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Fire Alarm Systems

Checklists and Resources for Fire Alarm Systems

Fire Alarm installation is typically based on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 72 Fire Alarm Code.  Each adopted fire or building code refers to an edition of the NFPA. The most recent version of NFPA 72 is the 2007 edition.  A fire alarm system is a critical life safety system which can perform many duties such as occupant notification, closure of fire doors, supervision of automatic sprinkler systems and notify the fire department.

Fire alarm systems must be properly designed and installed.  Systems which do not meet good fire protection practices typically result in false alarms which can create a “crying wolf” scenario for the occupants and responding fire apparatus.  The following are some basic resources for plan review, inspection, and maintenance of systems.


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Fire Alarm System Recalls

  1. Gamewell recalls their panel (Gamewell-FCI 600 Series, Smart Scan Fire Alarm Control Panel). The gamewell fci600software in the fire alarm system could fail to recognize when a detector needs servicing. This can result in the buildup of dust, dirt or other environmental pollutants which could result in the system failing to respond in the event of a fire. Gamewell FCI is contacting customers directly and providing a free firmware software upgrade.
  2. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Notifier, of Northford, Conn., has announced a voluntary safety recall of about 2,000 Notifier Fire Alarm Control Panels.The software in the fire alarm system could fail to process an alarm condition which could result in the system failing to respond in the event of a fire. No incidents or injuries have been reported.

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Craig Martens January 12, 2009, 8:17 am

    I was unable to open the Arizona Fire Alarm standard, I have access to this through our web site, but I thought because it was so nice of a document everybody should see it. Thanks Craig

  • admin January 13, 2009, 12:43 am

    Craig, thanks for the notice we have updated the link which takes you to the City of Phoenix FD. Also we added the OSU link to various resources as well

  • Nick Markowitz Jr. January 16, 2009, 2:57 pm

    having 30 years of experience with fire systems and also being a qualified electrician who has done numerous installs and the taking over of fire systems absolutely the number 1 cause of false alarms is

    poor and just plain sloppy design and install
    misapplication of equipment
    use of ionization type smoke detectors in areas where photo electric systems should have been used.
    When a system is properly designed installed and maintained false alarms should never be an issue. with modern panels and false alarm prevention options available in them there should be no false alarms unless a device goes bad or human hand is involved.

  • MM April 6, 2010, 1:35 pm

    i work as a manager in an apartment bldg. the building is less than 3 years old, out fire alarm monitoring company is going out of buisness and want to roll over our account to another company(of which i know nothing about).

    this new company want to charge me $750. for a NFPA 72 inspection. is it necessary?

    thank you!

    • Michael O'Brian April 6, 2010, 7:57 pm

      It is difficult to say, although fire alarm systems are typically required by your local fire code to be inspected and maintained in accordance with NFPA 72. The standard has specifics that should be completed monthly through annually.

      As for the cost, it is always recommended to get several quotes from approved companies based on your local and state rules. Your local building or fire inspector are a great resource for this!

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