FA Demo

horsegoer

Senior Member
Location
NJ
How do you guys handle existing fire alarm wiring and devices that need to remain active, until new system up, during demo( say a large office floor) when all walls and ceilings are being removed? I've always been told that electricians will temporarily support the devices. Is that really practical if spaces is being completely renovated?
 

Strathead

Senior Member
Location
Ocala, Florida, USA
Occupation
Electrician/Estimator/Project Manager/Superintendent
Not practical. It isn't any different than needing to maintain lighting or electrical that pass through the demo area. You find where circuits are being interrupted and install temp cable to jump over those spaces. As a fire alarm knowledgeable person I usually either do this myself or at least aid the fire alarm company so my bill is less, but they are perfectly capable of doing that.
 

horsegoer

Senior Member
Location
NJ
Not practical. It isn't any different than needing to maintain lighting or electrical that pass through the demo area. You find where circuits are being interrupted and install temp cable to jump over those spaces. As a fire alarm knowledgeable person I usually either do this myself or at least aid the fire alarm company so my bill is less, but they are perfectly capable of doing that.
I don't exactly follow. If they are demoing walls/ceiling and the existing devices and wiring needs to remain active what's happens with the wiring/devices if nothing is there to support them.
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
Location
Henrico County, VA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
The obvious answer involves temporary shutdown, disconnect local and off-site alarms, and determining whether using the existing wiring or running new temporary wiring is better. The rest is physical support. I'd have to see the site to advise further.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
The typical issues are pull stations and wall mount notification appliances that no longer have a wall to mount on and smoke and heat detectors that don't have a ceiling to go on anymore. Then you're also left with all that old FA cable when the new devices get mounted; it all has to come out if it's not being reused. This is usually the most poorly planned part of any renovation. We do what we can, but you can't levitate devices in mid-air.
 

James L

Senior Member
Location
Kansas Cty, Mo, USA
Occupation
Electrician
The obvious answer involves temporary shutdown, disconnect local and off-site alarms, and determining whether using the existing wiring or running new temporary wiring is better. The rest is physical support. I'd have to see the site to advise further.
He's in New Jersey.
Shouldn't take too long to swing by after work 😅
 

Strathead

Senior Member
Location
Ocala, Florida, USA
Occupation
Electrician/Estimator/Project Manager/Superintendent
I don't exactly follow. If they are demoing walls/ceiling and the existing devices and wiring needs to remain active what's happens with the wiring/devices if nothing is there to support them.
Unless your job is odd, existing devices in the demolition space don't need to remain active, with the possible exception of say an elevator smoke detector or a sprinkler valve that affects occupied spaces. I have never been on a job where we had to have active fire alarm (smoke detectors and horn strobes) in the construction area. Please clarify.

(edit) It makes no sense to keep devices in the construction space active, since they are certainly not going to be reinstalled in the same location. Smoke detectors are not only undesirable, but illegal in a construction zone. One at an elevator lobby must be covered during the day and uncovered only at night when no construction is going on. It is somewhat possible you have a jurisdiction that requires some sort of strobe coverage during construction but that should merely be a device temp wired and mounted anywhere.
 

horsegoer

Senior Member
Location
NJ
Unless your job is odd, existing devices in the demolition space don't need to remain active, with the possible exception of say an elevator smoke detector or a sprinkler valve that affects occupied spaces. I have never been on a job where we had to have active fire alarm (smoke detectors and horn strobes) in the construction area. Please clarify.

(edit) It makes no sense to keep devices in the construction space active, since they are certainly not going to be reinstalled in the same location. Smoke detectors are not only undesirable, but illegal in a construction zone. One at an elevator lobby must be covered during the day and uncovered only at night when no construction is going on. It is somewhat possible you have a jurisdiction that requires some sort of strobe coverage during construction but that should merely be a device temp wired and mounted anywhere.
That makes sense. I always thought you had to have a fire alarm system active even in construction space, or have fire watch.
 

Strathead

Senior Member
Location
Ocala, Florida, USA
Occupation
Electrician/Estimator/Project Manager/Superintendent
That makes sense. I always thought you had to have a fire alarm system active even in construction space, or have fire watch.
Not in my experience. Think about it, when you are building new construction, the fire alarm isn't usually activated until near the end of the job. As far as smoke detectors go, it will void most Fire alarm warranties if they get too much dust in them. That includes the duct detectors. We usually put temp duct detectors in until the end of the job.
 

horsegoer

Senior Member
Location
NJ
Not in my experience. Think about it, when you are building new construction, the fire alarm isn't usually activated until near the end of the job. As far as smoke detectors go, it will void most Fire alarm warranties if they get too much dust in them. That includes the duct detectors. We usually put temp duct detectors in until the end of the job.
Good point. I guess then it's about keeping it other non construction areas active if you renovating only a portion of the floor. But that not too difficult. Can either modify the circuitry or keep intact and temp support somehow/someway.
 

GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Placerville, CA, USA
Occupation
Retired PV System Designer
Not in my experience. Think about it, when you are building new construction, the fire alarm isn't usually activated until near the end of the job. As far as smoke detectors go, it will void most Fire alarm warranties if they get too much dust in them. That includes the duct detectors. We usually put temp duct detectors in until the end of the job.
But when building new construction, the building is not occupied until the construction is complete. The key, IMHO, is the level of occupancy of the rest of the building during the demolition and the degree to which the inoperative portion of the FA system constitutes a threat to the occupied portion of the building. There may be a threat even if the demo area itself is not occupied.
 

Strathead

Senior Member
Location
Ocala, Florida, USA
Occupation
Electrician/Estimator/Project Manager/Superintendent
But when building new construction, the building is not occupied until the construction is complete. The key, IMHO, is the level of occupancy of the rest of the building during the demolition and the degree to which the inoperative portion of the FA system constitutes a threat to the occupied portion of the building. There may be a threat even if the demo area itself is not occupied.
Agreed, but I used to work the high rises in San Francisco and Oakland, and never had to maintain the stuff in the area unless it related to thing outside the area. Specifically elevator smokes and sprinkler tamper.
 
Top