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.
Recently, while attending a lunch-and-learn presentation from one of the better local distributors of fire alarm systems, we wound up discussing the quality of fire alarm system submissions from contractors.
In May of last year, the Department of Fire Protection Engineering at the University of Maryland conducted a study to demonstrate the relative performance of smoke detectors and sprinklers in one- and two-family dwellings and apartments, commercial residential (e.g., hotels), and institutional occup
In a far-less-than-robust economy, we find many owners deferring moving to newly purchased or constructed facilities. Rather, they choose to renovate their existing buildings. Obviously, this process constricts the amount of work available.
As an electrical contractor, you understand the need and use of power for all electrical appliances, but do you understand the specific power requirements, both primary and secondary, for all of the fire alarm systems outlined in NFPA 72 2010, the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code?
The codes that affect your day-to-day business change every three years. The frequency of changes makes it difficult to stay abreast of the countless revisions that occur each code cycle. Coupled with rapid changes in technology, staying current becomes challenging.
There’s more than just smoke alarms to consider when installing fire protection in houses and apartments. In addition to deciding whether to use ionization or photoelectric smoke alarms, you must determine if you need to install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms or a fire sprinkler system.
Most professional contractors are comfortable advising what building owners should include in an electrical design project; the contractors’ expertise is based on their years of experience and knowledge of the National Electrical Code.
In my daily work, I come into contact with many electrical contractors. A few of them really stand out. In fact, a select number tend to work on most of our projects. I understand why that happens: The better contractors have learned how to differentiate themselves from the rest of the crowd.
Conducting a fire alarm system acceptance test in front of a fire official can prove daunting, even when the system passes muster. But doing any form of fire alarm system testing without having the proper tools is downright foolish.
Today, casinos are being built nationwide—this construction is not limited to locales in Nevada and New Jersey. However, we still follow fire and building code requirements that were radically changed by deadly fires in Las Vegas casinos close to 30 years ago.
Why can’t more technicians get it right? The answer: installation company owners must have a commitment to provide the appropriate training. And, technicians must have a commitment to participate in the appropriate training, so they will develop a passion to always do what’s right.
The very nature of design/build projects requires you to participate in the design process. You may even feel comfortable with assisting in this process. However, these types of projects come with increased responsibility. With most design/build projects, the owner will ask you for your opinion.