minutes
in alarm. Since operators are constantly on duty
with a Proprietary Supervising Station system,
24 hrs of standby is considered sufficient.
Large Proprietary Supervising Station Multiplex
and computer-controlled systems usually do
much more then indicate fire alarms to the operator and sound an alarm. These systems often
provide for smoke control within the building
by automatically closing and opening dampers in heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning
(HVAC) systems and turning on exhaust fans.
They also may adjust elevator controls so that
elevators bypass fire floor and are automatically
routed to the lobby floor for fire department use.
The requirements for the systems and wiring
within the protected premises are found within
Chapter 23, Protected Premises Fire Alarm
Systems.
The receiving equipment usually is located at a
public fire service communications center, police
station, or telephone answering service. The
signal is transmitted over a leased telephone line
or by means of a digital alarm communicator
system (DACS), and in indicated audibly and
visually at the Remote Supervising Station. If the
Remote Supervising Station is not at the public
fire service communications center, the Remote
Supervising Station personnel must notify the
center of an alarm. System trouble signals usually are transmitted automatically to the remote
receiving station. The control unit at the Remote Supervising Station, and, if needed, at the
protected premises, also is required to have an
independent secondary power supply that will
operate the system for a minimum of 24 hrs,
followed by 5 minutes of alarm. The protected
premises of a Remote Supervising Station system
may or may not have an evacuation system.
Supervisory signals may be sent to the Remote
Supervising Station receiving the alarm signal or
the supervisory signals may be transmitted to a
different Remote Supervising Station.
Remote Supervising Station System
A Remote Supervising Station fire alarm system
has an alarm signal that is received at a remote
location, acceptable to the authority having
jurisdiction, which is attended by trained
personnel 24 hours a day.
In addition to increased flexibility, multiplexing
signals greatly reduce the amount of wire used
in a building. Computer-based-Proprietary
Supervising Station system often includes energy
management capabilities resulting in energy
saving – a major factor in the recent sizeable
increase in the use of there systems in large
buildings.
Proprietary Supervision Station controls units
are required to transmit alarm and trouble
signals to the Proprietary Supervising Station.
The control unit at the Proprietary Supervising Station, as well as remotely located control
equipment, must have a secondary power supply
In the 2010 Edition of NFPA 72, a new and
special provision allows three ways for Remote
Supervising Station fire alarm systems to comply
with the Code:
1.
An affidavit attesting to the responsibilities and qualifications of the parties perform
ing the inspection, testing and maintenance and accepting responsibility of compliance to the testing requirements of the Code.
34
Central Station Alarm Association
2.
Documentation indicating code compliance of the remote station fire alarm system
issued by the organization that listed the service provider, such as UL, FM or ETL,
and
qualified in the field, design and affix his or
her engineering registration stamp to all design
drawings.
In all cases, fire alarm systems must, be installed
in compliance with the applicable requirement
of the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code
NFPA 72, and the National Electrical Code
NFPA 70. Many installers assume that when
the customer only wants partial protection or
cannot afford complete protection that the codes
and standards do not have to be followed. In
fire alarm systems installations, regardless of
the amount of coverage intended, all devices
and appliances still must be installed in compliance with the minimum requirements of the
applicable codes and standards. NFPA 72-2010
mandates that all systems required by some
other code or not, meet the requirements of the
National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.
3. Other documentation acceptable to the
Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ).
Auxiliary Systems
An auxiliary fire alarm system has circuitry
that connects a building’s fire alarm initiating
device(s) to a public fire reporting system installed in accordance with the requirements
of NFPA 72-2010 Chapter 27, Public Emergency
Alarm Reporting Systems. This is done either
through a nearby master fire alarm box, a dedicated telephone line run directly to the public
fire communication center switchboard, or by
long range radio
The Building Codes and
listed Central Station Service
The Building code requirement many automatic
fire alarm systems to be connected to a monitoring facility. This connection can be a central
station, Proprietary Supervising Station or
remote supervising station connection. In some
jurisdictions, an auxiliary system connection is
required. The point most often overlooked by
both insurance and fire service professionals is
that all of these monitoring connections must be
installed in accordance with the reference NFPA
code or standard. This means that the Remote
Supervising Station connection point must be
authorized by the local fire department. It also
means that all central station connections must
provide Listed Central Station Service as
required by Chapter 26 of the 2010 edition
National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.
The signal received by the fire department is the
same received when someone manually actuates the municipal fire alarm box. Because fire
department personnel know which municipal
boxes are part of the municipal system, responding fire fighters may be able to check for an
alarm originating within the protected premises
from an annunciator at the municipal box.
Codes and Standards
In fire alarm installations there is more regulation then with the installation of other low voltage systems. This regulation takes the form as
codes and standards.
In new construction, the building and/or fire
code in force will reference the applicable NFPA
standards and codes. Fire alarm system installations in existing buildings are often not exempt
from building code requirements.
There are two primary model code organizations, the National Fire Protection Association
(NFPA) and the International Code Conference
(ICC).
Depending on the state that the system is to
be installed in, the building or fire code may
require that a registered professional engineer,
35
Central Station Alarm Association
Requirement
Listed Central Station Service
Remote
Station*
Auxiliary
Fire Alarm
24 hour personnel
YYY
Constantly attended – 2 people
YNN
Standby systems required
YNN
HVAC system supplied by emergency generator YNN
Emergency lighting required
YNY
Restricted access to supervising station
YNY
Protected telephone lines
YNN
“Class A” building construction or
protected by automatic sprinkler system
YNN
Premises fire alarm
system service response required
4 Hours
N
N
Response to protected premises to
reset fire alarm system
2 Hours
N
N
NRTL approved monitoring equipment
YNN
“Threshold” requirements for supervising
station equipment computerization
YNN
Redundant equipment required at supervising stationY
N
N
30 second switchover to redundant
equipment at supervising station
YNN
NRTL inspection of staffing
YNN
* Where permitted by the authority having jurisdiction, alarm, supervisory,
and trouble signals shall be permitted to be received at an alternate location
approved by the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ). A listed central station
might be considered an acceptable alternate location for receipt of fire
alarm, supervisory, and trouble signals.
36
Central Station Alarm Association
The ICC was formed through the merging of
three regional code making organizations:
•
BOCA National Building Code, published by the Building Officials and Code
Administrators (BOCA), is used primarily
in the U.S. East of the Mississippi River.
•
Standard Building Code, published by the Southern Building Code Congress Inter-
national (SBCCI), is used primarily in the South and Southwestern United States.
•
Uniform Building Code, published by the international Conference of Building
Officials (ICBO), is primarily used in
the U.S. West of the Mississippi River.
The ICC publishes the following model codes:
• International Building Code
• International Fire Code
• International Mechanical Code
• International Residential Code
The NFPA publishes the following model codes:
• NFPA 1 Fire Code
• NFPA 70 National Electrical Code
• NFPA 101 Life Safety Code
• NFPA 5000 Building Construction and Safety Code
The requirements for fire alarm systems in
newly constructed or renovated buildings
are contained in each of these model building
codes. All new fire alarm systems are normally
installed under a building permit that incorporates certain other requirements (designed by a
professional engineer, stamped drawings, etc.).
A check with the authority having jurisdiction
should be made prior to the start of a project to
see which model codes have been adopted and
the dates of the applicable editions. A check
should also be made to see if any local amendments have been made to a particular model
code.
37
Central Station Alarm Association
Fire Alarm Transmission Systems
Methods of Alarm Transmission
Communications methods are defined in NFPA
72-2010 under 26.6.3 Communications Methods.
There are four basic methods of alarm transmission from protected premises to a central station. These are Digital Alarm Communicator
Transmitter (DACT), One Way Radio, Two Way
Radio, and communications technologies not specifically mentioned such as packet data. Requirements such as supervisory and reporting times for
these technologies are contained in the Code.
3.
service provider to ensure service quality
and reliability from the subscriber location to public switched telephone network
(PSTN) interconnection points or other
MFVN peer networks.
Heretofore, the Public Switched Telephone
Network (PSTN) was the only telephone service
that could be used with DACT. Managed Facilities-based Voice Network service is functionally
equivalent to traditional PSTN-based services
provided by authorized common carriers (public
utility telephone companies) with respect to
dialing, dial plan, call completion, carriage of
signals and protocols, and loop voltage treatment
and provides all of the following features:
McCulloh, Active Multiplex Transmission
Systems, including telephone-company-provided
derived local channel system no longer appear
in the latest version of NFPA 72.
1. A loop start telephone circuit service
interface
A specific indication of the “sunset” of McCulloh
systems was given in the 2002 Edition of NFPA
72, which reads as follows: “Unless accepted
by the authority having jurisdiction, McCulloh
systems shall not be permitted to be installed
after June 30, 2003.” However, no such “sunset”
requirement exists for Active Multiplex Transmission Systems, including telephone-companyprovided derived local channel system.
2. Pathway reliability that is assured by
proactive management, operation, and
maintenance by the MFVN provider
3. 8 hours of standby power supply capacity for MFVN communications equipment
either located at the protected premises or
field deployed. Industry standards followed
by the authorized common carriers (public
utility telephone companies), and the other
communications service providers that
operate MFVNs, specifically engineer the
selection of the size of the batteries, or other
permanently located standby power source,
in order to provide 8 hours of standby power
with a reasonable degree of accuracy. Of
course, over time, abnormal ambient conditions and battery aging can always have a
potentially adverse effect on battery capacity. The MFVN field-deployed equipment
typically monitors the condition of the
A Tentative Interim Amendment, released concurrently with NFPA 72-2010 allows for Managed Facilities-based Voice Network (MFVN)
to be used along with the PSTN. MFVN
describes the service offered by cable companies
and telecommunications companies where signals
do not traverse over the public Internet.
The following is the definition of MFVN:
3.3.141 Managed Facilities-based Voice Network (MFVN). A physical facilitiesbased network capable of transmitting real
time signals with formats unchanged that is
managed, operated, and maintained by the
38
Central Station Alarm Association
standby battery and signals potential battery
failure to permit the communications service
provider to take appropriate action.
or more different technologies are used; the
following requirements shall be met:
1. Provision shall be made to monitor the
integrity of each communications path.
4. 24 hours of standby power supply capacity for MFVN communications equipment
located at the communication service
provider’s central office.
2. Failure of any communications path shall
be annunciated at the supervising station
and at the protected premises within not
more than 24 hours of the failure.
5. Installation of network equipment at the
protected premises with safeguards to prevent unauthorized access to the equipment
and its connections
Where technologies used are described elsewhere in this Code, monitoring for integrity
shall be permitted to comply with those requirements.
When providing telephone service to a new
customer, MFVN providers give notice to the
telephone service subscriber of the need to have
any connected alarm system tested by authorized fire alarm service personnel in accordance
with Chapter 14 to make certain that all signal
transmission features have remained operational.
These features include the proper functioning
of line seizure and the successful transmission
of signals to the supervising station. In this way,
the MFVN providers assist their new customers
in complying with a testing procedure similar to
that outlined in 26.2.3 for changes to providers
of supervising station service.
Additionally, in residential systems, cellular can
be used as the primary and only means of communications. Also, as in commercial systems,
MFVN can be used to send an alarm system
to a central station. This communications link
is not required but, if used, can be any systems
described in chapter 26 and, in addition, stand
alone cellular.
Packet Data or Internet Protocol, IP, is not
specifically mention in the Code. This is the use
of packet data over either the public Internet or
over a company’s private data network. But the
Code defines requirements that allow its use.
Among these requirements is the often misunderstood requirement regarding listing of
on-premises equipment. The Code requires that
all equipment is Listed. Most communications
equipment, such as routers, are not specifically
Listed for fire alarm applications, but are listed
in accordance with applicable product standards
for general communications.
Another provision of NFPA 72-2010 allows for
two technologies, even if either one or the other
(or both) is not specifically mentioned in the
code, can be used. Where two
39
Central Station Alarm Association
Equipment and Trained Personnel
NFPA 72- 2010 and the previous editions of
the Code have several requirements regarding
equipment, and the training of system designers, installers and monitoring personnel. These
requirements are found in Section 4.4 of Chapter
10, Fundamentals
Equipment constructed and installed in conformity with this Code shall be listed for the
purpose for which it is used.
System components shall be installed, tested,
and maintained and monitored in accordance
with the manufacturer’s published instructions
and this Code.
These requirements are shown in Chapter 10 of
NFPA 72-2010.
40
Central Station Alarm Association
4.
The Fire Alarm Certificate Service
of Underwriters Laboratories Inc.
Underwriters Laboratories Inc. is chartered
under the laws of the State of Delaware as a notfor-profit organization to “establish, maintain,
and operate laboratories for the investigation of
devices, systems and materials with respect to
hazards affecting life and property.” The organization also promulgates standards for the
operation and equipping of central stations and
pursues a rigorous program of audits to confirm
compliance with those standards.
5.
(AHJ) to identify through a UL certificate
those fire alarm systems that not only have been
installed but continue to be maintained in accordance with the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (NFPA 72-2010) or the standards that
preceded NFPA 72.
The program that UL developed was patterned
in part after its certificate service for burglar
alarm systems, which has been in operation for
almost 90 years. It involves the investigation of
fire alarm service companies that apply for Listing. This process includes reviewing examples
of fire alarm systems that have been installed to
comply with NFPA standards and UL requirements. The names of companies that successfully complete these evaluation processes appear
in UL’s On-line Certifications Directory under
the category covering the type of alarm system
involved. The company name also appears in the
Underwriters Laboratories Certificate Verification Service (ULCVS) database, and in the
CSAA member directory provided on-line at
www.csaaintl.org.
Revenues come primarily from applicants who
contract with UL to evaluate their products or
services and to provide Follow-UP-Service.
UL’s field representative check on the means
applicants use to provide continued compliance
of products or services that bear the UL Mark
and meet UL’s requirements.
Background
In the early 1980’s UL established a program for
the certification of fire alarm systems. Prior to
this UL’s involvement with fire alarm systems
mainly consisted of the testing of equipment
such as detectors, control units, and notification
appliances that would be installed in a system.
A reported increase in fire alarm systems that
did not comply with applicable NFPA standards
prompted UL to develop a means of identifying code complying systems. The problems that
were encountered included fire alarm equipment
improperly installed or utilized and systems
lacking periodic testing and maintenance. The
program that was put into place had the purpose
of enabling an Authority Having Jurisdiction
The main difference between the burglar and
fire alarm programs is that the burglar alarm
program was established to meet the needs of
the insurance industry while the fire alarm
program was designed to be used by any AHJ
including both insurance and governmental
authorities. In addition, flexibility was built into
the fire program to permit special requirements
or exceptions allowed by an AHJ for fire alarm
systems in their jurisdiction to be shown on the
front of the certificate and thereby be included
in UL’s field inspection audits.
41
Central Station Alarm Association
Certificates
Certificates for fire alarm systems are available only from UL listed fire alarm service
companies. The certificate is a declaration by
the company responsible for its issuance that
the system as described on the form has been
installed and will be maintained in accordance
with the NFPA standard referenced on the certificate. The testing and maintenance responsibilities extend for the life of the certificate unless
the certificate is cancelled prior to its expiration
date. Each certificate identifies the type of alarm
system, shows the name and address of the property covered by the alarm system, and the name
and address of the alarm company responsible
for issuing the certificate. The type and amount
of fire alarm equipment installed in the system is
indicated together with the coverage provided by
the equipment. Every certificate bears a unique
serial number and issue and expiration date. The
certificate cannot be issued for longer than five
years. At that time, a new certificate would be
issued.
UL Fire Certificate - Page 1
occur the certificate holder is notified by mail.
The audit of fire alarm service companies and
certificated systems are conducted by specially
trained UL field representatives who are certified by the National Institute for the Certification of Engineering Technicians (NICET) for
fire alarm systems.
The certificate is intended to provide to an authority having jurisdiction a high level of confidence that the fire alarm system is in compliance
with the NFPA standards referenced on the
form. For those cases where an AHJ’s requirements for a fire alarm system differ from an
NFPA standard, a system can still be covered
by a UL certificate provided that the specific
deviations are shown on the form.
Listings
The Listing of alarm service companies in UL’s
On-line Certifications Directory (http://www.
ul.com/certifications) involves the inclusion of
central station companies in one category and
alarm service companies responsible for protected premises, auxiliary, remote supervising
station or proprietary supervising systems in
another category. An alarm service company
can only issue the type of fire alarm certificate
that is covered by its Underwriters Laboratories
evaluation and Listing. To qualify for Listing,
a central station must meet the requirements in
UL’s Standard for Safety for “Central-Station
Inspections
One of the conditions of listing an alarm service
company is that the company must subscribe to
UL’s Follow-Up Inspection Service and agree to
periodic audits of its ability to offer certificated
systems. As part of this process, UL conducts
reviews of selected certificated systems to verify
compliance with requirements. Any fire alarm
system found not to be in compliance must be
corrected within a specific time period or the
certificate is subject to cancellation. Should this
42
Central Station Alarm Association
UL Fire Certificate - Page 2
UL Fire Certificate - Page 3
Alarm Services” (UL827). This standard contains specific requirements for some of the most
important features of a central station including
central station building, fire protection, operations room security, alarm receiving and signal
processing equipment, standby power, emergency lighting, telephone cable security, and central station staffing. A central station is checked
for compliance with the standard by a specially
trained UL field representative during the initial
Listing process and also during regular annual
audits.
CONSIDERED TO BE UL LISTED AND
ARE COVERED BY ITS FOLLOW-UP SERVICE PROGRAM
UL approved central station alarm companies
have the capability of providing full service.
This is generally recognized as including not
only monitoring, retransmission of signals
and record keeping but also responsibility for
the alarm system at the protected area including equipment installation, inspection, testing,
maintenance and runner service.
In recent years economic and competitive pressure have resulted in services provided by fire
alarm service companies for many fire alarm
systems to be unbundled. Examples include
systems provided with the installation of proper
equipment but lacking periodic testing or maintenance. Additional examples include systems
monitored at a central station but missing other
essential central station services such as inspecting, testing, and runner service. These types of
systems cannot be issued a UL certificate. Only
For central station alarm companies, the Listing
identifies the city or cities from which central
station service is available. Certificated central
station service is generally not available more
than two-hour travel time from the central
station response center.
Required Services
ONLY THOSE ALARM SYSTEMS THAT
HAVE AN ACTIVE CERTIFICATE ARE
43
Central Station Alarm Association
1. The reliability of the information available
on the database. An AHJ does not have to
depend on the information provided by the
protected property owner or Alarm Service
Company to determine the status of a ULCertificated system.
those systems that are provided with all elements of service required by the NFPA 72-2010,
National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code® are
eligible for certification.
Underwriters Laboratories
Certificate Certification Service
(ULCVS)
2. If a UL-Certificated alarm system is a condition of occupancy, an AHJ will be able to
find out, the date that the alarm system will
be in service.
To provide an AHJ with a means of identifying UL-Certificated fire alarm systems that are
currently covered under its Listing and FollowUp Services, UL developed the Underwriters
Laboratories Certificate Verification Service
(ULCVS). By directly accessing the certificate
database, an AHJ can verify whether a valid fire
alarm certificate has been issued or is it effect.
To use ULCVS, an AHJ must have a computer
with access to the Internet. The AHJ must
subscribe to and receive authorization from UL
to use ULCVS. Access to the database is password protected. There is no charge to the AHJ
by UL to use the system. When logged-on to
the service, an AHJ will be able to search the
database by certificate number to find the status
of a certificate. Searches by name and location
also can be performed. Also the database allows
the identification of all alarm service companies
qualified to issue a specific type of certificate.
The inquiry can be made by city or state
allowing the search to be localized to a particular geographical area. Future improvements in
the database will permit the service territory
served by a specific company to be shown by
zip code. This means that if the zip code of an
account is entered into the system, a list of all
qualified alarm service companies providing
service to that area will be able to be obtained.
3. An AHJ can determine whether an alarm
system still has a valid certificate at anytime.
4. There is no cost to an AHJ for this service.
The only requirement is to have Internet
access.
More information about ULCVS and how
to subscribe may be may be found at
http://www.ul.com/alarmsystems.
Certificate Reports
Authorities Having Jurisdictions may now
access information regarding listed systems
within their jurisdictions via a web based
application. In order to take advantage of
this service, the jurisdiction in question has
to be definable by specifying Zip Codes.
Available reports include:
1. A copy of each new certificate issued in the
jurisdiction,
2. A copy of any cancellation or expiration
notices sent to protected properties in the
jurisdiction, and
3. A list of active certificates in the jurisdiction
sorted by zip code, street address or protected property name.
Benefits of ULCVS
It is in the interest of an AHJ to subscribe to
ULCVS since several benefits can be obtained
from its use. Among these are:
AHJs interested in subscribing to this service
can call UL at 847 664 9471 or write to the
address shown above. They may also sign up
for the service through the UL web portal at
www.ul.com.
44
Central Station Alarm Association
UL Procedures for
Issuing Certificates
1. The Alarm Service Company completes a
“Request for Certificate” form, which must
be signed by the subscriber, and sends it to
UL. Accompanying the request is an “Alarm
System Description” form, which provides
all relevant information about the alarm
system.
UL certificates may be created in two ways – the
traditional method which relies a five step process that is based on the submittal of forms by
mail or FAX, and an on-line method known as
ULwebCert that was introduced in 2011. While
there are no plans to abandon the traditional
method in the foreseeable future, the on-line
process provides alarm service companies timely
processing and greater control over this important operation.
2. UL reviews the request and verifies that it
is correct. After reviews, each correct
request is entered into the database
(ULCVS). Improperly completed requests
will result in either a telephone call to the
Alarm Service Company, or, if the problem
cannot be corrected over the phone, the
request will be returned to the Alarm
Service Company.
To utilize ULwebCert an alarm service company must establish an account at UL’s secure
customer portal - MyHome@ul. The process
requires an individual at the alarm service company to be designated as a gatekeeper. Once that
is done anyone within the company can initiate
the process of creating certificates or accessing
certificate records. However all such actions
are sent to the gatekeeper for approval or rejection. Security is also assured by secured 128-bit
encryption SSL connections. The system offers the advantage of access at any time, on-line
“smart forms” that only display valid protection
detail choices, automatic checking on service
territory requirements, and errors or omissions
are flagged for correction before the request is
transmitted to UL. The system also provides an
email acknowledgement when the certificate is
processed and the ability to print a receipt that
can be provided to an AHJ as evidence that are
certificate has been created. Logging on to ULwebCert also provides alerts for certificates that
are due to expire within 60 days and supports
easy search and filter tools to better manage
certificate inventories and alarm customer information. For more information, or to register at
MyHome@UL simply log on to UL’s web site at
http://ul.com.
3. Once entered into the database, a uniquely
numbered certificate will be individually
printed and sent to the Alarm Service Company.
4. The Alarm Service Company reviews the
certificate for accuracy, signs it and sends it
to the subscriber.
5. In order to accommodate those special situations where a subscriber may have immediate need of a certificate to satisfy insurance
programs a FAX program is provided. In
this scenario, a certificate number is provided to the Alarm Service Company and
entered into the database (ULCVS) in a
“Pending” status.
The certificate number, which is randomly
generated by UL, becomes the most important
element in the program. The actual certificate is
intended only as confirmation of the information in the database.
Additional Information
Additional detailed information about the
UL Fire Alarm Certificate Program, including
program updates, can be found in UL’s website:
http://www.ul.com/alarmsystems.
The traditional method for issuing of certificates
involves the following five steps:
45
Central Station Alarm Association
Factory Mutual Research
Corporation (FMRC) Approval Process
Factory Mutual Research Corporation (FMRC)
was formed in 1941 and is an internationally
recognized testing laboratory. Factory Mutual
Research currently lists over forty thousand
products and services, provided by nearly
twenty-five hundred companies.
6.
All Products which meet FMRC requirements
are listed in the Approval Guide or the Specification Tested Products Guide. These products
and services have been subject to examinations
and inspections and have been found to satisfy
the criteria for approval. These examinations and
inspections are performed by Factory Mutual
technicians and engineers according to Factory
Mutual requirements or recognized national and
international requirements. Listed products are
readily identifiable and available on the market.
Factory Mutual Research accepts equipment,
materials and services for approvals testing
based upon two general principles.
1. They must be useful to the ends of property
conservation by preventing, limiting, or
not causing damage under the conditions
of the approval.
Continuance of Approval depends on satisfactory performance in the field. Periodic reexaminations of equipment, materials, and services
and follow-up inspections of the manufacturing
facility or service are parts of the Approval. Also
as a condition of retaining Approval, manufacturers may not change a product or service
without prior authorization by FMRC. Unless
covered by agreements executed between the
manufacturer and Factory Mutual, Approved
products should not be altered or otherwise
modified during or after installation. Unauthorized alterations or modifications may impact on
the safety and performance of the product and
will void the Approval.
2. They must be readily identifiable and
available in the marketplace.
Once accepted for testing, equipment, materials
and services receive Factory Mutual Research
Approval and listing subject to meeting the
stated conditions of performance, safety and
quality.
Third party certification demonstrates that a
manufacturer has complied with a recognized
standard; it also assures a product user that the
manufacturer’s on-going production or service
will continue to be monitored by FMRC for
compliance with approval requirements.
Most FMRC Approved products will bear one
of the marks shown below. Only companies providing Approved products or services may use
these marks on the products or in their literature
Factory Mutual Approval Guide
A prospective buyer deciding between an Approved product or service, or a non-Approved
product or service knows the Approved product
or service has been tested by an independent
and nationally recognized laboratory. The buyer
also knows the product or service conforms to
certain requirements and can be expected to
continue to meet those conditions.
FM Approval Marks
46
Central Station Alarm Association
or advertising. The marks may only be used for
the specific product or services Approved.
• Low water level for water pressure tanks,
gravity tanks, and fire pump suction tanks
• Low tank temperature for water pressure
tanks, gravity tanks and fire pump suction
tanks located in areas subject to freezing
temperatures.
Factory Mutual Central Station Approval
Approved central station companies have the
capability to install, operate, test and maintain
electrical signaling equipment in conformance
with FMRC Approval Standard 3011 and NFPA
72 for the purpose of fire protection at subscribing customer properties. The customer-located
equipment communicates with a constantly attended central station where alarm, supervisory,
trouble and test signals are received and acted
upon. “Standard” central station service for a
highly protected risk (HPR) consists of codesand standards-complying central station service
covering the following “standard” protection
features:
• Low building temperature for all buildings
protected by wet pipe automatic sprinklers
when located in areas subject to freezing
temperatures, for fire pump rooms located in
areas subject to freezing temperatures, and
for all dry pipe valve closets, preaction valve
closets or deluge valve closets where the closets have been installed to provide protection
against freezing.
• Fire pump running for all fire pumps
• Fire pump loss of power and phase reversal
for electric motor-driven fire pumps
Fire Alarm signals from –
• At least one manual fire alarm box
• Fire pump controller main switch in position
other than automatic, trouble with fire pump
and controller, battery charger failure for
diesel engine-driven fire pumps
• Sprinkler waterflow for all sprinkler systems
• Discharge from all special hazard extinguishing systems including kitchen range
hood systems
• Low steam pressure for steam engine-driven
fire pumps
• Automatic fire alarm systems installed
in all non-sprinkler-protected areas where
incidental combustibles might be temporarily present
• Low public water pressure when connection is located on a dead-end main or when
public water is considered to be unreliable.
• All other fire alarm system control units
installed at the premises
• Supervisory and trouble conditions from
all other fire alarm system control units
installed on the premises.
Supervisory signals consisting of –
Codes- and standards-complying central station service means an implementation of central
station service that fully meet the requirements
of ANSI/UL 827, FMRC 3011 and NFPA 72.
This means that “standard” central station
service will either be UL-certificated or FMRCplacarded.
• Valve temper for all sprinkler system control valves 21/2 inches or larger, for all water
supply control valves, including divisional
valves, pit valves, incoming supply valves,
fire pump valves and water tank valves
• High and low air pressure for all dry pipe
automatic sprinkler systems and water
pressure tanks
47
Central Station Alarm Association
Factory Mutual Approved Central Station –
Monitoring Only Companies
Approved Central Station monitoring only companies contract to provide central station service
in accordance with FMRC Standard 3011 and
NFPA 72 by monitoring, retransmission, associated record keeping and reporting of signals
received with their own personnel and subcontracting the installation, maintenance and testing
services to an Approved Fire Alarm Service
– Local Company. The required runner service
may be provided by either the Approved Central
Station – Monitoring Only Company with its
own personnel or by the Approved Fire Alarm
Service – Local Company with its personnel.
Although other levels of alarm service are
available from these companies, when standard
service is contracted for the procedures, equipment, power supplies, record keeping and testing
by central station personnel can be expected to
result in highly reliable performance by the fire
alarm system.
Standard service usually is provided only if
specifically contracted for by the customer.
Customer installations that are not marked by
the central station as receiving standard service
should be presumed to be non-standard.
Standard service also may be jointly provided if
done so under a single contract with the customer: the contracting entity must be either
an Approved Central Station Company or an
Approved Fire Alarm Service-Local Company,
or an Approved Central Station – Monitoring
Only Company. The central station company
receives, interprets, acts on and maintains record
of signals originating from the subscribing property but subcontracts some or all of the other
required activities; alternatively, if the standard
service contracting entity is an Approved Fire
Alarm Service-Local Company, it may subcontract, to an Approved Central Station Company
or an Approved Monitoring Only Company, the
signal monitoring and other required activities,
including runner service. Unless designated as a
Fire Alarm Service-Local Company or a Monitoring Only Company, the company is capable
of providing standard service in its entirety.
The Monitoring Only Company, acting as
prime contractor has the responsibility of the
monitoring, retransmission, associated record
keeping and reporting of signals. It is also their
responsibility to ensure that the installation
and equipment contains the proper compliance
markings according to the requirements
of FMRC Standard 3011 and NFPA 72.
Factory Mutual Approved Fire Alarm Service
– Local Companies
Approved local companies contract to provide
central station service for fire reporting in accordance with FMRC 3011 and NFPA 72 by doing
the installation, maintenance and testing services
with their own personnel and subcontracting the
monitoring, retransmission, associated record
keeping, and reporting of signals to an Approved Central Station Company. The required
runner service may be provided by either the
Approved Central Station Company with its
own personnel or the Approved Fire Alarm Service – Local Company with its own personnel.
To assure prompt inspection, maintenance and
equipment repair, approval is limited to the area
within 4 hours travel time (200 mi.; 320 km) of
the location from which maintenance and repair
personnel are dispatched. Approval is further
limited to the area within 2 hour travel time (50
mi.; 80 km) of the location(s) from which personnel are dispatched to reset fire alarm equipment at the protected premises (if necessary) and
to investigate supervisory or trouble signals.
The Local Company acting as prime contractor has the responsibility of ensuring that the
installation is inspected, tested, repaired and
maintained and also that it contains the proper
compliance markings in accordance with the
requirements of FMRC 3011 and NFPA 72.
48
Central Station Alarm Association
7.
ETL Listed Alarm System Certification Program
About Intertek
program guidelines, has the ability to review
the current certificate and approved scope of
work, verify the alarm service company is in
good standing with the current NRTL, and
proceed with the issuance of an IntertekETL Approval. This allows the alarm service
company to issue Intertek-ETL certificates
to the premises owner and the responsible
AHJ’s. Intertek will conduct the conversion
and dual listing process free of charge for
companies that meet these criteria.
The ETL Listed Alarm System Certification
Program ensures safety in commercial and
residential facilities across North America.
Intertek’s ETL Alarm System Certification
Program has been constructed following the
requirements of the Occupational Health and
Safety Administrations (OSHA) and by utilizing the applicable standards by organizations
such as the NFPA and UL for inspection and
auditing parameters.
2. New Client Certification
Intertek also provides an avenue for unlisted alarm service companies to determine
compliance with all federal, national and
local standards and codes. The alarm service company will be audited and reviewed
against these standards and once compliance has been determined to these codes, the
alarm service company will have the ability
to issue Intertek – ETL Certificates to the
premises owner and the responsible AHJ’s.
Background
Intertek’s ETL Listed Alarm System Certification Program has been established to assist the
Fire and Security Industries in their efforts to
implement and maintain high levels of alarm
system reliability. The program assures AHJ’s
that the alarm system has been installed, is being
maintained and, participates in annual independent third party surveillance by a Nationally
Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) to
ensure full compliance with all federal, national
and local standards and codes.
Certificates
ETL Listed Certificates are a declaration by
the company responsible for its issuance that
the system as described on the form has been
installed and will be maintained in accordance
with the NFPA standard referenced on the certificate. The testing and maintenance responsibilities extend for the life of the certificate unless
the certificate is cancelled prior to its expiration
date. Each certificate identifies the type of alarm
system, shows the name and address of the property covered by the alarm system, and the name
and address of the alarm company responsible
Participation in this program permits the freedom to choose any products or components
tested and certified by a nationally recognized
testing laboratory, differentiation from the
Intertek offers two solutions in this program:
1. File conversion or Dual Listing
When a central station or alarm service company is currently listed with another NRTL,
Intertek, following the OSHA NRTL
49
Central Station Alarm Association
Intertek’s Alarm Service Company
Database, “My Test Central”
for issuing the certificate. The type and amount
of fire alarm equipment installed in the system
is indicated together with the coverage provided
by the equipment.
To provide an AHJ with the means of identifying an ETL Listed Alarm System Company, all
ETL Listed Central Stations and Alarm Service
Companies will have the ability to access Intertek’s proprietary My Test Central for Alarm
Service Companies database, which will allow
the alarm service provider to generate a temporary certificate, with a two week expiration, that
can previewed, printed and handed to an AHJ
on the spot.
The certificate is intended to provide to an
authority having jurisdiction a high level of
confidence that the fire alarm system is in
compliance with the NFPA standards
referenced on the form.
Inspections
Once an alarm service company has established
a Listing (regardless as to whether the listing
is a dual listing or a new listing), they will be
subject to annual audits by Intertek Alarm
System Auditors.
Intertek’s Alarm Service Program Manager will
conduct a formal review and verify the qualifications of the service provider against the temporary certificate, and release the formal certificate
within two (2) weeks. Once this Certificate has
been made official, it will be posted on Intertek’s
proprietary My Test Central for Alarm Service
Companies database, available anytime.
The auditor will randomly select premises where
installations have occurred within the past
year. Coordination between the Alarm Service
Company and the premises will be important
to allow for a joint walk through and inspection
that ensures the systems are in effective compliance with the code requirements, and all systems
documentation is in order.
Additional Information
Additional detailed information about Intertek’s
ETL Listed Alarm System Certification
Program can be found on Intertek’s website:
http://www.intertek.com/life-safety
Once the field inspections have been completed,
the Intertek Alarm Auditor will release a report
of findings within 5 business days. This summary will outline any deficiencies or observations
identified during the inspections and provide a
timeline for resolution. Upon successful completion, Intertek will release a revised certificate of
compliance.
50
Central Station Alarm Association
Residential Fire Alarm Systems
Eighty percent of all fire deaths in the United
States occur in the home (Source: NFPA). As
stated in NFPA 72, “It is estimated that each
household will experience three (usually unreported) fires per decade and two fires serious
enough to report to a fire department per lifetime.” Because of these facts, smoke alarms have
been required in dwelling units for a number
of years. . In addition, there is more fire safety
awareness by the homeowner who wants to provide more fire detection than “code minimums.”
Chapter 29, Household Fire Warning Systems,
of the 2010 edition of the National Fire Alarm
and Signaling Code covers the minimum requirements for the installation of smoke alarms
or system-connected smoke detectors and the
recommendations for additional protection.
8.
ances connected to a control unit (panel). Many
time an installer or alarm company salesperson
will “sell” add-on fire detection, typically a
smoke detector or two, when selling a security
alarm system. Combination fire/security systems are allowed by NFPA 72; however, one
must ensure that proper detection coverage in
accordance with 29 of the National Fire Alarm
and Signaling Code is provided.
Because life safety protection from fire in residential occupancies is based on early notification
to occupants of a fire condition, it is imperative
that the number of smoke detectors and notification appliances be sufficient to both detect and
awake the occupants of the home. Chapter 29
of the 2010 edition of NFPA 72 requires that in
all new construction, a smoke alarm be placed
in each bedroom, in the hallway outside of each
bedroom area and on each level of a home. These
devices are required to be interconnected (multiple-station smoke alarms) so that if one device
actuates, all alarm notification appliances in each
smoke alarm will operate.
There is some confusion as to what constitutes
a fire alarm “system” in residential fire detection. The multiple-station smoke alarms that
are required by NFPA 72, Chapter 29, are not
considered a fire alarm system.
A residential fire alarm system consists of smoke
and heat detection devices and notification appli-
Sample House Blueprint
51
Central Station Alarm Association
It is good practice when providing a fire alarm
system or a combination fire/security system,
to add heat detection coverage in areas such as
attics, laundry rooms, kitchens, near heating
and electrical equipment and in garages.
However, smoke alarms or smoke detectors that
use photoelectric detection shall be permitted
for installation at a radial distance greater than
6 ft. (1.8 m) from any stationary or fixed cooking appliance when the certain conditions are
met as described in the Code.
Some of the requirements for commercial fire
alarms systems have been relaxed for residential
fire alarms systems. For instance, when monitoring is employed, only one telephone line is required for Digital Alarm Communicator Transmitters (DACT) when connecting the residential
system to a UL Listed monitoring company and
a test to the monitoring central station need only
be generated once per month. However, wiring
requirements in accordance with the National
Electrical Code and NFPA 72 must still be
followed.
Additionally a dedicated cellular telephone
connection shall be permitted to be used as a
single means to transmit alarms to a constantly
attended remote monitoring location.
Household fire alarm systems shall be programmed by the manufacturer to generate
at least a monthly test of the communication
or transmission means.
Another change to household fire alarm
systems according to the requirements of
Chapter 14 Table 14.4.2.2, requires that these
systems be tested by a qualified service
technician at least annually
In order to minimize false alarms from smoke
detectors, ensure that these detectors are located
away from bathrooms and kitchens. It is also
important to advise the homeowner that regular
cleaning of the smoke detectors is required to
ensure smoke detector stability. Although either
type of smoke detector, photoelectric or ionization, are allowed in a residential application,
photoelectric smoke detectors are the better
choice. The photoelectric smoke detector is less
prone to false alarms caused by cooking gases
and, therefore, is more stable.
NFPA 72-2010, Chapter 29 requires that smoke
alarms and smoke detectors shall not be installed
within an area of exclusion determined by a
10 ft. (3.0 m) radial distance along a horizontal
flow path from a stationary or fixed cooking
appliance, unless listed for installation in close
proximity to cooking appliances.
Smoke alarms and smoke detectors installed
between 10 ft. (3.0 m) and 20 ft. (6.1 m) along
a horizontal flow path from a stationary or
fixed cooking appliance shall be equipped with
an alarm-silencing means or use photoelectric
detection.
52
Central Station Alarm Association
Fire Detection to Comply
with Insurance Requirements
Many small businesses such as a warehouse,
small manufacturing facility, restaurant, gift
shop, or other mercantile business will be required by their local insurance agent (hereinafter
called the insurance provider) to “install a fire
alarm system” as a condition of obtaining or
keeping insurance on their property. The owner
then relays this information to a central station
or alarm installation company and bids are solicited. The major problem here is what is meant by
“install a fire alarm system?”
9.
In order for a fire alarm system to be of any
value to the insurance company, or the owner
of the property, it must be automatic and monitored by an acceptable off-premises monitoring
facility. To ensure reliability of both the fire
alarm system and the monitoring connection,
central station service is highly recommended.
In addition, most building codes require that
once a fire alarm system is to be installed, it
must follow the building code’s minimum requirements as well as the requirements of NFPA
72. In any case, the insurance provider should
be more explicit when asking for a fire alarm
system.
The owner expects that the insurance agent
will provide specific guidance regarding fire
alarm system design. However, many insurance
providers do not have access to an engineering
department. Therefore it is imperative that the
insurance provider reading this guide be aware
of the proper questions to ask.
As stated in prior sections of this guide, any
fire alarm system must be installed in accordance with NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and
Signaling Code, even if the insurance provider
allows “partial protection”. (For more information regarding property protection and partial
protection, see section 1 of this guide.) The
insurance provider is encouraged to always ask
for the “Record of Completion” as required by
NFPA 72.
Some of the questions which should be directed
to the company that the insurance broker plans
to have write the insurance policy include the
following:
• What is the purpose of the fire alarm
system?
The insurance provider should recommend
that the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) be
consulted before requesting fire alarm system
designs, quotations or installation. In most instances, the AHJ will be the fire service professional or the building official in conjunction
with the fire service professional.
• What is the primary goal of the fire alarm
system (i.e., property protection, mission
continuity)?
• What are the design characteristics of the
fire alarm system?
Generally the reason a fire alarm system is
requested is to attempt to reduce potential
property damage from fire. This criterion alone
will eliminate the option of a manual, protected
premises fire alarm system from being accepted.
The insurance provider should also caution
the owner to not simply call everyone listed in
the “Yellow Pages” under the listing of “alarm
installer”, but to first have the fire alarm system
53
Central Station Alarm Association
designed by a competent engineer experienced in
the field of fire alarm systems. The qualifications
of the installing company are extremely important and the insurance provider would be well
advised to recommend that the owner obtain a
quote from the listed central station serving the
area.
When bids are obtained, it should be cautioned
that the lowest bid may be for a design that is the
least protection for the owner. If the insurance
provider does not offer the guidance needed
in this early phase of fire alarm system evaluation, the owner and the insurance provider will
not get a fire alarm system that will meet their
respective requirements.
54
Central Station Alarm Association
Highly Protected Risk (HPR)
Fire Protection and Surveillance
The minimum fire protection and security surveillance which is satisfactory to an HPR insurance carrier is dependent on property values and
risk characteristics. The protection provided is
the basis for developing loss prevention recommendations. Surveillance is intended to address
the normal and catastrophic loss exposure,
which takes into consideration property damage
and business interruption values, special hazards
and damageability of contents.
10.
• Supervisory signals, which monitor the high
and low air pressure of all dry pipe sprinkler
valves.
• Supervisory signals with monitor the integrity of all private water supplies, including
storage tank level and low temperature (in
areas subject to freezing temperatures), fire
pump running and driver/controller availability.
HPR insurance companies defines “alarm
service” as one which is NRTL certificated and
installed in accordance with the provisions of
the appropriate sections of NFPA 72 for Central
Station, Proprietary Supervising Station (with
some restrictions), Remote Supervising Station
or Auxiliary.
“Complete alarm and supervisory service” is
defined as a central station, Proprietary Supervising Station, Remote Supervising Station, or
a combination auxiliary (for alarms)/ Remote
Supervising Station (for supervisory) fire alarm
system, with the requirement that the fire alarm
system must be UL Certificated or FMRC
placarded for a new installation or an extension
to an existing installation, and installed in
accordance with the National Fire Alarm
and Signaling Code covering.

For electric motor-driven fire pumps,
pump running, power availability, and
phase reversal must be monitored for
supervisory condition.


For diesel engine-driven fire pumps,
pump running, engine or controller
trouble, and controller switch in position
other than “automatic” must be monitored for supervisory condition.
For automatic steam driven pumps,
pump running and steam availability
must be monitored for supervisory
condition.
• Supervisory signals which monitor the
low pressure of all questionable public
water supplies.
• Supervisory signals which monitor the
low temperature of all buildings equipped
with wet pipe sprinkler systems, all dry
pipe sprinkler valve closets and all fire
pump rooms (in areas subject to freezing
temperatures).
• Fire alarm signals from the discharge of all
automatic sprinkler and other extinguishing
systems. Fire alarm signals from all installed
automatic detection systems. Fire alarm signals from at least one manual fire alarm box.
• Supervisory signals which monitor safe
operating parameters of critical processes
as a backup to the operating controls, such
as excess pressure or increased temperature,
or which monitor external conditions which
• Supervisory signals from the closure of all
fire protection water supply, divisional and
sprinkler system control valves 2 ½ inches or
larger.
55
Central Station Alarm Association
might affect the safe operation of a process,
such as flooding of an oil pumping pit. The
provision of these process monitoring supervisory signals will usually result from information determined during implementation
of a facility’s hazard identification program.
Generally when an HPR insurance company is
involved at a facility, the local fire officials will
find all fire protection systems more consistently
in compliance with the national fire codes. The
requirement of UL, ETL Listed or FMRC approved central station service provides a higher
level of monitoring than that required by some
jurisdictions.
56
Central Station Alarm Association
Special Appliance for Fire Protection
Combination Systems
11.
Some property owners will demand some form
of water leak/flood detection for buildings that
contain pipes that might break or processes
that might overflow and are not occupied on a
24-hour basis. Again, this detection is for the
owner’s benefit only and not to be connected to
activate a fire alarm.
Fire alarm systems are often combined with or
interfaced with other systems in a building. Examples of typical combination systems include
fire alarm/security alarm systems and building
management/fire alarm systems. The National
Fire Alarm and Signaling Code allows combination systems only if the fire alarm system
operation is not compromised by the system
combined with it, and if the fire alarm system
signals will take precedence.
Many buildings will have special hazard protection systems installed in addition to the fire
alarm system. These special hazard systems may
include fire extinguishing or suppression systems for a variety of hazards, such as computer
rooms or kitchen hoods. In all cases, when a
fire alarm system is installed in a building, these
special hazard systems must be connected to the
fire alarm system. Each special hazard system
must be monitored for alarm, trouble and supervisory. The supervisory monitoring requires
that if the special hazard system malfunctions in
any way (i.e., loss of power, any trouble condition, etc.), that malfunction must be individually
identified and reported as a supervisory signal at
the fire alarm system.
Special Hazard Systems
Connecting carbon monoxide detectors to a fire
alarm system is permitted by NFPA 72 and 720,
Standard for the Installation of Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detection and Warning Equipment.
These detectors are primarily used as a local
warning to the occupants. If a carbon monoxide
detector is connected to and monitored by a
central station, the operators should be trained
to provide special instructions to be subscriber
to vent the area involved and to see medical assistance.
Automatic Sprinkler Systems
Interface with Fire Alarm Systems
Natural gas detection is another common form
of non-fire detection that may be installed in a
property that has heating or processing equipment that is gas-fired. Again, this form of
detection should not be connected to the fire
alarm system. Rather, the central station should
monitor it as a “supervisory signal” to provide
the subscriber and gas utility company with the
appropriate information.
An automatic sprinkler system must be connected as a separate point or zone on the fire alarm
system in the facility. If there is no fire alarm
system in the building, a manual fire alarm box
must be installed (location determined by the
AHJ). This box may be used to notify the central station of a fire when the automatic sprinkler system is shut off for maintenance. Normally a waterflow alarm-initiating device is used
57
Central Station Alarm Association
Waterflow Vane Switch
Supervisory Switch
to connect the automatic sprinkler system to the
fire alarm system. A waterflow switch may be
a pressure type switch or vane type switch (see
photo below and drawing on following page).
The control valve is monitored for off-normal
position. This function is normally served
through the use of a valve supervisory switch.
This device must also report separately as a supervisory signal (not a trouble signal) at the fire
alarm control unit.
Waterflow Switch
58
Central Station Alarm Association
Maintaining Fire Alarm System Reliability
During the last twenty years, fire alarm systems have evolved from traditional relay-based
control equipment to microcomputer-based
technology. A decade ago, the limiting factor for
a reliable fire alarm system was usually the hardware. To provide flexibility, new systems were
designed with modular components, all of which
were potential sources if failure. Today, however, microprocessor-based systems produced
in modern facilities employing modern quality
assurance techniques for both hardware and
software attain, and often exceed, their theoretical reliability. Because of this theoretically high
reliability, we have been lulled into thinking that
total system reliability is only a function of the
hardware’s reliability.
12.
on the reliability of an installed system. Why?
Because the equipment – the hardware and the
software – make up just one of the four principal
elements of a system: equipment, system design,
system installation, and system maintenance.
The best system design, implemented with the
finest equipment available can still be unreliable if it is not installed properly. The purpose
of this guide is to assist insurance and fire
service professionals in their understanding of
the components and operations of fire alarm
systems and what effects they have in increasing
the reliability of installed systems. Diligence in
reviewing the design, installation and, equally
as important, the testing and maintenance of the
fire alarm systems will help achieve the reliability goal.
Yet after two decades of improvements in fire
alarm equipment, reliability problems persist.
Why? Because the improvements in equipment
mean nothing if they are not accompanied by
improvements in design, installation, testing and
maintenance.
If the fire service or insurance professional is
unfamiliar with the installed fire alarm system,
he or she should seek out a qualified third party
to assist with the evaluation of both the system
design and the installation. Creating a checklist
will prove useful. A good starting point for a
checklist would be the requirements of NFPA
72-2010, Chapter 14 and the related Appendix
material.
For our purposes, “reliability” is the measure of
the likelihood that a fire alarm system will respond appropriately to the conditions that occur
during its lifetime. Because fire alarm systems
installations do not follow the strict rules of
reliability calculations, the term “mission effectiveness” is a better term to define the system’s
overall quality. Mission effectiveness combines
equipment reliability with software reliability,
installation quality, and testing and maintenance
effectiveness.
Testing Requirements
Every fire alarm system must be 100% acceptance tested. How else will you know it
“works”?
After a fire alarm system is first installed, A
Record of Completion, found in NFPA 72,
Chapter 10, must be completed for each system
installed. (Multiple station 120 VAC smoke
alarms are not considered a system). This form
may be copied from NFPA 72.
As previously stated, manufacturers have
stressed quality control and have made every
effort to improve the reliability of fire alarm system equipment. However, even a manufacturer’s
most ardent efforts can only have limited effect
59
Central Station Alarm Association
The area of acceptance testing is where insurance and fire service professionals can have the
greatest impact on the mission effectiveness
of the installed fire alarm system. Because the
insurance and fire service professional cannot
possibly stay abreast of the continuous changes
in fire alarm system technology, they should
always ask for the Record of Completion, a complete operational description of the fire alarm
system, and, in the case of a central station system, a copy of the UL certificate or the FMRC
placard prior to scheduling an initial acceptance
test. By reviewing these documents, the acceptance test protocol or plan can be developed
before the acceptance test is conducted.
fire service professionals should require the fire
alarm contractor to complete a test report similar to the one shown in Chapter 14 of NFPA 72.
Upon completion of the installation, a visual inspection and a functional acceptance test of the
system will identify any part that is not working
properly.
If the insurance or fire service professional
witness a periodic test of an installed fire alarm
system, they should review the records of previous tests and compare them with the current
test results to be sure that all parts of the system
continue to function properly. Periodic inspections and functional test throughout the life of
the fire alarm system help determine if any part
of the system as failed.
The National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code
Chapter 14 requires “as-built” or “record”
drawings. These drawings consist of a plan of
the building showing the exact location of all devices and appliances, lines drawn from device to
device and appliance to appliance showing how
the fire alarm contractor actually installed the
wiring, with indications on these lines showing
the number of conductors, circuit identification,
and location of all junction boxes. The insurance
or fire service professional must demand to see
these drawings prior to beginning the acceptance test.
Although fire alarm systems have power supplies and the means of interconnecting the components “monitored for integrity,” the advent
of solid state electronic components in these
systems has introduced numerous unsupervised
components and junctions that can fail without
notifications of the failure. Such a failure can impair part or all of the system without any apparent change in the status of the system. Testing
therefore is integral to maintaining a high level
of mission effectiveness.
Insurance and fire service professionals should
require that the installer pre-acceptance test
each fire alarm system and submit the Record of
Completion prior to calling for the formal acceptance test. After all tests have been completed
and all documentation of testing and system
information has been submitted, the insurance
and fire service professional can witness the final
inspection acceptance test.
Inspectors should be familiar with the National
Fire Alarm and Signaling Code so that during
the inspection they can determine if the installer
has selected the appropriate alarm initiating
devices and notification appliances, and installed
them in accordance with the requirements of the
code.
It is recommended that the test of the entire fire
alarm system be conducted as follows:
Chapter 14 of the National Fire Alarm and
Signaling Code also details the initial acceptance tests, the reacceptance tests, the visual
inspection, the periodic tests and the routine
maintenance of the detectors and all other fire
alarm system components. When witnessing the
acceptance testing of a system, the insurance and
1. Test the fire alarm system control unit to
verify that it is in the normal supervisory
condition as detailed in the manufacturer’s
instruction manual.
2. Test each initiating device circuit and notification appliance circuit to confirm that the
system control unit is monitoring the integ60
Central Station Alarm Association
rity of the installation conductors. Sequentially open, ground and short the connection
at enough initiating devices and notification
appliances to assure a thorough test.
detector at its installed location to assure that
smoke can enter the chamber and initiate an
alarm. Some testing companies use a bee smoker
as one source of relatively safe smoke. Residential smoke alarms have an integral test means
that permits the homeowners to test the smoke
alarm circuitry.
3. Test each initiating device and notification appliance for operation and for proper
response at the system control unit. Test all
functions, including all supplementary functions, in accordance with the manufacturer’s
manual and NFPA 72, Chapter 14.
The 2010 edition of the National Fire Alarm and
Signaling Code Chapter 14 requires the periodic
test of the sensitivity of a smoke detector to
assure that the sensitivity has remained within
the listed and marked sensitivity on the detector. The code permits several methods of testing
sensitivity, but does not permit the use of unmeasured amounts of an aerosol. In all cases, the
person testing should follow the manufacturer’s
instructions for testing the smoke detectors.
4. Test the primary (main) power supply and
secondary (standby) power supply.
5. Test all functions of the fire alarm control
unit as described in the system operational
description.
If any additions or other changes are made to the
fire alarm system, the inspector should witness a
re-acceptance test on all affected portions. Consult with NFPA 72, Chapter 14, for the scope of
such a reacceptance test. This will help assure
the continued integrity of the fire alarm system.
Testing Manual Fire Alarm Boxes
The National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code
Chapter 14 specifies the testing frequency for
manual fire alarm boxes. When testing, follow
the manufacturer’s operating instructions.
Testing Heat Detectors
Testing Fire Safety Function Interfaces
NFPA 72, Chapter 14 requires that all interfaced
systems be tested in conjunction with, and at
the same time as, the fire alarm system. This
includes fan control, elevator recall, suppression system activation (depending on the type of
suppression system, discharge simulation may be
acceptable), automatic unlocking of exit doors,
smoke door release and other similar fire safety
functions.
A restorable heat detector and the restorable
element of a combination detector should be
tested by exposing the detector to a safe heat
source (such as hot water, a hair dryer, or a
shielded heat lamp) until it responds. The
detector should reset automatically after each
heat test. Precautions should be taken to avoid
damage to the nonrestorable fixed-temperature
element of a combination rate-of-rise/fixed temperature detector. Follow the testing procedures
in NFPA 72, Chapter 14.
It is imperative that the inspector requires all
trades involved with any interfaced system to
be present at the fire alarm system acceptance
test. This will help to ensure that the control
and monitoring of fire safety functions is operational and working as required by the codes and
specifications.
Testing Smoke Detectors
The person testing should visually inspect each
smoke detector and introduce smoke or other
aerosol acceptable to the manufacturer into the
61
Central Station Alarm Association
Testing Remote Annunciators
version) of the software has been installed. He or
she must record this information and advise the
owner that any software changes must be verified through compare programs or the fire alarm
system will have to be reacceptance tested in
accordance with NFPA 72, Chapter 14. The advantage of the new technology systems includes
complete system operation documentation and,
with analog systems, the ability to determine the
sensitivity of connected smoke detectors from
the fire alarm control unit.
The function of a remote annunciator is to assist
the responding fire service personnel in locating the fire source. The labeling and clarity of
the annunciator layout must be approved by the
people who will use it: the emergency responders! It should be remembered that complete
point identification may not be necessary at the
remote annunciator. Keeping the remote annunciator to simple graphics will often be more
beneficial to the emergency responders. It is
important also to verify that the zone or point
indications at the remote annunciator are identical to those at the fire alarm control unit.
Remember, the better the acceptance test, the
more reliable the fire alarm system installation
will be. Maybe insurance and fire service professionals find that due to personnel cutbacks, they
cannot be present throughout a large fire alarm
system acceptance test. That is the key reason
for all of the documentation requirements. If
you are in this position, it may be to your jurisdiction’s benefit to require that the fire alarm
system be NRTL Certificated. (Central Station
Service systems must be NRTL Certificated.).
As a part of the Certificate program, NRTLs
require the company issuing the Certificate to
hold a contract to provide testing and maintenance of the fire alarm system in accordance
with the requirements of NFPA 72. The Certified testing companies will then be responsible
for ensuring that all NFPA 72 and building code
requirements are met. The certified companies
(Central Station or Protected Premises, see Sections 3 & 4) can also issue certificate and service
the fire alarm systems. This procedure will
help ease the requirements for the fire service
inspector to be present during all of the tests
conducted.
Testing Notification Appliances
One of the weakest points in many fire alarm
system designs has been the audibility of the
notification appliances. NFPA 72 now requires
that audibility be measure using a sound level
meter. Never trust an inspector’s “calibrated
ear.” Ensure that the ambient audibility matches
the guidelines given in NFPA 72-2010, Chapter
18. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
also required that the notification appliances,
both audible and visible, be place throughout the
facility based on the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG). Fortunately, the National
Fire Alarm and Signaling Code requirements
contained in Chapter 18 has been accepted as
equivalent to the ADA requirements.
New Technology
Most new fire alarm systems are microprocessor (computer) based and will require software
in addition to the hardware. The integrity of the
software is extremely important. The inspector must determine from the documentation
provided what “Rev. #” (Revision Number or
For more information regarding these procedures or to ensure that you are using a NRTL
Listed central station, refer to www.csaaintl.org
for a complete listing of Listed central stations
that are members of CSAA.
62
Central Station Alarm Association
References
Fire Alarm Signaling Systems Handbook,
Second Edition, Bukowski, O’Laughlin,
National Fire Protection Association, One
Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02269 (1994).
The Moore-Wilson Signaling Report, a
bimonthly fire protection newsletter dealing
with fire alarm systems, edited by Wayne D.
Moore, P.E. and Dean K. Wilson, P.E. the Fire
Protection Alliance, 2348 Post Road, Suite 29,
Warwick, RI 02886.
Fire Alarm Systems Seminar Workbook,
Principal Author: Robert Schifiliti, P.E., with
Review assistance by Wayne Moore, P.E., Jeffrey
Moore, P.E., and Dean Wilson, P.E. National
Fire Protection Association, One Batterymarch
Park, Quincy, MA 02269 (1997).
Training Manual on Fire Alarm Systems,
National Electrical Manufacturers Association
(NEMA), 1300 North 17th Street, Suite 1847,
Rosslyn, VA 22209 (1997).
Fire Protection Handbook, Eighteenth
Edition. A. Cote, J. Linville, National Fire
Protection Association, One Batterymarch Park,
Quincy, MA 02269 (1997).
Fire Detection Sensors and Alarm Systems,
Handbook of Utilities and Services for
Buildings. C. Harris, Editor. New York:
McGraw-Hill, Chapter 38. (1990).
Guide for Application of System Smoke
Detectors, National Electrical Manufacturers
Association (NEMA), 1300 North 17th Street,
Suite 1847, Rosslyn, VA 22209 (1997).
Fire Protection Equipment Directory,
Underwriters Laboratories, 333 Pfingsten Road,
Northbrook, IL 60062-2096. (1998).
FMRC Approval Guide, Factory Mutual
Research Corporation, 1151 Boston-Providence
Turnpike, Norwood, MA 02062 (1998).
NFPA 720, Standard for the Installation
of Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detection and
Warning Equipment, 2009 edition.
IRI Information, IM.11.0.1, Industrial Risk
Insurers, 85 Woodland Street, Hartford, CT.
(1998).
National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code®,
2010 edition, National Fire Protection Association, One Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA
02269.
How Reliable Is Your Fire Alarm System?
John M. Cholin, P.E. Wayne D. Moore, P.E.,
NFPA Journal Volume 89/Number 1, January/
February 1995.
National Electrical Code, 2009 edition,
National Fire Protection Association, One
Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02269.
Design of Special Hazard & Fire Alarm
Systems, Robert M. Gagnon, Delmar Publishers, 3 Columbia Circle, Albany, NY 12212-5015
(1998).
63
Central Station Alarm Association
Appendix – Glossary of Terms
Acknowledge. To confirm that a message or signal has been received, such as by the pressing of
a button or the selection of a software command.
Alarm Signal. A signal indicating an emergency
requiring immediate action, such as an alarm for
fire from a manual station, a water flow alarm,
or an alarm from an automatic fire alarm system.
Active Multiplex System. A multiplexing system in which signaling devices such as transponders are employed to transmit status signals of
each initiating device or initiating device circuit
within a prescribed time interval so that lack of
receipt of such signal may be interpreted as a
trouble signal.
Alarm System. A combination of compatible
initiating devices, control panels, and notification appliances designed and installed to produce an alarm signal in the event of fire.
Alarm Verification Feature. A feature of
automatic fire detection and alarm systems to
reduce unwanted alarms wherein automatic
smoke detectors must report alarm conditions
for a minimum period of time, or confirm alarm
conditions within a given period of time after
being reset, to be accepted as a valid alarm initiation signal.
Addressable Device. A fire alarm system
component with discrete identification that can
have its status individually identified or that is
used to individually control other functions.
Adverse Condition. Any condition occurring in
a communications or transmission channel that
interferes with the proper transmission or interpretation, or both, of status change signals at the
supervising station. (See also Trouble Signal)
Alert Tone. An attention-getting signal to
alert occupants of the pending transmission
of a voice message.
Air Sampling-Type Detector. A detector that
consists of a piping or tubing distribution network from the detector to the area (s) to be protected. An aspiration fan in the detector housing
draws air from the protected area back to the
detector through air sampling ports, piping, or
tubing. At the detector, the air is analyzed for
fire products.
Analog Initiating Device (Sensor). An initiating device that transmits a signal indicating
varying degrees of condition as contrasted with
a conventional initiating device, which can only
indicate an on/off condition.
Annunciator. A unit containing two or more
indicator lamps, alphanumeric displays, or other
equivalent means in which each indication identifies the circuit, or location to be annunciated.
Alarm Initiating Device. A device which,
when actuated initiates an alarm. Such devices,
depending on their type, can be operated manually or actuated automatically in response to
smoke, flame, heat, or water flow.
Approved. Acceptable to the authority having
jurisdiction.
64
Central Station Alarm Association
Authority Having Jurisdiction. The organization, office, or individual responsible for approving equipment, an installation, or a procedure.
Box, Fire Alarm. (Also see “manual fire alarm
box”)
a. Noncoded. A manually operated device
which, when operated, closes or opens one
or more sets of contacts and generally locks
the contacts in the operated position until
the box is reset.
NFPA 72 contains an appendix item commenting on the definition for “Authority
Having Jurisdiction” as follows:
A-1-4 Authority Having Jurisdiction. The
phrase “authority having jurisdiction’ is
used in NFPA documents in a broad manner, since jurisdictions and approval agencies vary, as do their responsibilities. Where
public safety is primary, the authority having jurisdiction may be a federal, state, local
or other regional department or individual
such as a fire chief; fire marshal; chief of a
fire prevention bureau, labor department, or
health department; building official; electrical inspector; or others having statutory
authority. For insurance purposes, an insurance inspection department, rating bureau,
or other insurance company representative
may be the authority having jurisdiction. In
many circumstances, the property owner
or his or her designated agent assumes the
role of the authority having jurisdiction; at
government installations, the commanding
officer or departmental official may be the
authority having jurisdiction.
b. Coded. A manually operated device in
which the act of pulling a lever causes the
transmission of not less than three rounds
of coded alarm signals. Similar to the noncoded type, except that instead of a manually operated switch, a mechanism to rotate
a code wheel is utilized. Rotation of the code
wheel, in turn, causes an electrical circuit to
be alternately opened and closed, or closed
and opened, thus transmitting a coded alarm
signal which identifies the location of the
box. The code wheel is cut for the individual
code to be transmitted by the device and can
operate by clockwork or an electric motor.
Clockwork transmitters can be pre-wound
or can be wound by the pulling of the alarm
lever. Usually the box is designed to repeat
its code four times and automatically come
to rest. Pre-wound transmitters must sound
a trouble signal when they require rewinding. Solid state, electronic coding devices are
also used in conjunction with the fire alarm
control unit to produce a coded sounding of
the system’s audible notification appliances.
Auxiliary Fire Alarm System. A connection
to the municipal fire alarm system to transmit
an alarm of fire to the municipal communications center. Fire alarms from an auxiliary alarm
system are received at the municipal communications center on the same equipment and by the
same alerting methods as alarms transmitted by
municipal fire alarm boxes located on streets.
Breakglass Fire Alarm Box. A fire alarm box in
which it is necessary to break a special element
in order to operate the box.
Ceiling. The upper surface of a space, regardless
of height. Areas with a suspended ceiling would
have two ceilings, one visible from the floor and
the one above the suspended ceiling.
Average Ambient Sound Level. The root mean
square, A-weighted sound pressure level measured over a 24-hour period.
Ceiling Height. The height from the continuous
floor of a room to the continuous ceiling of a
room or space.
Bell. A single stroke or vibrating type audible
notification appliance which has a bell tone.
65
Central Station Alarm Association
Ceiling-Surfaces. Ceiling surfaces referred to
in conjunction with the locations of initiating
devices are defined as follows:
signaled to, recorded in, and supervised from
a listed central station having competent and
experienced operators who, upon receipt of a
signal, take such action as required by this code.
Related activities at the protected property such
as equipment installation, inspection, testing,
maintenance, and runner service are the responsibility of the central station or a listed fire alarm
service local company. Central station service
is controlled and operated by a person, firm, or
corporation whose business is the furnishing of
such contracted services or whose properties are
the protected premises.
Beam Construction. Ceilings having solid
structural or solid nonstructural members
projecting down from the ceiling surface
more than 4 in. (100 mm) and spaced more
than 36 in. (910 mm), center to center.
Girder. A support for beams or joists that
runs at right angels to the beams or joists.
If the top of girders is within 4 in. (100 mm)
of the ceiling, the girder is a factor in determining the number of detectors and is to be
considered a beam. If the top of the girder
is more than 4 in. (100 mm) from the ceiling,
the girder is not a factor in detector location.
Certification. A systematic program using randomly selected follow-up inspections of the
Certificated systems installed under the
program, which allows the listing organization
to verify that a fire alarm system complies with
all the requirements of this code. A system
installed under such a program is identified by
the issuance of a certificate and is designated
as a certificated system.
Solid Joist Construction. Ceilings that
have solid structural or solid nonstructural
members projecting down from the ceiling surface for a distance of more than 4 in.
(100mm) and spaced at intervals of 36 in (910
mm) or less, center to center.
CFM. Unit volume of flow of a gaseous
substance (such as air) measured in cubic feet
per minute.
Central Station. A supervising station that is
listed for central station service.
Central Station Fire Alarm System. A system
or group of systems in which the operations
of circuits and devices are transmitted automatically to, recorded in, maintained by, and
supervised from a listed central station having
competent and experienced servers and operators who, upon receipt of a signal, take such
action as required by this code. Such service is
to be controlled and operated by a person, firm,
or corporation whose business is the furnishing,
maintaining, or monitoring of supervised fire
alarm systems.
Chime. A single-stroke or vibrating type
audible notification appliance which has a
xylophone-type striking bar and / or tone.
Circuit Interface. A circuit component that
interfaces initiating devices or control circuits,
or both, notification appliances or circuits, or
both, system control outputs, and other signaling line circuits to a signaling line circuit.
Coded. An audible or visible signal conveying
several discrete bits or units of information.
Notification signal examples are numbered
strokes of an impact-type appliance and numbered flashes of a visible appliance.
Central Station Service. The use of a system or
a group of systems in which the operations of
circuits and devices at a protected property are
66
Central Station Alarm Association
Combination Detector. A device that either (a)
responds to more than one of the fire signatures
or (b) employs more than one operating principle to sense any one of these signatures. Typical
examples are (a) combination of a heat detector
with a smoke detector, or (b) a combination rateof-rise and fixed temperature heat detector.
Compatible (Equipment). Equipment that interfaces mechanically or electrically together as
manufactured and without field modification.
Contiguous Property. A single-owner or
single-user protected premises on a continuous
plot of ground, including any buildings thereon,
that is not separated by a public thoroughfare,
transportation right-of-way, property owned or
used by others, or body of water not under the
same ownership.
Combination Fire Alarm and Guard’s Tour
Box. A manually operated box for separately
transmitting a fire alarm signal and a distinctive
guard patrol tour supervisory signal.
Damper. A valve or plate regulating the flow of
air or other fluid.
Combination System. A protected premises
fire alarm system for fire alarm, supervisory
or watchman service whose components can
be used in whole or part in common with a
non-fire-emergency signaling system, such as
a paging system, a musical program system,
HVAC control system, or a process monitoring
system, without degradation of, or hazard to,
the fire alarm system.
Digital Alarm Communicator Receiver
(DACR). A system component located in the
supervising station that will accept and display
signals from the DACT’s sent over the public
switched telephone system.
Digital Alarm Communicator System
(DACS). A system in which signals are transmitted from a Digital Alarm Communicator
Transmitter (DACT) located at the protected
premises through the public switched telephone
network to a Digital Alarm Communicator Receiver (DACR) located at the supervising station.
Control Unit. A device with the control circuits
necessary to (1) furnish power to a fire alarm
system; (2) receive signals from alarm initiating
devices and transmit them to audible indicating appliances and accessory equipment; and (3)
monitor the integrity of the system installation
wiring and primary (main) power. The control
unit can be contained in one or more cabinets in
adjacent or remote locations.
Digital Alarm Communicator Transmitter
(DACT). A system component at the protected
premises to which initiating devices or groups
of devices are connected. The DACT will seize
the connected telephone line, dial a preselected
number to connect to a DACR in the supervising station, and transmit signals indicating a
status change of the initiating device.
Communications Channel. A circuit or path
connecting a subsidiary station (s) to a supervising station (s) over which signals are carried.
Compatibility Listed. A specific listing process
that applies only to two-wire devices (such as
smoke detectors) that are designed to operate
with certain control equipment.
Duct. A passageway made of sheet metal or
other suitable material not necessarily
leak-tight, used for conveying air or other
gas at low pressures.
67
Central Station Alarm Association
Duct Smoke Detector. A device located
within a duct, protruding into a duct, or
located outside a duct that will detect visible
or invisible particles of combustion flowing
within the duct. Actuation of the device may
allow operation of certain control functions.
IP. Internet Protocol or packet data.
Labeled. Equipment or materials to which has
been attached a label, symbol, or other identifying mark of an organization acceptable to the
authority having jurisdiction and concerned
with product evaluation, that maintains periodic
inspection of the production of such labeled
equipment or materials and by whose labeling
the manufacturer indicates compliance with
appropriate standards or performance in a
specified manner.
End of Line Device. A device such as a
resistor or diode placed at the end of a circuit
to maintain monitoring fire integrity.
End of Line Relay. Device used to supervise
power (usually for four wire smoke detectors)
and installed within or near the last device on
the circuit.
Light Scattering. The action of light being
reflected and/or refracted off particles of
combustion, as in a light scattering photoelectric
smoke detector.
Four Wire Smoke Detector. A smoke detector
which initiates an alarm condition on a circuit
separate from the circuit that supplies operating
power to the device.
Listed. Equipment or materials included in a
list published by an organization acceptable to
the authority having jurisdiction and concerned
with evaluation of products and services, that
maintains periodic inspection of listed equipment or materials or periodic evaluation of
services and whose listing states either that the
equipment, material or service meets identified
standards or has been tested and found suitable
for a specified purpose.
General Alarm. A term usually applied to the
simultaneous operation of all the audible and
visible alarm notification appliances on a system
to indicate the need for evacuation of a building.
Heat Detector. A device that detects abnormally high temperature or rate-of-temperature rise.
Initiating Device Circuit. A circuit to which
automatic or manual signal initiating devices are
connected where the signal received does not
normally identify the individual device operated.
Managed Facilities-Based Voice Network
(MFVN). A physical facilities-based network
capable of transmitting real time signals with
formats unchanged that is managed, operated,
and maintained by the service provider to ensure
service quality and reliability from the subscriber location to public switched telephone network
(PSTN) interconnection points or other MFVN
peer networks.
Ionization Smoke Detector. An ionization
smoke detector has a small amount of radioactive material which ionizes the air in the sensing
chamber, thus rendering it conductive and permitting a current to flow between two charged
electrodes. This gives the sensing chamber an
effective electrical conductance. When smoke
particles enter the sensing chamber, they decrease the conductance. When the conductance
is less than a predetermined lever, the detector
actuates.
Monitoring for Integrity. The ability to detect
a fault condition in the installation wiring which
would prevent normal operation of the fire
alarm system.
68
Central Station Alarm Association
Notification Zone. An area covered by notification appliances that are activated simultaneously.
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
NFPA administers the development of and
published codes, standards, and other materials
concerning all phases of fire safety.
NRTL. National Recognized Testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories, FMRC
and Intertek.
Notification Appliance. A fire alarm system
component such as a bell, horn, speaker, light, or
text display that provides audible, tactile, or visible outputs, or any combination thereof.
Nuisance Alarm. Any alarm caused by mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation,
or lack of proper maintenance, or any alarm
activated by a cause that cannot be determined.
Audible Notification Appliance. A notification appliance that alerts by the sense of
hearing.
Operating Mode, Private. Audible or visible
signaling only to those persons directly concerned with the implementation and direction
of emergency action in the area protected by the
fire alarm system.
Audible Textual Notification Appliance. A
notification appliance that conveys a stream
of audible information. An example of an
audible textual appliance is a speaker that
reproduces a voice message.
Operating Mode, Public. Audible or visible
signaling to occupants or inhabitants of the area
protected by the fire alarm system.
Olfactory Notification Appliance. A notification appliance that alerts by the sense of
smell.
Photoelectric Smoke Detector. In the photoelectric light scattering smoke detector, a light
source and a photosensitive sensor are so arranged that the rays from the light source do not
normally fall on the photosensitive sensor. When
smoke particles enter the light path, some of the
light is scattered by reflection and refraction
onto the sensor, causing the sensor to respond.
Tactile Notification Appliance. A notification appliance that alerts by the sense of
touch or vibration.
Visible Notification Appliance. A notification appliance that alerts by the sense
of sight.
Projected Beam (Smoke) Detector. In a projected beam photoelectric smoke detector, the
amount of light transmitted between a light
source and a photosensitive sensor is monitored.
When smoke particles are introduced in the light
path, some of the light is scattered and some absorbed, thereby reducing the light reaching the
receiver, causing the detector to respond.
Visible Textual Notification Appliance. A
notification appliance that conveys a stream
of visible information. An example of a
visible textual appliance is a screen or
monitor that displays an alphanumeric
or pictorial message.
Notification Appliance Circuit. A circuit
or path directly connected to a notification
appliance(s).
69
Central Station Alarm Association
Protected Premises Fire Alarm System. A
system that sounds an alarm at the protected
premises as the result of the manual operation of
a fire alarm box or the operation of protection
equipment or systems such as water flowing in
a sprinkler system, the discharge of carbon dioxide or Halon 1301, or the detection of smoke,
heat or flame.
Stratification. An effect that occurs when
heated air containing smoke particles or gaseous combustion products rises until it reaches
a level at which there is no longer a difference
in temperature between it and the surrounding
air. Stratification can also be caused by powered
ventilation that develops an opposing airflow.
Supervisory Signal. A signal indicating the need
for action in connection with the supervision of
guard tours, automatic sprinkler or other extinguishing systems or equipment, or the maintenance features of other protective systems.
Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).
An assembly of communications equipment and
telephone service providers that utilize managed facilities-based voice networks (MFVN)
to provide the general public with the ability to
establish communications channels via discrete
dialing codes.
Thermal Lag. The time it takes for the operating
element of a heat detector to absorb hear from
the surrounding air. Thus, when a fixed temperature device operates, the temperature of the
surrounding air will always be higher than the
operating temperature of the device itself.
Rate-of-Rise Heat Detector. A device which
will respond when the temperature rises at a rate
exceeding a predetermined amount.
Remote Supervising Station Fire Alarm
System. A system that connects alarm initiating
devices or a control unit in a protected premises to signal receiving equipment at a Remote
Supervising Station, such as fire or police
headquarters or other places acceptable to
the authority having jurisdiction.
Trouble Signal. An audible signal indicating
trouble of any nature, such as a circuit open or
ground occurring in the device or wiring, or
with a power supply associated with a fire alarm
system.
Two-Wire Smoke Detector. A smoke detector
which initiates an alarm condition on the same
circuit that also supply power to the detector.
Spot Detector. A device whose detecting
element is concentrated at a particular location.
Typical examples are bimetallic detectors, fusible
alloy detectors, certain pneumatic rate-of-rise
detectors, certain smoke detectors and thermoelectric effect detectors.
Waterflow Switch. A listed so constructed and
installed that any flow of water from a sprinkler system equal to or greater than that from a
single automatic sprinkler head will result in actuation of this switch and subsequently indicate
an alarm condition.
Zone. A designated area of a building. Commonly, zones within a building are annunciated
remotely to enable the emergency responders to
rapidly locate a fire. The term can also indicate
an area served by detectors.
70
Central Station Alarm Association
Was this manual useful for you? yes no
Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Download PDF

advertising