Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fire Alarm Requirements for Group M Occupancy

Group M: (Mercantile)

If a fire alarm system is not required based on the below language, a dedicated function sprinkler monitoring system shall be required if the facility has 7 + sprinkler heads per the 2015 IFC section 903.4 specific to exception #2.

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.


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.