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.
It makes sense that most contractors focus on the codes that relate to the system types they install. Specifically, professional systems contractors most use NFPA 70, National Electrical Code and NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.
“What is NFPA 72?” That sounds like a straightforward question, right? At least, we would like to think so. At a recent meeting, someone asked a technician this seemingly simple question. He replied correctly that NFPA 72 was the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.
When maintaining low-voltage systems, there is little to guide you as to when to schedule service, other than your experience with the equipment’s past performance and the recommendations of the manufacturer. Or, maybe, you focus on providing on-call service only.
I recently realized that our failure to properly train fire alarm system technicians has created a group of workers who simply do not understand the reasons they do what they do. When a technician asks for the rationale behind a procedure, we often respond, “Because the code requires it.”
The history of classes and styles of circuits is interesting. Back in 1987, a proposal was accepted to start using Styles of Circuits instead of the Class A and B we were all used to. Well, at least some thought so.