Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anacortes, Washington
    Posts
    395

    Default Alarm System vs. Smoke alarms

    Inspected a 1998 home over the weekend and there were no independent smoke alarms at all in the home. The alarms system looked like it was a monitored system. Does anyone know when an alarm system can substitute for standalone smoke alarms?

    //Rick

    Inspection Referral SOC
    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Alarm System vs. Smoke alarms

    Hi Rick

    I think thats standard fair with a monitored system hardwired and monitored. Even if the system is not monitored (off line) but the system is powered then the smoke alarms would still be functional.
    Of course there is nothing to stop homeowner from installing battery units for piece of mind if they should shut the entire system down.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Alarm System vs. Smoke alarms

    Raymond is correct.
    BTW
    You cannot properly test the smoke detectors on a fire system, so I would recommend to have the fire alarm system tested by an alarm company.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,049

    Default Re: Alarm System vs. Smoke alarms

    I remember a few years back I pricked the little button hole on one of the "monitored" smoke alarms. 10 mins later the FD was at the front door. I wont do that again. No matter what system is there, I always recommend stand alone units. I don't touch monitored equipment anymore..


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
    Posts
    1,363

    Default Re: Alarm System vs. Smoke alarms

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    I remember a few years back I pricked the little button hole on one of the "monitored" smoke alarms. 10 mins later the FD was at the front door.
    I won't test any detectors. Batteries could go dead by occupancy or seller could take detectors when they move out. I comment as to whether they are present or not and instruct the client to confirm their presence and function when they take possession.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Alarm System vs. Smoke alarms

    R314.7 Fire alarm systems. Fire alarm systems shall be permitted to be used in lieu of smoke alarms
    and shall comply with Sections R314.7.1 through R315.7.4.

    R314.7.1 General. Fire alarm systems shall comply with the provisions of this code and the
    household fire warning equipment provisions of NFPA 72. Smoke detectors shall be listed in
    accordance with UL 268.

    R314.7.2 Location. Smoke detectors shall be installed in the locations specified in Section
    R314.3.

    R314.7.3 Permanent fixture. Where a household Fire alarm system is installed, it shall become
    a permanent fixture of the occupancy, owned by the homeowner and shall be monitored by an
    approved supervising station.
    Not sure if this every became part of the code but it is not in 2003 IRC. Simply refers to "listed equipment ... provisions of NFPA 72.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Alarm System vs. Smoke alarms

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Not sure if this every became part of the code but it is not in 2003 IRC. Simply refers to "listed equipment ... provisions of NFPA 72.
    (bold is mine)
    This is the critical part in that "Fire alarm systems shall be permitted to be used in lieu of smoke alarms "

    A "fire alarm system" is a different animal than the normal smoke alarms (smoke detectors as most people refer to them).

    As I recall, Rick C. is into "fire alarm systems" and will hopefully respond with additional information.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Alarm System vs. Smoke alarms

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    (bold is mine)
    This is the critical part in that "Fire alarm systems shall be permitted to be used in lieu of smoke alarms "

    A "fire alarm system" is a different animal than the normal smoke alarms (smoke detectors as most people refer to them).

    As I recall, Rick C. is into "fire alarm systems" and will hopefully respond with additional information.
    I read Jim's post. I can only add questions.
    I've been doing this since 1985/86?, and I've never heard of an "approved supervising station" ( but I have an idea what they mean).
    Also, never heard about the requirement to be monitored (but I've not heard about many things).


    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Alarm System vs. Smoke alarms

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    I read Jim's post. I can only add questions.
    I've been doing this since 1985/86?, and I've never heard of an "approved supervising station" ( but I have an idea what they mean).
    Also, never heard about the requirement to be monitored (but I've not heard about many things).
    Rick,

    I suspect that "approved supervising station"means either a fire alarm control panel which can dial the fire department directly, with the additional option that a fire alarm monitoring company is also monitoring the fire alarm control panel as well as (usually) monitoring the security alarm system, typically found in apartment/condo buildings as well as other buildings.

    For a dwelling unit, the "supervising station" may be the monitoring control panel which can also directly call the fire department and is monitored by the alarm company (typically a combination security/fire alarm system monitored by a service center). I realize that is like trying to explain why the Titanic sank by simply saying that it hit an iceberg ... and we know it was not that simple, nor is this that simple ...

    Like these:
    - http://www.fmac-co.org/documents/tra...AS_2013-01.pdf
    - http://www.ul.com/global/documents/o...escription.pdf
    - https://www.inkling.com/read/nfpa-72...vising-station
    - Fire Alarm Rejection List

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Alarm System vs. Smoke alarms

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Rick,

    I suspect that "approved supervising station"means either a fire alarm control panel which can dial the fire department directly, with the additional option that a fire alarm monitoring company is also monitoring the fire alarm control panel as well as (usually) monitoring the security alarm system, typically found in apartment/condo buildings as well as other buildings.

    For a dwelling unit, the "supervising station" may be the monitoring control panel which can also directly call the fire department and is monitored by the alarm company (typically a combination security/fire alarm system monitored by a service center). I realize that is like trying to explain why the Titanic sank by simply saying that it hit an iceberg ... and we know it was not that simple, nor is this that simple ...

    Like these:
    - http://www.fmac-co.org/documents/tra...AS_2013-01.pdf
    - http://www.ul.com/global/documents/o...escription.pdf
    - https://www.inkling.com/read/nfpa-72...vising-station
    - Fire Alarm Rejection List
    Thanks Jerry
    I was really talking about the terminology used. The industry standard term is "Central Monitoring Station". "Approved" by who, and to what standards, it does not say. UL Approved is one standard, but even then, there are many, many, UL standards. What I was saying is, the way it is written is vague.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Alarm System vs. Smoke alarms

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    I was really talking about the terminology used. The industry standard term is "Central Monitoring Station".
    I've always seen it as (from the building codes): (underlining is mine)
    - [F] 903.4.1 Monitoring. - - Alarm, supervisory and trouble signals shall be distinctly different and shall be automatically transmitted to an approved supervising station or, when approved by the fire code official, shall sound an audible signal at a constantly attended location.

    "Approved" by who, and to what standards, it does not say. UL Approved is one standard, but even then, there are many, many, UL standards. What I was saying is, the way it is written is vague.
    Approved by the Building Official or Fire Marshall in most cases.
    - Building code definition:
    - - APPROVED. Acceptable to the building official or authority having jurisdiction. [A]
    - However, in 903.4.1 it says "approved by the fire code official,"m which would be the Fire Marshall in most towns/cities/counties/states.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: Alarm System vs. Smoke alarms

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I've always seen it as (from the building codes): (underlining is mine)
    - [F] 903.4.1 Monitoring. - - Alarm, supervisory and trouble signals shall be distinctly different and shall be automatically transmitted to an approved supervising station or, when approved by the fire code official, shall sound an audible signal at a constantly attended location.
    I think the key word here is "transmitted." In a supervised fire alarm system, there may be various types of sensors. Everything from a fusible link, something that detects a rapid rate of temperature change, to something electronic that detects smoke, flames, etc. Each of these has a different method of "supervising" or detecting if that circuit (zone) is active or in trouble. The control panel is part of the system. You may have a small panel or a very large one with many zones and the size of a door(s). Depending upon the situation, the panel may be at an on-site location that is 24-7, or an annunciator panel may be at that location remoted from the main system. I would think that fits "...constantly attended location.."

    I agree, the wording is kinda vague, but the paragraph basically says that you can send it here (remote) or monitor it there (local) (or both). As it is a fire alarm, they usually send their signals to a UL Approved (for that purpose) central monitoring station.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •