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2013 Fire Emergency Management: New Requirements in The National Fire Alarm Signaling Code

Are you aware of the new requirements set in place for 2013’s national fire alarm signaling code for fire emergency management?

If you are not familiar with the new fire emergency requirements this article will help you become familiar. Here is a list of emergency management changes this article will cover:

  • Total Coverage
  • Remote Alarm Indication
  • Audible and Visible Notification
  • Mass Notification Systems

For 2013 the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code has modified chapters 7, 10, 12,14,17,18,21,23,24, 26,27,and 29.

Significant changes have been made in chapters 17, 18, and 24.

Chapter 17 changes in total coverage include identifying accessible spaces in panels, door hatches and ceiling tiles to determine coverage extent for total coverage. If there’s accessible space in any panel, door hatch or ceiling tile, detection is required.

The following total coverage rules must be followed:

  • Any fire detectors inside a combustible concealed space must be easily accessible to inspect, test and maintenance.
  • Duct detectors can be omitted if the total coverage detectors are under an air return plenum or fire smoke dampers and doors are present.
  • No detectors are required for combustible blind space.

Why was chapter 17 Total Coverage amended?

The NFPA wanted to make clear that there are no specific requirements for the installation of fire detectors, minus fire detectors installed to protect control units.

Fire detectors only need to follow governing laws, regulations codes and standards from organizations such as the NFPA 101, Safety to Life Code, NFPA 1, Fire Code and the International Building and Fire Codes.

Since Chapter 17 has been modified, remote fire alarm indications are now required when smoke detectors are installed in concealed locations 10ft above flooring or the smoke detector indicator is not visible.

In chapter 18 the main change was the new notification for appliance wrinkles. What is the new notification appliance wrinkles requirement?

It’s the identification of rooms and spaces where audible emergency notification should be installed. Identifying sound pressure levels should be completed during the early fire protection planning stage. During this process documentation should be created with details about the design sound pressure levels and submitted for review and approval.

In chapter 18 it is made clear that NFPA 72 has no requirement for installing an audible occupant notification but government law, regulations, codes and standards require installation of audible occupant notification. The same designations apply to visible notification fire safety appliances.

Also, the intelligibility of the voice systems no longer needs to meet quantitative measurements. Just as long as the message is comprehensible, intelligibility is achieved.

Last but not least, Chapter 24 add layered explanations for emergency microphone use. In the layered explanations all microphone emergency communications must come with posted instructions on how to use the microphones for the mass notification system (MNS).

The following MNS layers have been added:

  • The first layer is In Building MNS and authorized users should only control the MNS.
  • The second layer follows that authorized users should only control Wide Area MNS.
  • The third layer is distributed recipient MNS. This layer permits that notification of personnel be completed through individual measures.
  • Last but not least, layer 4 focuses on public media notification, broadcast radio and TV alerts.

All possible emergency notifications will have pre-made messages implemented in the emergency response plan.

All test messages should clearly state that an emergency test is occurring by stating  ‘This is a test.’

Risk analysis documentation is also mandatory under the MNS.

For proper fire emergency management of your MNS, hire Fireline Corporation.

Fireline can design, furnish and install all types of Fire Alarm Systems and Mass Notification systems. Learn about our Fire Alarms and Mass Notification systems here.

We are a Maryland corporation founded in 1947 by John S. Waters. Fireline remains a pioneer in the fledgling fire equipment distribution business and we have grown to encompass all facets of fire protection. We can design, install, inspect, or service any type of fire protection system. From fire alarm to fire extinguisher, we do it all.

If you have any questions about fire equipment, or other Fireline products and services, contact Fireline by calling 410.247.1422 or click here today!

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This entry was posted on Thursday, January 10th, 2013 at 2:50 pm. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.