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]

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]

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]

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]

What is Fire Alarm Audibility?

  The biggest obstacle to getting occupancy of a completed construction project is getting approval from the fire department.  Of all the items checked by the fire department inspector, the biggest concern and hardest to rectify if not compliant is the level of occupant notification in event of a fire alarm activation.  If occupants can’t [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]

Are Sprinklers Required Above False Ceilings?

We’re not a sprinkler contractor, but we frequently coordinate sprinker installations with fire alarm installations.  Many design professionals want a single point of contact to ask life safety questions, so I get asked a lot of questions regarding sprinkler requirements.  Here’s one that I researched the answer for: Q:  Are sprinklers required above false ceilings? I have read through [Read More]

Defining Generator Testing Frequency

I recently received a question regarding emergency generator testing in a medical facility that touched on testing frequency and what defines a method of off site monitoring.  Here’s the question: My local AHJ expects my Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) to run the generator weekly. They utilize NFPA 1 (2012) and NFPA 72 (2010).  Both NFPA 1 in [Read More]