Does a sprinkler in a LULA elevator pit mandate elevator recall?

I get this question on occasion when there is confusion over the relationship between elevators and sprinklers.  The short answer is probably not.  The base requirement of ASME 17.1 (2007) Sec. 2.27.3.2.1(c), which calls for fireman’s service if a sprinkler head is in the hoistway, is exempted for electric Limited Use/Limited Access (LULA) elevators by [Read More]

Do single station smoke alarms have low frequency sounders?

NFPA 72 now requires a 520 hz square wave fire alarm signal in smoke detector sounder bases provided for publicly available sleeping areas.  The 520 hz tone has been shown as more effective in waking people of a certain age (ahem), deep sleepers or those that may have had a few too many the night [Read More]

What Version of NFPA 72 Record of Completion is IDPH Using?

Since we service many hospitals and long term care facilities, we run into a number of different opinions on which version of the NFPA 72 Record of Completion (ROC) the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is requiring as part of its closeout documentation.  You’ll get different answers, depending on the general contractor. Since the [Read More]

Can I Use VoIP to Replace My Fire Alarm Telephone Lines?

Utilizing the internet to send fire alarm signals to a monitoring station is a subject that confuses end users, designers and installers alike.  Many installers will just say ‘You can’t’ regardless of the equipment currently used, even though that’s usually not the case.  While it’s true that older, existing equipment probably can’t use VoIP, there are options [Read More]

If I Have Sprinklers, Do I Also Need Smoke Detectors? Part 2

In our previous blog on this subject, we addressed whether smoke detectors are required in business, healthcare and assembly occupancies if they have sprinklers installed.  In this edition, we’ll look at general requirements for educational and residential occupancies, based on the IBC/IFC and NFPA 101. As mentioned in Part 1,  it’s important to remember that sprinklers are [Read More]

Can Fire Alarm System Smoke Detectors Replace 120 VAC Smoke Detectors?

  When it comes to renovations of multi-residential buildings or transient occupancies (hotels, SROs, etc.), one of the considerations that designers of record has is long term costs to the owner.  An item the often gets overlooked are the living unit smoke detectors.  Most assume that local, 120 vac powered (AKA ‘single station’) smoke detectors [Read More]

If I Have Sprinklers, Do I Need Smoke Detectors? Part 1

It can be hard to separate life safety code requirements.  Much of it can seem redundant, leading some to over-design when they’re not sure what the requirements are.  This can be especially true where sprinklers and detection are concerned.  It’s important to remember that sprinklers are meant to control the spread of fire, providing occupants that [Read More]

Can Elevators Still Be Used During a Fire Alarm?

We’ve all seen the signage in elevator lobbies to use the stairs in event of fire.  Some signs even say the elevators are out of service in event of fire, but that’s not always true.  People may become unsure of what to do when they see an elevator door open on the 30th floor during a fire [Read More]

New Two Hour Fire Alarm Cable Update

UPDATE: 2/19/16  I received notification from a reader regarding a new UL 2196 rated CIC cable available from Radix .  This is an 18 AWG cable that features two Oxygen-Free Bare Copper (OFBC) conductors insulated with ceramifiable silicone rubber, an aluminum/aramid shield, a 22 AWG solid TC drain wire and low smoke zero halogen FRPE red [Read More]

Are Fire Alarm Strobes Required in the City of Chicago?

The Chicago Building Code (CBC) defines which buildings are required to have fire alarm systems and is specific about how these systems are to be put together.  What comes to a surprise to those that design and/or install these systems is, among other things, what is included and not included regarding notification of an alarm [Read More]