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Fire Alarm Reporting

Discussion in 'Security Alarms' started by James, Feb 25, 2005.

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  1. James

    James Guest

    I have a question for the fire expert in the group. I was doing a fire test
    with the local fire marshall today and he was telling me the fire alarm
    system should have reported each location of each alarm to the central
    station. Is this something new? The trend around here is for the
    monitoring company to install a 2 line / 4 Zone dialer and run it off the
    "Alarm & Trouble & Supervisory" dry contacts onboard. They report zone 1 as
    fire, 2 as Trouble, and 3 as Supervisory. I understand it would be nice to
    use a dialer designed for the panel "if it has one" to get the individual
    zone reports. But is this code? What about in the case the panel also has
    sprinklers hooked to it. Should there be a 4th zone to show Water Flow? or
    is the Zone 1 general fire alarm enough?

    Thanks, James
     
  2. Jackcsg

    Jackcsg Guest

    It depends on what the codes/requirement was at the time the system was
    installed. It also has to do with any Mandated changes to the codes that
    must be met. It might not have been code when it was installed, or it wasn't
    enforced. I would think a business owner would also want to know if water
    was pumping out all over his/her property as well.
    Michael Baker is our resident "fire pro", and I'm sure he'll chime in and
    help explain the code process.
     
  3. It's definitely getting weird. The last commercial fire system I did (over a year ago) the AHJ wanted the waterflow treated as a Tamper...no dispatch - FD thinks its a nuisance alarm to dispatch on waterflow...go figure.
     
  4. Aegis

    Aegis Guest

    It's definitely getting weird. The last commercial fire system I did (over a
    year ago) the AHJ wanted the waterflow treated as a Tamper...no dispatch -
    FD thinks its a nuisance alarm to dispatch on waterflow...go figure.



    *** No dispatch on a waterflow!?! I'd have that in writing from the AHJ (not
    the inspector, the Fire Marshal himself) if they wanted me to do that!
    ....and I'd send a copy to the State Fire Marshal just to CYA.
     
  5. Yah I was flabberflustered...I programmed it to send anyway - let them explain to the building owner why.

    After that I stopped doing commerical fire...life is simple now.
     
  6. don't tell me...tell rural-metro...i still can't figure them out.
     
  7. privately owned ambulance/fire dept...the subcontract management and equip. to small cities. I think they're owned outta the Netherlands or something. We've been trying to get rid of them for years.

    <rant>
    Dig this...they ALSO used to install security AND fire alarm systems AND were the AHJ !!! Talk about conflict of interests. So while we were installing to code...dual phone lines etc, they were hanging Ademco burg dialers from fire risers on wire coat hangers (I'm serious)...with one phone line. Oh did I mention they also used to monitor burg & fire!
    </rant>
     
  8. Its an AHJ issue on reporting of zones.all you need to send is a general
    alarm. per NFPa but in Pa. with ICC in place you must also now send trouble
    codes and flow and supervisory any new installs. it just makes good sense
    to send zones on large installs more info fire fighters have before they
    arrive the better they can respond.
    and determine howmany units and were to posistion them espcially at large
    plants and schools and campuses etc.
    --
    Nick Markowitz Jr.
    Owner
    Markowitz Electic Protection
    Private Industry Fire Investigator.
    Qualified Electrical- Fire Alarm Contractor
    Registered EPA Freon Recovery

    Contributing Editor Pa. Firemans Magazine
    Staff Editor www.securitymission.com
    Senior Correspondant www.1strespondernews.com
    Exclusive Correspondant www.nbfd.us
    Contract Broadcast Engineer WAVL 910 AM apollo Pa.

    "To error is human to realy foul things up requires a computer"

    Irish Diplomacy

    The ability to tell a man to go to hell and he tells you how much he is
    going to enjoy the trip.
     
  9. You forgot that they're not an American company.

    I wish I had a pix of the coat hanger riser mount...very ingenious.

    I 'think' they finally got voted out, after many years of a sweet deal.
     
  10. NFPA 72 leaves zoning requirements up to the AHJ (keywords are "if
    required"):

    NFPA 72-2002 4.4.6.1 Visible Zone Alarm Indication. if required, the
    location of an operated initiating device shall be visibly indicated by
    building, floor, fire zone, or other approved subdivision by annunciation,
    printout, or other approved means. The visible indication shall not be
    canceled by the operation of an audible alarm silencing means.

    The annex material includes some suggestive language that plans reviewers
    use (key word is "should"):

    A.4.4.6.1.2 Fire alarm system annunciation should, as a minimum, be
    sufficiently specific to identify the origin of a fire alarm signal in
    accordance with the following:
    (1) If a floor exceeds 2093 m2 (22,500 ft2) in area, the floor should be
    subdivided into detection zones of 2093 m2 (22,500 ft2) or less, consistent
    with the existing smoke and fire barriers on the floor.
    (2) If a floor exceeds 2093 m2 (22,500 ft2) in area and is undivided by
    smoke or fire barriers, detection zoning should be determined on a
    case-by-case basis in consultation with the authority having jurisdiction.
    (3) Waterflow switches on sprinkler systems that serve multiple floors,
    areas exceeding 2093 m2 (22,500 ft2), or areas inconsistent with the
    established detection system zoning should be annunciated individually.
    (4) In-duct smoke detectors on air-handling systems that serve multiple
    floors, areas exceeding 2093 m2 (22,500 ft2), or areas inconsistent with the
    established detection system zoning should be annunciated individually.
    (5) If a floor area exceeds 2093 m2 (22,500 ft2), additional zoning should
    be provided. The length of any zone should not exceed 91 m (300 ft) in any
    direction. If the building is provided with automatic sprinklers throughout,
    the area of the alarm zone should be permitted to coincide with the
    allowable area of the sprinkler zone.

    Your building code may also put a finer point on zoning. The IBC requires
    each floor of a high-rise to report by floor and by type of device.

    Best regards,

    Mike

    --
    Michael B. Baker, SET
    Michael Baker & Associates Inc
    PO Box 737
    Gladstone, OR 97027-0737
    503-657-8888 v
    503-655-1014 f
    ET News® http://www.etnews.org
     
  11. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Michael B. Baker said:

    <snip>

    All true, but it doesn't address the question that was asked. The question
    was whether central station reporting by zone was mandatory. You're
    talking about "annunciation." That could mean an annunciator at the
    premises.

    Personally, I don't see how NFPA could require reporting by zone unless
    they also outlawed old-style, direct connect systems monitored by the fire
    department. And that isn't going to happen.
     
  12. James

    James Guest

    The system as an annunciator at the main entrance that will show the area or
    zone that is going off, including if its water flow. My question is what is
    the central required to recieve. Currently it is Z1 Fire Alarm, Z2 Fire
    Trouble, Z3 Fire Supervisory. I had the central fax a report to the FM
    after the first day of testing was complete. The FM then told me he
    "thought" the water flow had to report seperately to the central station.
    He was not sure and I am not sure either. He told me he would find out and
    get back to me. I was hoping to understand this better so I will be more
    prepared in the future. The FM passed the inspection off yesterday, I was
    not there for this test. So I am still not sure if it is a code requirement
    or just good sense. The system currently does not report a seperate water
    flow.
     
  13. Jackcsg

    Jackcsg Guest

    Nothing in any code book is mandatory, they're guidelines. It's what is
    locally enforced that is important. That's why if you do commercial fire, as
    Mike stated, you need to have that relationship with the local AHJ's. The
    requirements are at the local level, not just a National Code book. This is
    the reason so many people get burned doing commercial fire....they assume.
    10 to 15 years ago this was probably common practice, although I would have
    separated waterflow devices for my own liability, regardless. Nothing says
    you can't do more than the minimum, you just can't do less....at that time.
    The NFPA doesn't "outlaw" anything....an AHJ does.
     
  14. Jackcsg

    Jackcsg Guest

    I would think as an owner I would want to know whether my building was
    indeed on fire, or that something happen that caused water to flow in my
    building. Water flowing doesn't necessarily mean there is a fire. I would
    also think my Insurance Company would want this information as well. Common
    sense says it should report separately.....
     
  15. Sorry for the delay. My travel schedule has been more hectic than usual.
    While on the road I don't have access to newsgroups.

    NFPA 72-2002 Chapter 8 Supervising Station Fire Alarm Systems includes
    requirements that could be construed to require transmitting the same zone
    info to the central station as is required at the protected premise (see
    item (3)):

    8.5.5 Display and Recording Requirements for All Transmission Technologies.
    8.5.5.1* Any status changes, including the initiation or restoration to
    normal of a trouble condition, that occur in an initiating device or in any
    interconnecting circuits or equipment, including the local protected
    premises controls from the location of the initiating device(s) to the
    supervising station, shall be presented in a form to expedite prompt
    operator interpretation. Status change signals shall provide the following
    information:
    (1) Identification of the type of signal to show whether it is an alarm,
    supervisory, delinquency, or trouble signal.
    (2) Identification of the signal to differentiate between an initiation of
    an alarm, supervisory, delinquency, or trouble signal and a clearing from
    one or more of these conditions.
    (3) Identification of the point of origin of each status change signal.

    If your municipality requires a separate zone for water flow at the
    protected premise then 8.5.5.1(3) requires that the water flow zone be
    identified at the central station.

    Best regards,

    Mike

    --
    Michael B. Baker, SET
    Michael Baker & Associates Inc
    PO Box 737
    Gladstone, OR 97027-0737
    503-657-8888 v
    503-655-1014 f
    ET News® http://www.etnews.org
     
  16. Mark Leuck

    Mark Leuck Guest

    I think he's describing one of your installations G :)
     
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