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Does every room require fire alarm devices.

Posted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:14
by Frank
Hello everyone,

Commercial building has completed renovations on 2nd floor. The floor area is 25 ft. by 65 ft. In this floor space they built 4 offices, 2 bath rooms, and 3 closets. The original fire devices were 1 pull station, 1 heat detector, and 1 bell. With the new renovations, would I have to install heat detectors in every room, and also will 1 bell be enough for the total room space.

Thank you.

Re: Does every room require fire alarm devices.

Posted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:21
It depends on whether-or-not the building is sprinklered and whether it falls within the requirements of of BCBC 2012. This section is entitled "Determination of Requirement for a Fire Alarm System".

Heat detectors wouldn't normally be required (if the building is sprinklered), but (and this becomes the main driver for many such additions in UNSPRINKLERED buildings), the building's INSURERS may require smoke detection for them to take on the risk. The BC Building Code (2012) states that "fire detectors required by this Code shall be connected to the fire alarm system". More-over, states: Except as permitted by Sentence (3), if a fire alarm system is required in a building that is not sprinklered, fire detectors shall be installed in the following spaces:

a) storage rooms not within dwelling units
b) service rooms not within dwelling units,
c) janitor's rooms,
d) rooms in which hazardous substances are to be used or stored,
e) elevator hoistways and dumbwaiter shafts, and
f) laundry rooms in buildings of residential occupancy, but not those within dwelling units.

Sentence 3 simply states you don't need fire detectors if the building is sprinklered throughout. It would be a safe bet to suggest that any storage rooms and closets should have heat detectors if the building is unsprinklered. The fact that there IS a fire alarm system already installed tells me that it's "required" to be there.

The number of bells/signalling appliances you would need for this space would depend on the audibility levels. In most commercial applications you're looking for two things. A minimum of 65 dBA in ALL FLOOR AREAS as well as a minimum of 10 dBA above ambient. If you can't achieve either with the current configuration, you'll need to add more sounders.