Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Fire Alarm Requirements for Group R-1 Occupancy

Group R-1: (Residential)

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.)

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.


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 217 Smoke Alarm Requirements:

Low frequency sounders for fire alarms in sleeping areas
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.

Note:  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.

ADA Room Fire Alarm Strobe Chart

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.

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