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Fire Question

Discussion in 'Security Alarms' started by James Barnes, Sep 23, 2003.

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  1. James Barnes

    James Barnes Guest

    We have a customer who wanted his sprinkler riser monitored. We went out and
    installed a silent knight 5104 control/communicator on it like we have done
    for many other customers. When the fire Marshall showed up for his test he
    said it needed horn strobes. Our customer had his electrician wire for the
    new strobes but when reviewed by the fire marshal was told he needed more.
    He also wanted audible horn strobes in the bathrooms. We don't design fire
    systems but we do install them after they have been designed. I have never
    heard of audible going in a bathroom. Does this sound right? I know the fire
    marshalls word is the way it will be, just thought it was a little strange.
    Also can anyone tell me what determines if a system needs a "fire system" or
    "sprinkler system" or both? This building is an indoor soccer arena with
    seating for about 300-500 people. It is constructed out of metal and has a
    concession area, and 2 bathrooms that are constructed out of metal studs,
    and sheetrock. Thankyou for any help you can give me.

  2. Jackcsg

    Jackcsg Guest

    At best the Fire Marshal is concerned with building evacuation. It is not
    uncommon for placing horn/strobes in bathrooms as a requirement for
    notification for evacuation. You may what to think about Manual Pull
    stations as well for notification, and submit a better plan to the fire
    marshal for approval. There are several guidelines provided by the NFPA
    regarding whether or not you need sprinklers, along with local building
    codes, but the AHJ rules in their decision. His approval rules.
  3. James,

    Your building code is where you'll find requirements for a spinkler and/or
    fire alarm system, by occupancy. Horns aren't required in restrooms per say,
    however, the requirement is generally to raise the sound pressure level by
    15 dBA throughout the occupied space. Strobes are required in restrooms,
    hallways, and common usage areas within Title III buildings (except the
    federal government of course).

    Good luck!

  4. Jim Rojas

    Jim Rojas Guest

    Unfortunately, you will need to install a full blown fire system. You might
    be able to use the Silent Knight 5207, with a remote keypad, since you are
    familiar with that product line.

    Get a set of plans, and make an appointment to see the Fire Marshal. If he
    is not willing to assist you in doing a layout, I will be more than happy to
    assist you with this. I have 23 years experience with commercial fire

    Jim Rojas
    (813) 886-7850
  5. J. Sloud

    J. Sloud Guest

    In general, building codes tell you what to install and NFPA 72 tells
    you how to install it. Depending on which building code your local
    jurisdiction has adopted, you will very likely be required to install
    a "full blown" system complete with notification devices. Tell the
    customer it could be worse because the AHJ is letting you use horn
    strobes and not requiring voice evac. which would be considerably more
    expensive. Many jurisdictions have adopted the IBC, NFPA 72, NFPA
    101, NEC, etc. Depending on which building code is used, you may not
    need manual pull stations, since the sprinkler riser is being
    monitored. NFPA 72 will detail where to place devices. Without
    looking at set of prints its tough to tell you exactly what you'll
    need. A smoke detector over the panel(s) and a manual pull station
    either next to the panel or in a continuously occupied location are
    commonly required.

    Audible appliances in bathrooms aren't common since devices located
    outside of the restrooms generally provide the 15dB over ambient noise
    measured over a 24 hour period or 5dB over maximum required by NFPA
    code. As you know, strobes are commonly used in restrooms to comply
    with ADA regulations. If the AHJ is requiring horn/ strobes in the
    restrooms, make sure that they don't exceed 120dB (ADA).
  6. True. Or you may find people literally have the s&%# scared out of them!

    I've seen 'em both ways, but especially strobe-only units. Many restrooms
    have sprinklers, and I've even seen some with smokes! (both system smokes
    and standard smokes)

    Here's a rather weird story concerning restroom strobes:
    I was in the Hobby Lobby in Rochester. Suddenly I felt the need to go. So I
    used the restrooms. I also noticed they used SpectrAlert horn/Strobe units
    in the main merchandising area, and SpectrAlert strobes in the restrooms.
    Anyways I was in there taking a dump when I heard BEEEP BEEEP BEEEP!
    and saw the ambience of the restroom strobe flashing for a split second.
    Turns out the workers were working on the sprinkler system in an adjacent
    store (which was being prepped for a client soon to be moving in.) and
    somehow triggered a flow switch or something like that. The horns were
    connected ti a Radionics keypad.

    In another incident (without restroom strobes) I was at a special job
    training camp where we actually worked in places for several weeks. We
    stayed at a college dorm. One night we were going to have a fire drill.
    When it happened... a boy was actually taking a dump!
  7. and standard smokes) I actually think it's a little risky placing a smoke
    detector in a restroom.What someone could do is activate the sink faucets on
    FULL HOT creating steam and setting off the alarm.
  8. J. Sloud

    J. Sloud Guest

    NFPA 72 allows an "alternate" commonly refrred to a "complete
    protection" system when the construction of a building is unknown.
    This design calls for a detector in every space. Generally, spot type
    heats are used in bathrooms, although I have seen smoke detectors
    placed in restrooms.. Since most all public buildings are designated
    no smoking, it's pretty common to have employees or the general public
    lighting up in a restroom and causing falses from bathroom smokes.
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