The requirements of 24.4 shall apply where in-building fire emergency voice/alarm communications systems are used.
Features for required systems shall be based on the requirements of other applicable codes or statutes that have been adopted by the enforcing jurisdiction.
Protected premises fire alarm systems that serve the general fire alarm needs of a building or buildings shall include one or more of the following systems or functions:
- Manual fire alarm signal initiation
- Automatic fire alarm and supervisory signal initiation
- Monitoring of abnormal conditions in fire suppression systems
- Activation of fire suppression systems
- Activation of emergency control functions
- Activation of fire alarm notification appliances
- In-building fire emergency voice/alarm communications
- Guard's tour supervisory service
- Process monitoring supervisory systems
- Activation of off-premises signals
- Combination systems
Where the power to a device is supplied over a separate circuit from the signaling line circuit or initiating device circuit, the operation of the power circuit shall meet the performance requirements of the initiating device circuit or signaling line circuit, unless different performance requirements are established in accordance with the evaluation in 23.4.3 and approved by the authority having jurisdiction.
When determining the integrity and reliability of the interconnecting signaling paths (circuits) installed within the protected premises, the following influences shall be considered:
- Transmission media used
- Length of the circuit conductors
- Total building area covered by, and the quantity of initiating devices and notification appliances connected to, a single circuit
- Effect of a fault in the fire alarm system that would hinder the performance objectives of the system that protects the occupants, mission, and property of the protected premises
- Nature of hazards present within the protected premises
- Functional requirements of the system necessary to provide the level of protection required for the system
- Size and nature of the population of the protected premises
For the purpose of this section, each floor of the building shall be considered a separate zone.
For the purpose of this section, if a floor of the building is subdivided into multiple zones by fire or smoke barriers and the fire plan for the protected premises allows relocation of occupants from the zone of origin to another zone on the same floor, each zone on the floor shall be considered a separate zone.
The requirements in 23.6.1 shall not apply to the following:
- Circuits between enclosures containing transponders and control units regardless of the number of initiating devices, notification appliances, or control relays that might be connected to those control units.
- Circuits connecting short-circuit fault isolation modules to enclosures containing transponders and control units where the conductors are installed in metallic raceway or equivalently protected against mechanical injury and where the circuit does not exceed 3 ft (1 m) in length.
The loss of more than one zone shall be permitted on a documented performance-based design approach.
No area or zone shall be serviced solely by a single device where Class N pathways are deployed, such that a single device failure would render an area or zone incapable of initiating input signals or receiving output signals.
The documentation shall include manufacturer, model, listings, and intended purpose and reason for inclusion on the shared network.
The deployment plan shall identify how and where each piece of equipment is connected.
Configuration upgrades and updates shall be governed by a change control plan, which determines the policy and procedure of the change and ensures that all documentation is correspondingly updated.
An organization shall be established and maintained to manage the life safety network and shall perform the following tasks:
Other service personnel, even when certified to service a specific system (i.e., fire alarm or MNS) shall be authorized and managed by this organization to ensure any outages of any system are planned, managed, and documented and appropriate steps are taken during outages to provide alternate protection of life and property.
The analysis shall be performed to determine and document communications capability as follows:
- Calculation of minimum required bandwidth such that all life safety systems can be guaranteed to operate simultaneously and within required time limits
- Total bandwidth provided by the network
- Future bandwidth requirements
- Method of providing and maintaining the prioritization of life safety traffic over non-life safety traffic
The analysis shall determine and document the power distribution capability as follows:
- The methods provided to maintain power to all shared pathway equipment
- A calculation of power requirements of all connected equipment
- Secondary power capacities provided to maintain all life safety equipment with minimum operational capacity in accordance with 10.6.7.2.1.2
- Methods to disengage any non-life safety equipment in the event of emergency operation if required to support the minimum operational capacity requirements
Written procedures shall be presented in maintenance plans to govern the following:
- Physical access to all parts of the Class N network equipment (i.e., switches, ports, server, controllers, devices, or components)
- Electronic access to all parts of the Class N network (i.e., passwords, addresses)
- *Service outage impairment process with notices of impairment and contingency plans for affected systems
- Upgrade procedures
- Change control procedures, with consideration given to require an updated risk analysis if necessary
- Prioritization and/or segregation configuration information for life safety traffic
- Maintenance and testing plans to ensure the minimum operational capacity with respect to secondary power is maintained
- Other service, maintenance, or reconfiguration plans for any connected equipment
A presignal feature shall meet the following conditions:
- The initial fire alarm signals sound only in department offices, control rooms, fire brigade stations, or other constantly attended central locations.
- Where there is a connection to a remote location, the transmission of the fire alarm signal to the supervising station activates upon the initial alarm signal.
- Subsequent system operation is by either of the following means:
The positive alarm sequence operation shall comply with the following:
- To initiate the positive alarm sequence operation, the signal from an automatic fire detection device selected for positive alarm sequence operation shall be acknowledged at the fire alarm control unit by trained personnel within 15 seconds of annunciation.
- If the signal is not acknowledged within 15 seconds, notification signals in accordance with the building evacuation or relocation plan and remote signals shall be automatically and immediately activated.
- If the positive alarm sequence operation is initiated in accordance with 188.8.131.52.1.1(1), trained personnel shall have an alarm investigation phase of up to 180 seconds to evaluate the fire condition and reset the system.
- If the system is not reset during the alarm investigation phase, notification signals in accordance with the building evacuation or relocation plan and remote signals shall be automatically and immediately activated.
- If a second automatic fire detector selected for positive alarm sequence is actuated during the alarm investigation phase, notification signals in accordance with the building evacuation or relocation plan and remote signals shall be automatically and immediately activated.
- *If any other fire alarm initiating device is actuated, notification signals in accordance with the building evacuation or relocation plan and remote signals shall be automatically and immediately activated.
Fire alarm systems shall be permitted to combine all detection, notification, and auxiliary functions in a single system or be a combination of component subsystems.
All component subsystems shall be capable of simultaneous, full-load operation without degradation of the required overall system performance.
The method of interconnection of fire alarm control units shall meet the monitoring requirements of Section 12.6 and NFPA 70 Article 760, and shall be achieved by the following recognized means:
All signal control and transport equipment (such as routers and servers) located in a critical fire alarm or emergency control function interface device signaling path shall be listed for fire alarm service, unless the following conditions are met:
- The equipment meets the performance requirements of 10.3.5.
- The equipment is provided with primary and secondary power and monitored for integrity as required in Section 10.6, 10.6.9, Section 10.18, and Section 12.6.
- All programming and configuration ensure a fire alarm system actuation time as required in 10.11.1.
- System bandwidth is monitored to confirm that all communications between equipment that is critical to the operation of the fire alarm system or emergency control function interface devices take place within 10 seconds; failure shall be indicated within 200 seconds.
- Failure of any equipment that is critical to the operation of the fire alarm system or emergency control function interface devices is indicated at the master fire alarm control unit within 200 seconds.
If interconnected, an alarm condition at the protected premises fire alarm system shall cause the fire alarm notification appliance(s) within the family living unit of the dwelling unit fire warning system to become energized. The notification appliances shall remain energized until the protected premises fire alarm system is silenced or reset.
Operation of a non-fire system function(s) originating within a connected non-fire system shall not interfere with the required operation of the fire alarm system, unless otherwise permitted by this Code.
The equipment shall be permitted to be attached to a fire alarm circuit, either among the fire alarm devices or as a branch or extension of the fire alarm pathways, when the following requirements are met:
- All the equipment and pathways shall meet the monitoring for integrity requirements of 10.6.9, Section 10.18, and Section 12.6.
- All the equipment and pathways shall be maintained by a single service organization.
- All the equipment and pathways shall be installed in accordance with the requirements of this Code.
- All the equipment shall be listed as compatible with the fire alarm equipment or the equipment shall have an interface listed as compatible with the fire alarm equipment.
If the equipment is attached to the fire alarm system via separate pathways, then short circuits or open circuits in this equipment, or between this equipment and the fire alarm system pathways, shall not impede or impair the monitoring for integrity of the fire alarm system or prevent alarm, supervisory, or fire safety control signal transmissions.
In combination systems, fire alarm signals shall be distinctive, clearly recognizable, and shall be indicated as follows in descending order of priority, except where otherwise required by other governing laws, codes or standards, or by other parts of this Code:
If the authority having jurisdiction determines that the information being displayed or annunciated on a combination system is excessive and is causing confusion and delayed response to a fire emergency, the authority having jurisdiction shall be permitted to require that the display or annunciation of information for the fire alarm system be separate from, and have priority in accordance with, 184.108.40.206, over information for the non-fire alarm systems.
Signals from carbon monoxide detectors and carbon monoxide detection systems transmitted to a fire alarm system shall be indicated as a carbon monoxide alarm signal.
Where connected to a supervising station, fire alarm systems employing automatic fire detectors or waterflow detection devices shall include a manual fire alarm box to initiate a signal to the supervising station.
Provision of the shunt noninterfering method of operation shall be permitted for this performance.
Automatic fire alarm signal initiating devices that have integral trouble signal contacts shall be connected to the initiating device circuit so that a trouble condition within a device does not impair alarm transmission from any other initiating device.
Automatic fire alarm signal initiating devices that use a nonintegral device to monitor the integrity of the power supply wiring to the individual initiating devices shall have the nonintegral device connected to the initiating device circuit so that a fault on the power supply wiring does not impair alarm transmission from any operational initiating device.
Systems equipped with alarm verification features shall be permitted under the following conditions:
- The alarm verification feature is not initially enabled, unless conditions or occupant activities that are expected to cause nuisance alarms are anticipated in the area that is protected by the smoke detectors. Enabling of the alarm verification feature shall be protected by password or limited access.
- A smoke detector that is continuously subjected to a smoke concentration above alarm threshold does not delay the system functions of Sections 10.7 through 10.16, or 21.2.1 by more than 1 minute.
- Actuation of an alarm-initiating device other than a smoke detector causes the system functions of Sections 10.7 through 10.16, or 21.2.1 without additional delay.
- The current status of the alarm verification feature is shown on the record of completion [see Figure 7.8.2(a), item 4.3].
Systems that require the operation of two automatic detectors to initiate the alarm response shall be permitted, provided that the following conditions are satisfied:
Where required by other governing laws, codes, or standards to be electronically monitored, waterflow alarm-initiating devices shall be connected to a dedicated function fire alarm control unit designated as "sprinkler waterflow and supervisory system" and permanently identified on the control unit and record drawings.
Where required by other governing laws, codes, or standards to be electronically monitored, supervisory signal-initiating devices shall be connected to a dedicated function fire alarm control unit designated as "sprinkler waterflow and supervisory system" and permanently identified on the control unit and record drawings.
Where required by other governing laws, codes, or standards, actuation of any suppression system connected to a releasing service fire alarm control unit shall be annunciated at the protected premises fire alarm control unit, even where the system actuation is by manual means or otherwise accomplished without actuation of the releasing service fire alarm control unit.
Automatic fire suppression system alarm-initiating devices and supervisory signal-initiating devices and their circuits shall be designed and installed so that they cannot be subject to tampering, opening, or removal without initiating a signal. This provision shall include junction boxes installed outside of buildings to facilitate access to the initiating device circuit.
Exception No. 1: Covers of junction boxes inside of buildings.
Fire alarm systems provided for evacuation or relocation of occupants shall have one or more notification appliances listed for the purpose in each notification zone of the building and be so located that they have the characteristics described in Chapter 18 for public mode or private mode, as required.
The evacuation signal shall not be required to operate in exit stair enclosures and exit passageways.
Fire alarm systems used for partial evacuation and relocation shall be designed and installed such that attack by fire within an evacuation signaling zone shall not impair control and operation of the notification appliances outside the evacuation signaling zone. Performance features provided to ensure survivability shall be described and technical justification provided in the documentation submitted to the authority having jurisdiction with the evaluation required in 220.127.116.11.
Releasing service fire alarm control units used for automatic or manual activation of a fire suppression system shall be listed for releasing service.
Each releasing device (e.g., solenoid, relay) shall be monitored for integrity (supervised) in accordance with applicable NFPA standards.
The installation wiring shall be monitored for integrity in accordance with the requirements of Section 12.6.
Releasing service fire alarm systems used for fire suppression-releasing service shall be provided with a disconnect switch to allow the system to be tested without actuating the fire suppression systems.
Sequence of operation shall be consistent with the applicable suppression system standards.
If the configuration of multiple control units is listed for releasing device service, and if a trouble condition or manual disconnect on either control unit causes a trouble or supervisory signal, the initiating device on one control unit shall be permitted to actuate releasing devices on another control unit in lieu of 23.11.8.
If the releasing service fire alarm control unit is located in a protected premises having a separate fire alarm system, it shall be monitored for alarm, supervisory, and trouble signals, but shall not be dependent on or affected by the operation or failure of the protected premises fire alarm system.
It shall be permitted to provide supplementary transmission of real-time data from the fire system to off-premises equipment.
A signal-transmitting station shall be provided at intervals not exceeding 10 intermediate stations.
The system shall automatically transmit a delinquency signal within 15 minutes after the predetermined actuation time if the guard fails to actuate a tour station as scheduled.
A finish signal shall be transmitted within a predetermined interval after the guard's completion of each tour of the premises.
For periods of over 24 hours during which tours are continuously conducted, a start signal shall be transmitted at least every 24 hours.
Emergency elevator operations shall meet the requirements of Sections 21.3, 21.4, 21.5, and 21.6.
Compliance with Section 23.16 shall require the use of low-power radio equipment specifically listed for the purpose.
A primary battery(s) (dry cell) shall be permitted to be used as the sole power source for devices incorporating a low-power radio transmitter/transceiver where all of the following conditions are met:
- Each transmitter/transceiver shall serve only one device and shall be individually identified at the system control Unit.
- The battery(s) shall be capable of operating the low-power radio transmitter/transceiver and its associated device for not less than 1 year before the battery depletion threshold is reached.
- A low battery signal shall be transmitted before the device is no longer capable of providing 7 days of trouble signal operation followed by the signaling of a single non-trouble response. The low battery signal shall be distinctive from alarm, supervisory, tamper, and trouble signals, shall visibly identify the affected low-power radio transmitter/transceiver, and, when silenced, shall automatically re-sound at least once every 4 hours.
- Catastrophic (open or short) battery failure shall cause a trouble signal identifying the affected low-power radio transmitter/transceiver at the system control unit. When silenced, the trouble signal shall automatically re-sound at least once every 4 hours.
- Any mode of failure of a primary battery in a low-power radio transmitter/transceiver shall not affect any other low-power radio transmitter/transceiver.
When the receiver/transceiver or system control unit is used to actuate remote devices, such as notification appliances and relays, by wireless means, the remote devices shall meet the following requirements:
- Power supplies shall comply with Chapter 10 or the requirements of 23.16.2.
- All monitoring for integrity requirements of Chapters 10, 12, 23, and 23.16.4 shall apply.
- Response time shall be in accordance with 10.11.1.
- Each transceiver/system control unit shall automatically repeat activated response signals associated with life safety events at intervals not exceeding 60 seconds or until confirmation that the output device has received the alarm signal.
- The remote devices shall continue to operate (latch-in) until manually reset at the system control unit.