Installation/Maintenance of Fire Alarm Systems
- No installation of any kind, including pulling wire or installation of devices is allowed without an approved fire alarm system permit from the Permit Application Center and plans or site.
- Approved plans with a submittal book must be present for the inspector.
- Installation in accordance with approved plans and NFPA 101, Life Safety Code and NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code as adopted and or modified by the Maryland State Fire Prevention Code and the Anne Arundel County Fire Prevention Code. Deviations from approved plans require that revised plans be submitted to the Permit Application Center. Deviations without approved plans require approval of the Fire Marshal.
- The fire alarm system permit should be applied for as early in the construction process as possible. Two permits are given for a fire alarm installation. One is a devices permit - for low voltage wiring and device installation and is inspected by the electrical inspector and is required prior to the Fire Marshal Inspection. The other is a system permit - this is inspected by the Fire Marshal.
- An inspection of all wiring and appliances (devices permit) must be completed by the County Electrical Inspector prior to scheduling the Fire Marshal inspection. That inspector should leave a sticker indicating that the inspection has passed.
- A Record of Completion form must be presented to the Fire Marshal at the time of the inspection. This can be found in NFPA 72, Chapter 1.
- All equipment must match approved plans/equipment lists. A check of model numbers and manufacturer of equipment will be conducted.
- The location of all devices must match approved plans. Deviations without revised plans must be approved by the Fire Marshal.
- Sound levels must be loud enough. Decibel levels must be checked prior to the Fire Marshal inspection with a sound meter to ensure all areas of the building have the required decibel level per NFPA 72, the National Fire Alarm Code. The Fire Marshal will inspect for proper sound level.
- HVAC duct detection: Access panels must be provided to enable one to reach into the duct in order to spray can smoke into sampling tubes for testing to verify smoke transfer through sampling tubes to detector.
- HVAC Duct detection, supply or return? Installation must be in accordance with NFPA 90A, Standard for the Installation of Air Conditioning and Ventilating Systems. Duct detectors, if required by NFPA 90A, must always be installed on the supply side. They must also be installed on the return side if system capacity is greater than 15000 CFM and serving more than one story.
- HVAC duct detection activation shall initiate a supervisory condition - not an alarm condition.
- HVAC duct detection: the location of duct detectors shall be marked on ceiling grid or posted diagram if not above the ceiling. Provide a posted diagram at the main electrical panel indicating the location of HVAC units.
- HVAC: Means must be provided to manually stop the operation of supply, return and exhaust fans in an emergency. The shutdown device should be conspicuous and be located near the main entry into the space or at another location if approved by the Fire Marshal.
- At least two personnel should be on site for the inspection with the ability to communicate between one another to verify signals received during testing if the FACP and devices are not in close proximity.
- The phone number and ability to contact the off-site monitoring company to confirm proper receipt of signals off site.
Fire Alarm System Inspection, Testing and Maintenance
Fire alarm systems and their components shall be inspected, maintained and tested in accordance with NFPA 72 as adopted and or modified by the Maryland State Fire Prevention Code and the Anne Arundel County Fire Prevention Code and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. This may involve monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual testing depending upon the type of system installed. The frequency of maintenance and cleaning may depend on the type of equipment and local ambient conditions.
The owner or the owner's representative is responsible for inspection, testing and maintenance of the system. Inspection, testing and maintenance shall be permitted to be done by a person or organization other than the owner if conducted under a written contract.
Service personnel shall be qualified and experienced in testing, inspection and maintenance of fire alarm systems.
Records shall be maintained until the next test and for one year thereafter.
False Alarms/Fire Alarm System Malfunctions
Fire protection systems, devices, units and service equipment that result in frequent and unnecessary Fire Department responses due to false alarms and/or system malfunctions shall be deemed not to be in an operative condition and as such shall be in violation of this code and subject to the penalties of this article.
Anne Arundel County Fire Prevention Code, Article 15, Title 3-103.