Environmental Health & Safety

Fire Alarm Detection Guide


January 2012
  1. Definitions
  2. Fire Alarm System Requirements
  3. General
  4. Approval & Acceptance
  5. Standardization of Fire Alarm Detection Systems
  6. Academic and Assembly Fire Alarm Detection Systems
  7. Dormitory and Residence Alarm
  8. Household Fire Alarm System                                                                                                                                                                                    

Purpose:

The intent of this program is to assist Amherst College with the installation, modification and alterations of the fire detection systems on the campus. The information identified here-in shall be used by the architects, engineers and the College as a guide for new installations and system upgrades.

Application:

The guide will apply to all academic, residential and storage buildings owned or leased by the College. This includes the installation of temporary systems that are incorporated into alterations and new construction during construction, demolition and renovation.

Responsibility:

  1. If an existing fire detection / suppression system is to be replaced or modified, the appropriate project manager, shop supervisor or outside contractor shall make the Amherst Fire Department aware of such modification by completing the necessary permits and submitting, as soon as practical the “Fire Alarm System Upgrade Notification” form enclosed. (The form is also available on the “I” drive.
  2. A one hundred percent (100%) in-house test of all devices shall be conducted with the installer by Amherst College Electric ShopEnvironmental Health and Safety, and the Amherst College Police Department, if they so desire. The installer will perform the final acceptance test after both the college and the fire department have received the appropriate paperwork. The paperwork will include a narrative as required by the building code and NFPA 72, all owner documentation, and applicable permits.
    • It is the responsibility of the appropriate project manager and/or shop to verify correct design, placement and testing of the fire detection system before the college accepts the building or part there-of.

DEFINITIONS

Addressable Device – A fire alarm system component with discreet identification that can have its status individually identified or that is used to individually control other functions.

Alarm Verification Feature – A feature of automatic fire detection and alarm systems to reduce unwanted alarms wherein smoke detectors must report alarm conditions for a minimum period of time, or confirm alarm conditions within a given time period, after being reset to be accepted as a valid alarm initiation signal.
 

Annunciator – A unit containing two or more indicator lamps, alpha-numeric displays, or other equivalent means in which each indication provides status information about a circuit, condition, or location.

Authority Having Jurisdiction – The “authority having jurisdiction” for Amherst College is the Amherst Fire Department as it pertains to Fire Detection and Suppression Systems.
 

Certification of Completion – A document that acknowledges the features of installation, operation (performance), service, and equipment with representation by the property owner, system installer, system supplier, service organization, and the authority having jurisdiction.

Evacuation Signal – Distinctive signal intended to be recognized by the occupants as requiring evacuation of the building.
 

Fire Alarm Control Unit (Panel) – A system component that receives inputs from automatic and manual fire alarm devices and may supply power to detection devices and transponder(s) or off-premises transmitter(s). The control unit may also provide transfer of power to the notification appliances and transfer of condition to relays or devices connected to the control unit. The fire alarm control unit can be a local fire alarm control unit or master control unit.

Fire Command Station (Fire Command Center) – The principle location where the status of the detection, alarm, communications and control systems is displayed, and from which the system(s) has the capability for manual control.
 

Heat Detector – A device that detects abnormally high temperature or rate of temperature rise.

Household Fire Warning System – A household fire warning system consists of single or multiple station detectors or a listed control unit with automatic fire detectors or a listed control unit with automatic fire detectors and occupant notification appliances. The household fire warning system serves only one dwelling unit, patient room, hotel room or other single area depending on use group requirements in Massachusetts Building Code.
 

Initiating Device – A system component that originates transmission of a change of state condition, such as a smoke detector, manual fire alarm box, supervisory switch, etc.

Installation and Design – All systems shall be installed in accordance with the specifications and standard approved by the authority having jurisdiction.
 

Line-Type Detector – A device in which detection is continuous along a path. Typical examples are rate-of-rise pneumatic tubing detectors, projected beam smoke detectors, and heat-sensitive cable.

Municipal Fire Alarm System – A system of alarm initiating devices, receiving equipment, and connecting circuits (other than a public telephone network) used to transmit alarms from street locations to the public fire service communications center.
 

Presignal Feature – Where permitted by the authority having jurisdiction, systems shall be permitted to have a feature where initial fire alarm signals will sound only in departments offices, control rooms, fire brigade stations, or other constantly attended central locations and where human action is subsequently required to activate a general alarm, or a feature where the control equipment delays general alarm by more than one minute after the start of the alarm processing. The areas where there is a connection to a remote location, it shall activate upon initial alarm signal.

Primary Power Supply – The primary supply shall have a high degree of reliability, shall have adequate capacity for the intended service, and shall consist of one of the following:

  • Light and power service arranged in accordance with 1-5.2.8
  • Engine-driven generator or equivalent arranged in accordance with 1-5.2.10

Positive Alarm Sequence – An automatic series that results in an alarm signal, even if manually delayed for investigation, unless the system is reset.
 

Secondary Supply Capacity and Sources – The secondary supply shall automatically supply the energy to the system within 30 seconds and without loss of signals, whenever the primary supply is incapable of providing the minimum voltage required for proper operation. The secondary (standby) power supply shall supply energy to the system in the event of total failure of the primary (main) power supply or when the primary voltage drops to a level insufficient to maintain functionality of the control equipment and system components. Under maximum normal load, the secondary supply shall have sufficient capacity to operate a local, central station or proprietary system for 24 hours, or an auxiliary or remote station system for 60 hours; and then, at the end of that period, operate all alarm notification appliances used for evacuation or to direct aid to the location of an emergency for 5 minutes. The secondary power supply for emergency voice/alarm communications service shall be capable of operating the system under maximum normal load for 24 hours and then be capable or operating the system during a fire or other emergency condition for a period of 2 hours. Fifteen minutes of evacuation alarm operation at maximum connected load shall be considered the equivalent of 2 hours of emergency operation.

The secondary supply shall consist of one of the following:

  1. A storage battery arranged in accordance with 1-5.2.9 An automatic starting engine-driven generators arranged in accordance with 1-5.2.10 and storage batteries with 4 hours capacity arranged in accordance with 1-5.2.9
  2. Multiple engine-driven generators, one of which is arranged for automatic starting, arranged in accordance with 1-5.2.10, capable of supplying the energy required herein with the largest generator out of service. It shall be permitted for the second generator to be pushbutton start. 
  3.  Operation on secondary power shall not affect the required performance of a fire alarm system. The system shall produce the same alarm, supervisory, and trouble signals and indications (excluding the ac power indicator) when operating from the standby power source as produced when the unit is operating from the primary power source.

Separate Sleeping Area – The area or areas of the family living unit in which the bedrooms (or sleeping rooms) are located. For the purpose of this guide, bedrooms (or sleeping rooms) separated by other use area, such as kitchens or livings rooms (but not bathrooms), shall be considered as separate sleeping areas. 

Shapes of Ceilings – Those shapes of ceilings are classified as follows: 

  • Sloping Ceilings – Those having a slope of more than 1 ½ in. per ft. (41.7mm per m).
  • Sloping ceilings are further classified as follows:
  • Sloping-Peaked Type – Those in which the ceiling slopes in two directions from the highest point. Curved or domed ceilings may be considered peaked with the slope figured as the slope of the cord from highest to lowest point. 
  • Sloping-Shed Type – Those in which the high point is at one side with the slope extending toward the opposite side.
  • Smooth Ceiling – A surface uninterrupted by continuous projections, such as solid joists, beams, or ducts, extending more then 4 in. (100 mm) below
    the ceiling surface.

Single Station Alarm Device – An assembly incorporating the detector, control equipment, and the alarm-sounding device in one unit operated from a power supply either in the unit or obtained at the point of installation.

  • Smoke Detectors – A device that detects visible or invisible particles of combustion.
  • Zone – A defined area within the protected premises. A zone may define an area from which a signal can be received, an area to which a signal can be sent, or an area in which a form of control can be executed.

FIRE ALARM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

The Fire Alarm System – Including but not limited to the fire control panel, annunciators, and initiating and supervisory devices shall be of an approved typed and shall be installed in accordance with the provisions of the Massachusetts State Building Code and NFPA 72.

Fire Protection Construction Documents – When the Massachusetts State Building Code requires a fire alarm system; Fire Protection Construction Documents shall show the location and number of all alarm initiating devices, alarm notification appliances, proposed zoning, and a complete sequence of operation for the system. The system must be installed in accordance with article 9 of the Building Code and NFPA 72

Approval – All devices, combinations of devices, appliances and equipment shall be approved for the fire protective signaling purpose for which such equipment was used.

Where Required – A fire protective signaling system shall be installed and maintained in full operating condition in the locations described in Massachusetts Building Code

  • Assembly Use Group – A fire protective signaling system shall be installed and maintained in all occupancies in Assembly Use Group.
  • Business Use Group – A fire protective signaling system shall be installed and maintained in all occupancies in Business Use Group where such buildings have occupied floors which are two or more stories above the lowest level of exit discharge or which have floors two or more stories below the highest level of exit discharge.
  • Residential Use Group (R-1)– A fire protective signaling system shall be installed and maintained in all occupancies in Use Group R-1
  • Residential Use Group (R-2)– A fire protective signaling system shall be installed and maintained in all occupancies in Use Group R-2 containing 13 or more dwelling units or where any dwelling unit is located more than three stories above the lowest of exit discharge or more than one story below the highest level of exit discharge of exits serving the dwelling unit.
  • Location– Manual fire alarm boxes (pull station) shall be located not more than five feet (1524 mm) from the entrance to each exit. Manual fire alarm boxes shall be located in each story including basements. In buildings of Assembly Use Group where a stage is provided, a manual fire alarm box shall be located next to the lighting control panel.
    • In buildings of Assembly Use Group and where approved by the local fire department, manual fire alarm boxes may be omitted at exits and any other required locations, but shall be provided at constantly attended locations such as ticket booths, refreshment facilities, bars, etc.
    • Manual fire alarm boxes are not required in an occupancy in Business Use Group where height of the building is 70 feet or less above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access and the building is equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler, and /or an automatic fire detection system or combination thereof in.
Exception:
  • Manual Fire Alarm Boxes (Pull Stations) – The height of the manual fire alarm boxes shall be a minimum of 42 inches (1067 mm) and a maximum of 54 inches (1372 mm) measured vertically, from the floor level to the activating handle or lever of the box. Manual fire alarm boxes shall be red in color.
  • Presignal or Positive Alarm Sequence System – Presignal or positive alarm sequence systems shall not be installed unless approved by the code official and by the local fire department. Where a presignal or positive alarm sequence system is installed, 24-hour supervision by trained personnel shall be provided at a location approved by the local fire department, in order that the alarm signal can be actuated in the event of fire or other emergency.
  • Zones – Each floor shall be zoned separately and a zone shall not exceed 20,000 square feet (1860m²). The length of any zone shall not exceed 300 feet (91440 mm) in any direction.
  • Where individually addressable alarm initiating devices are logically combined into groups for annuciation purposes, the above zone size limitations shall apply to the group. The local fire department shall approve all zone and point description.

A separate zone by floor shall be provided for the following typed of alarm-initiating devices where provided:

  • Smoke detectors
  • Sprinkler water-flow devices;
  • Manual fire alarm boxes
Exception:
  • Automatic sprinkler zones shall not exceed the area permitted by NFPA 13
  • Duct type smoke detectors shall be separately identified with a remote test/ indicator station. The location of the remote test/indicator shall be approved by the local fire department.
  • Audible Alarms – Audible alarm notification appliances shall be provided and shall sound a distinctive sound which shall not be used for any purpose other than that of a fire alarm. The audible alarm notification appliances shall provide a sound pressure level of 15dBA above the average ambient or 5dBA above the maximum sound level having a duration of at least 60 seconds (whichever is greater) sound level in every occupied space within the building. The minimum sound pressure levels shall be: 70dBA in occupancies in R Use Groups; 90dBA in mechanical equipment rooms; and 60dBA in all other use groups. The maximum sound pressure level for audible alarm notification appliances shall be 120dBA at the minimum hearing distance for the audible appliance.
  • All audible evacuation signals shall have a synchronized three – pulse temporal pattern in accordance with NFPA 72.
    • Visible Alarms– Visible alarm notification appliances shall be provided in accordance with NFPA 72 and Massachusetts Access Codes in public and common areas of al buildings and areas of buildings housings and areas of buildings housing the hearing impaired and where required by Massachusetts Access Codes. In occupancies in R-1 Use Groups , all required accessible sleeping rooms and suites plus an additional number of sleeping rooms or suites shall be provided with a visible alarm notification appliance, activated by both the in-room smoke detector and the building fire protective signaling system.
      1. Fire Alarm Detection Guide - Visible alarms shall be mounted. Until 177 cd intensity strobes are available through our fire alarm manufacturer, Amherst College shall install 110 cd "synchronized" visible strobes in all bedrooms at least 24" below ceiling level, unless otherwise approved by the Authority Having Jurisdiction, the Amherst Fire Department.
      2. Voice/Alarm Signaling System – A voice/alarm signaling system shall be provided where required by other sections of Massachusetts Building Code. When activated in accordance with Massachusetts Building Codes, the voice/alarm signaling system shall automatically sound an alert signal to all occupants within the building on a general or selective basis to the following terminal areas: elevators, elevator lobbies, corridors, exit stairways, rooms and tenant spaces exceeding 1,000 square feet (93m²) in area; dwelling units in occupancies in R-1 Use Groups. The fire command station shall contain controls to transmit manually an evacuation signal and voice instructions on a selective and all-call basis to the terminal areas indicated herein. The voice/alarm system shall be designed and installed in accordance with the provisions of Massachusetts Building Codes, Massachusetts Fire Prevention Regulations, and NFPA72
Exception:

The sequence of operation of the voice alarm signaling system shall be as follows:

  • Sound an alert (pre-signal) tone (the alert tone shall be a 900 hertz tone pulsed to produce one round of code 4 at approximately one second intervals.
  • Activate the recorded message regarding the evacuation procedure. The alarm and communication system shall provide a pre-recorded message
  • to all required areas. The message shall contain the following information. “Attention please. The signal tone you have just heard indicated a report or an emergency in this building. If your floor evacuation signal sounds after this message, walk to your nearest stairway and leave the floor. While the report is being verified, occupants on other floors should await further instructions.” This message shall be transmitted three times.  A female voice shall be used for this message.
  • Activate the evacuation signal on the floor of incident and the next floor above and below (the evacuation signal shall be in accordance with Massachusetts Building Code.

Acceptance Tests – Upon completion of the fire protective signaling system, all alarm notification devices and circuits, alarm indicating appliances and circuits, supervisory-signal initiating devices and circuits, signaling line circuits, and primary and secondary power supplies shall be subjected to a 100% acceptance test in accordance with NFPA 72 listed in Appendix A and the Massachusetts Building Codes with College them with College of Fire Department.

GENERAL

Unless otherwise approved a fire alarm system shall be manufactured by Simplex Tyco Grinnell for reason of compatibility.

Exception: 

There Initiating devices must be Simplex compatible, and must be synchronized within Simplex System in order to meet the requirements of the authority having jurisdiction.

  1.  household fire detection systems
  2. required alarm initiating devices such as weather-proof strobes not manufactured by Simplex must be approved by Amherst College

Power Sources – The fire alarm system shall be provided with a reliable primary and secondary power supply.  Both shall be reliable and have adequate capacity for the application in accordance with NFPA 72

The secondary power supply must supply energy to the system within 30 seconds and can be:

(a) Battery

(b) Emergency generator

The secondary power supply shall have sufficient capacity to operate a local, central station or proprietary system for 24 hours under maximum load and then, at the end of that period, operate all alarm modification appliances used for evacuation or to direct aid to the location of an emergency for 5 minutes.

  1. The secondary power supply for emergency voice/alarm communications service shall be capable of operating the system under maximum normal load
  2. for 24 hours and then be capable of operating the system during a fire or other emergency condition for a period of 2 hours.
  • 15 minutes of evacuation alarm operation at maximum connected load shall be considered equivalent to 2 hours of emergency operation.
  • When the transfer from primary to secondary power supply takes place, there can be no loss of signals.

Power on Lighting – Amherst College shall require a green “power on” light in the fire alarm panel that is readily identifiable. The light must be visible from a distance of at least 10 feet without having to open the panel.image

Annunciator Panel – When required, the fire alarm annunciator panel shall be located just inside the door most accessible to the fire department.

  1. When possible the door used for this purpose must lead into a safe area such as a rated stairwell form which the fire department can access all parts of the building.
    • The Entry point for the department should be as all encompassing as possible.  It should lead directly to all floors, the standpipe system, fire alarm control panel as well as annunciator just inside the door.

Zones – For the purpose of alarm annunciation, each floor of the building shall be considered a separate zone.

  • If the system serves more than one building (i.e. Heat Plant/Chiller Plant) each building shall be indicated separately.

Fire Alarm Addresses – Amherst College shall require in compliance with the request of the Amherst Fire Department the following system for addressing initiation devices.

  • Each device, for purpose of testing and future reference shall have the map number identified on the device and temporary protective cover that corresponds with the address on the hard copy provided by the electrical contractor and/or TycoSimplex.
  • The address for each device shall be programmed as follows
  1. Building
  2. Floor
  3. Room/Corridor
  4. additional information

    • Example:
    • KING 1ST Flr ROOM 102 JANITORS CLOSET WIEL BSMT ROOM 002 MECH ROOM

APPROVED AND ACCEPTANCE

The Amherst Fire Department shall be notified prior to installation or alteration of equipment or wiring. Complete information regarding the system or system alterations, including specifications, wiring diagrams, battery calculation and floor plans shall be submitted for approval.

Every fire alarm system shall include the following documentation, which shall be delivered to Amherst College or a representative of the College upon final acceptance of the system.

The owners and installation instructions shall include the following: 
  1. A detailed narrative description of the system inputs, evacuation signaling, ancillary functions, and annunciation intended sequence of operations, expansion capability, application consideration, and limitations.

  2. Operator instructions for basic operations including alarm acknowledgement, system reset, interpreting system output (LEDS’s CRT display, and
    print out) operations of manual evacuation.

STANDARDIZATION OF FIRE ALARM AND DETECTION SYSTEMS.

All new fire alarm systems installed on campus shall be state of the art at the time of alteration, construction, or renovation. Currently, Amherst College will install the Simplex 4100U system with the following capabilities.

  1. Be compatible with the Fire Alarm Control Panel at the Amherst College Campus Police.
  2. Be completely addressable.
  3. Incorporate and be compatible with the “true alarm” addressable analog sensors and “True Alert” notification appliances.
  4. Be menu driven with 80-character alphanumeric backlit display.
  5. Have City and Central Station connections
  6. Have individual alarm and trouble supervisory services.
  7. Have built-in separate alarm and trouble historical logs
  8. Have alarm silence and system reset buttons
  9. Have card frame for adding expansion modules
  10. Have 5 or more programmable multifunction keys with status LEDs
  11. Have operator interference keypad for manual controls and system information access.
  12. Have “Almost Dirty” detector maintenance reports “Peak Value” logging.
  13. Have automatic drift compensation.
  14. Integral Emergency Voice Evacuation Capability for areas of assembly.
  15. Have ability to identify “device-level” ground fault conditions
  16. Have the ability to sense incorrect sensor, but shall have heat or smoke compatible bases.
  17. Be able to monitor water low and sprinkler supervisory devices.
  18. Be able to utilize T-Tap wiring
  19. Be able to automatically release all doors that incorporate a 15 second delay for security reasons in accordance with NFPA (section 3-9.5)
  • Secondary power shall not be used to maintain these doors

The 4100U shall:

Amherst College shall utilize True Alarm Sensors with photoelectric sensitivity that can be set to proper obscuration for the site-specific area. 

They shall provide the College the ability to:

a. Provide automatic warnings when the detectors need cleaning

b. Provide Peak Value logging

c. Perform environmental compensation.

d. Incorporate the type of sensor base that will indicate power on, alarm or trouble.

e. Be interchangeable, tamper-proof sensor heads

f. Incorporate addressees dip switch in permanently mounted base.

g. Notify Amherst College Campus police if being tampered with, specific to a room.

Detector Placement

Smoke Detectors Placement

Attics

Exception:
  1.  If heated and utilized for storage.
  • Offices, Classrooms and Lecture Halls
  • Corridors
  • Custodial Closets and Storage Areas
Exception:
  1. Custodial closets with slop sink or other sinks subject to steam accumulation.

Electrical Rooms or Vaults

    1.  Elevators
    2. Recycling Areas
    3. Stairwells
    4. Trash Rooms

 

Smoke detectors must be at least:

  • 4’ from ceiling supply air diffusers or ceiling fans.
  • 10’ from wall supply air diffusers.
  • 18" from sprinklers.
  • Smoke detectors shall be placed in the following areas of academic assemble and business occupancies. This section should not be used for dormitories (r-2), Storage (s) or private or rented houses around campus.image
Heat Detectors Placement
  • Attics
Heat detectors are not required if a full suppression system has been installed, inclusive of attic.
  • Custodial Closets with Slop sinks or other type sinks.
Heat detectors are not required if a sprinkler system has been installed in the custodial closet.
  • Hazardous Materials Exhaust Systems
  • Kitchens
Heat detectors are not required if a full suppression system has been installed.
  • Mechanical Rooms
Heat detectors are not required if a sprinkler system has been installed in the Mechanical space.
  • Restrooms
Heat detectors are not required if a sprinkler system has been installed in the restroom(s).

Heat detectors, regardless of whether or not sprinklers have been installed shall be placed in the following areas of academic assembly and business occupancies. This section should not be used for dormitories (R-2), storage (S) or private or rented housed around campus.

Accessibility

All detectors (heat and smoke) shall be accessible for service and replacement. Installation must include service and replacement.  Installation must...

  1. include the ability to get at the smoke or heat detector. Concealed detectors must be prominently indicated as required in NFPA 72 (section 3-8.4)
  2. Detectors are required underneath open loading docks or platforms and their covers and for accessible under floor spaces of building without basements unless it meets the exception of NFPA (Section 5-1.3.5)
Exception:
  1. Smoke and heat detectors in elevator hoist ways, pits and shafts shall be maintained and replaced in cooperation with the elevator technician for that site-specific elevator
  2. The installation of a duct detector shall meet the requirements of this section.

ACADEMIC AND ASSEMBLY FIRE ALARM DETECTION SYSTEMS

Academic fire alarm and detection systems shall be installed in both assembly and business occupancies at Amherst College. Although not always required by code, the college has and will continue to take steps to detect fires at the incipient stage, regardless of whether or not a full suppression system has been installed.

Alterations, Modifications, New Construction and Renovations Amherst College will meet or exceed the code requirements for fire alarm, detection and suppression systems when buildings and facilities are altered, newly constructed or renovated. All regulatory requirements of the Architectural Access Board, Building Code, Elevator Code and Fire Prevention Regulations shall be incorporated into the design and renovation of any assembly or business occupancy.

  • Academic and Assembly buildings that does not have full suppression system shall have an automatic alarm initiation device that will cause a general building alarm when activated. Buildings that are not equipped with a full fire suppression system shall not have a pre-alarm, pre-signal or alarm verification system.
  • Academic and Assembly buildings with a full suppression system shall have alarm verification smoke detectors in office, studios, and laboratories.
  1. These 3 areas shall report smoke conditions to Amherst College Campus Police, but shall not sound a full building evacuation signal for a period of 5 minutes.
  2. Any other areas within academic and assembly building shall be immediate notification of Amherst College Campus police and shall activate the general building alarm.
  3. Door Release Smoke Detectors for corridors and stairwells in areas where fire and smoke doors are to be held open on a magnet, until activation of a fire alarm, the following shall be required... 
  • If the distance from the top of the floor to the ceiling is less than 24” then only one (1) detector shall be required on one side of the doorway.
  • If the distance from the top of the floor to the ceiling is greater than 24” then a smoke detector shall be required on both sides of the door to be closed.
  • Elevator Recall/Firefighter Service
    Smoke detectors shall be placed in each elevator lobby and shall, when activated.



  • Pull Stations
    Pull Stations in both academic and assembly occupancies shall be mounted by the exit door at a height of 42” and 54” from the floor, and at other required locations as identified in the State Building Code, Article 9.
    * 54” is permitted by ADA, provided the path leading up to the pull station is completed unobstructed.
  • Visible Signals
    Visible signals are required in:
    • Restrooms
    • Meeting Rooms
    • Hallways and Corridors
    • Lobbies 
    • Common Spaces
    • ADA Compliant Rooms for Lodging.
  • 24" below ceiling level is 110 cd, or 80" above the floor, provided above is met, or if less than 24" from the ceiling, must be 177 cd intensity and approved by the Amherst Fire Department

Alarm Notification Appliances

With the exception of smoke detectors that have been set-up with alarm verification, all initiating devices and sprinkler flow alarms shall activate a general building evacuation alarm. The immediate alarm signal shall occur for all




  • All audible alarms shall sound a distinctive sound that shall not be used for any other purpose other than a fire alarm. The audible alarm notification appliances shall provide...




  1. The maximum sound level shall be 120 dB at normal hearing distance.
  2. All audible evacuation signals shall have a synchronized three (3)- pulse temporal pattern as required by the State Building Code and the authority having jurisdiction. 
  3. In areas of assembly (entire buildings and parts there-of) where the occupant load is greater than 300 people, then occupant notification shall be by pre-recorded message announcement or evacuation instructions, in accordance with the State Building Code, Article 917.

Fire Command Station

 

The Fire Command Station shall be immediately accessible to the Amherst Fire Department at a location acceptable and approved by the authority having jurisdiction. The Fire Command Station (aka Fire Alarm Panel) is the primary location where the status of the detection, alarm, communications, and control systems are displaced and from which the system has the capability for manual control.

 The Fire Command System, if located next to an entrance approved by the authority having jurisdiction can serve as both the annunciator as well as primary fire alarm system.

  • If the fire alarm is located in a locked room accessible only to Amherst College personnel, then a fire alarm annunciator shall be placed just inside the entrance, as approved by the authority having jurisdiction.

Duct Detector Installation

  • Duct detectors shall be securely mounted inside the duct.
  • The detectors must be readily accessible for cleaning and shall be mounted in accordance with manufacturers specifications.
    • If necessary, access doors or panels shall be provided.
    • The location of all detectors in the air duct systems shall be permanently and clearly dentified and recorded.

Beam Detectors

Can be installed when permitted by the Office of Environmental Health & Safety and as approved by the authority having jurisdiction.

Detector Locations and Spacing
  • For smooth ceilings, a spacing of 30’ shall be used as a guide.
  • For ceilings that are not smooth (i.e. sloped, solid beam, etc) shall meet the requirements of NFPA (section 5-3.5) and manufacturer specifications.

DORMITORY AND RESIDENCE ALARM

  • Dormitory and Residence Alarm Activation

  • Residential Fire alarm systems in buildings without full fire suppression systems currently utilize single station hand wired smoke detectors that sound within the rooms and are supervised, monitored fire alarm system in the common areas such as the corridors and lounges. The common area smoke detectors, when initiated activate the full fire evacuation signal for the entire building.
  • These systems are scheduled for replacement when the dormitories are renovated.
  • Residential fire alarm systems in buildings with full suppression systems shall incorporate the following alarm initiating devices:
  • The individual student rooms shall have alarm verification smoke detectors that will sound within the room and notify the Amherst College Campus Police through the fire alarm panel, Simplex 4100U. The activation of an individual room detector shall not automatically activate the building fire alarm evacuation system.
  • After 5 minutes, if the smoke condition is capable of keeping the detector in alarm, and if the Amherst College Campus Police have not acknowledged the alarm, the building fire evacuation signal shall sound throughout and cause the Campus Police dispatch to notify the Amherst Fire Department.

Alarm Verifications

  • In addition to individual rooms alarm verification, True alarm detector shall be located in:


Corridor Smoke Detection

  • For dormitory and other residential occupancies, the use of a pre-alarm smoke detection system shall be utilized in corridors.
  • Should only 1 detector become activated in the corridor, it should transmit a pre-alarm to the Amherst College Campus Police for their response only.  The smoke detectors should be installed in the following fashion:
A minimum of (4) smoke detectors in a corridor shall be used with alternating zones that would require the activation of 2 detectors to initiate a full building fire alarm.

Other Smoke Detection

In the following dormitory areas, the use of a single smoke detector will initiate a general alarm and notify the campus Police of a priority 1 alarm

  •  Stairwell smoke detectors.
  • Electric room detectors in addition to, or in lieu of sprinkler system.
  • Recycling and trash room detectors.
  • Storage areas.
  • Elevator
  • Attics (If heated and utilized for storage)

In the following areas of a dormitory or residential occupancy, no smoke or heat detection shall be installed:

  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchens or Kitchenettes
  • Custodial Closets with Sinks
Door Release Smoke Detectors for Corridors and Stairwells

Door Release Smoke Detectors for corridors and stairwells in area where fire and smoke doors are to be held open on a magnet, until activation of a fire alarm, the following shall be required...

  • If the distance from the top of the floor to the ceiling is less than 24” then only one (1) detector shall be required on one side of the doorway.
  • If the distance from the top of the floor to the ceiling is greater than 24” then a smoke detector shall be required on both sides of the door to be closed.
  • Elevator Recall / Fire Fighter Service
  • Smoke detectors shall be placed in each elevator lobby and shall, when activated.

(a) Sound a building fire alarm evacuation signal

(b) Notify the Amherst College Campus Police

(c) Be directed to a primary floor, as directed by the Amherst Fire Department, or a secondary floor, depending on the floor of smoke activation

  • See Elevator section for additional regulatory requirements

Pull Stations

  • Pull Stations in dormitories shall be mounted by the exit door at a height of 42” and 54” from the floor, and at other required locations as identified
    in the State Building Code, Article 9.
  • 54” is permitted by ADA, provided the path leading up to the pull station is completed unobstructed.

Visible Signals

 Visible signals are required in:

  • Restrooms
  •  Meeting Rooms
  • Hallways and Corridors 
  • Lobbies
  • Common Spaces
  • ADA Compliant Rooms for Lodging.
    • 24" below ceiling level id 100 cd,
    • or 80" above the floor, provided above is met,
    • or if less than 24" from the ceiling, must be 177 cd intensity
    • The visible signals must be:
      • Not greater than 50’ from another visible signal
      • Alarm Notification Appliances approved by the Amherst Fire Department and shall be mounted
      • With the exception of smoke detectors that have been set up with a pre-alarm / pre-signal or alarm verification true alarm, all initiating devices and sprinkler flow alarms shall activate a general building evacuation alarm. The immediate alarm signal shall occur for all
        • Sprinkler flows.
        •  Smoke detectors not set up for alarm verification.
        • Heat detectors.
        • Manual pull stations.
          All audible alarms shall sound a distinctive sound that shall not be used for any other purpose other than a fire alarm. The audible alarm notification appliances shall provide...





        • All audible evacuation signals shall have a synchronized three (3)- pulse temporal pattern as required by the State Building Code and
          the authority having jurisdiction.
        • Fire Command Station
          The Fire Command Station shall be immediately accessible to the Amherst Fire Department at a location acceptable and approved by the authority having jurisdiction. The Fire Command Station (aka Fire Alarm Panel) is the primary location where the status of the
          detection, alarm, communications, and control systems are displaced and from which the system has the capability for manual control.

 

Duct Detector Installation

  •  Duct detectors shall be securely mounted inside the duct.
  • The detectors must be readily accessible for cleaning and shall be mounted in accordance with manufacturers specifications. 
  • If necessary, access doors or panels shall be provided.
  • The location of all detectors in the air duct systems shall be permanently and clearly identified and recorded.

Detector Location and Spacing

  • For smooth ceilings, a spacing of 30’ shall be used as a guide.
  • For ceilings that are not smooth (i.e. sloped, solid beam, etc) shall meet the requirements of NFPA (section 5-3.5) and manufacturer specifications.

HOUSEHOLD FIRE ALARM SYSTEM

This section shall comply with the Massachusetts State Building and Fire Prevention Code, as well as NFPA 72.

New Construction

  • Where more than one smoke detector is required, the detectors shall be so arranged that operations of any smoke detector shall cause the alarm in all smoke detectors to sound within the dwelling

ADA Compliance

  1. See section X for ADA Compliance requirements
  2. Signal
  3. Alarm notification appliances used with a household fire warning system and single and multiple station smoke detectors shall produce the audible emergency evacuation signal described in ANSI S3.41

Power Supply

  • All power suppliers shall have sufficient capacity to operate the alarm signals for at least (4) continuous minutes 
  • New construction for electrically powered detectors; an AC primary power source shall be utilized. 
  • Existing systems that were installed prior to the requirement of a hard wired fire alarm system a monitorized battery powered primary power source
  • is permitted, but primary AC power is preferred (NFPA 2-3.1.2)
  • 9 volt batteries will be provided
  • Check rental agreement for additional information. 
  • Operation of a switch (other than a circuit breaker) or a ground fault circuit interrupter shall not cause loss of primary power.


* Rental Housing shall notify tenant (in writing) that batteries shall be changed during that week.

 

 

Detectors

Smoke detectors shall be installed in the following locations for new construction, or when alterations or renovations are performed. Only AC powered units as defined above shall be used

  • 85 dB is the minimum requirement 10' form the detector
  • 75 dB is a minimum requirement 10' from the detector
  • 85 dB is a minimum requirement 10' from the detector
  1. In the immediate vicinity of bedrooms
  2. In all bedrooms
  3. In each story of a dwelling unit, including basements and cellars, but not including crawl spaces and uninhabitable attics.
  4. In residential units of 1200sq ft or more, automatic smoke detectors shall be provided for each 1200 sq ft of area or part there-of.
Exception:

Photo Electric Smoke Detectors

Any smoke detector located within 20' of a kitchen or bathroom or bathtub or shower shall be a photoelectric type.

Smoke and Heat Detectors Locations and Spacing

 

 

(a) Smoke or heat detectors in rooms with ceiling slopes greater than 1' rise per 8' horizontally shall be located on the high side of the room (NFPA 2-5.2.1.1)
(b) A smoke detector installed in a stairwell shall be so located as to ensure that smoke rising in the stairwell cannot be prevented form reaching the detector by an intervening door or obstruction signaling ancillary function controls, changing printer paper etc.






Storage Areas

Storage areas shall be fully sprinklered during alterations, new construction or renovations in accordance with the Massachusetts State Building Code, 780 CMR 9.0 .

Detector Installation

The use of heat detectors is not warranted in any section of the storage facility.

Smoke detectors that automatically activate the building evacuation system shall be placed in the following areas, provided the temperature in those areas is adequate by manufacturers specification.

  •  Storage areas for the placement of combustible materials such as




  1.  Office Areas
  2. Corridors

Door Release Smoke Detectors for Corridors and Stairwells

Door Release Smoke Detectors for corridors and stairwells in area where fire and smoke doors are to be held open on a magnet, until activation of a fire alarm, the following shall be required

 

- Elevator Recall / Fire Fighter Service

 

 


- Pull Stations

 

- Visible Signals

 

 

 

 

 

  1. 24" below ceiling level id 100 cd, or
  2. 80" above the floor, provided above is met, or
  3. if less than 24" from the ceiling, must be 177 cd intensity (b) The visible signals must be:

 

  • The maximum sound level shall be 120 dB at normal hearing distance.
  •  sound pressure level of 15 dB above average ambient, or
  •  5 dB above maximum sound level having duration of at least 60 seconds (whichever is greater) sound level in every occupied space within the building.
  •  For dormitories the minimum sound level is 70 dB,

 

(1) Duct detectors shall be securely mounted inside the duct.

(2) The detectors must be readily accessible for cleaning and shall be mounted in accordance with manufacturers specifications.

  • The Fire Command System, if located next to an entrance approved by the authority having jurisdiction can serve as both the annunciator as well as primary fire alarm system.
  • If the fire alarm is located in a locked room accessible only to Amherst College personnel, then a fire alarm annunciator shall be placed just inside the entrance, as approved by the authority having jurisdiction.
  • For smooth ceilings, a spacing of 30’ shall be used as a guide.
  • For ceilings that are not smooth (i.e. sloped, solid beam, etc) shall meet the requirements of NFPA (section 5-3.5) and manufacturer specifications.
  • With the exception of smoke detectors that have been set-up with alarm verification, all initiating devices and sprinkler flow alarms shall activate a general building evacuation alarm. The immediate alarm signal shall occur for all...
(a) Sprinkler flows.
(b) Smoke detectors not set up for alarm verification.
(c) Heat detectors.
(d) Manual pull stations.
(e) All audible alarms shall sound a distinctive sound that shall not be used for any other purpose other than a fire alarm. The audible alarm notification appliances shall provide…
(f) All audible evacuation signals shall have a synchronized three (3)- pulse temporal pattern as required by the State Building Code and the authority having jurisdiction.
(g) In areas of assembly (entire buildings and parts there-of) where the occupant load is greater than 300 people, then occupant notification shall be by pre-recorded message announcement or evacuation instructions, in accordance with the State Building Code, Article 917.
(h) Fire Command Station
  • The Fire Command Station shall be immediately accessible to the Amherst Fire Department at a location acceptable and approved by the authority having jurisdiction. The Fire Command Station (aka Fire Alarm Panel) is the primary location where the status of the detection, alarm, communications, and control systems are displaced and from which the system has the capability for manual control.
(i) Duct Detector Installation
(j) Beam Detectors
  • Beam detection devices can be installed when permitted by the Office of Environmental Health & Safety and as approved by the authority having jurisdiction.

Visible signals are required in: - Alarm Notification Appliances

Temporary Fire Alarm Detection Systems

- All renovations, regardless of occupancy shall incorporate the use of a temporary free alarm system.
  • The use of a “City Disconnect” shall be incorporated into the fire alarm panel to facilitate the above sequences.

(a) The alarm initiating devise shall transmit an alarm or trouble signal to the fire alarm system, which will then indicate a trouble alarm, and audible signal at that panel for “trouble” or shall activate a building fire alarm for building evacuation.

  • However, it shall not transmit nuisance alarms to the Campus Police Dispatch Center. The fire alarm shall remain active during the day for OSHA compliance.
(c) After hours all alarms, both alarm and trouble shall be forwarded to the Amherst College Campus Police via the fire alarm system for appropriate fire and police department response.

Americans with Disabilities Act

- Fire Alarm initiating devices, alarm systems, horns, strobes and other visible signals shall be installed in accordance with the Massachusetts Building
  • Code and the Architectural Access Board Requirements, 521 CMR.
- In dormitory or residential occupancies, a certain percentage of rooms shall be made ADA compliant depending on the total number of rooms within that building.
Number of Rooms in Building Number of Rooms to be ADA Compliant
1-25 1
26-50 2
51-75 3
The visible signals shall be:
  • Xenon strobes or equivalent
  • Clear or normal white lenses.

Elevator Requirements

  • All automatic freight and passenger elevators installed after January 01,1980 shall:
    • Be equipped with firefighter capture if the building height is between 25-70’.
    • All elevator cars shall return to the main floor if the fire alarm is activated, unless the Amherst Fire Department identifies an alternate floor.
      • Smoke detectors shall be installed in each elevator lobby at each floor and associated machine room with an approved smoke detector.
        • The smoke detectors should be within 10' of the elevator.
    • All elevators must be equipped with high temperature (90°) powered louver vents.
    • The louver is normally closed, but will open on a general alarm, through a RIAM.