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Thread: Fire Alarm Disconnect

  1. #1
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    Fire Alarm Disconnect

    Is there a new code that requires a disconnect next to a FA NAC Panel? The job I'm on they used a single pole switch next to the NAC panel to disconnect the 120v feed to that panel, have never seen/done that before.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by jusme123 View Post
    Is there a new code that requires a disconnect next to a FA NAC Panel? The job I'm on they used a single pole switch next to the NAC panel to disconnect the 120v feed to that panel, have never seen/done that before.
    Not code and likely a violation without a lock on device.

    I often will install a switch by the panel(s) during installation but remove it before final inspection.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwire View Post
    Not code and likely a violation without a lock on device.

    I often will install a switch by the panel(s) during installation but remove it before final inspection.
    No 'lock on' device, they used a raised cover on a 4 sq box.

  4. #4
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    "I have learned, in whatsoever STATE I am, therewith to be content". :) Philipians 4:11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jusme123 View Post
    No 'lock on' device, they used a raised cover on a 4 sq box.
    I've seen them installed alot in my area lately. I say that I have always seen them with a lock over the switch after installation.

  5. #5
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    Is there anything in the NEC or IBC that requires a lockable breaker for FA panels?
    Some people are like slinkies. They serve absolutely no useful purpose. But still put a smile on your face when pushed down a flight of stairs.

  6. #6
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    Nothing in NFPA 72-1007 National Fire Alarm Code

    NFPA 101-2009 Life Safety refers to NFPA 72 and NEC.

    Fire Alarm Systems are required to have a backup power source, so a tripped breaker or open disconnect puts the system into trouble which is supposed to alert someone to investigate the problem, while the system continues to provide protection.
    Last edited by fmtjfw; 08-13-12 at 02:58 PM. Reason: better wording + typo

  7. #7
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    May, not required

    760.41 NPLFA Circuit Power Source Requirements.
    (A) Power Source.
    The power source of non–power-limited
    fire alarm circuits shall comply with Chapters 1 through 4, and
    the output voltage shall be not more than 600 volts, nominal.
    The fire alarm circuit disconnect shall be permitted to be secured
    in the “on” position. [new for 2011]

  8. #8
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    MT Vernon, WA
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    Nothing that I know off requires lockable breakers for an FACP. Sometimes job specs require them. As a side note per NFPA 72 is that the supply breaker has to be Red in color. We ususally accomplish this with a red paint pen

    4.4.1.4.2.2 Circuit disconnecting means shall have a red
    marking, shall be accessible only to authorized personnel, and
    shall be identified as “FIRE ALARM CIRCUIT.”

    Also the FACP has to have the location of the disconnection marked on it and there is no exception based on location that I can find:

    4.4.1.4.2.3 The location of the circuit disconnecting means
    shall be permanently identified at the fire alarm control unit.

  9. #9
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    How we do it here

    Around here we typically tap the service conductors prior to the main disconnect and provide a circuit breaker disconnect (rated for the service fault current) as the feed to the Fire Alarm System. The backup power supply is gel cell batteries. The FA disconnect is near the main service disconnect to conform to the multiple service disconnects requirements.

    somewhat off topic:

    ALL TAPPED BEFORE MAIN:

    In the larger 3-phase services, we've hung a 3 phase panel with 3 breaker handles
    1 one-pole for Fire Alarm
    1 one-pole for lighting (and emergency lighting pack) in the electric room
    1 three-pole for a duplex outlet on each phase.

    In a separate breaker-in-a-box 1 three-pole for the SPD.

    This way we more than meet the 6 handle requirement.

    This gives us maintenance lighting and power from the outlets for working on the rest of the system with the service main breaker opened.

    This allows us to measure each phase voltage with the main service disconnect open and without putting on 40lbs of PPE and opening the main panel. Useful for restoration after a power outage preventing closing into a missing phase.
    Last edited by fmtjfw; 08-13-12 at 03:23 PM. Reason: add missing text

  10. #10
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    Although not UL listed I use these cheap locks, their red and make AHJ's happy. Works in the off position too.

    http://www.garvinindustries.com/Mobi...nisms/UBL1-RED

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