Important NFPA Codes That Are Necessary! Is Your Building At Risk?
Here at FireAlarm.com, one of the biggest things that we stress to our clients is ensuring that your fire alarm and life safety systems are up-to-code, following all local laws and authority-having jurisdictions, and are being properly maintained according to the National Fire Protection Association’s National Fire Alarm & Signaling Code, NFPA-72. Luckily for you, all of FireAlarm.com’s services, from our Pre-Maintenance Inspection, to your Smoke Detector MATCH! Maintenance Service, all aim to ensure that your fire alarm system is up-to-par and is not at risk of receiving any violations or of malfunctioning.
To keep you in check, let’s take a look at some incredibly important Maintenance Requirements & Responsibilities that the NFPA-72 outlines. It is imperative that any building, campus, high-rise, or facility owner be completely aware and adhere to all of the codes that the NFPA-72 outlines. Doing so will ensure a happy and healthy fire alarm system, as well as a protected building, and protected colleagues.
– As a fire alarm system owner, your most important job is to ensure your fire alarm system is being maintained. Chapter 14 of the NFPA-72, Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance, outlines these responsibilities under section 18.104.22.168: “The property or building or system owner or the owner’s designated representative shall be responsible for inspection, testing, and maintenance of the system and for alterations or additions to this system.” Similarly, Chapter 13, Fire Protection Systems, under section 13.1.2 states: “The property owner shall be responsible for the proper testing and maintenance of the equipment and systems.” All-in-all, it’s pertinent for the owner of a fire alarm system to properly take care of his or her system.
It’s important to note that the NFPA-70, NFPA-101, Life Safety Code, and National Fire Code, also all have similar verbiage. There are many versions of similar codes and guidelines, but most, if not all, compliment and support each other as far as proper maintenance and responsibility is determined.
– As far as maintenance goes, Chapter 14 of the NFPA-72 has a very robust set of directions on what requires to be maintained, and more importantly, when. Some items or equipment need to be inspected weekly, others monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. Some examples of maintenance procedures straight from Chapter 14 are:
- All equipment must be checked to see if changes to the building, occupancy, environmental conditions, device locations, physical obstructions, device orientation, physical damage, and degree of cleanliness impact the equipment performance.
- If the fire alarm is monitored, trouble signals are verified to operate normally.
- For remote power supplies and notification appliance circuit power extenders, the proper fuse rating is verified and the lamps/LEDs are verified to indicate a normal operating status of the equipment.
These are just a few of the very important aspects of the fire alarm system that must be checked during a regular maintenance. Also note that these are just VISUAL inspection requirements – there of course are more than visual, all details which can be found inside of Chapter 14 of the NFPA-72.
– Another important aspect to the NFPA-72 is the requirement of specific device installation heights. Most, if not all devices, including smoke detectors, notification appliances, and initiating devices such as pull-stations, all have very specific heights that they can be installed to and from the floor, ceiling, doors, windows, etc. For example, Chapter 18, Notification Appliances, contains many sections that outlines specific wall mounting measurements. For example, a horn/strobe, audio/visual device has a minimum 80” height from the finished floor, with a maximum height of 96”. While you may have a fully-installed fire alarm system, if your contractor did not do his or her proper homework, then you may have a violation waiting to happen for your fire alarm system. These codes and guidelines exist for a reason as they allow for optimal safety procedures and notification – it’s important to follow them!
If you fear that your fire alarm system may not be up-to-code in any way, has not been maintained, or if there are trouble/supervisory/alarm signals shown on it, it is imperative that you contact us at FireAlarm.com today in order to get these resolved as soon as possible. Every second that your system is in-trouble, or not up-to-code, is another second that your building, and its occupants are in danger. FireAlarm.com is here to help. Call us at 888-497-0290 or email us at [email protected], [email protected], or [email protected] to get started. Thanks!
FireAlarm.com’s Staff Writer