Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Duct Smoke Detectors and Sprinkler Monitoring Systems

Duct Smoke Detectors and Dedicated Function Fire Alarm Systems


Definitions: Building Fire Alarm Systems VS. Dedicated Function Fire Alarm Systems


Building Fire Alarm System: NFPA 72 2013 3.3.105.4.1 = “A protected premises fire alarm system that includes any of the features identified in 23.3.3.1 and that serves the general fire alarm needs of a building or buildings and that provided fire department or occupant notification or both.”


Dedicated Function Fire Alarm System: NFPA 72 2013  3.3.105.4.2 = “A protected premises fire alarm system installed specifically to perform emergency control function(s) where a building fire alarm system is not required.”  NFPA 72 2013 ANNEX A 3.3.102.2.1 = “Examples of a dedicated function fire alarm control unit include an automatic sprinkler alarm and supervisory control unit or an elevator recall and supervisory control unit.”

Building Fire Alarm System: NFPA 72 2013 23.3.3.1 =” Protected Premises fire alarm systems that serve the general fire alarm needs of a building or buildings shall have one or more of the following systems or functions:”

Manual fire alarm signal initiation
Automatic fire alarm and supervisory signal initiation
Monitoring of abnormal conditions in fire suppression systems
Activation of fire suppression systems
Activation of emergency control functions
Activation of fire alarm notification appliances
In-building fire emergency voice/alarm communications
Guard’s tour supervisory service
Process monitoring supervisory systems
Activation of off premises signals
Combination systems

Potter Signal PFC-6006 Sprinkler Monitoring PanelAn example of an application where you shall use a dedicated function fire alarm system is as follows:
An office building with a “B” type occupancy with less than 500 persons throughout or ≤ 100 persons above or below the lowest level of exit discharge.  Based on these factors, a building fire alarm system is not required per the 2013 California Fire Code CFC section 907.  However, per the 2013 California Building Code CBC 903.4 Exception #2, you need to provide monitoring of the sprinkler system if it has ≥ 20 sprinkler heads.  In this case you could install a dedicated function fire alarm system for the monitoring of the onsite sprinkler valves and Waterflow switches.  This dedicated function fire alarm system shall be noted as a “Sprinkler Waterflow and Supervisory System” per NFPA 72 2013 23.8.5.6.1)

NFPA 72 2013 section 23.3.3.2.1 - Dedicated Function Fire Alarm Systems
“In facilities without a building fire alarm system, a dedicated function fire alarm system shall be permitted and shall not be required to include other functions or features of a building fire alarm system.”

NFPA 72 2013 section 23.8.5.4.6.1 Signal Initiation – Duct Smoke Detectors
“Where duct smoke detectors are required to be monitored and a building fire alarm system is installed, a duct detector activation signal shall meet the requirements of 21.7.4”

NFPA 72 2013 section 23.8.5.6.1 Supervisory Signal Initiation – Sprinkler Systems
“Where required by other governing laws, codes or standards to be electronically monitored, supervisory signal initiating devices shall be connected to a dedicated function fire alarm control unit designated as “Sprinkler Waterflow and Supervisory System” and permanently identified on the control unit and on the record drawings.”

“Exception:  Where supervisory signal initiating devices are connected to a building fire alarm system, a dedicated function fire alarm control unit shall not be required.”

What can we take away from this information?


We know that Duct Smoke Detectors (DSDs) when required to be monitored are to be tied into a building fire alarm system per NFPA 72 2013 section 23.8.5.4.6.1.  We also know that a dedicated function fire alarm system is in place to perform a specific function and shall not be required to include additional features of a building fire alarm system. Bottom line is if a building fire alarm system is not installed, duct smoke detectors shall be stand alone and are not required to be connected/monitored by a dedicated function fire alarm system.

IFC Fire Alarm Design Requirements for Different Occupancy Types

Seek the IFC and AHJ


If we take a look at the International Fire Code (better known as the IFC) section 907 we can find the different requirements for fire alarm design within each occupancy group.  Now keep in mind this information is only based on the International Fire Code and does not necessarily meet the requirements of your State and or City.  It is very important to check with your State's Fire Code such as the California Fire Code or CFC as well as your local authority having jurisdiction or AHJ.

Fire Alarm Codes and Standards


All of the above mentioned references are codes.  Codes will tell us when something is required.  A standard such the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code or NFPA 72 tells us how to install particular equipment.  A lot of people get confused since the name of the document has the word code in it.  Just remember the following:

International Fire Code and the International Building Code = "A When To Manual"
National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code = "A How To Manual"

Fire Alarm Requirements in Different Occupancy Groups


Fire alarm requirements for Group A occupancies
Fire alarm requirements for Group B occupancies
Fire alarm requirements for Group E occupancies
Fire alarm requirements for Group F occupancies
Fire alarm requirements for Group H occupancies
Fire alarm requirements for Group I-1 occupancies
Fire alarm requirements for Group I-2 occupancies
Fire alarm requirements for Group I-2.1 occupancies
Fire alarm requirements for Group I-3 occupancies
Fire alarm requirements for Group I-4 occupancies
Fire alarm requirements for Group M occupancies
Fire alarm requirements for Group R-1 occupancies
Fire alarm requirements for Group R-2 and R-2.1 occupancies
Fire alarm requirements for Group Licensed R-2.1 occupancies
Fire alarm requirements for Group R-4 occupancies

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fire Alarm Requirements for Group R-4 Occupancy

Group R-4: (Residential)


Systems only need to be monitored if the facility has 20 + sprinkler heads.

A manual fire alarm system (pull stations) and automatic smoke detection system that activates the occupant notification system (horns, strobes, sounders, speakers, chimes, mass notification, etc.)

Pull Station Requirements:


Pull stations at all exits.

Travel distance to any pull station cannot exceed 200 feet.

“Exceptions”

Pull stations are not required if the facility is two stories or less in height and all individual sleeping units and contiguous attic and crawl spaces to the sleeping units are separated from one another and public/common spaces by a minimum of 1-hour partitions.  Each sleeping unit must also have a direct exit to a public way, egress court or yard.

Manual fire alarm boxes at exits in sleeping units shall not be required if manual pull boxes are located at all care providers’ stations or other approved staff locations.  Note: the pull stations must be visible/accessible and the travel distance to any pull box shall not exceed 200 feet.

Pull stations are not required to be installed when ALL of the following conditions exist:

The Group R-2 facility is equipped with an automatic sprinkler system.

The occupant notification systems will activate upon sprinkler water flow.

A minimum of one pull station shall be installed in an area approved by the local AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction).

UL 268 Automatic Smoke Detection Requirements:


Smoke detection shall be provided for corridors, waiting areas open to corridors and habitable spaces other than sleeping units and kitchens.

“Exceptions”

If the building is protected by an automatic sprinkler system, smoke detection is not required in habitable spaces.

Smoke detection is not required in buildings without interior corridors serving the sleeping units.  This is predicated on the sleeping units having a means of egress door opening that leads directly to an exit.

UL 216 Smoke Alarm Requirements:


Single or multiple station smoke alarms shall be installed in all of the following areas:

On the ceiling or wall outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of bedrooms.

In every room used for sleeping purposes.

On every level of the dwelling unit including the basement.  This does not include crawl spaces or uninhabitable attics.  If the dwelling unit has split levels without a separation door then a smoke alarm shall be installed on the upper level predicated on the distance between the split levels being less than one full story.

Notification Requirements:


520 Hz low frequency sounders shall be installed in all sleeping areas.  Horns can be provided in common areas including but not limited to corridors, public restrooms, elevator lobbies, etc.  Emergency voice/alarm communications systems shall be provided for high rise applications.  High rise buildings are classified by the International Building Code as a structure that has occupied floors located more than 75 feet above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access.

Note:  R-4 occupancies are required to be pre-wired for future adaptability.  This means you need to install either a conduit raceway or the necessary cable for the possibility that any room may convert to an accessible unit in the future.

Public Mode Audibility: You must have 15 dB above average ambient sound level or 5 dB above the maximum sound level for at least 60 seconds whichever is greater.

Private Mode Audibility: You must have 10 dB above average ambient sound level or 5 dB above the maximum sound level for at least 60 seconds whichever is greater.

Sleeping Area Audibility: You must have 15 dB above average ambient sound level or 5 dB above the maximum sound level for at least 60 seconds or a minimum of 75 dB whichever is greater.

Fire Alarm Requirements for Licensed R-2.1 Occupancy

Group R-2.1 “Licensed”: (Residential)


Systems only need to be monitored if the facility has 20 + sprinkler heads.

If the “Licensed” R-2.1 facility houses more than six non-ambulatory, elderly clients shall be equipped with a manual and automatic fire alarm system.

Pull Station Requirements:


Pull stations at all exits.

Travel distance to any pull station cannot exceed 200 feet.

UL 268 Automatic Smoke Detection Requirements:


Smoke and/or heat detectors installed throughout

If ALL of the following conditions exist then the facility can be provided with the same requirements of a Group R-2 facility.

The facility is equipped with an approved automatic sprinkler system that activates the occupant notification system.

A manual fire alarm system.

Single or multiple station smoke alarms installed inside each sleeping unit as well as outside each sleeping unit within immediate vicinity of the bedrooms.

Fire Alarm Notification Requirements:


520 Hz low frequency sounders shall be installed in all sleeping areas.  Horns can be provided in common areas including but not limited to corridors, public restrooms, elevator lobbies, etc.  Emergency voice/alarm communications systems shall be provided for high rise applications.  High rise buildings are classified by the International Building Code as a structure that has occupied floors located more than 75 feet above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access.

Note:  “Licensed” R-2.1 occupancies are required to be pre-wired for future adaptability.  This means you need to install either a conduit raceway or the necessary cable for the possibility that any room may convert to an accessible unit in the future.

Public Mode Audibility: You must have 15 dB above average ambient sound level or 5 dB above the maximum sound level for at least 60 seconds whichever is greater.

Private Mode Audibility: You must have 10 dB above average ambient sound level or 5 dB above the maximum sound level for at least 60 seconds whichever is greater.

Sleeping Area Audibility: You must have 15 dB above average ambient sound level or 5 dB above the maximum sound level for at least 60 seconds or a minimum of 75 dB whichever is greater.

Fire Alarm Requirements for Group R-2 and R-2.1 Occupancy

Group R-2 and R-2.1: (Residential)


Systems only need to be monitored if the facility has 20 + sprinkler heads.

A manual fire alarm system (pull stations) that activates the occupant notification system (horns, strobes, sounders, speakers, chimes, mass notification, etc.)


Pull Station Requirements:


Pull stations are not required if the facility is two stories or less in height and all individual sleeping units and contiguous attic and crawl spaces to the sleeping units are separated from one another and public/common spaces by a minimum of 1-hour partitions.  Each sleeping unit must also have a direct exit to a public way, egress court or yard.

Pull stations are not required to be installed when ALL of the following conditions exist:

The Group R-2 facility is equipped with an automatic sprinkler system

The occupant notification systems will activate upon sprinkler water flow

 A minimum of one pull station shall be installed in an area approved by the local AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction)

UL 268 Automatic Smoke Detection Requirements:


System smoke detectors shall be provided for all of the following applications:

Above control panels and power supplies
For the purpose of elevator capture
On all HVAC units over 2,000 CFM (Duct Detector)
For releasing service
Fire Smoke Dampers
Delayed egress locks

UL 216 Smoke Alarm Requirements:


Single or multiple station smoke alarms shall be installed in all of the following areas:


On the ceiling or wall outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of bedrooms.

In every room used for sleeping purposes.

On every level of the dwelling unit including the basement.  This does not include crawl spaces or uninhabitable attics.  If the dwelling unit has split levels without a separation door then a smoke alarm shall be installed on the upper level predicated on the distance between the split levels being less than one full story.

Fire Alarm Notification Requirements:


520 Hz low frequency sounders shall be installed in all sleeping areas.  Horns can be provided in common areas including but not limited to corridors, public restrooms, elevator lobbies, etc.  Emergency voice/alarm communications systems shall be provided for high rise applications.  High rise buildings are classified by the International Building Code as a structure that has occupied floors located more than 75 feet above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access.

Note:  R-2 and R-2.1 occupancies are required to be pre-wired for future adaptability.  This means you need to install either a conduit raceway or the necessary cable for the possibility that any room may convert to an accessible unit in the future.

Public Mode Audibility: You must have 15 dB above average ambient sound level or 5 dB above the maximum sound level for at least 60 seconds whichever is greater.

Private Mode Audibility: You must have 10 dB above average ambient sound level or 5 dB above the maximum sound level for at least 60 seconds whichever is greater.

Sleeping Area Audibility: You must have 15 dB above average ambient sound level or 5 dB above the maximum sound level for at least 60 seconds or a minimum of 75 dB whichever is greater.

Fire alarm for R-2 and R-2.1 Occupancies

Group R-2: (College and University Buildings)


Systems only need to be monitored if the facility has 20 + sprinkler heads.

An automatic smoke detection system that activates the occupant notification system (horns, strobes, sounders, speakers, chimes, mass notification, etc.)

Pull Station Requirements:


·         A minimum of one pull station shall be installed in an area approved by the local AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction)

UL 216 Smoke Alarm Requirements:


Single or multiple station smoke alarms shall be installed in all of the following areas:

Sleeping areas.

Each room in the path of the means of egress from sleeping area to the door leading to the sleeping unit.

On each level within the sleeping unit.  This includes basements.  If the sleeping unit has split levels without a door separation, one smoke alarm on the upper level will suffice.  Note this is only for slip level where the distance between levels is less than one full story.

All smoke alarms in dwelling units and sleeping units shall be interconnected with the fire alarm system in accordance with NFPA 72.

UL 268 Automatic Smoke Detection Requirements:


System smoke detectors shall be provided for all of the following applications:

Above control panels and power supplies
For the purpose of elevator capture
On all HVAC units over 2,000 CFM (Duct Detector)
For releasing service
Fire Smoke Dampers
Delayed egress locks

Automatic smoke detectors shall be provided in the following areas:

Common spaces outside of the dwelling/sleeping units.

Laundry rooms, mechanical equipment rooms and storage rooms.

Interior corridors serving dwelling/sleeping units
  
“Exception”

Smoke detection is not required in buildings without interior corridors serving the sleeping units.  This is predicated on the sleeping units having a means of egress door opening that leads directly to an exit.

Fire Alarm Notification Requirements:


520 Hz low frequency sounders shall be installed in all sleeping areas.  Horns can be provided in common areas including but not limited to corridors, public restrooms, elevator lobbies, etc.  Emergency voice/alarm communications systems shall be provided for high rise applications.  High rise buildings are classified by the International Building Code as a structure that has occupied floors located more than 75 feet above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access.

Note:  R-2 occupancies have a required amount of handicap accessible rooms that need to be provided with visible appliances.  This requires sounder/strobes, horn/strobes or speaker/strobes in the sleeping rooms and living rooms as well as a strobe in the restrooms.  Keep in mind that the strobe located in sleeping areas shall be 110 candela if the top of the lens is greater than or equal to 24 inches from the ceiling.  If the top of the lens is 23 inches or closer to the ceiling you shall provide a setting of 177 candela. ** These visible alarms shall activate upon system smoke detectors or single or multiple station smoke alarms.
** Use the ADA Room tool found in the main menu of this application to determine the quantity of accessible rooms you need to include in your design.

Public Mode Audibility: You must have 15 dB above average ambient sound level or 5 dB above the maximum sound level for at least 60 seconds whichever is greater.

Private Mode Audibility: You must have 10 dB above average ambient sound level or 5 dB above the maximum sound level for at least 60 seconds whichever is greater.

Sleeping Area Audibility: You must have 15 dB above average ambient sound level or 5 dB above the maximum sound level for at least 60 seconds or a minimum of 75 dB whichever is greater.

Fire Alarm Requirements for Group R-1 Occupancy

Group R-1: (Residential)


Systems only need to be monitored if the facility has 20 + sprinkler heads.

A manual fire alarm system (pull stations) that activates the occupant notification system (horns, strobes, sounders, speakers, chimes, mass notification, etc.)

Pull Station Requirements:


Pull stations are not required if the facility is two stories or less in height and all individual sleeping units and contiguous attic and crawl spaces to the sleeping units are separated from one another and public/common spaces by a minimum of 1-hour partitions.  Each sleeping unit must also have a direct exit to a public way, egress court or yard.

Pull stations are not required to be installed when ALL of the following conditions exist:

The Group R-1 facility is equipped with an automatic sprinkler system.

The occupant notification systems will activate upon sprinkler water flow.

A minimum of one pull station shall be installed in an area approved by the local AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction)

UL 268 Automatic Smoke Detection Requirements:


System smoke detectors shall be provided for all of the following applications:

Above control panels and power supplies
For the purpose of elevator capture
On all HVAC units over 2,000 CFM (Duct Detector)
For releasing service
Fire Smoke Dampers
Delayed egress locks

Automatic smoke detectors are required to be installed in all interior corridors serving the sleeping units.

“Exception”

Automatic smoke detectors are not required to be installed in interior corridors if the building does not contain interior corridors serving the sleeping units where all sleeping units have a means of direct exit access to the exterior.

UL 216 Smoke Alarm Requirements:


Single or multiple station smoke alarms shall be installed in all of the following areas:

Sleeping areas.

Each room in the path of the means of egress from sleeping area to the door leading to the sleeping unit.

On each level within the sleeping unit.  This includes basements.  If the sleeping unit has split levels without a door separation, one smoke alarm on the upper level will suffice.  Note this is only for slip level where the distance between levels is less than one full story.

Fire Alarm Notification Requirements:


520 Hz low frequency sounders shall be installed in all sleeping areas.  Horns can be provided in common areas including but not limited to corridors, public restrooms, elevator lobbies, etc.  Emergency voice/alarm communications systems shall be provided for high rise applications.  High rise buildings are classified by the International Building Code as a structure that has occupied floors located more than 75 feet above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access.

Low frequency sounders for fire alarms in sleeping areasNote:  R-1 occupancies have a required amount of handicap accessible rooms that need to be provided with visible appliances.  This requires sounder/strobes, horn/strobes or speaker/strobes in the sleeping rooms and living rooms as well as a strobe in the restrooms.  Keep in mind that the strobe located in sleeping areas shall be 110 candela if the top of the lens is greater than or equal to 24 inches from the ceiling.  If the top of the lens is 23 inches or closer to the ceiling you shall provide a setting of 177 candela. ** These visible alarms shall activate upon system smoke detectors or single or multiple station smoke alarms.
** Use the ADA Room tool found in the main menu of this application to determine the quantity of accessible rooms you need to include in your design.

Public Mode Audibility: You must have 15 dB above average ambient sound level or 5 dB above the maximum sound level for at least 60 seconds whichever is greater.

Private Mode Audibility: You must have 10 dB above average ambient sound level or 5 dB above the maximum sound level for at least 60 seconds whichever is greater.

Sleeping Area Audibility: You must have 15 dB above average ambient sound level or 5 dB above the maximum sound level for at least 60 seconds or a minimum of 75 dB whichever is greater.

Fire Alarm Requirements for Group M Occupancy

Group M: (Mercantile)


Systems only need to be monitored if the facility has 20 + sprinkler heads.

A manual fire alarm system (pull stations) that activates the occupant notification system (horns, strobes, sounders, speakers, chimes, mass notification, etc.) shall be installed where ONE of the following conditions exist.

The combined occupant load of the entire Group M facility is 500 or more persons.
The occupant load is more than 100 persons above or below the lowest level of exit discharge.

“Exceptions”

Manual pull stations are not required to be provided in open mall buildings complying with Section 402 of the IBC International Building Code

If the facility is provided with an approved automatic sprinkler system in which the Waterflow activates the occupant notification system a minimum of one manual pull station is required to be provided in an area approved by the local AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction)

Note: Emergency voice/alarm communications systems shall be provided for high rise applications.  High rise buildings are classified by the International Building Code as a structure that has occupied floors located more than 75 feet above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access.

UL 268 Automatic Smoke Detection Requirements:


System smoke detectors shall be provided for all of the following applications:  (Group M if 500 + persons or there are 100 + persons above or below the lowest level of exit discharge.

Above control panels and power supplies
For the purpose of elevator capture
On all HVAC units over 2,000 CFM (Duct Detector)
For releasing service
Fire Smoke Dampers
Delayed egress locks

Fire Alarm Notification Requirements:


Public Mode Audibility: You must have 15 dB above average ambient sound level or 5 dB above the maximum sound level for at least 60 seconds whichever is greater.

Private Mode Audibility: You must have 10 dB above average ambient sound level or 5 dB above the maximum sound level for at least 60 seconds whichever is greater. 

Fire alarm requirements for Group M occupancies