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Old 12-23-2011, 06:10 PM   #1
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Fire Alarm System


Hello and Merry Christmas to all of you! I am not sure where this goes, but will start here. My church is struggling to get our preschool at a point where it will pass inspection. Just when we think we have done everything the inspector wants, he comes around and gives us a brand new list. The most recent list included that we had to show him documentation that our fire alarm system was NPA compliant......the system was installed in the 70s, and not a scrap of paper to be found anywhere in our files about it. People at church have told me the company is no longer in business. I decided to see what I could find out using the internet. The system is a Simplex Model 4247-1 Class b Does anyone have any ideas how/where I can come up with a document that will make the fire inspector happy? Has anyone worked with the system before? Thank you so much for any input you might have.

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Old 12-23-2011, 06:53 PM   #2
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I would speculate that the basic system you have is probably compliant. The problem is in order to meet what the fire marshal requires not only does the equipment have to meet the requirements but so does the installation. Even if you can find the documentation for the panel (I'm sure it's any Internet someplace) that doesn't necessarily mean that the entire installation will satisfy the requirements. The only way you can do this is have an alarm company come in and certify the system! I'm sure it's not what you wanted to hear but that's what it's going to take.

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Old 12-23-2011, 07:05 PM   #3
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Thanks for the information. Of course, everyone likes to save whatever money they can, but we also need to make sure we are doing what is needed. I will pass your reply on to the other folks at church.
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Old 12-23-2011, 07:43 PM   #4
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I agree have an indepentant alarm company come in inspect system certify with papers showing the system an installation is in complaint with new regulations.....
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Old 12-23-2011, 10:21 PM   #5
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We still use Simplex at the hospital we are building on to. It is a class A system which means that every device is addressable by the node panel. A class b is pretty much a basic system. I imagine Simplex will need to come and re-certify the system to get any paperwork from them. Or maybe the building inspector in your town will pass it if they see a full test on the system when all the chimes and strobes go off.
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Old 12-24-2011, 07:27 AM   #6
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Your alarm system would need to meet the requirements of NFPA72. You should find out which version your "authority having jurisdiction" (AHJ) requires (adopted year). There is also a testing requirement. An alarm company could test and certify it and give you the documentation required for the inspector. Don't be surprised if you need to install additional horns, strobes and detectors to meet your local code requirements. Particularly since you are changing the use of the structure and the system is more than a few years old.
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Old 12-24-2011, 08:57 AM   #7
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They haven't mentioned suppression system yet? That's the big poke in the eye around here.
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Old 12-24-2011, 11:42 AM   #8
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I would suggest contacting Simplexgrinnell regarding the system. They would have the documents on that panel, and can update the system. If anything, this is not a diy thing, you should be consulting with a company that handles this. There are companies that do nothing but work with churches for construction, consulting, etc. Here is the simplexgrinnell website http://www.simplexgrinnell.com/ENUS/Pages/default.aspx

Also, the system should be tested monthly, and do a audible every three months. You can contact your local fire inspector also, so that they can do a building inspection and they can also run a system test to make sure that the 911 center is notified, or monitoring station.
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:47 AM   #9
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Was a permit obtained when the system was initially installed? If so, there should be a record of final approval somewhere. No permit? Then you could be in worse trouble.
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by md2lgyk View Post
Was a permit obtained when the system was initially installed? If so, there should be a record of final approval somewhere. No permit? Then you could be in worse trouble.
Installed in the 1970's there may not have been a permitting requirement. There may not have even been a code requirement at that time. Many fire alarm installs in churches were insurance company driven, rather than code driven. Depending on what components there are in the system, there may be a quarterly testing and an annual testing requirement. I would bet that the system is obsolete by todays standards and you may have a problem bringing it up to current code requirements. A good commercial alarm company can tell you.

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