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Joliet Fire Alarms
Joliet Fire Alarms

Class A, B, C and D Fires
Class A, B, C and D Fires

Joliet NFPA 72 Fire Alarm Code

Joliet NFPA 72 Fire Alarm Inspections, Tests and Maintenance

Residential, commercial and industrial fire protection systems may also be required by state, city and municipal health, building and fire codes to have all installed fire protection systems tested and inspected by local fire departments, state licensed fire protection companies, certified fire protection technicians and/or fire safety engineers. Keeping your fire alarm system operating and ready in case of an emergency.

Check with your local fire marshall, fire departments or city municipalities health, building and fire codes for details.

Visit NFPA 72: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code to purchase most recent version. Joliet NFPA Standards and Codes

Table 10.4.3 - Testing Frequencies

  COMPONENT  INITIAL/ REACCEPTANCE MONTHLY QUARTERLY SEMI-ANNUALLY ANNUALLY
1 Control Equipment - Building systems connected to supervising station  
  a) Functions
  b) Fuses
  c) Interfaced equipment
  d) Lamps and LEDs
  e) Primary (main) power supply
  f) Transponders
   
2 Control equipment - Building systems not connected to supervising station  
  a) Functions
  b) Fuses
  c) Interfaced equipment
  d) Lamps and LEDs
  e) Primary (main) power supply
  f) Transponders
   
3 Engine-driven generator - Central station facilities and fire alarm systems
   
4 Engine-driven generator - Public fire alarm reporting systems X (weekly) 
   
   
  COMPONENT  INITIAL/ REACCEPTANCE MONTHLY  QUARTERLY  SEMI- ANNUALLY  ANNUALLY 
5 Batteries - Central station facilities  
  a) Lead-acid type  
  1. Charger test (replace battery as needed)
  2. Discharge test (30 minutes)
  3. Load voltage test
  4. Specific gravity
  b) Nickel-cadmium type  
  1. Charger test (replace battery as needed)
  2. Discharge test (30 minutes)
  3. Load voltage test
  c) Sealed lead-acid type
  1. Charger test (replace battery within 5 years after manufacture or more frequently as needed)
  2. Discharge test (30 minutes)
  3. Load voltage test
   
6 Batteries - Fire alarm systems  
  a) Lead-acid type  
  1. Charger test (replace battery as needed)
  2. Discharge test (30 minutes)
  3. Load voltage test
  4. Specific gravity
  b) Nickel-cadmium type  
  1. Charger test (replace battery as needed)
  2. Discharge test (30 minutes)
  3. Load voltage test
  c) Primary type (dry cell)  
  1. Load voltage test
  d) Sealed lead-acid type  
  1. Charger test (replace battery within 5 years after manufacture or more frequently as needed)
  2. Discharge test (30 minutes)
  3. Load voltage test
   
7 Batteries - Public fire alarm reporting systems X (daily)
(From street locations to the communications center)
  a) Lead-acid type  
  1. Charger test (replace battery as needed)
  2. Discharge test (2 hours)
  3. Load voltage test
  4. Specific gravity
  b) Nickel-cadmium type  
  1. Charger test (replace battery as needed)
  2. Discharge test (2 hours)
  3. Load voltage test
   
   
  COMPONENT  INITIAL/ REACCEPTANCE MONTHLY  QUARTERLY  SEMI- ANNUALLY  ANNUALLY 
  c) Sealed lead-acid type  
  1. Charger test (replace battery within 5 years after manufacture or more frequently as needed) 
  2. Discharge test (2 hours)
  3. Load voltage test
8 Fiber-Optic Cable Power
   
9 Control Unit Trouble Signals
   
10 Conductors - Metallic
   
11 Conductors - Nonmetallic
   
12 Emergency Voice / Alarm Communications Equipment
   
13 Retransmission Equipment
   
14 Remote Annunciators
   
15 Initiating Devices  
  a) Duct detectors
  b) Electromechanical releasing device
  c) Fire extinguishing system(s) or suppression system(s) switches
  d) Fire-gas and other detectors
  e) Heat detectors
  f) Fire alarm boxes
  g) Radiant energy fire detectors
  h) System smoke detectors - functional
  i) Smoke detectors - sensitivity X - - - X
  j) Single and multiple-station smoke alarms
  k) Single and multiple-station heat alarms
  l) Supervisory signal devices (except valve tamper switches)
  m) Water flow devices
  n) Valve tamper switches
   
16 Guard's tour equipment
   
17 Interface equipment
   
18 Special hazard equipment
   
19 Alarm notification appliances  
  a) Audible devices
  b) Audible textual notification appliances
  c) Visible devices
   
  COMPONENT  INITIAL/ REACCEPTANCE MONTHLY  QUARTERLY  SEMI- ANNUALLY  ANNUALLY 
20 Off-premises transmission equipment
   
21 Supervising station fire alarm systems - transmitters  
  a) Digital alarm communicator transmitter (DACT)
  b) Digital alarm radio transmitter (DART)
  c) McCulloh transmitter
  d) Radio alarm transmitter (RAT)
   
22 Special procedures
   
23 Supervising station fire alarm systems - receivers  
  a) Digital alarm communicator receiver (DACR)
  b) Digital alarm radio receiver (DARR)
  c) McCulloh systems
  d) Two-way RF multiplex
  e) Radio alarm supervising station receiver (RASSR)
  f) Radio alarm repeater station receiver (RARSR)
  g) Private microwave

The inspection, testing and maintenance requirements that apply to your building’s fire alarm system start from the date of initial installation and continue on at specific intervals throughout the life of the system. What follows is a brief synopsis of some of the major requirements you need to be aware of.

Joliet Fire Alarm Notifications : Joliet Fire Alarm Tests, Inspections and Maintenance

In order to avoid unnecessary occupant response and potential injury to emergency response personnel, it is very important that all affected parties be notified prior to any scheduled testing of the fire alarm system [see NFPA 72(99), Sec. 7-1.3]. Those notified should include, but not be limited to, building occupants (e.g. visitors, staff and patients/residents) and the monitoring company or agency.

Joliet Fire Alarm New Installations : Joliet Fire Alarm Tests, Inspections and Maintenance

In order to meet both federal certification requirements and state licensure requirements, fire alarm systems are required to be installed in accordance with NFPA 72 and the requirements of NFPA 101 applicable to I-2 or healthcare occupancies NFPA 101(00), Sections 18/19.3.4 and 9.6.1.4]. All newly installed systems are required to be acceptance tested in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 7 of NFPA 72(99). Notify the fire code official prior to such testing.

Joliet Fire Alarm System Modifications : Joliet Fire Alarm Tests, Inspections and Maintenance

Reacceptance testing is required after any of the following occur [see NFPA 72(99), Sec. 7-1.6.2]:

The extent of testing necessary is determined as follows:

Joliet Fire Alarm Semi Annual Tests & Inspections
Joliet Fire Alarm Tests, Inspections and Maintenance

Certain fire alarm system components need to be visually inspected semiannually [see
NFPA 72(99), Table 7-3.1]. These visual inspections can be performed by facility staff and include:

Joliet Fire Alarm Annual Tests & Inspections
Joliet Fire Alarm Tests, Inspections and Maintenance

The entire system is required to be thoroughly inspected, tested and maintained each year by an approved servicing company in accordance with Chapter 7 of NFPA 72(99) [see NFPA 72(99), Tables 7-2.2, 7-3.1 and 7-3.2; NFPA 90A(99), Sec. 4-4.1]. Testing must include control equipment, remote annunciators, initiating devices, HVAC shutdown devices and alarm notification appliances.
Fire alarm interconnect switches on kitchen hood extinguishing systems are also required to be tested annually.
Inspection, testing and maintenance of batteries, smoke detectors (both system connected and battery-operated) and equipment used to transmit signals to a supervising station are covered later on in this guide.

Joliet Fire Alarm Long Term Tests & Inspections
Joliet Fire Alarm Tests, Inspections and Maintenance

Non restorable fixed-temperature, spot-type heat detectors are required to be replaced after 15 years from initial installation [see NFPA 72(99), Table 7-2.2, Item 13.d.3]. As an alternate, 2 detectors per 100 must be laboratory tested. If these detectors fail when tested, additional detectors must be tested to determine if the problem is a general or localized one.

Joliet Batteries
Batteries serving as a secondary power supply for fire alarm systems must be visually inspected at the following intervals to verify that they are free of damage* [see NFPA 72(99), Table 7-3.1, Item 3]:

Joliet Smoke Detectors
Battery-operated detectors
Some facilities have had battery-operated smoke detectors installed to meet the federal certification requirements of NFPA 101(00), Sections 18/19.7.5.2 – requirements that apply to buildings that are either unsprinklered or only partially sprinklered.

Joliet Hard-wired detectors
Hard-wired (including low voltage) automatic smoke detectors, including duct smoke detectors, must be visually inspected semiannually [see NFPA 72(99), Sec.7-3.1 and Table 7-3.1]. Exception: For listed addressable fire alarm systems that perform automatic inspections at a frequency of not less than weekly, the visual inspections are allowed to be conducted annually. The system would need to be capable of producing a print-out documenting these weekly inspections.
Hard-wired (including low voltage) smoke detectors must be sensitivity tested in
accordance with NFPA 72(99), Sec. 7-3.2.1. This section requires that detector sensitivity be checked within 1 year after installation and every other year thereafter.
Detectors found to have a sensitivity outside the listed and marked sensitivity range must be cleaned and recalibrated or be replaced. If, after the second test, detectors are found to have remained within their listed and marked sensitivity range (or 4 percent obscuration light gray smoke, if not marked), the length of time between sensitivity tests may be extended to a maximum of 5 years.
Something to keep in mind about detector testing: Smoke entry tests are required for functional and sensitivity testing of smoke detectors. Magnet tests do not replace smoke entry tests.

Joliet Fire Alarm Monitoring : Joliet UL Certified Central Station Monitoring

NFPA 101(00), Sec. 18/19.3.4.3.2 requires automatic fire department notification on activation of the building fire alarm system. This is typically accomplished by contracting with a company or agency that provides what’s called a central supervising station service. On receipt of a fire alarm signal from your facility, operators at the supervising station turn around and retransmit the signal to the local 9-1-1 communications center. In some locations, the local 9-1-1 communications center will accept fire alarm signals directly (this is called remote supervising station service).
The means of communication between your facility and the supervising station is required to be inspected and tested to ensure its reliability. The kind of testing required is based on the method of communication employed. NFPA 72 allows the use of a number of transmission technologies [see NFPA 72(99), Sec. 5-5.2.1.1] to include:

The method of communication most commonly employed at healthcare facilities is the Digital Alarm Communicator Transmitter (DACT) – also called an automatic dialer. For that reason, this guide will not address the other transmission technologies except to say that:

The DACT is a component at the facility that, upon receipt of a signal from the fire alarm control panel, seizes a connected telephone line, dials one of two pre-selected numbers to connect to the supervising station and transmits the necessary alarm, trouble or supervisory signal. One of the easiest ways to tell if you have a DACT is to check the communicator to see how many outgoing connections it has – a DACT requires two paths for transmitting fire alarm signal information.
CAUTION: NFPA 72(99), Sec. 5-5.3.2.1.1 only allows a DACT to be connected to a “loop start telephone circuit”. Such circuits employ copper lines that allow the local phone company to provide back-up power in case of a failure of the public utility power. The use of fiber-optic cable is, however, becoming more and more common.
A DACT cannot use fiber-optic cable and be code-compliant – in other words, if your facility’s phone system employs fiber-optic cable only, a different transmission technology will need to be used to communicate with the supervising station. Depending upon the technology chosen, quarterly testing of the transmission equipment may be required [see NFPA 72(99), Table 7-3.2].
Inspection and testing
DACTs are required to be visually inspected semiannually to verify that they are free of obvious damage and tested annually [see NFPA 72(99), Tables 7-3.1 and 7-3.2]. DACT testing requirements are detailed in NFPA 72(99), Table 7-2.2, Item 16 and include:

Documentation Requirements
Almost as important as conducting required inspections, testing and maintenance is documenting the fact that they occurred. NFPA 72 requires that these services be properly recorded.


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