The first half of this year has been the busiest in our 36 year history as our FSCI team completed the most plan reviews and inspections ever. Great job team!
As Fire Safety Consultants Inc. continues to grow, with the strong support of PSI, we have hired several new staff members including a new fire protection plan review consultant for our Michigan office; and a new building plan review senior consultant, a new field services consultant and a summer administrative assistant in our Illinois office.
We recently completed the installation of the new cloud-based telephone system at FSCI that will improve our customer service by creating a seamless office environment across all PSI/FSCI offices. This new system includes an auto-attendant the can quickly route calls efficiently to the proper person within any of our offices.
Also this quarter, we began working on our electronic plan review process including the testing of ShareFile software for transferring large documents (plans and specifications) and the purchase of a new plotter that can print large scale drawings. During this initial testing phase, we’ve partnered with one of our Oklahoma clients to evaluate the most effective and efficient ways to streamline our electronic plan review process. These projects are very large electronic files that allow us to fully test the capability of the software. Our goal is to have the process to the point where we can begin beta testing with a handful of clients in early 2020.
NFPA 17A – Non-listed Appliance Protection
Often, restaurants will install appliances such as Gyro machines, Tandoori Ovens, and Pizza Ovens that do not utilize listed protection means under the kitchen suppression system manufacturer installation manual. Under Section 5.1 of NFPA 17A, it states that the “protection of cooking operations shall be listed”. So, what do you do in one of these cases where the protection of an appliance isn’t listed? In some cases the suppression system manufacturers will put out bulletins providing their recommendations on how these appliances should be properly protected. When the equipment manufacturer does not provide this information the installing contractor should procure and provide in writing, through a letter or email correspondence, a response from the system manufacturer that gives their recommended coverage for the appliance to the plan reviewer or AHJ.
-Hannah Rodriguez, Fire Protection Consultant
NFPA-72 Household Carbon Monoxide Alarms
The requirements for household carbon monoxide alarms, originally found in NFPA 720, are now incorporated into Chapter 29 of NFPA 72. Chapter 29 now includes the installation of smoke, fire, or carbon monoxide (CO) alarms or systems. Unlike smoke or fire detection, CO alarms shall produce a temporal 4 (T4) signal (not to be confused with the T3 signal for a smoke alarm) and shall have a minimum rating of 85dBA at 10 feet. The placement of CO alarms is critical to ensure an early warning to residents. Chapter 29 does a great job specifying where CO alarms shall be installed within a residence. Where required by other laws, codes or standards for a specific type of occupancy, listed carbon monoxide alarms or detectors shall be installed in the following locations:
- Outside of each separate dwelling unit/ sleeping area, mounted within 21 ft. of any door to a sleeping room, (distance measured along the path of travel),
- On every occupiable level of a dwelling unit, including basements, excluding attics and crawl spaces,
- In all sleeping rooms and guest rooms containing fossil fuel burning appliances, and/or other locations where required by applicable laws, codes, or standards.
Unlike the properties of smoke and fire, CO is a colorless, tasteless and odorless gas making it undetectable by the sense of smell, taste or sight. The main cause of CO poisoning is from improperly operating fossil-fuel burning appliances found in a typical home such as: furnaces, water heaters and stoves. Additional causes of CO are wood burning stoves, fireplaces and vehicles left running in an attached garage.
-Ryan Case, Fire Protection Consultant
NFPA 72 – Wired To Use Wireless: What You Need To Know Before Your Wireless System Is A Go.
The demand for wireless fire alarm devices and appliances has steadily increased over the years as innovative technology has evolved on both the initiating and notification side of the fire alarm system design. An increased number of fire alarm submittals are being received which include the use of wireless devices and appliances to accommodate the retrofitting of older buildings. The design of these wireless systems must adhere to the code requirements found in Section 23.16 of NFPA 72. Low-powered radio equipment must be specifically listed for the purpose.
Wireless devices may use a dry cell battery(s) which is capable of maintaining full power of the device for at least one year prior to reaching the depletion threshold of the battery. A low battery condition shall be transmitted as a trouble signal for at least 7 days and shall be distinctive from other alarm, supervisory or trouble signals. The affected transmitter shall be visibly identified. Each transmitter shall service only on device. Catastrophic battery failure shall cause a trouble signal identifying the effected low-power radio transmitter/transceiver at the system control unit. When silenced, the trouble signal shall automatically re-sound at least once every 4 hours. When a wireless initiating device is actuated an alarm signal shall be automatically transmitted by the low power radio, and repeated, for up to 60 seconds until the radio receives a confirming receipt of signal by the control unit.
Wireless notification appliances must meet many of the above criteria for wireless devices as well as the requirements for wired appliances.
-Susie Gardner, Fire Protection Consultant
Stay up to date on the latest Fire, Building and Life Safety code changes and equipment by attending one of our seminars. Fire Safety Consultants, Inc. is teaching seminars throughout the United States, led by our experienced staff of Matt Davis, Keith Frangiamore, Brent Gooden & Warren Olsen. Whether you are a Contractor, Architect, Technician, Engineer or an Authority Having Jurisdiction, each seminar is full of practical insight and first-hand experiences to help you comply with applicable codes and standards. FSCI can also provide custom seminars at your location. Be sure to check out our website to view our listing of available seminars or to check the schedule to see what we are teaching next! Contact us to learn more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.