Fire Protection System: Mechanics of Approval for Fire Alarm Systems

Some of the commonly known fire protection systems are the alarm systems, sprinkler systems, dry pipe systems, standpipe systems, ansul systems, etc. Before you can secure your occupancy permit, the Fire Department must first approve your fire protection system. This includes a new system, any alteration or modification to existing systems. If you are a new building occupant or constructing a facility, it is advisable for you to be familiar with the mechanics of approval for your fire protection system.

For a fire alarm and smoke detection system, your system plans must be submitted to the fire prevention bureau for review. Common requirements for plan submittal include minimum sets of plans for each fire alarm; manufacturer’s specification sheets on all devices; standby battery calculations; wire sample; complete fire alarm system application form and completed fire alarm review submittal sheet. The review covers rough inspection of wiring and final acceptance and performance test.

Some guidelines when it comes to fire alarm systems are: Dwelling units shall have a minimum of one approved single station or multiple station smoke detectors in each bedroom for specified types of groups. The system shall include products of combustion detectors in corridors, each level landing areas, tops of stairways and storage areas.

Thermal detectors shall be placed in boiler rooms janitorial closets, mechanical equipment rooms, workshop areas and laundry areas. There shall be a specified method to reset or silence the common area detection system from an accessible location near the front entrance per floor. If the main fire alarm control panel is not located by the front entrance to the occupancy, you may be required to have a remote annunciator panel. At the same time, you may also be required to install a strobe light at the front of each occupancy. The strobe light must be visible from the street and attached to the fire detection system to provide a visual identification of any affected occupancy. The fire protection system shall be monitored by the community’s fire alarm receiving equipment in the 911 Dispatch Center.

Before the fire alarm system is approved, a final inspection must be completed in the presence of the system installer. A copy of the Certificate of Completion and license shall be provided by the contractor to the Fire Prevention Bureau prior to its monitoring the performance testing of the system. Your alarm installer will be required to comply with all applicable NFPA standards, codes and local ordinances that apply to fire alarm systems. It is critical to choose a reputable and trustworthy contractor who has been in the business for many years. They should have well trained and experienced fire protection specialists to analyze your facility and ensure that the proper elements are integrated and designed into your fire detection system whether you need heat detectors, smoke detectors, ionization or other sophisticated infrared detectors and the finest notification systems.