Fire alarm pull station requirements on building "levels"
I hope someone can help me find a reference for this. The area in question is a large open test cell approximately 55' high that is part of a building. The interior features "levels" that are fixed permanent floors that are against three of the walls of the cell in a sort of U shape. The levels are approximately fourteen feet wide or more in parts and have fixed permanent stairs. There are handrails protecting the edges that open out into the part of the cell that is completely open. There are four levels above the ground floor, and work is performed on the levels on a daily basis. The entire test cell is a hazardous area due to commodities handled.
For purposes of fire alarm pull stations, I know the NFPA code says that a pull station shall be located at the exit on each floor. I have had the argument posed to me that the "levels" in the test cell are not "floors." I was told that the reasoning for the NFPA to require the pull stations at the exit of each floor is so that people evacuating the building would pass one on their way out, when they were already nearly to the exit on that floor to the "safe" enclosed stairway. They said that they wouldn't want people to hesitate in the unprotected areas by the stairways in the test cell and take time to activate the pull station possibly blocking other people from exiting. I am not buying it. There is a water deluge system with controls on each floor of the cell, so I don't know if having that there negates the need for an audible manually actuated alarm pull station or not.
I was told that the "levels" are actually work access platforms, but I disagree with that assessment as they are fixed permanent floors. Does anyone know what constitutes a floor to the NFPA and if having a deluge system with controls on each level would eliminate the requirement for alarm pull stations on each floor? Where can I find these references? I have been through page after page of the code and I cannot find it.
Thanks for any help-
Last edited by Sparketta; 09-18-07 at 07:54 PM.