Fire Alarm requirements for apartment occupancies

Questions about NFPA Codes and Standards. Ask them here.

Fire Alarm requirements for apartment occupancies

Postby Blackstone on Wed Oct 15, 2008 2:33 pm

(This Assumes a fire alarm is required, such as an >16 units, etc.)

The 2000 LSC, Section 30.3.4 requires a fire alarm system in the larger apartment buildings. It is required to have manual pull stations for initiation at all points of egress (within 5-ft of the required exit) and within the required travel distances, including initiation by any provided common/general use area smoke detectors (these common/general use detectors are not required, but if provided for other reasons or requirements, are required to initiate alarm).

However, single station smoke detectors are required in each dwelling unit in the corridor/hall that serves bedrooms (see 2000 LSC, Section as amended by 120-3-3). If multiple station detectors are required (due to multiple corridors, etc. within the dwelling) or provided within dwelling units, then they are required to alarm all units within that dwelling unit upon activation of any single detector within that dwelling. These dwelling unit detectors are not required to initiate the building alarm (and are not desirable to initiate the building alarm due to the high potential of false alarms... However, frequently an owner desires them to initiate a trouble alarm upon their activation for follow-up purposes). See code amendment for power requirements on these dwelling unit detectors.

Notification is required by 2000 LSC, Section which references Section 9.6 requiring audible notification throughout the premises. This is typically accomplished by placing the audible alarms (bell/horn) in the common areas of the facility (corridors, laundry room, clubhouse, lobby, etc.) so that the required decibel is provided in all areas - frequently where the dwelling unit has multiple doors involved, mini-horns/bells are provided within the dwelling units (not specifically required, unless the required decibel can not be provided above ambient noise in all areas of the unit without their use).

Visual notification comes from 120-3-20-.08(14) which only requires visual alarms in the common and general use areas of the facility (corridors, throughout clubhouse area, laundry rooms, etc., but not in janitor's room, normally locked storage room, and any other service type areas), and throughout any FHA required accessible dwellings (living room, kitchen, hall, bedroom ~ usually with a 177cd strobe to awaken a hearing impaired individual, bathrooms, etc.).

Annunciation per 2000 LSC, Section 9.6.7 is required, usually at the point where the responding fire department enters the facility. Chapter 30 of the 2000 LSC does not have an 'emergency services notification' clause (i.e. requiring Central Station monitoring), however if a supervised automatic sprinkler system is required (see 2000 LSC, Section, then it is required to tie-into the fire alarm for alarm activation, and since it is required to be supervised, then 'emergency forces notification' does kick-in for the sprinklered facility.
We find consulations, we learn tricks with which we deceive ourselves, but the essential thing - the way - we do not find. Listen to the river.

Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:17 pm
Location: Kennesaw, Georgia

Return to NFPA Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Blackstone and 0 guests