Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fire Alarm Requirements for Group A Occupancy

Group A: (Assembly)

Systems required to be monitored per the 2021 IFC section 907.6.6.

Group A Occupancy Fire Alarm Requirements299 occupants or less:  
A dedicated function system for sprinkler monitoring system shall be provided in accordance with 2022 NFPA 72.
More than 300 occupants or more than 100 occupants above or below the lowest level of exit discharge:  
A manual fire alarm system (Manual fire alarm boxes) that activates the occupant notification system (horn, strobes, sounders, speakers, chimes, mass notification, etc.) in accordance with section 907.5.

1,000 occupants or more:  
A manual fire alarm system (manual fire alarm boxes) that activates the occupant notification system (emergency voice/alarm communication system).

10,000 occupants or more:  
Facilities used for public assembly with 10,000 or more persons shall be equipped with a Public Address (PA) system with emergency backup power.

2021 IFC section 907.2 - If the facility is provided with an approved automatic sprinkler system in which the Waterflow activates the occupant notification system a minimum of one (1) manual fire alarm box is required to be provided in an area approved by the local AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction).
#1: The manual fire alarm box is not required for fire alarm systems dedicated to elevator recall control and supervisory service.
#2: The manual fire alarm box is not required for group R2 occupies unless required by the fire code official to provide a means for fire watch personnel to initiate an alarm during a sprinkler system impairment event. Where provided, the manual fire alarm box shall not be located in an area that is open to the public.

UL 268 Automatic Smoke Detection Requirements:

System smoke detectors shall be provided for all of the following applications: (Group A with 300 + persons)

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.


  1. Question, smoke detectors throughout an A-3 occupancy, are they required in a fully sprinklered building? Have a submittal showing numerous smoke detectors, however, I do not see where they are required in Sunday school rooms, foyers, and sanctuary.

    1. No. Group A occupancies require a manual fire alarm system with occupant notification. If the facility is equipped with an approved automatic sprinkler system that activates the occupant notification system upon waterflow, the pull stations are not required. If the occupant load is 1000 or more, voice evacuation is required. Note this is based on the International Fire Code. Your jurisdiction may have other requirements.

  2. I have an A-3 church-sprinkled 15,000 sq ft ground floor with 2,500 sq ft balcony. Do I need smokes upstairs?

    1. Based on the International Fire and Building Codes, NO. However I suggest you consult with your local AHJ to determine if they have a local adopted ordinance that override this.

  3. At a business which routinely has more than 500 occupants on a 24hr basis, is it legal to turn off the automatic fire alarm system to prevent all audio and visual indicators that an alarm has been triggered?

    1. You would need to provide an approved fire watch program if you deactivated the approved fire alarm system.