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Fire Protection Glossary - O


Obscuration. A reduction in the atmospheric transparency caused by smoke, usually expressed as percent per foot.

Occupancy. The purpose for which a building or portion thereof is used or intended to be used.

Occupant Load. The total number of persons that might occupy a building or portion thereof at any one time.

Occupiable Story. A story occupied by people on a regular basis. Stories used exclusively for mechanical equipment rooms, elevator penthouses, and similar spaces are not occupiable stories.

Off-Hook. To make connection with the public switched telephone network in preparing to dial a telephone number.

On-Hook. To disconnect from the public switched telephone network.

Open Area Detection (Protection). Protection of an area such as a room or space with detectors to provide early warning of fire.

Output Circuits. Speakers, telephone, horn, strobe, bell, signal, etc.

Operating Mode, Private. Protection of an area such as a room or space with detectors to provide early warning of fire.

Operating Mode, Public. Audible or visible signaling only to those persons directly concerned with the implementation and direction of emergency action initiating and procedure in the area protected by the fire alarm system.

Operating System Software. The basic operating system software that is alterable only by the equipment manufacturer or its authorized representative. This software is sometimes referred to as "firmware," "BIOS," or "executive program."

Other Space Used for Environmental Air. The space over a hung ceiling used for environmental air-handling purposes is an example of the type of other space.

Ownership. Any property or building or its contents under legal control by the occupant, by contract, or by holding of a title or deed.

Oxidation. The act or process of oxidizing.

Oxidize. To combine with oxygen. To change a compound by increasing the proportion of the electronegative part or change and element or ion from a lower to a higher positive valence. To remove one or more electrons from and atom, ion or molecule.
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Some information may be found within this web site that is reprinted with permission from one or more of the following: NFPA 70 National Electrical Code®,NFPA 72® National Fire Alarm Code®, & NFPA 101® Life Safety Code®, Copyright© NFPA, Quincy, MA 02269.

This reprinted material is not the complete and official position of the NFPA on the referenced subject, which is represented only by the standard in its entirety.