Designers, contractors and authorities having jurisdiction often misunderstand the term “survivable.” They presume it means the installer has chosen to use either a Class A wiring scheme or has placed the circuits in metal raceway.
As most of you know, the codes and standards for fire alarm and mass notification systems change on a three-year cycle. New technology and more refined occupant needs top the list of reasons for most changes.
At a recent gathering of fire alarm industry friends, we found ourselves lamenting that, even though we felt confident that NFPA 72 2013, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, provided very good guidance for designers, installers and authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs), we still find new instal
As a contractor, you bid on numerous fire alarm system projects based on plans and specifications developed by an engineer. You assume the engineer has discussed such things as quality and reliability with the owner because the specifications focus on those issues.
We all know that fire alarm systems that are tested and maintained on a regular basis are more reliable. According to NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, the owner is responsible for inspections, testing and maintenance as well as any alterations or additions to the fire alarm system.
I am sure many of you are certified by the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) in fire alarm systems and encourage your employees to become NICET-certified as well. NICET has been certifying individuals in fire protection fields since 1978.
I receive questions and stories about installer experiences with code-compliant fire alarm systems in the field, many relating to issues about the use, application and installation requirements of visible and audible notification appliances.
Like many engineering disciplines, the fire protection world is built on tradition. And while tradition provides stability and uniformity, it also explains why the fire protection community has moved toward new technology applications at glacial speed.
When we think of system integration in the electrical and fire alarm systems market, we understand it involves bringing together component subsystems into one larger system and ensuring they function as one. And normally, the integrated system includes a fire alarm.
A contractor installed a new fire alarm system in a college dormitory and asked the owner, “How thoroughly do you want me to test the fire alarm system?” I was there to witness the system’s pre-acceptance test before we called the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) to arrange for the final acceptan
The tools and equipment necessary to install and test a fire alarm system have changed over the years, and until a fire official asks to perform a particular test, many contractors may be unaware that they need a new meter or specialized piece of equipment.
Did you ever wonder why some companies succeed and expand even in a down economy while others struggle to keep their doors open? It is a question worth considering because, once you analyze their reasons for success, you may find ideas you can use to increase your own business.
From talking to electrical contractors lately, I know it’s still tough to get profitable work in the current economy. However, I also find most of the contractors who have prepared well for such a poor economic situation are maintaining a substantial workload.
I often get calls from professional contractors who have become involved in design/build electrical projects that include the design and installation of fire alarm systems. The reasons for the calls vary, but most are born of surprise and frustration.
In the January 2012 issue of Campus Safety Magazine, Robin Hattersley-Gray reported from a 2011 survey stating that “more than half of university, hospital and K–12 school district fire protection professionals rate system maintenance (57 percent) and false alarms (53 percent) as two of their top fo
The captain of Road Prison 36 in “Cool Hand Luke,” played by Strother Martin, said the line that appears as the title of this article. Here, it leads to a discussion on the art and science of designing an effective communications system.
Sometimes I wonder if contractors read NFPA 72 2010, the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, when they decide to begin installing a fire alarm system. Of course, it should not be considered optional.