Environmental Health & Safety

Fire Alarm Detection Guide - Installer Version


January 2012

 


Purpose:

The purpose of this guide is to provide design, installation, and testing criteria for fire detection systems at Amherst College. The Fire Alarm Detection Guide is a reference guide that includes additional Amherst College requirements. It should not be considered an all code encompassing document. Design and installers must verify compliance with all applicable codes and standards.

Applicability:

The guide will apply to all academic, residential, administrative, 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:

It is the responsibility of the appropriate project manager, during a preconstruction design review with Amherst Fire Department, 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.
    • If an existing fire detection / suppression system is to be replaced or modified, the appropriate project manager or shop supervisor shall make the Amherst Fire Department aware of such modification by completing and submitting, as soon as practical the “Fire Alarm System Upgrade Notification” form enclosed. (The form is also available on the “I” drive.

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 these Amherst College locations, as described in Massachusetts Building Code. These include, but are not limited to: 

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 – Dormitories (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 stations) shall be located not more than five feet 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.

Manual Fire Alarm Boxes (Pull Stations) – The height of the manual fire alarm boxes shall be a minimum of 42 inches and a maximum of 54 inches measured vertically, from the floor level to the activating handle or lever of the box. Manual fire alarm boxes shall be red in color. 

Zones – Each floor shall be zoned separately and a zone shall not exceed 20,000 square feet. The length of any zone shall not exceed 300 feet in any direction.

Exception: Automatic sprinkler zones shall not exceed the area permitted by NFPA 13

 

 



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. 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.

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.
 

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 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.

  1. Wire Color Coding for Fire Alarm:
    • Mapnet wiring - #18 gauge shielded pair (black & red) in red jacket
    • Remaining colors shall be #14THHN single conductors or larger depending on the length
    • 12V DC power for Room Detectors with sounder base - - (Black for negative & Red for positive) with mapnet wiring in addition to it.
      • Signals (A/V's) - Blue for negative & Yellow for positive
      • Door Holders - Black for positive& White for negative
      • Sprinkler Flow & Tampers off of lams - Brown & Orange
      • Remote Duct Detector Device for testing - Blue & Yellow to key switch; Black for negative & Red for positive to LED
      • Duct Detectors - Black for negative & Red for positive with mapnet wiring in addition to it
    • All paired wiring within Fire Alarm Main Panel & devices should be taped together for identification purposes. Also our College Standard is Class A on our wiring device
    • Fire Alarm wiring will be installed in labeled conduit
  2. Class A Wiring - For life safety reasons, Amherst College requires that our Fire Alarm Systems be installed with Class A wiring. All initiating, signal and notification circuits shall be Class A.

General Conditions:

Unless otherwise approved by the project manager, TycoSimplex shall manufacture the fire alarm system for compatibility reasons.

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.

Exception:

(a) household fire detection systems

(b) 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

  1. 15 minutes of evacuation alarm operation at maximum connected load shall be considered equivalent to 2 hours of emergency operation.
    •  Battery

      • Emergency Generator
      - The secondary power supply must supply energy to the system within 30 seconds and can be:
    • 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 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 of operating the system during a fire or other emergency condition for a period of 2 hours.

    • 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 without having to open the panel. 

Annunciator Panel – When required, the fire alarm annunciator panel shall be located just inside the door closest to the street or driveway approachable by the Amherst Fire Department.

Fire Alarm Addresses – Amherst College shall require, at the request of the Amherst Fire Department the following system set-up 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.

(1)Building, (2)Floor, (3)Room/Corridor, (4)additional information
Example:
  1. CPRT GRND FL RM NGO2A - STORAGE RM
  2. CPRT 1ST FL SG105 – STUDENT UTIL
  3. CPRT 2ND FL SG205 – TELE/DATA
  4. CPRT 3RD FL RM S302 – WOMEN’S BATHROOM
    • Americans with Disabilities Act
        • 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:
      • 24" below ceiling level IS 110cd, or
      • 80" above the floor, provided above is met, or
      • if less than 24" from the ceiling, must be 177 cd intensity
        • Xenon strobes or equivalent
        • Clear or normal white lenses.
  5. 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.
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.

Approval & Acceptance

(a) A detailed narrative description of the system

(b) Operator instructions for basic operations

 

 

  • The Amherst Fire Department shall be notified prior to installation or alteration of equipment or wiring.

 

  1.  Complete information regarding the system or system alterations, including specifications, wiring diagrams, battery calculation and floor plans shall be submitted for their approval.
  2. Every fire alarm system shall include the following documentation.

Before arrangements are made with the Amherst Fire Department for final system approval of the detection and suppression system(s), a 100% test of all of the devices by the installer, in the presence of Amherst College Electricians, Environmental Health & Safety and/or the designated Project Manager shall be completed. The College representative(s) and installer shall verify that the system is ready for inspection by the local fire department, before the fire department is contacted.

Standardization of Fire Alarm & Detection Systems

 

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

The 4100U shall:

  • be compatible with the Fire Alarm Control Panel at the Amherst College Campus Police.
  • be completely addressable.
  • incorporate and be compatible with the “True Alarm” addressable analog sensors and “True Alert” notification appliances.
  • be menu driven with 80-character alphanumeric backlit display.
  • have City and Central Station connections
  • have preprogrammed disable points, including but not limited to:
  1.  Sprinkler System
  2. Audio / Visual
  3. Air Handlers
  4. Door Holders
  5. Panic Devices
  6. Inergen System
  7. Kitchen Fire Suppression System
  8. Other as deemed necessary by the Physical Plant Electric Shop

 

  • have individual alarm and trouble supervisory services.
  • have built-in separate alarm and trouble historical logs
  • have alarm silence and system reset buttons
  • have card frame for adding expansion modules
  • have 5 or more programmable multifunction keys with status LEDs
  • have operator interface keypad for manual controls and system information access.
  • have “Almost Dirty” detector maintenance reports “Peak Value” logging.
  • have automatic drift compensation.
  • integral Emergency Voice Evacuation Capability for areas of assembly.
  • have ability to identify “device-level” ground fault conditions
  • have the ability to sense incorrect sensor, but shall have heat or smoke compatible bases.
  • be able to monitor water flow and sprinkler supervisory devices.
  • be able to utilize T-Tap wiring
  • 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

 

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

 

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. annunciate through the GCC at Amherst College Campus Police Dispatch Center, if a device is being tampered with.

Fire Alarm Detection System – Installation

 

General Installation Requirements

 

 

  • Detector Placement
Smoke Detectors Placement

 

  1. 4’ from ceiling supply air diffusers or ceiling fans.
  2. 10’ from wall supply air diffusers.
  3. Attics (if heated and/or used for storage)
  4. Classrooms, Lecture Halls and Offices
  5. Corridors
  6. Custodial Closets and Storage Areas
  7. - Exception: Custodial closets with slop sink or other sinks subject to steam accumulation

Electrical Rooms or Vaults

Smoke detectors 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 houses on campus. For academic, assembly and business occupancies, the following must apply:
Smoke detectors shall be placed in:

  • Attics (if heated and/or used for storage)
  • Classrooms, Lecture Halls and Offices
  • Corridors
  • Custodial Closets and Storage Areas Exception: Custodial closets with slop sink or other sinks subject to steam accumulation.
  • Electrical Rooms or Vaults
- In main electrical distribution areas the placement of a smoke detector may be warranted as a replacement for a sprinkler head, provided the application of water is determined to be more hazardous. Elevators (see Elevator Code )
  • Fire Alarm Panel Room Detector placed above fire alarm panel
  • Recycling Areas
  • Stairwells
  • 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

Heat Detectors Placement

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. For academic, assembly and business occupancies, the following must apply:
Heat detectors shall be placed in:

  • Attics (if heated and/or used for storage)
  • Custodial Closets with Slop sinks or other type sinks.
Exception: Heat detectors are not required if a sprinkler system has been installed in the custodial closet.
  • Hazardous Materials Exhaust Systems (in lieu of a sprinkler system)
  • Kitchens
Exception: Heat detectors are not required if a sprinkler system has been installed in the kitchen (ette).
  • Mechanical Rooms
Exception: Heat detectors are not required if a sprinkler system has been installed in the mechanical room.
Restrooms Exception: Heat detectors are not required if a sprinkler system has been installed in the restroom.

Accessibility

  • All detectors (heat and smoke) shall be accessible for service and replacement. Installation must include the ability to get at the smoke or heat detector.
  • Prior to installation of detectors into base, defeat the locking tab that requires specialized tools to remove the initiating device, and verify that the outside of the detector bases, as well as pull stations, tamper switches and flow switches have a MAP # affixed (tape label), similar to M1-53.
  • 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.
  • The installation of a duct detector shall meet the requirements of this section.

Visible Signals

Visible signals are required in the following locations and shall meet the requirements stipulated in NFPA 72. Restrooms

  • Meeting Rooms
  • Hallways, Corridors and Lobbies - Visible notifications appliances for these areas shall be rated no less than 15cd
  • Common Rooms

ADA Compliant Rooms for Lodging.
- The visible signals must be: approved by the Amherst Fire Department and shall be mounted

  • 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
  • 80” from the floor or 6” from the ceiling whichever is lowest
  • Not greater than 50’ from another visible signal.

Duct Detector Installation

Duct detectors shall be securely mounted outside of 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 on the detectors and appropriately recorded.

  • Whenever possible, the architect, engineer and/or installer shall attempt to locate the duct detector LED out of a main corridor, for aesthetic reasons.

Beam Detectors

Can be installed when permitted by the authority having jurisdiction, the Amherst Fire Department.

A. ACADEMIC AND ASSEMBLY AREAS

Academic fire alarm and detection systems shall be installed in both assembly and business occupancies at Amherst College. Although not always required by code, Amherst College has opted to install smoke detection for early fire detection in the building, even though 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.

Buildings that do not have a full suppression system shall have an automatic alarm initiation device that will instantly 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.

Buildings with a full suppression system can have alarm verification smoke detectors in office, studios, and laboratories.

  • Any other areas within academic and assembly building shall be immediate notification of Amherst College Campus police and shall activate the general building alarm.

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 door 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 door 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. Sound a building fire alarm evacuation signal

  • Notify the Amherst College Campus Police
  • Shall direct the elevators 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

Alarm Notification Appliances

With the exception of smoke detectors that have been set-up with alarm verification or pre-alarm (cross zoned), 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 either alarm verification or pre-alarm (cross-zoned).
(c) Heat detectors.
(d) 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.
  • 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 (Fire Alarm Panel)

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

  • The Fire Alarm Panel, 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 Command Panel is located in a locked room accessible only to Amherst College personnel, then a fire alarm annunciator shall be placed just inside the entrance, approved by the authority having jurisdiction.
  • A smoke detector shall be placed above the fire alarm panel, in accordance with NFPA 72.

Detector Locations and Spacing

  • For smooth ceilings, a spacing of 30’ shall be used as a guide.
B. DORMITORY AND RESIDENCE ALARM New and Renovated Dormitory and Residence Alarm Activation

Residential fire alarm systems in buildings with full suppression systems shall incorporate the following alarm initiating devices:

(a) The individual student rooms shall have smoke detectors and audio/visual appliances that sound within the room and notify the Amherst College Campus Police through the fire alarm panel, Simplex 4100U.

(b) In addition to individual rooms, alarm verification shall be located in:

  • Lounges
  • Laundry rooms
  • Offices located within dormitories and residence halls

(c) In the following areas of a dormitory or residential occupancy which has been fully sprinklered, no smoke or heat detection
shall be installed:

  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchens or Kitchenettes
  • Custodial Closets with Sinks

(d) Door Release Smoke Detectors for Corridors and Stairwells When fire and smoke doors are to be held open on a magnet, the activation of a fire alarm shall cause the doors to close and/or latch (as required in stairwells). If the distance from the top of the door 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 door to the ceiling is greater than 24” then a smoke detector shall be required on both sides of the door to be closed.

(e) Elevator Recall / Fire Fighter Service
Smoke detectors shall be placed in each elevator lobby and shall, when activated.

  • Sound a building fire alarm evacuation signal
  • Notify the Amherst College Campus Police
  • shall send the elevator to a primary floor, as direct by the Amherst Fire Department, or a secondary floor, depending on the floor of smoke activation

See Elevator section for additional regulatory requirements

(f) Pull Stations

  • Pull Stations in dormitories shall be mounted by the exit door at a height of 42 ”and 54” from the floor.
  • 54” is permitted by ADA, provided the path leading up to the pull station is completed unobstructed.

(g) Visible signals are required in:

  • Restrooms
  • Meeting Rooms
  • Hallways, Corridors and Lobbies

 - Visible notifications appliances for these areas shall be rated no less than 15cd

  • Common Rooms
  • ADA Compliant Rooms for Lodging.
  1. 24" below ceiling level is 110 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
  4. 80” from the floor or 6” from the ceiling whichever is lowest
  5. Not greater than 50’ from another visible signal.

(h) Fire Command Station (Fire Alarm Panel)

  • The Fire Alarm Panel shall be immediately accessible to the Amherst Fire Department at a location acceptable and approved by the authority having jurisdiction. The 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 Alarm Panel, 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 Panel 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.
  • A smoke detector shall be placed above the Fire Alarm Panel in accordance with NFPA 72.

(i) Duct Detector Installation Duct detectors shall be securely mounted outside 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.
C. HOUSEHOLD FIRE ALARM SYSTEM

This section shall comply with the Massachusetts State Building and Fire Prevention Code, and 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:  See section II (6) for ADA Compliance requirements
Signal: 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).

AC primary power shall be supplied either from a dedicated branch circuit of the unswitched portion of a branch circuit also used for power or lighting.

Detectors

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

  • In the immediate vicinity of bedrooms
  1. 85 dB is the minimum requirement 10' form the detector
  • In all bedrooms
  1. 75 dB is a minimum requirement 10' from the detector
  • In each story of a dwelling unit, including basements and cellars, but not including crawl spaces and uninhabitable attics.
  1. 85 dB is a minimum requirement 10' from the detector
  • 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: In dwelling units with one or more split levels (i.e. adjacent levels with less than one full story separation between levels) a smoke detector installed on the upper level shall suffice, unless there is an intervening door between the levels.

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

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)

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.

Detailed troubleshooting instructions for each trouble condition generated from the monitored field wiring, including opens, grounds, look failures, etc.
A service directory, including a list of names and telephone numbers for those who shall be called to obtain service on the system.

D. STORAGE AREAS

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. Paper
  2. Wood
  3. Custodial and other similar supplies
  4. Trash and recycling rooms
  5. Data rooms
  6. Office Areas
  7. Corridors

Fire Alarm Detection System – Operation

A. ACADEMIC AND ASSEMBLY AREAS

See Section V, Subsection A

B. DORMITORY AND RESIDENCE ALARM Existing Dormitory and Residence Fire 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
  • supervised, monitored fire alarm system in the common areas such as the corridors and lounges.
  • common area smoke detectors, when initiated activate the full fire evacuation signal for the entire

Alterations, Renovations and New Installation of Dormitory and Residence Fire Alarm Activation

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 the building and cause the Campus Police dispatch to notify the Amherst Fire Department.

Corridor Smoke Detection

For dormitory and other residential occupancies, the use of a pre-alarm smoke detection system shall be utilized in corridors, only.

  • If only 1 detector is activated in the corridor, it should transmit a pre-alarm to the Amherst College Campus Police for their response only.
  • If a second corridor dector is activated, a fire alarm (Priority 1) should be transmitted to the Amherst College Dispatch Center and building alarm should sound for evacuation.
  • The smoke detectors should be installed in the following fashion:
    A B A B, or
    Zone Zone Zone Zone
    1 2 1 2

Other Smoke Detection

  • In the following areas of dormitory or residence occupancy, the use of a single smoke detector will initiate a general alarm

    • Stairwell smoke detectors
    • Electric room detectors in addition to, or in lieu of sprinkler system
    • Recycling and trash room detectors
    • Storage areas
    • Data and Communication Equipment Closets
    • Elevator
      • Hoist ways 
      • Pits
  • Attics (If heated and utilized for storage)

In the following areas of dormitory or residence occupancy, the use of a single smoke detector shall initiate an alarm verification condition. The smoke detector shall confirm alarm condition after 1 minute and then initiate a general building Fire Alarm.

  • Entrance foyers separated from corridors
  • Laundry room

Alarm Notification Appliances

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

  • A 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,
  • For mechanical rooms the minimum sound level is 90 dB, and
  • For all other areas the minimum sound level is 60 dB
  • The maximum sound level shall be 120 dB at normal hearing distance.

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.

C. HOUSEHOLD FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
  • See Section V, Subsection C
D. STORAGE AREAS
  • See Section V, Subsection D
E. TEMPORARY FIRE ALARM DETECTION SYSTEMS

All renovations, regardless of occupancy shall incorporate the use of a temporary free alarm system.

  • 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.
  • During regular hours of construction, the fire alarm and trouble signals shall report to the fire alarm system and activate appropriate internal alarms. 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.
  • 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.
    • The use of a “City Disconnect” shall be incorporated into the fire alarm panel to facilitate the above sequences.

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, alphanumeric 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:

(a) Light and power service arranged in accordance with 1-5.2.8

(b) 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:

(a) A storage battery arranged in accordance with 1-5.2.9

(b) 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

(c) 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.
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. Sloping ceilings are further classified as follows:

(a) 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.

(b) 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. 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 Upgrade Notification

Fire Alarm Suppression System Narrative – Example