Monday, April 22, 2019

Using a Manometer to Test Duct Smoke Detectors

A Manometer is an electronic device commonly referred to as a liquid column hydro-static instrument.  A Manometer measures pressure and vacuum between the actual duct smoke detector's sample tubes. These manometer units can be used with other manufacturer's duct detectors but for this example we will stick with the System Sensor DNR. 

Manometer Testing Duct Smoke DetectorThe Manometer we chose to use for this article is the Duct Checker manufactured by SDI.  The Duct Checker is light weight, portable and battery operated making it easy to get to areas duct smoke detectors are commonly found. Simply connect the two provided hoses with variable size end plugs and power it on.  Once the unit turns on, press down the "hold" button for three seconds to zero out the machine.  Sort of like a scale.  Now press the "unit" button until you arrive at the selection of "inH2O" on the bottom left of the screen.

The Duct Checker comes with two hoses that are designated for specific ports.  One tube is marked as negative and the other positive.  Make sure to place the hose end of the positive into the actual sample tube inlet.  The negative tube will go into the exhaust port. 

With the System Sensor DNR duct detector you will be looking for a reading of anywhere between 0.01 min and 1.11 max.

Duct Checker Manometer from SDi


With this requirement clearly required in NFPA 72 2016 Table 14.4.3.2 section 17 (g)(5), as well as most manufacturer's documentation, you can expect to come across these at some point in your career.  They are not too pricey so I suggest grabbing one from SDi and placing them in your inspection crew's service vehicles.

Voltage Drop For Fire Alarm Circuits

·     Code Requirement for Voltage Drop Calculations?

NFPA 72 2013 Edition Section 7.2.1 - "Where documentation is required by the enforcing authority, the following list shall represent the minimum documentation required for all fire alarm and emergency communication systems, including new systems and additions or alternations to existing systems.", Within this list, you will find #7, Battery Calculations  and #8, Voltage Drop Calculations.

Keep in mind almost all fire alarm control units are 24 volts DC.  Also note that there are a few fire alarm control panels that are 12 volt DC.  Now these panels are typically combination fire and burglar system.  Just remember that the calculations for NAC voltage drops are the same for these systems, however the cut off voltage for a 12 volt system will be roughly half that of a 24 volt system.

·        What is the reason for voltage drop calculations?


NAC voltage drop calculations are critical for determining if your notification appliances will in fact work with the provided head end equipment.  (This is of course based on the installation contractor installing the system per plans and noted wiring distances).  If you perform your NAC voltage drop calculations correctly at the time of design, you will know exactly how many remote power supplies and NAC circuits are needed as well as the wall space requirements and 120 VAC connections required by the electrical contractor.  Keep in mind that this is a requirement of NFPA 72.

·         Voltage Drop Calculation Methods


There are primarily two methods to perform a NAC voltage drop calculation.  These methods are better known as “Point to Point (PTP)” and “End of Line (EOL)”.

·       Point to Point Voltage Drop requires much more math than the “EOL” method.  However, the extra work pays off as this method is more accurate.
  •          Designers generally use this method with a spreadsheet as the math can become tedious
  •          This is the method typically used by panel manufacturers within their own calculation programs
  •          Since it is less conservative of the “EOL” method, it allows for more devices on a circuit.
  •          There are cases of a 30% difference between the PTP and EOL methods
End of Line method is the easiest, quickest calculation
  •          Can be done easily by hand or with a calculator
  •          Results are less accurate that provide lots of head room for future expansion

Starting Voltage and Cut-Off Voltage


UL (Underwriters Laboratories) 864, 9th Edition Standards for Fire Alarm Control Panels:
  •          All panels must have a demonstrated 20.4 VDC panel cut off voltage.

You may be asking, “Where did they come up with 20.4 VDC on a 24 Volt system?”

It is actually quite simple.  20.4 VDC is 85% of 24 VDC. Or like we stated earlier, there are a few 12 VDC systems floating around.  In their case, the demonstrated voltage shall be 10.2 VDC.  Once again, 10.2 VDC is 85% of 12 VDC.

Now, above we mentioned a term “Cut-Off Voltage”.  All fire alarm control units (FACU) have and internal voltage drop.  The voltage at the actual NAC output terminal is always less than 20.4/10.2 volts at cut-off.
  •          This amount of drop varies with every panel.  The variance can be as much as .5 VDC to 2.5 VDC.

Keep in mind that this value is not often found within the panel documentation.  I have found that the easiest way to obtain this value is to contact the panel manufacture and get it in writing.

You now may be asking yourself, “Why is it so critical that I get this value from the manufacturer and not just use the 20.4/10.2 value figured from the 85% set forth by UL 864 9th Edition?”

In order for your NAC voltage drop calculations to be precise and as accurate as possible based on the facts and information provided, you must use the specific panel/power supply terminal cut-off value.

How to determine your NAC Voltage Drop using the End of Line method:

Step #1
Add up the total current draw for your entire notification appliance circuit.  This is based on the manufacture, type (strobe only, horn/strobe, mini horn, audible level, wall, ceiling, etc.)  Make sure to consult with the appliance documentation to get these figures.

Step #2
Add up the total wire length for the run and multiple it by 2 (if class B).  The 2 represents the number of conductors used in the run.

Step #3
Multiply the total wire length times the wire resistance value per foot for a total circuit wire resistance.  The wire resistance per foot can be found in Table 8 “Conductor Properties” in Chapter 9 of the National electrical Code.

Step #4
Using Ohm’s Law we know that Current (I) x Resistance (R) = Voltage (E).  Simply take the total current found in step #1 and multiply it by the resistance found in Step #3.  This will give you the volts dropped.

Step #5
Subtract the volts dropped from the panel/power terminal cut-off voltage to obtain the voltage that will be supplied to the last appliance on the circuit.  This value MUST exceed 16 volts.

Keep in mind that this method is not as accurate as the Point to Point method.  This method assumes that the voltage drop at each appliance will be the same when in reality, they are not.

NEC Table 8 Conductor Properties

Below is an example of an End of Line voltage drop calculation:


End of Line Voltage Drop Fire Alarm

Diagram notes:
  • ·        We will assume that the terminal cut-off voltage is .5 volts below the 20.4 VDC giving us a voltage of 19.9.
  • ·         Use the wire lengths shown in the diagram
  • ·         V1=85mA / V2=75mA / V3=115mA / V4=100mA
  • ·         The circuit is using #12 AWG wire
  • ·         Use the Table 8 of the NEC (National Electric Code) provided previously in this document

Using the Diagram and notes above, can you provide the voltage drop for this circuit using the End of Line method?  Give it a try and when you are ready move on to the next page where we will break it down for you.

End of Line Voltage Drop Calculation Break Down:

Step #1
Add up the total current for all four notification appliances within the circuit.  We know that V1 = 85 mA, V2 = 75 mA, V3 = 115 mA and V4 = 100 mA.  The total of all four of these is 375 mA.

Step #2
Add up the total wire length and multiply it by 2.  We know based on the diagram that the first section is 200 feet, the second section is 150 feet, the third section is 25 feet and the final section is 70 feet.  This totals up to 445 feet x 2 = 890 Total Feet

Step #3
We know from the Table 8 “Conductor Properties” we have a value of 1.98 Ohms/1000 feet of #12 AWG stranded uncoated wire.  To find our resistance for our circuit simply take the total wire length (890 Feet) and divide it by 1000.  This gives us a value of .89.  Now take .89 and multiply it by the 1.98 value found in the NEC Table.  (.89 x 1.98 = 1.7622 Ohms of Resistance)

Step #4
Using Ohm’s Law we know that Current (I) x Resistance (R) = Voltage (E).  Take the total current found in Step #1 (.375) and multiply it by the total found in Step #3 (1.7622).  .375 x 1.7622 = .660825 volts dropped.

Step #5
Finally we need to subtract the .660825 volts from our terminal cut-off voltage.  We know from the previous diagram and notes that we have a terminal cut-off voltage of 19.9 volts.  19.9 volts - .660825 = 19.239 Volts at the last appliance.

Point to Point Voltage Drop Calculation Break Down:

Point to Point Voltage Drop Calculation

Diagram notes:
  • ·         We will assume that the terminal cut-off voltage is .5 volts below the 20.4 VDC giving us a voltage of 19.9.
  • ·         Use the wire lengths shown in the diagram
  • ·         V1=85mA / V2=75mA / V3=115mA / V4=100mA
  • ·         The circuit is using #12 AWG wire
  • ·         Use the Table 8 of the NEC provided previously in this document

Calculation Breakdown:

To perform a point to point voltage drop calculation is basically the same as the End of Line method however; we are going to do a breakdown of each path/appliance.

Calculation #1
  • ·         First wire run section resistance multiplied by the total current for appliance V1, V2, V3 and V4
  • ·         Subtract the total from the terminal cut-off voltage to get the voltage drop for V1.

Calculation #2
  • ·         Second wire run section resistance multiplied by the total current for appliances V2, V3 and V4.
  • ·         Subtract the total of V1 from the terminal cut-off voltage to get the voltage drop of V2

Calculation #3
  • ·         Third wire run section resistance multiplied by the total current for appliances V3 and V4.
  • ·         Subtract the total of V2 from the terminal cut-off voltage to get the voltage drop of V3

Calculation #4
  • ·         Fourth wire run section resistance multiplied by the total current for appliances V4.
  • ·         Subtract the total of V3 from the terminal cut-off voltage to get the voltage drop of V4

If this last value is greater than 16 volts, the circuit should work.

Using the Diagram and notes above, can you provide the voltage drop for this circuit using the Point to Point method?  Give it a try and when you are ready move on to the next page where we will break it down for you.

Calculation # 1
  • ·         200 Feet x 2 = 400 Feet.  400 / 1000 = .4 x 1.98 = .792 Ohms (From the FACU to V1)
  • ·         .792 x .375 (Current of all Appliances) = .297 volts dropped @ V1
  • ·         19.9 (Terminal Cut-Off Voltage) - .297 = 19.603 VDC @ V1

Calculation #2
  • ·         150 Feet x 2 = 300 Feet.  300 / 1000 = .3 x 1.98 = .594 Ohms (From the FACU to V1)
  • ·         .594 x .290 (Current of Appliances V2-V4) = .16356 volts dropped @ V2
  • ·         19.603 (Terminal Cut-Off Voltage) - .16356 = 19.43944 VDC @ V2

Calculation # 3
  • ·         25 Feet x 2 = 50 Feet.  50 / 1000 = .05 x 1.98 = .099 Ohms (From the FACU to V1)
  • ·         .099 x .215 (Current of Appliances V3-V4) = .021285 volts dropped @ V3
  • ·         19.43944 (Terminal Cut-Off Voltage) - .021285 = 19.418155 VDC @ V3

 Calculation # 4
  • ·         70 Feet x 2 = 140 Feet.  140 / 1000 = .14 x 1.98 = .2772 Ohms (From the FACU to V1)
  • ·         .2772 x .200 (Current of Appliance V4) = .05544 volts dropped @ V4
  • ·         19.418155 (Terminal Cut-Off Voltage) - .05544 = 19.3627 VDC @ V4

Both of these calculations are commonly used and widely accepted by your local AHJs.  As you can see the PTP method came up with a total voltage drop of 19.3627 while the EOL method came up with 19.239.  Remember both of these examples used the same parameters.  I personally recommend using the Point to Point method purely based on its accuracy.

How to Apply for NICET Certification Video

NICET Certification - Where to Start

We have had a lot of member from our Facebook Group ask about the NICET certification process, specific to getting started.  The NICET website can be tricky as it is packed with tons of links and  information. To save our readers time, we have complied a video with a complete walk through including: where to click, what to download and most importantly, how to fill out the application for the NICET exam.

Although this video walk through simply covers applying for the NICET exam, you can also find additional information on our website for NICET Practice Exams, NFPA 72 Tabs for references during the NICET exam as well as general information. 

Be sure to comment below if you have any questions with the NICET application process.

Monday, February 19, 2018

NFPA 72 2016 Chapter 26 Changes

NFPA 72 2016 Chapter 26 - Supervising Station Alarm Systems


The following information contains the changes, updates and additions to Supervising Station Alarm Systems found in Chapter 26 of the NFPA 72 2016 edition.  Remember if you see a * make sure to consult the Annex A for additional information.

All information highlighted in this light blue color is NEW to the 2016 edition of NFPA 72.

  • 26.2.1.1 Alarms signals initiating by manual fire alarm boxes, automatic fire detectors, waterflow from the automatic sprinkler system, or actuation of other fire suppression system(s) or equipment shall be treated as fire alarm signals.
  • 26.2.1.2* Except as permitted by 26.2.2 and 29.7.9.2, all fire alarm signals received by a supervising station shall be immediately re-transmitted to the communications center.
  • 26.2.1.3 Fire alarm signals received at the supervising station by a zone or zones shall be re transmitted by zone to the communications center.
  • 26.2.1.4 Fire alarm signals received at the supervising station that are identified as an individual point or points shall be re-transmitted by point identified to the communications system.
Central Station Service Alarm Systems
  • 226.3.4.7 The authority having jurisdiction identified in 26.3.4.2(5) shall be notified within 30 calendar days of the expiration or cancellation by the organization that listed the prime contractor.
  • 26.3.8.3* Supervisory Signals.  Upon receipt of a supervisory signal that is not prearranged, the central station shall perform the following actions:
    1. *Communicate immediately with the persons designated by the subscriber and notify the fire department, law enforcement agency, or both when required by the authority having jurisdiction
    2. Dispatch a runner or maintenance person to arrive within 2 hours to investigate unless the supervisory signal is cleared in accordance with a scheduled procedure determined by 26.3.8.3(1)
    3. Notify the authority having jurisdiction and the subscriber when sprinkler systems or other fire suppression systems or equipment have been wholly or partially out of service for 8 hours.
    4. When service has been restored, provide notice to the subscriber and the authority having jurisdiction of the nature of the signal, the time of occurrence, and the restoration of service when equipment has been out of service for 8 hours or more.

NFPA 72 2016 Chapter 24 - Supervising Station Alarm Systems



Back to the Beginning - NFPA 72 2016 Chapter 3 - Definitions


NFPA 72 2016 Chapter 24 Changes

NFPA 72 2016 Chapter 24 - Emergency Communications Systems (ECS)


The following information contains the changes, updates and additions to Protected Premises for Fire Alarm Systems found in Chapter 23 of the NFPA 72 2016 edition.  Remember if you see a * make sure to consult the Annex A for additional information.

All information highlighted in this light blue color is NEW to the 2016 edition of NFPA 72.

  • 24.3.1.2* Where no listed loudspeakers exist to achieve the intelligibility requirements of the Code for a notification zone, non-listed loudspeakers shall be permitted to be installed to achieve the intelligibility for that notification zone.
Learn more about voice intelligibility here:
  • 24.3.5.4 Where emergency communications systems utilize Class N pathways that are also shared Level 1 or Level 2 pathways as a means to support ancillary functions, devices, or interconnected systems, the shared pathways shall meet the requirements of 23.6.3
  • 24.3.5.4.1 In addition to the requirements of 23.6.3, a risk analysis shall be performed and approved by the AHJ.

NFPA 72 2016 Chapter 24 - Emergency Communications Systems (ECS) - Pathway Survivability


  • 24.3.13.7 Two-way in-building emergency communications systems shall have a pathway survivability of Level 2 or Level 3.
    • Exception: Level 1 shall be permitted where the building is less than 2-hour fire-rated construction.
  • 24.3.13.9.1 Area of refuge emergency communications systems shall have a pathway survivability of Level 2 or Level 3.
    • Exception (1): Level 1 shall be permitted where notification zones are separated by less than 2-hour fire-rated construction.  

NFPA 72 2016 Chapter 24 - Emergency Communications Systems (ECS) - In Building Mass Notification Systems


  • 24.5.14* Mounting of LOC Controls
    • 24.5.14.1 Controls that are intended to be accessed by authorized users shall be mounted in accordance with 24.5.14
    • 24.5.14.2 LOC controls, including switches, microphone, latches and so forth shall be located above the finished floor at a minimum of 36" (91 cm) and a maximum of 48" (122 cm) where the horizontal reach is less then 10" (25 cm)
    • 24.5.14.3 If a horizontal reach of 10" (25 cm) to 24" (61 cm) is required, the maximum elevation shall be limited to 42" (107 cm) above the finished floor and the minimum elevation shall be limited to 28" (71 cm).
    • 24.5.14.4 Text and visual indicators, including lamps, screens, displays, instructions, or labels, associated with control or operation shall be visible within all points of elevation between 40" (102 cm) and 60" (152 cm) above the finished floor.
    • 24.5.14.5 Where controls and information are provided in accordance with 24.5.14.2 through 24.5.14.4, provision of additional or redundant controls shall be permitted within the same vicinity at an elevation or reach other than those indicated.
    • 24.5.14.6 Dimensions other than those identified in 24.5.14.2 through 24.5.14.4 shall be permitted when documented within the emergency response plan that ADA guidelines are not applicable or when otherwise required by the AHJ.
Notifier LOC Panel for Mass Notification
Notifier LOC Panel for Mass Notification
  • 24.5.18.8 Addressable primary textual and graphical visible appliances using signaling line circuits shall meet the performance requirements of section 23.6.
  • 24.5.18.9 Non-addressable primary textual and graphical visible appliance circuits shall meet the performance requirements of section 23.7.

NFPA 72 2016 Chapter 24 - Emergency Communications Systems (ECS) - Area of Refuge


  • 24.10.3 The remote area of refuge stations and the central control point shall communicate with each other via pathways based on their performance capabilities under abnormal or fault conditions in accordance with the requirements for Class A, Class B, Class N, or Class X pathways specified in Chapter 12.
  • 24.10.4 All pathways between a remote area of refuge stations and the central control point shall be monitored for integrity.

NFPA 72 2016 Chapter 24 - Emergency Communications Systems (ECS) - Elevator Emergency Communications Systems


  • 24.11 Elevator Emergency Communications Systems. This was in section 24.5.4 of the 2013 edition of NFPA 72
  • 24.11.3 Inspection and testing of elevator emergency communications systems shall be performed in accordance with ANSI/ASME A17.2, Guide for Inspection of Elevators, Escalators and Moving Walks

NFPA 72 2016 Chapter 24 - Emergency Communications Systems (ECS) - Stairway Communications Systems


  • 24.12* Stairway Communications Systems.
  • 24.12.1 Where required by the building code in force and not included as part of another emergency communications system, a stairway communications systems shall be installed in accordance with 24.12.
  • 24.12.2 The stairway communications system shall be permitted to be integrated with another two-way emergency communications system providing it is installed in accordance with 24.12.  
  • 24.12.3 The stairway communications system shall comprise remotely located communications points and a central control point
  • 24.12.4 Each remote point shall have the capability to communicate with the central control point.  Similar language for Areas of Refuge in Section 24.10.2
  • 24.12.5* Quantity and locations of the remote communications points shall be as required by the building code in force and engineer specifications.
  • 24.12.6* If the central control point is not constantly attended, it shall have a timed automatic communications capability to connect with a constantly attended monitoring location acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction here responsible personnel can initiate the appropriate response.  Similar language for Areas of Refuge in Section 24.12.5.
  • 24.12.7 The physical location of the central control point shall be as designated by the building code in fomrce or the authority having jurisdiction.  Similar language for Areas of Refuge in Section 24.10.6.
  • 24.12.8 The remote communications points shall provide for two-way communications, provide an audible and visual signal to indicate communication has occured, and indicate to the receiver the location sending the signal.  Similar laguage for Areas of Refuge in Section 24.10.7
  • 24.12.9 instructions for the use of the stairway communications system, instructions for summoning assistance via the systems, and written identification, including in braille, of the location shall be posted adjacent to each remote communications point.  Similar language for Areas of Refuge  in Section 24.10.8.

NFPA 72 2016 Chapter 26 - Supervising Station Alarm Systems


NFPA 72 2016 Chapter 23 - Protected Premises Fire Alarm Systems 



NFPA 72 2016 Chapter 23 Changes

NFPA 72 2016 Chapter 23 - Protected Premises Fire Alarm


The following information contains the changes, updates and additions to Protected Premises for Fire Alarm Systems found in Chapter 23 of the NFPA 72 2016 edition.  Remember if you see a * make sure to consult the Annex A for additional information.

All information highlighted in this light blue color is NEW to the 2016 edition of NFPA 72.

  • 23.1.2 The Requirements of Chapters 7, 10, 12, 17, 18, 21, 24 and 26 shall apply, unless otherwise noted in this chapter.
  • 23.2.2.1 A record of installed software and firmware version numbers shall be prepared and maintained in accordance with sections 7.5 and 7.7.
  • 23.3.2.2 Non-required systems and components shall be identified on the record drawings required in 7.2.1(14)   

Protected Premises - SLC Performance


  • 23.6 The assignment of class designations to signaling line circuits shall be based on their performance capabilities under adnormal or fault conditions in accordance with the requirements for Class A, Class B, Class N, or Class X pathways as specified in NFPA 72 Chapter 12
  • 23.6.1* A single fault on a pathway connected to the addressable devices shall not cause the loss of the devices in more than one zone.
  • 23.6.1.1 For the purpose of this section, each floor of the building shall be considered a separate zone.  
  • 23.6.1.2 For the purpose of this section, if a floor of the building is subdivided into multiple zones by fire or smoke barriers and the fire plan for the protected premises allows relocation of occupants from the zone of origin to another zone on the same floor, each zone on the floor shall be considered a separate zone.
  • 23.6.1.3* The requirements in 23.6.1 shall NOT apply to the following:
    1. Circuits between enclosures containing transponders and control units regardless of the number of initiating devices, notification appliances, or control relays that may be connected to those control units.
    2. Circuits connecting short-circuit fault isolation modules to enclosures containing transponders and control units where the conductors are installed in metallic raceway or equivalently protected against mechanical injury and where the circuit does not exceed 3 feet (1 m) in length.
Below are some diagrams of different CORRECT methods of using ISO or Fault Isolation modules with SLCs:

Isolation module with Class B SLC
Isolation method with a Class B SLC



Isolation module with Class A SLC
Isolation method with a Class A SLC



Isolation module with Hybrid Class A and B SLC
Isolation Method for a Hybrid Class A and Class B SLC


Below is an INCORRECT method of using a Fault Isolation Module with SLC:

Isolation Module with SLC Incorrect Setup
INCORRECT Isolation Method for SLC


  • 23.6.1.4 The loss of more than one zone shall be permitted on a documented performance-based design approach. 
  • 23.6.1.5* Performance-based designs submitted to the authority having jurisdiction for review and approval shall include documentation, in an approved format, of each performance objective and applicable scenario, together with technical substantiation used in establishing the proposed zone performance.

Protected Premises - Class N Devices and Shared Pathways


  • 23.6.2 Class N Devices
  • 23.6.3 Class N Shared Pathways
    • 23.6.3.1 Level 1 and Level 2
    • 23.6.3.2 Accessibility
    • 23.6.3.3 Deployment Plan
    • 23.6.3.4 Change Control Plan
    • 23.6.3.5 Management Organization
    • 23.6.3.6 Analysis
    • 23.6.3.7 Maintenance Plan
    • 23.6.3.8 Other Risks

Protected Premises - System Requirements


  • 23.8.2.7 Each interconnected fire alarm control unit shall be separately monitored for alarm, supervisory, and trouble conditions with supervised pathways that are in accordance with the manufacturers' published instructions.
    • 23.8.2.7.1 Alarm conditions on interconnected fire alarm control units shall annunciate as alarm signals and initiate the evacuation signals.
    • 23.8.2.7.2 Supervisory conditions on interconnected fire alarm control units shall annunciate as supervisory signals.
    • 23.8.2.7.3 Trouble conditions on interconnected fire alarm control units shall annunciate as trouble signals.
    • 23.8.2.7.4* Where supervised pathways between interconnected fire alarm control units is not achievable, a supervised annunciator shall be installed adjacent to the control unit(s) to annucnaite the status of each control unit.
  • 23.8.2.9.1 Where multiple control units of the same manufacturer are interconnected in a network arrangement and serve the same protected premises, the control units shall be arranged to be reset or silenced from one location.
  • 23.8.2.9.2 Where multiple control units of different manufacturers are interconnected in accordance with 23.8.2.5 through 23.8.2.8 and serve the same protected premises, the control units shall be permitted to be reset or silenced individually at each control unit. 
  • 23.8.2.9.3 Resetting procedures shall be documented and permanently posted beside each control unit and annunciator.

The following is a California State amendment:

  • 23.8.5.1.2 Where connected to a supervising station, fire alarm systems employing automatic fire detectors or waterflow detection devices shall include a manual fire alarm box to initate a signal t the supervising station.
    • Exception: Fire alarm systems dedicated to elevator recall control, supervisory service and fire sprinkler monitoring as permitted in section 21.3 of NFPA 72.

  • 23.8.5.4.1* Systems equipped with alarm verification features shall be permitted under the following conditions:
    1. The alarm verification feature is not initially enabled, unless conditions or occupant activities that are expected to cause nuisance alarms are anticipated in the area that is protected by the smoke detectors.  Enabling of the alarm verification feature shall be protected by password or limited access.
    2. A smoke detector that is continuously subjected to a smoke concentration above alarm threshold does not delay the system functions of sections 10.7 through 10.16 or 21.2.1 by more than 1 minute.
    3. Actuation of an alarm-initiating device other than a smoke detector causes the system functions of section 10.7 through 10.16 or 21.2.1 without additional delay.
    4. The current status of the alarm verification feature is shown on the record of completion.

The following is a California State amendment:
  • 23.8.5.4.1 Systems equipped with alarm verification features shall be permitted under the following conditions:
    • (5) Operation of a patient room smoke detector in I-2 and R-2.1 occupancies shall not include an alarm verification feature.

  • 23.8.5.6.3* If a valve is installed in the connection between a sprinkler system and an initiating device, the valve shall be supervised in accordance with 17.16.1 unless the valve is arranged to cause operation of the supervisory signal initiation device when it is in its non-normal position.  

NFPA 72 2016 Chapter 24 - Emergency Communication Systems (ECS)

NFPA 72 2016 Chapter 21 - Emergency Control Function Interfaces



NFPA 72 2016 Chapter 21 Changes

NFPA 72 2016 Chapter 21 - Emergency Control Function Interfaces


The following information contains the changes, updates and additions to Emergency Control Function Interfaces found in Chapter 21 of the NFPA 72 2016 edition.  Remember if you see a * make sure to consult the Annex A for additional information.

All information highlighted in this light blue color is NEW to the 2016 edition of NFPA 72.

  • 21.1.1 The Requirements of Chapters 7, 10, 17, 18, 23, 24, and 26 shall apply, unless otherwise noted in this chapter.
  • 21.1.3 The requirements of this chapter shall not apply to Chapter 29 unless otherwise stated.
  • 21.2.6 The installation wiring between the fire alarm control unit and the emergency control function interface device shall be Class A, Class B, Class D, Class N, or Class X in accordance with NFPA 72 Chapter 12 Circuit Pathways.  
The following pertains to Elevator Phase 1 Recall

  • 21.3* Elevator Phase 1 Emergency Recall Operation
  • 21.3.1 All fire alarms initiating devices used to initiate elevator phase 1 emergency recall operation shall be connected to the required building fire alarm system.
  • 21.3.2* In facilities without a required building fire alarm system, fire alarm initiating devices used to initiate elevator phase 1 emergency recall operation shall be connected to either a non-required building fire alarm system or a dedicated function fire alarm control unit that shall be designated as "elevator recall control and supervisory control unit," permanently identified on the dedicated function fire alarm control unit and on the record drawings. 
  •  
The following is a California State Amendment.

  • 21.3.6 Smoke detectors shall not be installed in un-sprinklered elevator hoistways unless they are installed to activate the elevator hoistway smoke relief equipment or where required by Chapter 30 by the California Building Code (CBC).
CBC: 3005.4.1 Automatic sprinkler system.  Automatic sprinklers shall not be required to be installed in the elevator hoistway, elevator machine room, elevator machinery space, elevator control space, or elevator control room where the following are met.  NOTE:  All 6 of the following conditions must be met.
  1. Approved smoke detectors shall be installed in the elevator hoistway, elevator machine room, elevator machinery spaces, elevator control spaces, or elevator control rooms and connected to the building fire alarm system in accordance with Section 907.
  2. Activation of any smoke detector located in the elevator hoistway, elevator machine room, elevator machinery spaces, elevator control spaces, or elevator control room shall cause the actuation of the building fire alarm notification appliances in accordance with section 907.
  3. Activation of any smoke detector located in the elevator hoistway, elevator machine room, elevator machinery spaces, elevator control spaces, or elevator control room shall cause all elevators having equipment located in that elevator hoistway, elevator machine room, elevator machinery spaces, elevator control spaces, or elevator control room to recall nonstop to the appropriate floor in accordance with CCR Titile 8, Division 1, Chapter 4, Subchapter 6, Elevator Safety Order.
  4. The elevator machine room, elevator machinery spaces, elevator control spaces, or elevator control room shall be enclosed with fire barriers constructed in accordance with Section 707 or horizontal assemblies constructed with Section 712, or both.  The fire-resistance rating shall not be less than the required rating of the hoistway enclosure served by the machinery.  Openings in the fire barriers shall be protected with assemblies having a fire protection rating not less than that required for the hoistway enclosure doors.  The exception to Section 3005.4 shall not apply.
  5. The building fire alarm system shall be monitored by an approved supervising station in accordance with Section 907.
  6. An approved sign shall be permanently displayed in the elevator machine room, elevator machinery space, elevator control space, or elevator control room in a conspicuous location with a minimum of 1 1/2" letters on a contrasting background stating, NO COMBUSTIBLE STORAGE PERMITTED IN THIS ROOM By Order of the Fire Marshal (or name of fire authority).
  • 21.3.11 Actuation from the elevator hoistway, elevator machine room, elevator machinery space, elevator control space or elevator control room smoke detectors or other automatic fire detection as permitted by 21.3.9 shall cause separate and distinct visible annunciation at the building fire alarm control unit or at the fire alarm control unit described in 21.3.2.  Removed the following portion: and at required annunciators to alert firefighters and other emergency personnel that the elevators are no longer safe to use. 
  • 21.3.13 Separate outputs from the building fire alarm control unit or the fire alarm control unit or the fire alarm control unit described in 21.3.2 to the elevator controller(s) shall be provided to implement elevator Phase 1 Emergency Recall Operation in accordance with Section 2.27 of ANSI/ASME A17.1/CSA B44, Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators, as required in 21.3.13 through 21.3.13.3.

Chapter 21 Changes - Specific to Fire Service Access Elevators

  • 21.5 Fire Service Access Elevators.  Where one or more elevators are specifically designated and marked as fire service access elevators, 21.5.1 and 21.5.2 shall apply.
  • 21.5.1* Status of elevator(s), including location within the hoistway, direction of travel, and whether the elevator(s) are occupied, shall be permitted to be displayed on a building fire alarm system annunciator located at the fire command center.
  • 21.5.2 Temperature and presence of smoke in associated lobbies, machine rooms, control rooms, machinery spaces, or control spaces shall be continuously monitored and displayed on a building fire alarm system annunciator located in the fire command center.  

  • The conditions in 21.5.1 and 21.5.2 shall be permitted to be displayed on a standard emergency services interface complying with Section 18.11.

Chapter 21 Changes - Specific to Door and Shutter Release

  • 21.8.3 All door and shutter hold-open release and integral door and shutter release and closure devices used for release service shall be monitored for integrity in accordance with section 12.6.  Exception: Pathways installed as Class D circuits in accordance with 12.3.4.

NFPA 72 2016 Chapter 23 - Protected Premise Fire Alarm Systems



NFPA 72 2016 Chapter 18 - Notification Appliances