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]

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]

Elevator Recall Integration with Fire Alarm Systems

What is elevator recall? When is it required? When should it be integrated with a fire alarm system? How is that accomplished? These are a few of the many questions both elevator and electrical contractors have when elevator work is performed. With the constantly changing technologies and capabilities of elevator control and fire alarm systems, [Read More]

Protection of Open Spaces to Corridors in Health Care Facilities

I was recently asked to help settle a dispute between a life safety consultant and a health care facility regarding protection of open spaces connected to corridors in health care facilities.  A consultant tasked to ensure the facility was compliant with The Joint Commission Life Safety Standard informed the facility that they were deficient in meeting the Joint [Read More]

Using Wireless Smoke Detectors With Fire Alarm Systems

The newest development coming out of the various fire alarm manufacturers is wireless smoke detectors and control/monitor devices.  These UL 268 and UL 864 approved devices can be programmed to act like a stand alone, battery powered smoke detector with the added benefit of being supervised for proper operation and without having to replace the batteries every [Read More]

New Carbon Monoxide Requirements

Starting January 1, 2016 the State of Illinois will require carbon monoxide (CO) detectors in schools which fall under the jurisdiction of the Illinois State Board of Education.  Public Act 099-0470 inserts language to 105 ILCS 5/10 that adds the requirement for school boards of education to ensure each school has proper CO detection in [Read More]

If an elevator lobby detector activates, can I selectively exclude that lobby and have the cars still run?

Generally, an elevator’s FEO doesn’t allow the cabs to run once activated, so a selective application usually isn’t an option. I say usually because hospitals employ a Code Blue elevator control system to override the elevator FEO in life saving situations. That’s an extra cost on a more robust elevator controller and obviously doesn’t apply [Read More]

Simultaneous Elevator Recall Activation

I recently received a good question through the comment section regarding one of our elevator recall blogs. The question was: Is it proper to use one addressable fire input into an elevator recall point then parallel out of this point into another separate elevator controller recall input? A: If separate controllers handle cars in the [Read More]