A good fire alarm system design becomes a function of how well you understand fire-protection principles as well as the requirements of NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, and NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC).
If you don’t agree that a fire alarm system is more than a fire alarm system, you should probably revisit Chapter 21, Emergency Control Function Interfaces, in NFPA 72 2016, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.
Too often, contractors seem to assume that only Article 760 of NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC), applies to fire alarm installations. I have witnessed many jobs where this has been the case. In fact, other NEC sections also apply.
Each year, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) publishes fire statistics. Residential typically leads all other occupancy types in fires, injuries and deaths. However, since the advent of the residential smoke alarm, residential fire deaths have fallen by more than 50 percent.
In my last article, I wrote about the significant changes to the 2016 NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. One change that I did not bring up is to the NFPA process. In 2016, the “change lines” in the columns next to revised or new text will no longer be there.
In June 2015, NFPA members met to hear arguments on motions to change the technical committee actions on a number of codes and standards, including the 2016 NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.
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.
One of my responsibilities over the years has been to field questions from our members and authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) to help them find and understand code requirements. I have benefitted from the process as well.
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
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 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.
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.
“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.
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.