Are fire alarm notification devices required in all areas of a hospital?

As hospitals upgrade their existing life safety systems to include newer technology, designers of record may not be sure of where notification devices should be placed, given the need for quiet areas in a hospital.  Since this is a non-evacuation occupancy, private mode signaling can be used for fire alarm announcements, as allowed by NFPA [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]

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]

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]