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Thread: Fire alarm question

  1. #1
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    Fire alarm question

    If you have an active system on a floor...say 15k sq Ft office space floor and the system only controls the devices on this floor. If a complete gut/demo is happening ........

    #1-are you allowed to just demo all fire alarm devices and have no coverage during the construction?
    #2- what if they show some devices to remain during demo to temp support during construction and then reinstall. I guess you would have to modified the wiring as some devices are going to Be eliminated during demo.

    Thanks

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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstrlucky74 View Post
    If you have an active system on a floor...say 15k sq Ft office space floor and the system only controls the devices on this floor. If a complete gut/demo is happening ........

    #1-are you allowed to just demo all fire alarm devices and have no coverage during the construction?
    #2- what if they show some devices to remain during demo to temp support during construction and then reinstall. I guess you would have to modified the wiring as some devices are going to Be eliminated during demo.

    Thanks

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    The real answer? You won't like it. Most contracts call for the fire alarm coverage to be unbroken throughout the demo and installation process. That means carefully taking down everything around the fire alarm devices without damaging them or the wire...OK, you can stop laughing now. This is an issue that absolutely must be discussed with the fire department, the AHJ, and the customer/tenant's risk management group. There is no one size fits all solution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gadfly56 View Post
    The real answer? You won't like it. Most contracts call for the fire alarm coverage to be unbroken throughout the demo and installation process. That means carefully taking down everything around the fire alarm devices without damaging them or the wire...OK, you can stop laughing now. This is an issue that absolutely must be discussed with the fire department, the AHJ, and the customer/tenant's risk management group. There is no one size fits all solution.
    Hmmm..well ok

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  4. #4
    Don't laugh...gadfly56 is correct. I'm in the "customer" category (one of those building engineers everyone loves to hate, but I'm a nice guy), getting ready to completely gut a floor in one of my buildings, will be bypassing all devices on that floor each day during the project, but the system will have to be back up before everyone leaves for the day. Same goes for the sprinks who will be inverting the heads since the ceiling is coming out. I made that very clear to the GC doing the demo.
    Mt. Falls, Va.
    "Not a sermon, just a thought"
    A licensed electrically-related individual

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtfallsmikey View Post
    Don't laugh...gadfly56 is correct. I'm in the "customer" category (one of those building engineers everyone loves to hate, but I'm a nice guy), getting ready to completely gut a floor in one of my buildings, will be bypassing all devices on that floor each day during the project, but the system will have to be back up before everyone leaves for the day. Same goes for the sprinks who will be inverting the heads since the ceiling is coming out. I made that very clear to the GC doing the demo.
    Understand. So what exactly do you mean they will bypass all devices during demo? How will that be accomplished?

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstrlucky74 View Post
    Understand. So what exactly do you mean they will bypass all devices during demo? How will that be accomplished?

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    If the system is addressable, you can usually access the program from the panel to disable one or all the devices on the SLC loop(s). This will put the panel into trouble until all the devices are re-enabled. If you have a conventional panel you can simply lift the IDC loops. Please DO NOT put a spare EOL resistor/device at the panel to make it shut up; you couldn't afford the cost if something goes sideways in the middle of the night and someone forgot to land the circuits back into the panel.

    Any disabling of the fire alarm panel needs to be accompanied by a fire watch plan. Some jurisdictions force you to hire a firefighter, at union rates, to be the fire watch. Otherwise it could be your employee, or the customer's personnel. In any event, that individual's sole purpose is to patrol the affected area for a fire condition. You can't just task an apprentice with looking around "every once in a while". If you have multiple floors disabled, you may have to have a fire watcher for each floor, depending on the total area involved.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadfly56 View Post
    If the system is addressable, you can usually access the program from the panel to disable one or all the devices on the SLC loop(s). This will put the panel into trouble until all the devices are re-enabled. If you have a conventional panel you can simply lift the IDC loops. Please DO NOT put a spare EOL resistor/device at the panel to make it shut up; you couldn't afford the cost if something goes sideways in the middle of the night and someone forgot to land the circuits back into the panel.

    Any disabling of the fire alarm panel needs to be accompanied by a fire watch plan. Some jurisdictions force you to hire a firefighter, at union rates, to be the fire watch. Otherwise it could be your employee, or the customer's personnel. In any event, that individual's sole purpose is to patrol the affected area for a fire condition. You can't just task an apprentice with looking around "every once in a while". If you have multiple floors disabled, you may have to have a fire watcher for each floor, depending on the total area involved.
    Thanks..so while demo is happening and you disable the panel will the trouble create sounds/tones on the system? Can that be silenced? Thanks

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  8. #8
    On my FACP, I can bypass the elevator devices, preaction system, cafeteria hood system, fire pumps, each floor, all A/V's, I call the system out with our monitoring co. and put it in test mode/disregard.
    Mt. Falls, Va.
    "Not a sermon, just a thought"
    A licensed electrically-related individual

  9. #9
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    For NJ the fire watch requirements are found in the International Fire Code 2015 901.7
    Rick Napier
    Inspector and Instructor

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    Quote Originally Posted by mstrlucky74 View Post
    Thanks..so while demo is happening and you disable the panel will the trouble create sounds/tones on the system? Can that be silenced? Thanks

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    Yes. You may have to "Acknowledge" the signal before you can silence it. The exact sequence depends on the panel you have. Check your manual. Also, if you have any troubles on the panel that go past 24 hours without being resolved, the panel will trigger the audible alarm again. This "resound" feature is a code requirement.

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