Heads up: There are no amended sections in this chapter.
The provisions of this chapter apply to the proper configuration, performance, installation, and operation of public emergency alarm reporting systems and auxiliary alarm systems. Public emergency alarm reporting systems shall consist of alarm boxes and alarm processing equipment that communicate on a wired or wireless network(s), one-way or two-way, meeting the requirements of this chapter. This shall include systems that use a communications infrastructure that is publicly owned, operated, and controlled or where public emergency alarm reporting systems and equipment are used in other applications.
The installation and use of public emergency alarm reporting systems and auxiliary alarm systems shall comply with the requirements of this chapter.
The requirements of this chapter shall apply to systems and equipment for the transmission and reception of alarm and other emergency signals, including those from auxiliary alarm systems, connected to the public emergency alarm reporting system.
The requirements of Chapters 10 and 14 shall also apply unless they are in conflict with this chapter.
Only those requirements from Chapter 7 that are required by Chapter 14 shall apply.
The requirements of this chapter shall not apply to Chapter 29 unless otherwise noted.
The application of public emergency alarm reporting systems and auxiliary alarm systems to provide defined reporting functions from or within private premises shall be permitted where approved by the authority having jurisdiction.
Public emergency alarm reporting systems shall be designed, installed, operated, and maintained in accordance with this chapter to provide reliable transmission and receipt of alarms in a manner acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction.
A public emergency alarm reporting system, as described herein, shall be permitted to be used for the transmission of other signals or calls of a public emergency nature, provided that such transmission does not interfere with the transmission and receipt of fire alarms.
All devices shall be designed to function satisfactorily under the climatic and environmental conditions to which they could be exposed.
All devices shall be identified as suitable for the location and conditions for which they are installed.
All circuits, paths, and equipment necessary for the receipt of signals from a protected premises shall be monitored for integrity.
All systems shall be under the control of a designated jurisdictional employee.
Maintenance by an organization or person other than from the jurisdiction or an employee of the jurisdiction shall be by written contract, guaranteeing performance acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction.
Where maintenance is provided by an organization or person(s) other than the jurisdiction or its employees, complete written records of the installation, maintenance, test, and extension of the system shall be forwarded to the designated employee in a time period and manner approved by the authority having jurisdiction.
All equipment shall be installed in locations accessible to the authority having jurisdiction for the purpose of maintenance and inspection.
Records of wired public emergency alarm reporting system circuits shall include all of the following:
  1. Outline plans showing terminals and box sequence
  2. Diagrams of applicable office wiring
  3. List of materials used, including trade name, manufacturer, and year of purchase or installation
Public emergency alarm reporting systems as defined in this chapter shall, in their entirety, be subject to a complete operational acceptance test upon completion of system installation.
The test(s) required by 27.3.6 shall be made in accordance with the requirements of the authority having jurisdiction; however, in no case shall the operational functions tested be less than those stipulated in Chapter 14.
Operational acceptance tests shall be performed on any alarm-reporting devices, as covered in this chapter, that are installed or modified subsequent to the test required by 27.3.6.
Public emergency alarm reporting system plans and specifications shall be developed in accordance with this Code by persons who are qualified in the proper design, application, installation, and testing of public emergency alarm reporting systems.
The system design documents shall include the name and contact information of the system designer.
Installation personnel shall be qualified in the installation, inspection, and testing of public emergency alarm reporting systems.
Personnel shall demonstrate qualification by being trained and certified in public emergency alarm reporting system design, installation, or service (as appropriate) by one or more of the following:
  1. Certified by the manufacturer of the system or equipment
  2. *Certified by an organization acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction
  3. Licensed or certified by a state or local authority
Evidence of qualifications and/or certification shall be provided when requested by the authority having jurisdiction. A license or qualification listing shall be current in accordance with the requirements of the issuing authority or organization.
A public emergency alarm reporting system shall include wired or wireless network(s), for one-way signaling or two-way command and control communications between alarm boxes, alarm processing equipment, and the communications center.
The terms wired network and public cable plant shall be considered the same and interchangeable throughout this chapter.
All wired networks or public cable plants shall meet the requirements of Section 27.7.
Fiber-optic cabling shall be considered an acceptable transmission medium, provided that the cabling and installation comply with the requirements of Section 27.7 and the conversion equipment used to interface to the fiber-optic signal complies with all applicable requirements of Chapter 27.
Alarm processing equipment at the communications center shall meet the requirements of 27.5.2 and 27.5.4.
Alarm processing equipment at a remote communications center shall meet the requirements of 27.4.2.2 and 27.5.3.
Alarm boxes shall meet one of the following requirements:
  1. Publicly accessible boxes shall meet the requirements of 27.6.1 through 27.6.2 and 27.6.5.
  2. Auxiliary boxes shall meet the requirements of 27.6.1, 27.6.3, and 27.6.5.
  3. Master boxes shall meet the requirements of 27.6.1 through 27.6.3 and 27.6.5.
The terms wireless network and radio system shall be considered the same and interchangeable throughout this chapter.
All wireless networks shall meet the requirements of 27.4.3.2 through 27.4.3.5.
In addition to the requirements of this Code, all wireless equipment shall be designed and operated in compliance with all applicable rules and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) or, where required, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).
Unlicensed radio frequencies shall not be permitted.
Fire alarm signals, other emergency alarm signals, and monitoring for integrity signals shall be permitted on the same radio frequency, dedicated for that purpose.
The wireless network capacity for the number of alarm boxes permitted on a single radio frequency shall comply with one of the following:
  1. For networks that use one-way transmission in which the individual alarm box automatically initiates the required message (see 27.5.5.3.3) using circuitry integral to the alarm box, not more than 500 alarm boxes are permitted on a single radio frequency.
  2. For networks that use a two-way concept in which interrogation signals (see 27.5.5.3.3) are transmitted to the individual alarm boxes from the communications center on the same radio frequency used for receipt of alarms, not more than 250 alarm boxes are permitted on a single radio frequency.
  3. For networks that use a two-way concept where interrogation signals are transmitted on a radio frequency that differs from that used for receipt of alarms, not more than 500 alarm boxes are permitted on a single radio frequency.
Alarm processing equipment at the communications center shall meet the requirements of 27.5.2 and 27.5.5.
Alarm processing equipment at a remote communications center shall meet the requirements of 27.4.3.6 and 27.5.3.
Alarm boxes shall meet one of the following requirements:
  1. Publicly accessible boxes shall meet the requirements of 27.6.1 through 27.6.2 and 27.6.6.
  2. Auxiliary boxes shall meet the requirements of 27.6.1, 27.6.3, and 27.6.6.
  3. Master boxes shall meet the requirements of 27.6.1 through 27.6.3 and 27.6.6.
The alarm processing equipment required to receive and control the public emergency alarm reporting system shall be installed in the communications center or remote communications center used by emergency response agencies as defined in NFPA 1221, Standard for the Installation, Maintenance, and Use of Emergency Services Communications Systems.
The requirements of 27.5.2 shall apply to all processing equipment, wired or wireless, for a public emergency alarm reporting network.
Alarm systems shall be Type A or Type B.
A Type A system shall be provided where the number of all alarms required to be retransmitted exceeds 2500 per year.
Where a Type A system is required, the automatic electronic retransmission of incoming alarms shall be permitted, provided that both of the following conditions are met:
  1. Approved facilities are provided for the automatic receipt, storage, retrieval, and retransmission of alarms in the order received.
  2. The operator(s) of the dispatch facility has the capability to immediately override the automatic retransmission and revert to manual retransmission.
Alarms from alarm boxes shall be automatically received and recorded at the communications center.
A device for producing a permanent graphic recording of all alarm, supervisory, trouble, and test signals received or retransmitted, or both, shall be provided at each communications center for each alarm circuit and tie circuit.
Reserve recording devices shall be provided in accordance with 27.5.2.2.3.1 and 27.5.2.2.3.2.
Where each circuit is served by a dedicated recording device, the number of reserve recording devices required on-site shall be equal to at least 5 percent of the circuits in service and in no case less than one device.
Where two or more circuits are served by a common recording device, a reserve recording device shall be provided on-site for each circuit connected to a common recorder.
In a Type B wired system, one such recording device shall be installed in each emergency response facility, and at least one shall be installed in the communications center.
A permanent visual record and an audible signal shall be required to indicate the receipt of an alarm. The permanent record shall indicate the exact location from which the alarm is being transmitted.
The audible signal device shall be permitted to be common to two or more box circuits and arranged so that the emergency alarm operator is able to manually silence the signal temporarily by a self-restoring switch.
Facilities shall be provided that automatically record the date and time of receipt of each alarm.

Exception: Only the time shall be required to be automatically recorded for voice recordings.

Wired circuits upon which transmission and receipt of alarms depend shall be constantly monitored for integrity to provide prompt warning of conditions adversely affecting reliability.
The power supplied to all required circuits and devices of the system shall be constantly monitored for integrity.
Trouble signals shall be indicated where there is a trained and competent person on duty at all times.
Trouble signals shall be distinct from alarm signals and shall be indicated by a visual and audible signal.
The audible signal shall be permitted to be common to more than one circuit that is monitored for integrity.
A switch for silencing the audible trouble signal shall be permitted, provided that the visual signal remains operating until the silencing switch is restored to its normal position.
The audible signal shall be responsive to faults on any other circuits that occur prior to restoration of the silencing switch to its normal position.
Each box circuit or wireless receiving system shall be powered by one of the following:
  1. *Form 4A, which is an inverter, powered from a common rectifier, receiving power by a single source of alternating current with a floating storage battery having a 24-hour standby capacity
  2. *Form 4B, which is an inverter, powered from a common rectifier, receiving power from two sources of alternating current with a floating storage battery having a 4-hour standby capacity
  3. *Form 4C, which is a rectifier, converter, or motor generator receiving power from two sources of alternating current with transfer facilities to apply power from the secondary source to the system within 30 seconds
Form 4A and Form 4B shall be permitted to distribute the system load between two or more common rectifiers and batteries.
The capacity of batteries, motor generators, rectifiers, or other permitted power supplies shall exceed the calculated load of all connected circuits, so that circuits developing grounds or crosses with other circuits each shall be able to be supplied by an independent source to the extent required by 27.5.2.5.1.
Provision shall be made to connect any circuit to any battery, generator, or rectifier, or other permitted power supply.
Individual circuits supplied from common leads shall be protected by the installation of enclosed fuses located at the point where the circuit conductors receive their supply.
Local circuits at communications centers shall be supplied in accordance with 27.5.2.5.6.1 and 27.5.2.5.6.2.
The source of power for local circuits required to operate the essential features of the system shall be monitored for integrity.
Local circuits at communications centers shall be permitted to be connected to the same power source as box circuits, wireless receiving system circuits, or a separate power source.
Visual and audible means to indicate a 15 percent or greater reduction of normal power supply (rated voltage) shall be provided.
Where the electrical service/capacity of the equipment required under Section 4.7 of NFPA 1221, Standard for the Installation, Maintenance, and Use of Emergency Services Communications Systems, satisfies the needs of equipment in this chapter, such equipment shall not be required to be duplicated.
Rectifiers shall be supplied from the secondary of an isolating transformer.
The primary of the isolating transformer shall be connected to a circuit not exceeding 250 volts.
Complete spare units or spare parts shall be in reserve.
One spare rectifier shall be provided for every 10 operating rectifiers on a system. No system shall have less than one spare.
Leads from rectifiers or motor generators, with a float-charged battery, shall be protected by fuses rated at a minimum of 1 ampere and a maximum of 200 percent of connected load at nominal circuit voltage. Where not provided with a float-charged battery, the fuses shall be rated at a minimum of 3 amperes.
The installation of engine-driven generator sets shall conform to the provisions of NFPA 37, Standard for the Installation and Use of Stationary Combustion Engines and Gas Turbines; NFPA 110, Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems; and NFPA 1221, Standard for the Installation, Maintenance, and Use of Emergency Services Communications Systems.
Float-charged batteries shall be of the storage type. Primary batteries (dry cells) shall not be used. Lead-acid batteries shall be in jars of glass or other identified or approved transparent materials; other types of batteries shall be in containers identified or approved for the purpose.
Float-charged batteries shall be above building grade level.
Float-charged batteries shall be located on the same floor of the building as the operating equipment.
Float-charged batteries shall be accessible for maintenance and inspection.
Float-charged batteries shall be installed in accordance with Article 480 of NFPA 70, National Electrical Code.
Batteries shall be mounted to provide effective insulation from the ground or working platform and from other batteries. Mounting equipment shall be listed and identified for the location. It shall be permissible for the authority having jurisdiction to waive this requirement to allow the use of alternative mounting equipment where it is assured that equivalent objectives can be achieved.
Battery mounting shall be protected against deterioration and shall provide stability, especially in geographic areas subject to seismic disturbance.
Where applicable, electronic computer/data processing equipment shall be protected in accordance with NFPA 75, Standard for the Fire Protection of Information Technology Equipment.
Where the alarm-receiving equipment is located at a location other than where the box circuit protection, controls, and power supplies are located, the requirements of 27.5.3.1 through 27.5.3.8, in addition to all of the requirements of Section 27.5, shall apply.
All equipment used to provide the primary and remote receiving facilities shall be listed for its intended use and shall be installed in accordance with NFPA 70, National Electrical Code.
The monitoring for integrity of all box circuits shall be provided with a visual and audible means to indicate a 20 percent or greater reduction or increase in the normal current in any box alarm circuit. The visual means shall identify the exact circuit affected.
Monitoring for integrity of all power supplies shall be provided with visual and audible means to indicate a loss of primary or standby power supplies at both the communications center and remote communications center.
A minimum of two separate means of interconnection shall be provided between the communications center and remote communications center receiving equipment. This interconnection shall be dedicated and shall not be used for any other purpose.
Where data transmission or multiplexing equipment is used that is not an integral part of the alarm-receiving equipment, a visual and audible means shall be provided to monitor the integrity of the external equipment. This shall include monitoring all primary and standby power supplies as well as the transmission of data.
Power shall be provided in accordance with 27.5.2.5.
The use of an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to comply with standby power requirements shall not be permitted.
Tie circuits shall be provided in accordance with 27.5.3.8.1 through 27.5.3.8.3.
A separate tie circuit shall be provided from the communications center to each subsidiary communications center.
The tie circuit between the communications center and the subsidiary communications center shall not be used for any other purpose.
In a Type B wired system, where all boxes in the system are of the succession type, it shall be permitted to use the tie circuit as a dispatch circuit to the extent permitted by NFPA 1221, Standard for the Installation, Maintenance, and Use of Emergency Services Communications Systems.
For a Type B system, the effectiveness of noninterference and succession functions between box circuits shall be no less than between boxes in any one circuit.
A metallic box open circuit condition shall cause a warning signal in all other circuits, and, thereafter, the circuit(s) not in the open circuit condition shall be automatically restored to operative condition.
Box circuits shall be sufficient in number and laid out so that the areas that would be left without box protection in case of disruption of a circuit do not exceed those covered by 20 properly spaced boxes where all or any part of the circuit is of aerial open-wire, or by 30 properly spaced boxes where the circuit is entirely in underground or messenger-supported cable.
Where all boxes on any individual circuit and associated equipment are designed and installed to provide for receipt of alarms through the ground in the event of a break in the circuit, the circuit shall be permitted to serve twice the number of aerial open-wire and cable circuits, respectively, as are specified in 27.5.4.1.3.
The installation of additional boxes in an area served by the number of boxes spaced as indicated in 27.5.4.1.1 through 27.5.4.1.4 shall not constitute geographical overloading of a circuit.
Sounding devices for signals shall be provided for box circuits.
A common sounding device for more than one circuit shall be permitted to be used in a Type A system and shall be installed at the communications center.
In a Type B system, a sounding device shall be installed in each emergency response facility at the same location as the recording device for that circuit, unless installed at the communications center, where a common sounding device shall be permitted.
Constant-current systems shall comply with the requirements of 27.5.4.2.1 through 27.5.4.2.6.
Means shall be provided for manually regulating the current in box circuits so that the operating current is maintained within 10 percent of normal throughout changes in external circuit resistance from 20 percent above normal to 50 percent below normal.
The voltage supplied to maintain normal line current on box circuits shall not exceed 150 volts, measured under no-load conditions, and shall be such that the line current cannot be reduced below the approved operating value by the simultaneous operation of four boxes.
Visual and audible means to indicate a 20 percent or greater reduction in the normal current in any alarm circuit shall be provided.
All devices connected in series with any alarm circuit shall function when the alarm circuit current is reduced to 70 percent of normal.
Meters shall be provided to indicate the current in any box circuit and the voltage of any power source. Meters used in common for two or more circuits shall be provided with cut-in devices designed to reduce the probability of cross-connecting circuits.
Necessary switches, testing, and signal transmitting and receiving devices shall be provided to allow the isolation, control, and test of each circuit up to at least 10 percent of the total number of box and dispatch circuits, but never less than two circuits.
Where common-current source systems are grounded, the requirements of 27.5.4.3.1 and 27.5.4.3.2 shall apply.
Where common-current source systems are grounded, the resistance of the ground shall not exceed 10 percent of resistance of any connected circuit and shall be located at one side of the battery.
Visual and audible indicating devices shall be provided for each box and dispatch circuit to give immediate warning of ground leakage current that will have a detrimental effect on circuit operation.
A permanent visual recording device installed in the communications center shall be provided to record all incoming box signals.
A spare recording device shall be provided for five or more box circuits.
A second visual means of identifying the calling box shall be provided.
Audible signals shall indicate all incoming calls from box circuits.
All voice transmissions from boxes for emergencies shall be recorded with the capability of instant playback.
A voice-recording facility shall be provided for each operator handling incoming alarms to eliminate the possibility of interference.
Box circuits shall be sufficient in number and laid out so that the areas that would be left without box protection in case of disruption of a circuit do not exceed those covered by 20 properly spaced boxes where all or any part of the circuit is of aerial open-wire, or 30 properly spaced boxes where the circuit is entirely in underground or messenger-supported cable.
Where all boxes on any individual circuit and associated equipment are designed and installed to provide for receipt of alarms through the ground in the event of a break in the circuit, the circuit shall be permitted to serve twice the number of aerial open-wire and cable circuits, respectively, as is specified in 27.5.4.4.7.
The installation of additional boxes in an area served by the number of boxes spaced as indicated in 27.5.4.4.7 shall not constitute geographical overloading of a circuit.
Type A systems shall comply with 27.5.5.1.1.1 through 27.5.5.1.1.6.
Two separate receiving networks shall be required for each frequency. Each network shall include the following:
  1. Antenna
  2. RF receiver
  3. Signaling processing equipment
  4. Time/date alarm printer
  5. Audible alerting device
  6. Power supply
Both receiving networks shall be installed at the communications center.
The failure of one receiving network shall not interfere with the other receiving network's ability to receive messages from boxes.
Where the system configuration is such that a polling device is incorporated into the receiving network to allow remote or selective initiation of box tests, a separate device shall be included in each of the two required receiving networks.
The polling devices shall be configured for automatic cycle initiation in their primary operating mode, shall be capable of continuous self-monitoring, and shall be integrated into the network(s) to provide automatic switchover and operational continuity in the event of failure of either device.
Test signals from boxes shall not be required to include the date as part of their permanent recording, provided that the date is automatically printed on the recording tape at the beginning of each calendar day.
Type B systems shall comply with 27.5.5.1.2.1 and 27.5.5.1.2.2.
For each frequency used, a single, complete receiving network shall be permitted in each emergency response facility, provided that the communications center conforms to 27.5.5.1.1.1 through 27.5.5.1.1.3. Where the jurisdiction maintains two or more alarm reception points in operation, one receiving network shall be permitted to be at each alarm reception point.
Where alarm signals are transmitted to an emergency response facility from the communications center using the wireless-type receiving equipment in the emergency response facility to receive and record the alarm message, a second receiving network conforming to 27.5.5.1.2.1 shall be provided at each emergency response facility, and that receiving network shall employ a frequency other than that used for the receipt of box messages.
A device for producing a permanent graphic recording of all alarm, supervisory, trouble, and test signals received or retransmitted, or both, shall be provided at the communications center.
Where box message signals to the communications center or acknowledgment of message receipt signals from the communications center to the box are repeated, associated repeating facilities shall conform to the requirements of 27.5.5.1.1.1(1), (2), (3), and (6) and include two separate transmitters.
Power shall be provided in accordance with 27.5.2.5.
All wireless box systems shall provide constant monitoring of each radio frequency in use. Both an audible and a visual indication of any sustained signal in excess of a 15-second duration shall be provided for each receiving system at the communications center.
The power supplied to all required circuits and devices of the system shall be monitored for integrity.
Each wireless box shall automatically transmit a test message at least once in each 24-hour period.
Receiving equipment associated with wireless-type systems, including any related repeater(s), shall be tested at least hourly. The receipt of test messages that do not exceed 60-minute intervals shall meet this requirement.
Radio repeaters upon which receipt of alarms depend shall be provided with dual receivers, transmitters, and power supplies. Failure of the primary receiver, transmitter, or power supply shall cause an automatic switchover to the secondary receiver, transmitter, or power supply.

Exception: Manual switchover shall be permitted, provided that it is completed within 30 seconds.

Trouble signals shall actuate a sounding device located where there is always a trained, competent person on duty.
Trouble signals shall be distinct from alarm signals and shall be indicated by a visual and audible signal.
The audible signal shall be permitted to be common to two or more monitored circuits.
A switch for silencing the audible trouble signal shall be permitted where the visual signal remains operating until the silencing switch is restored to its normal position.
The audible signal shall be responsive to subsequent faults in other monitored functions prior to restoration of the silencing switch.
The antenna transmission line between the transmitter and the antenna shall be installed in rigid metal, intermediate metal conduit, or electrical metallic tubing in accordance with NFPA 70, National Electrical Code.
The requirements of 27.6.1.1 through 27.6.1.6 shall apply to all alarm boxes.
Concurrent operation of at least four boxes shall not result in the loss of an alarm.
Boxes and associated equipment, when in an abnormal condition, shall not disable the public emergency alarm reporting system circuit.
Boxes shall be designed so that recycling does not occur when a box-actuating device is held in the actuating position and shall be ready to accept a new signal as soon as the actuating device is released.
Boxes, when actuated, shall give a visible or audible indication to the user that the box is operating or that the signal has been transmitted to the communications center.
Box cases and parts that are accessible to the public shall be permitted to be of nonconductive material.
Box cases and parts that are accessible to the public and that are constructed of conductive materials shall be installed in accordance with the requirements of NFPA 70, National Electrical Code, Articles 250 and 760.
Means for actuation of alarms by the public shall be located where they are visible, unobstructed, and readily accessible.
The box housing shall protect the internal components and shall be identified for the location installed.
Doors on boxes shall remain operable under adverse climatic conditions, including icing and salt spray.
Boxes shall be recognizable as such and shall have instructions for use plainly marked on their exterior surfaces.
Boxes shall be securely mounted on poles, pedestals, or structural surfaces as directed by the authority having jurisdiction.
The location of publicly accessible boxes shall be designated by the authority having jurisdiction.
Schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and places of public assembly shall have a box located at the main entrance, as directed by the authority having jurisdiction.
Boxes shall be conspicuously visible and be highlighted with a distinctive color.
All publicly accessible boxes mounted on support poles shall be identified by a wide band of distinctive colors or signs placed 8 ft (2.44 m) above the ground and visible from all directions wherever possible.
Location-designating lights of distinctive color, visible for at least 1500 ft (460 m) in all directions, shall be installed over boxes. The street light nearest the box, where equipped with a distinctively colored light, shall meet this requirement.
Where boxes are installed inside a structure, the installation shall comply with 27.6.2.1.11.1 and 27.6.2.1.11.2.
The box shall be placed as close as is practicable to the point of entrance of the circuit.
The exterior wire shall be installed in rigid metal conduit or intermediate metal conduit in accordance with Chapter 3 of NFPA 70, National Electrical Code.

Exception: Schedule 80 rigid nonmetallic conduit shall be permitted for underground installations, provided that all elbows used are rigid or intermediate metal conduit.

The requirements of 27.6.3.1.1 through 27.6.3.1.6 shall apply to all auxiliary alarm boxes.
The authority having jurisdiction shall designate the location of the auxiliary box.
All exterior wire and cable shall be installed in rigid metal conduit or intermediate metal conduit in accordance with Chapter 3 of NFPA 70, National Electrical Code.

Exception: Schedule 80 rigid nonmetallic conduit shall be permitted for underground installations, provided that all elbows used are rigid or intermediate metal conduit.

Wiring between the auxiliary alarm system and the auxiliary alarm box or master alarm box shall meet the requirements of pathway survivability Level 2 (see 12.4.3).
Where installed outside a structure, the requirements of 27.6.2.1.2 and 27.6.2.1.5 shall apply.
Where the auxiliary box is a wired box, the requirements of Section 27.7 shall apply.
Where the auxiliary box is a wireless box, the requirements of 27.6.6 shall apply.
The equipment and circuits necessary to connect a protected premises to a public emergency alarm reporting system shall comply with the requirements of 27.6.3.2.
The requirements of Chapter 10, in addition to those of Chapters 14 and 17, shall apply to auxiliary alarm systems unless they conflict with the requirements of 27.6.3.2.
Where permitted by the authority having jurisdiction, the use of systems described in Chapter 27 shall be permitted to provide defined reporting functions from or within private premises.
The requirements of Section 27.7 shall also apply to wired auxiliary alarm systems.
Auxiliary alarm systems shall be one of the following types:
  1. *Local energy type
    1. Local energy systems shall be permitted to be of the coded or noncoded type.
    2. Power supply sources for local energy systems shall conform to Chapter 10.
    3. Transmitter trouble signals shall be indicated at the control unit and the building fire command center in accordance with 10.15.7.
  2. *Shunt type
    1. Shunt systems shall be noncoded with respect to any remote electrical tripping or actuating devices.
    2. All conductors of the shunt circuit shall be installed in accordance with NFPA 70, National Electrical Code, Article 344, for rigid metal conduit, or Article 358, for electrical metallic tubing.
    3. Both sides of the shunt circuit shall be in the same conduit.
    4. Where a shunt loop is used, it shall not exceed a length of 750 ft (230 m) and shall be in conduit.
    5. Conductors of the shunt circuits shall not be smaller than 14 AWG and shall be insulated as prescribed in NFPA 70, National Electrical Code, Article 310.
    6. The power for shunt-type systems shall be provided by the public emergency alarm reporting system.
    7. *A local system made to an auxiliary alarm system by the addition of a relay whose coil is energized by a local power supply and whose normally closed contacts trip a shunt-type master box shall not be permitted.
The interface of the two types of auxiliary alarm systems with the three types of public emergency alarm reporting systems shall be in accordance with Table 27.6.3.2.2.2.

Table 27.6.3.2.2.2 Application of Public Emergency Alarm Reporting Systems with Auxiliary Alarm Systems

Reporting Systems Local Energy Type Shunt Type
Wired Yes Yes
Wireless Yes No
Telephone series Yes No
The application of the two types of auxiliary alarm systems shall be limited to the initiating devices specified in Table 27.6.3.2.2.3.

Table 27.6.3.2.2.3 Application of Initiating Devices with Auxiliary Alarm Systems

Initiating Devices Local Energy Type Shunt Type
Manually actuated alarm-initiating device Yes Yes
Waterflow or actuation of the fire extinguishing system(s) or suppression system(s) Yes Yes
Automatic detection devices Yes No
Shunt-type auxiliary alarm systems shall be arranged so that one auxiliary transmitter does not serve more than 100,000 ft2 (9290 m2) total area.

Exception: Where otherwise permitted by the authority having jurisdiction.

A separate auxiliary transmitter shall be provided for each building, or where permitted by the authority having jurisdiction, for each group of buildings of single ownership or occupancy.
The same box shall be permitted to be used as a public emergency alarm reporting system box and as a transmitting device for an auxiliary alarm system where permitted by the authority having jurisdiction, provided that the box is located at the outside of the entrance to the protected property.
Where 27.6.3.2.3.3 is applied, the authority having jurisdiction shall be permitted to require the box to be equipped with a signal light to differentiate between automatic and manual operation, unless local outside alarms at the protected property serve the same purpose.
The transmitting device shall be located as required by the authority having jurisdiction.
The system shall be designed and arranged so that a single fault on the auxiliary alarm system shall not jeopardize operation of the public emergency alarm reporting system and shall not, in case of a single fault on either the auxiliary or public emergency alarm reporting system, transmit a false alarm on either system.

Exception: Shunt systems complying with 27.6.3.2.2.1(2).

A means that is available only to the agency responsible for maintaining the public emergency alarm reporting system shall be provided for disconnecting the auxiliary loop to the connected property.
Notification shall be given to the designated representative of the property when the auxiliary box is not in service.
An auxiliary alarm system shall be used only in connection with a public emergency alarm reporting system that is approved for the service. A system approved by the authority having jurisdiction shall meet this requirement.
Permission for the connection of an auxiliary alarm system to a public emergency alarm reporting system, and acceptance of the type of auxiliary transmitter and its actuating mechanism, circuits, and components connected thereto, shall be obtained from the authority having jurisdiction.
Paragraph 27.6.3.2 shall not require the use of audible alarm signals other than those necessary to operate the auxiliary alarm system. Where it is desired to provide evacuation signals in the protected property, the notification appliances, circuits, and controls shall comply with the provisions of Chapter 23 in addition to the provisions of 27.6.3.2.
Where an auxiliary alarm system is in an alarm condition that has been acknowledged, deactivated, or bypassed, subsequent actuation of initiating devices on other initiating device circuits or subsequent actuation of addressable initiating devices on signaling line circuits shall cause an alarm signal to be transmitted to the communications center.
Where an auxiliary transmitter is located within a private premises, it shall be installed in accordance with 27.6.2.1.11 and 27.7.2.
Where data communications between a microprocessor-based control unit and an auxiliary alarm system are utilized, they shall comply with all of the requirements in 27.6.3.2.3.14(A) through 27.6.3.2.3.14(C):

(A) The monitoring for integrity shall include communications test messages transmitted between the control unit and the auxiliary alarm system.

(B) The communications test message shall be initiated by either the control unit or the auxiliary alarm system and shall require a response from the corresponding unit, and the following shall apply:

  1. An invalid response or no response from the control unit or the auxiliary alarm system shall be recognized as a communications failure.
  2. A communications failure shall initiate a specific communications failure trouble message, which shall be transmitted from the auxiliary alarm system and shall be automatically indicated within 200 seconds at the communications center.
  3. A trouble condition in 27.6.3.2.3.14(B)(2) shall activate an audible and distinctive visual signal at the auxiliary box indicating a communications failure.
  4. A trouble condition shall be indicated at the control unit and the building fire command center in accordance with 10.15.7.

(C) Where a separate device is required to interface the control unit to the auxiliary alarm system, all communication paths shall be monitored for integrity and shall comply with 27.6.3.2.3.14.

Master alarm boxes shall comply with the requirements of 27.6.2 and 27.6.3.
The requirements of Section 27.7 shall apply to wired network boxes.
The requirements of Section 27.7 shall also apply to telephone boxes.
Where a handset is used, the caps on the transmitter and receiver shall be secured to reduce the probability of the telephone box being disabled due to vandalism.
Telephone boxes shall be designed to allow the communications center operator to determine whether or not the telephone box has been restored to normal condition after use.
In addition to the requirements of this Code, wireless boxes shall be designed and operated in compliance with all applicable rules and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) or, where required by other governing laws, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).
Each wireless box shall automatically transmit a test message at least once in each 24-hour period.
Wireless network boxes shall be capable of transmitting no less than three specific signals to the communications center, in addition to the box number, with priority as follows:
  1. Alarm
  2. Tamper
  3. Test
Wireless boxes shall transmit to the communications center with priority as follows:
  1. No less than two repetitions for "alarm"
  2. No less than one repetition for "tamper"
  3. No less than one repetition for "test"
Where wireless network boxes transmit more than one alarm signal, in addition to those in 27.6.6.3, each such signal shall be individually identifiable.
Where wireless network boxes transmit more than one alarm signal, they shall be designed to prevent the loss of supplemental or concurrently actuated signals.
Where wireless network boxes transmit more than one alarm signal, the priority of each alarm shall be as assigned by the authority having jurisdiction.
An actuating device held or locked in the activating position shall not prevent the activation and transmission of other signals.
The primary power source for wireless boxes shall be permitted to be from one or more of the following, as approved by the authority having jurisdiction:
  1. Utility distribution system
  2. Solar photovoltaic power system
  3. User power
  4. Self-powered, using either an integral battery or other stored energy source
Boxes powered by a utility distribution system shall comply with 27.6.6.10.1 through 27.6.6.10.6.
Boxes shall have an integral standby, sealed, rechargeable battery that is capable of powering box functions for at least 60 hours in the event of primary power failure. Transfer to standby battery power shall be automatic and without interruption to box operation.
A local trouble indication shall activate upon primary power failure.
Boxes operating from primary power shall be capable of operation with a dead or disconnected battery.
A battery charger shall be provided in compliance with 10.6.10.3, except as modified in 27.6.6.10.
When the primary power has failed, boxes shall transmit a power failure message to the communications center as part of subsequent test messages until primary power is restored.
A low-battery message shall be transmitted to the communications center where the remaining battery standby time is less than 54 hours.
Boxes powered by a solar photovoltaic system shall comply with 27.6.6.11.1 through 27.6.6.11.5.
Solar photovoltaic power systems shall provide box operation for not less than 6 months.
Solar photovoltaic power systems shall be monitored for integrity.
The battery shall have power to sustain operation for a minimum period of 15 days without recharging.
The box shall transmit a trouble message to the communications center when the charger has failed for more than 24 hours. This message shall be part of all subsequent transmissions.
Where the remaining battery standby duration is less than 10 days, a low-battery message shall be transmitted to the communications center.
User-powered boxes shall have an automatic selftest feature.
Self-powered boxes shall comply with 27.6.6.13.1 through 27.6.6.13.3.
Self-powered boxes shall operate for a period of not less than 6 months.
Self-powered boxes shall transmit a low-power warning message to the communications center for at least 15 days prior to the time the power source will fail to operate the box. This message shall be part of all subsequent transmissions.
Use of a charger to extend the life of a self-powered box shall be permitted where the charger does not interfere with box operation. The box shall be capable of operation for not less than 6 months with the charger disconnected.
Metallic and fiber-optic cabling systems and interconnections between alarm transmission equipment and alarm-receiving equipment shall comply with the requirements of Section 27.7.
Exterior metallic, fiber-optic cable and wire shall conform to International Municipal Signal Association (IMSA) specifications or an approved equivalent.

Exception: Where circuit conductors or fiber-optic strands are provided by a public utility on a lease basis, IMSA specifications shall not apply.

Where a public box is installed inside a building, the circuit from the point of entrance to the public box shall be installed in rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit, or electrical metallic tubing in accordance with NFPA 70, National Electrical Code.

Exception: This requirement shall not apply to wireless box systems.

Wires and fiber-optic strands shall be terminated so as to prevent breaking from vibration or stress.
Circuit conductors and fiber-optic cables on terminal racks shall be identified and isolated from conductors of other systems wherever possible and shall be protected from mechanical injury.
The requirements of 27.7.1.2 shall apply to 27.7.1.3 through 27.7.1.6.
Exterior metallic and fiber-optic cable and wire shall conform to IMSA specifications or an approved equivalent.
Overhead, underground, or direct burial cables shall be specifically approved for the purpose.
Metallic and fiber-optic cables used in interior installations shall comply with NFPA 70, National Electrical Code, and shall be installed in accordance with the manufacturer's installation instructions and practices.
Conductors and/or fiber-optic strands used to transmit signals of other systems that are under the control of a governmental agency shall be permitted to be contained within the same multi-conductor cable as conductors and/or fiber-optic strands used to transmit signals of public emergency alarm reporting systems.
By special permission as defined in NFPA 70, cables not under the control of a governmental agency shall be permitted to contain conductors and/or fiber-optic strands used to transmit signals of a public emergency alarm reporting System.
Signaling wire and fiber-optic cables containing metallic protection or strength members shall comply with 27.7.1.2.6.1 and 27.7.1.2.6.2.
Signaling wires supplied by a power source having a voltage and/or current rating sufficient to introduce a hazard shall be installed in accordance with NFPA 70, National Electrical Code, Article 760, Part II.
Fiber-optic cables containing metallic protection or strength members shall be grounded and protected in accordance with NFPA 70, National Electrical Code.
All metallic cables, with all taps and splices made, shall be tested for insulation resistance when installed but before connection to terminals. Such tests shall indicate an insulation resistance of at least 200 megohms per mile between any one conductor and all other conductors, the sheath, and the ground.
Underground metallic and fiber-optic cables in duct or direct burial shall be permitted to be brought aboveground only at locations approved by the authority having jurisdiction.
Protection from physical damage or heat incidental to fires in adjacent buildings shall be provided.
Only fiber-optic and power-limited cables and conductors shall be permitted to be located in duct systems and manholes that contain power-limited public emergency alarm reporting system conductors.
Where located in duct systems or manholes that contain power circuit conductors over 250 volts to ground, metallic and fiber-optic emergency alarm cables shall be located as far as possible from such power cables and shall be separated from them by a noncombustible barrier or other means approved by the authority having jurisdiction to protect the emergency alarm cables from physical damage.
All cables installed in manholes shall be racked and marked for identification.
Raceways or ducts entering buildings from underground duct systems shall be effectively sealed with an identified sealing compound or other means acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction to prevent the entrance of moisture or gases from the underground duct system.
All cable joints shall be located in manholes, emergency response facilities, or other accessible locations acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction where equivalent protection is provided to minimize physical damage to the cable.
Cable joints shall be made to provide and maintain conductivity, optical continuity for fiber-optic cable, insulation, and protection at least equal to that afforded by the cables that are joined.
Open cable ends shall be sealed against moisture.
Direct-burial cable, without enclosure in ducts, shall be laid in grass plots, under sidewalks, or in other places where the ground is not likely to be opened for other underground construction.
Where splices are made, such splices shall be accessible for inspection and tests.
Such cables shall be buried at least 18 in. (500 mm) deep and, where crossing streets or other areas likely to be opened for other underground construction, shall be in duct or conduit.
Cables containing conductors and/or fiber-optic strands used to transmit signals of public emergency alarm reporting systems shall be located below all other cables and conductors, except those used for communications purposes.
Precautions shall be provided where passing through trees, under bridges, over railroads, and at other places where subject to physical damage.
Conductors and cables for public emergency alarm reporting system use shall not be attached to a crossarm that carries electric light and power conductors.

Exception: Power conductors for public emergency alarm reporting system use, operating at 250 volts or less, shall be permitted to share the crossarm with the conductors and cables and shall be tagged.

Aerial cable shall be supported by messenger wire of approved tensile strength or shall conform to one of the following:
  1. IMSA specifications as a self-supporting cable assembly or an approved equivalent
  2. Fiber-optic cable with integral supporting means or all-dielectric self-supporting (ADSS) type
Single wire shall meet IMSA specifications and shall not be smaller than No. 10 Roebling gauge if of galvanized iron or steel; 10 AWG if of hard-drawn copper; 12 AWG if of approved copper-covered steel; or 6 AWG if of aluminum. Span lengths shall not exceed the manufacturer's recommendations.
Wires to buildings shall contact only intended supports and shall enter through an approved weatherhead or sleeves slanting upward and inward. Drip loops shall be formed on wires outside of buildings.
Leads down poles shall be protected from physical damage. Any metallic covering shall form a continuous conducting path to ground. Installation, in all cases, shall prevent water from entering the conduit or box.
Leads to boxes shall have 600-volt insulation listed or approved for wet locations, as defined in NFPA 70, National Electrical Code.
At the communications center, all conductors, cables, and fiber-optic cables shall extend as directly as possible to the operations center in conduits, ducts, shafts, raceways, or overhead racks and troughs listed or identified as suitable to provide protection against physical damage.
Where installed in buildings, conductors and fiber-optic cables shall be installed in any of the following wiring methods:
  1. Electrical metallic tubing
  2. Intermediate metal conduit
  3. Rigid metal conduit

Exception: Rigid nonmetallic conduit shall be permitted where approved by the authority having jurisdiction.

Conductors and fiber-optic cables shall have an approved insulation. The insulation or other outer covering shall be flame-retardant and moisture resistant.
Conductors and fiber-optic cables shall be installed as far as possible without splices or joints. Splices or joints shall be permitted only in listed junction or terminal boxes.
Enclosures containing public emergency alarm reporting system circuits shall be provided with red covers or doors. The words "public emergency alarm reporting system circuit" shall be clearly marked on all terminal and junction locations to prevent unintentional interference.
Wire and fiber-optic terminals, terminal boxes, splices, and joints shall conform to NFPA 70, National Electrical Code.
Metallic and fiber-optic cables and wiring exposed to a hazard shall be protected in an approved manner.
Metallic and fiber-optic cable terminals and cross-connecting facilities shall be located in or adjacent to the operations room.
Where signal conductors, non-dielectric fiber-optic cables, and electric light and power wires are run in the same shaft, they shall be separated by at least 2 in. (51 mm), or either system shall be encased in a noncombustible enclosure.
Signal transmission and receiving circuits shall comply with the requirements of 27.7.2.1 and 27.7.2.2.
ANSI/IEEE C2, National Electrical Safety Code, shall be used as a guide for the installation of outdoor circuitry.
Installation shall provide for the following:
  1. Continuity of service
  2. Protection from mechanical damage
  3. Disablement from heat that is incidental to fire
  4. Damage by floods, corrosive vapors, or other causes
Open local circuits within single buildings shall be permitted in accordance with Chapter 23.
All circuits shall be routed so as to allow tracing of circuits for trouble.
Circuits shall not pass over, under, through, or be attached to buildings or property not owned by or under the control of the authority having jurisdiction or the agency responsible for maintaining the system.

Exception: Where the circuit is terminated at a public emergency alarm reporting system initiating device on the premises and where a means, approved by the authority having jurisdiction, is provided to disconnect the circuit from the building or property.

A means accessible only to the authority having jurisdiction or the agency responsible for maintaining the public emergency alarm reporting systems shall be provided to disconnect all circuit conductors inside a building or other structure.
Definite notification shall be given to the designated building representative when the interior box(es) is out of service.
The protective devices shall be located close to or be combined with the cable terminals.
Surge arresters designed and approved for the purpose shall be installed at a location accessible to qualified persons and shall be marked with the name of the manufacturer and model designation.
All surge arresters shall be connected to a ground in accordance with NFPA 70, National Electrical Code.
All fuses, fuseholders, and adapters shall be plainly marked with their ampere rating. All fuses rated over 2 amperes shall be of the enclosed type.
Circuit protection required at the communications center shall be provided in every building that houses communications center equipment.
Each metallic conductor entering an emergency response facility from partially or entirely aerial lines shall be protected by a lightning arrester.
All metallic conductors entering the communications center shall be protected by the following devices, in the order named, starting from the exterior circuit:
  1. Fuse rated at 3 amperes minimum to 7 amperes maximum and not less than 2000 volts.
  2. Surge arrester(s)
  3. Fuse or circuit breaker rated at 1/2 ampere
In regard to 27.7.3.7, the 1/2-ampere protection on the tie circuits shall be omitted at subsidiary communications centers.
At junction points of open aerial metallic conductors and metallic cable, each conductor shall be protected by a surge arrester(s) of the weatherproof type. A connection shall also be between the surge arrester ground, any metallic sheath, and the messenger wire.
Aerial open-wire and nonmessenger-supported, two-conductor cable circuits shall be protected by a surge arrester(s) at intervals not to exceed 2000 ft (610 m).
Where used for aerial construction, surge arresters, other than of the air-gap or self-restoring type, shall not be installed in public emergency alarm reporting circuits.
All protective devices used for aerial construction shall be accessible for maintenance and inspection.
ECS shall be permitted to be connected to public emergency alarm reporting systems.
ECS equipment and interface methods connecting to or utilizing public emergency alarm reporting systems shall be electrically and operationally compatible so as not to interfere with the public emergency alarm reporting systems.
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