Quote Originally Posted by gadfly56 View Post
We have a customer (airport) that is planning an expansion in their building. Somewhere up the food chain the decision was made to install a separate fire alarm panel to provide coverage for the new area. The rub is that they specifically don't want the two panels interconnected in any way. This might be doable if there was a fire barrier between the old an new areas, but it's apparently an extension of the existing space. You could have notification appliances on the east wall (for example) on one panel and on the west wall on the new panel. Other than invoking common sense it's hard to find a code-driven reason to shoot this down NFPA 72 goes into a great deal of detail on spacing, etc but doesn't speak to this issue directly. Likewise I don't see much in the 2012 IBC to hang our hat on in this case. About the only thing we can point to is that if a fire occurs in the structure you won't get notification throughout depending on which side, new or old, the fire event occurs. About the only thing I can find is which doesn't allow you to put undivided fire or smoke areas into multiple evacuation signaling zones. Thoughts?
A few years ago we were involved with the same situation on a rather large school that had sizable addition. The FA contractor put in a separate system for the addition. AHJ refused it and in my view was absolutely correct. They had a number of NICET 4 guys and FP engineers look at it to see if the 2 systems could be made to act as one in order to make it code compliant. In the end all agreed it could not be done and they ended up removing the new system and extending the original system. They tried all kinds of interconnection schemes to make the 2 systems work as 1 but there were multiple operational issues that would not meet code.