Typically, fire alarm systems are mandated by the "local jurisdiction having authority" (the fire department). Since we comply with NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) Chapter 72 regarding the installation of these systems, the process generally starts with the fire department. Most fire departments comply with NFPA 72. NFPA writes the fire code for everything relating to the potential of fire, from electrical to fire sprinkler systems.
First, the local jurisdiction officially mandates the requirements. All requirements for the proposed system start there. In most cases, in western Washington, in a commercial application, the requirements are: an "automatic fire detection system" is required in any non fire sprinkled commercial building over 3000 square feet. This generally consists of a manual pull station at all exits on each floor, smokes detectors at nine hundred square feet intervals (heat detectors may be substituted), ADA Horn/Strobe compliance at 80 inches from the floor on 100 foot centers throughout the building, outdoor Bell/Strobe in the front of the building, and UL Central Station Monitoring. Smoke and Heat Detectors may not be required in some jurisdictions if the building is sprinkled. The American Disabilities Act (ADA) states Horn/Strobes requirements. In most areas all fire sprinkler systems with more than 100 heads require monitoring by a local UL Central Station. All equipment and wire must be UL listed for its intended use.
Each system/design is unique. The costs are determined by the number of devices required by the number of rooms, exits, and square footage you have. Beware in King County alone, the permit costs equal 10 to 15 percent of the job and those direct costs are added in to your bid somewhere. Choose only a company with a track record in this field. Beware of the "exclusions" in the bids. Your fire alarm contractor should be able to engineer, design, submit and receive Fire Department approval, permit, supply and install the complete system in a turn-key fashion. This company shall supply UL central monitoring (if required) and on-going service and inspections.
These inspections shall be done in accordance to NFPA standards at least annually. Be sure your bids meet the current code as stated by the local jurisdiction having authority. We have extensive experience in all areas of fire alarm installation, monitoring and service. Please call or E-mail us. To have a specialist contact you click here. Please leave your name and number if you'd like and we will contact you.
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