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[Mircom 2]

The Burning Brick Awards!


Here we have another burning example of what is not acceptable in a fire alarm installation or verification. It all started out innocently enough. I was called in to commission a fire alarm communicator and unfortunately (for the electrical contractor as it turns out) I also had to walk through the building to get to what the owners were using as a communications closet. There were several things I noticed along the way (although I didn't take pictures for obvious reasons). This is a beautifully preserved, well maintained heritage building. So what if the stairs are a little "creaky"? The ambiance of the place is real turn-of-the-century with lots of old wood paneling - a fabulous backdrop for the "artsy" folks that occupy it. The ceilings were all very high (12 - 15 feet).

Vancouver required the installation of a fire alarm system as a change of occupancy was required as part of a plan to convert a portion of the building to a public venue. The very first thing I noticed was that detector spacing in many of the rooms wasn't even close to what was required in the Installation Standard (CAN/ULC-S524-01). Detectors in the common hallways didn't follow correct spacing requirements either. More-over, as I later found out, most of the automatic detectors I saw were in fact heats! The system the contractor decided to install here was a Mircom FX-2000 so I was (naturally) also looking for DCL (data loop) isolators. I didn't find a single one. Hmmmm!



The pièce de résistance, however, was the fact that the system (in its entirety) had been VERIFIED by a factory trained technician in the employ of Mircom Technologies!



I can't imagine what the technician was thinking when he placed the label in the door right next to this!



Notice where the high voltage AC enters the enclosure and snakes its way down the left side of the common control assembly. Hello!!!?? There are two designated AC Power entry points in this enclosure and they're both located on the sides. The top of the enclosure is designated for the entry of low voltage, power limited circuits.  The argument that there is a two inch separation between the high voltage and the low doesn’t wash either.  That separation is NOT maintained in the wall - count on it!

I've been given to understand that the installation and verification have both been rejected by the Electrical Inspector for the area.

And yes, Mircom Technologies has just received another well-deserved Brick for their wall!


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[Mircom 2]

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