NFPA guidelines for a steeple?

240Ohms

New User
Location
Long Island, NY
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
I have an old elementary school (1932) with a rickety old wooden steeple above the auditorium and a catwalk in the attic.

The steeple, despite having some ventilation from the outside, has an old smoke detector. The (unused) attic also has a bunch of smoke detectors. The auditorium ceiling below is plaster or gyp and also has smoke coverage. So I can understand why they have smoke detectors in the attic. The steeple stumps me though. There's birds nests and all sorts of stuff in there, the thing is held to the roof with bubblegum, I swear.

I'm wondering if there's anything in the code that requires smoke detectors in the steeple as I punch list this fire alarm installation. The contractor left all the old stuff in those areas and, quite honestly, I don't blame them. I wasn't afraid of heights until today 😂.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
I have an old elementary school (1932) with a rickety old wooden steeple above the auditorium and a catwalk in the attic.

The steeple, despite having some ventilation from the outside, has an old smoke detector. The (unused) attic also has a bunch of smoke detectors. The auditorium ceiling below is plaster or gyp and also has smoke coverage. So I can understand why they have smoke detectors in the attic. The steeple stumps me though. There's birds nests and all sorts of stuff in there, the thing is held to the roof with bubblegum, I swear.

I'm wondering if there's anything in the code that requires smoke detectors in the steeple as I punch list this fire alarm installation. The contractor left all the old stuff in those areas and, quite honestly, I don't blame them. I wasn't afraid of heights until today 😂.
There isn't anything I'm aware of in NFPA 72 or in the building codes (which is where you'd really see it) requiring coverage in a steeple. If the spec called for complete coverage, then the upper and lower coverage is understandable. Since the steeple is open to the outside, it could see temperatures below 32F, which would violate the listing of the detector, whether the detector is conventional or addressable. The attic smokes, addressable or conventional, might have an issue since they can't be exposed to temperatures consistently above 100-120F. Addressable heats would have the same problem. Conventional heats on an addressable module, said module mounted outside the extreme temperature zone, would give you UL compliant coverage.
 
Top