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October 31, 2004

                           []< ET NEWS                                 
Issue No. 175   10-31-2004

- News
- ET News Journal
- Job Opportunities
- Fire Alarm Class Schedule
- Comments & Acknowledgements


Change clocks, batteries
Shawnee News Star, OK - Oct 30, 2004
In case of a house fire, a smoke detector can help save lives -- but only if
there's a working battery in that smoke detector. Firefighters ...


Former Lafayette official named fire marshal for Washington state
The Lafayette Daily Advertiser - Lafayette,LA,USA
OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Former Lafayette fire training chief Samuel P. Pierre is
Washington state's new fire marshal. Pierre, 42, once ...


La. fire marshal removal tied to office incident
Times Picayune, LA - Oct 30, 2004
By Robert Travis Scott. BATON ROUGE -- A workplace incident in August and
"management issues" that came to the attention of Gov. ...


Ionization smoke detection is more responsive to invisible particles
(smaller than 1 micron in size) ...
Source: NFPA 72-2002 A.

Particles below about 0.3 micrometers (0.3 micron) are invisible in visible
light ...
Source: Fire Alarm Signaling Systems 2003 Edition Chapter 2 

I'll see you in Oakland this week.

Happy Halloween!




Question #1199

Sixteen months ago, I became the first full-time fire inspector for my
jurisdiction. After serving 12 years on an engine company, I have seen quite a
few serious fires, but have had little experience in the engineered protection
side of the business. As you can imagine, I have been reading up a storm over the
last 16 months. And, I have taken three seminars from the National Fire
Protection Association. One on the Life Safety Code, one on automatic sprinklers,
and one on fire alarm systems. Can you offer any advice that might help me to
make certain the fire alarm systems in my jurisdiction are properly acceptance


As you already know, NFPA 72-2002, National Fire Alarm Code, Chapter 10 contains
the requirements for inspection, testing, and maintenance of fire alarm systems.
Since you have already attended an NFPA seminar, you should review the seminar
materials that cover this chapter of the Code. From a practical standpoint, as an
Authority Having Jurisdiction, you can begin to develop some standardized
procedures that will serve you well in making certain the fire alarm systems
installed in your jurisdiction will perform properly. First of all, we suggest
that you establish a policy that you will not inspect any fire alarm system until
you receive a written statement from the installing contractor that he or she has
fully tested the system in accordance with the requirements of NFPA 72-2002,
Chapter 10, and that the system has functioned properly. At first blush, this may
seem a bit over the top. You might ask us, "Are you suggesting that each fire
alarm system receive two acceptance tests: one by the contractor and then one
witnessed by me?" We would answer, "Yes!" By making certain that the contractor
has fully tested the system before you witness the formal acceptance test, you
will save your jurisdiction many, many dollars worth of your time, and you will
materially aid the owners of the facilities in your jurisdiction. Forcing the
contractor to conduct a complete preacceptance test will force the contractor to
correct the many small, but time consuming, "Punch List" type items before you
arrive on site to witness the formal acceptance test. By experience, you will
also discover that this requirement will tend to make the installers perform the
actual installations in a more careful and diligent manner. Once they know that
they will have to actually fix every malfunctioning item before you witness the
formal acceptance test, they will work to minimize the kinds of items that arise
from a careless installation. We realize that the installers will simply build
the cost of this pre-acceptance test into the cost of installing the fire alarm
system. However, we believe, and our years of experience bears this out, that the
owner will truly benefit from this investment in making certain the system can
fully pass the formal acceptance test, before it actually has to do so. You
should also institute a fee system to compensate your jurisdiction when you have
to make a return visit to a site because some part of the system fails during the
formal acceptance test. This will also encourage the installer to "do it right
the first time." We also encourage you to continue to seek appropriate
educational opportunities. The more knowledgeable that you become, the more
effective you will be in serving the needs of the taxpayers in your jurisdiction.
In this age of customer satisfaction, seeing your role as a servant-leader will
multiply the effectiveness of your relatively new position. Finally, we urge you
to do everything in your power to become an active participant in a partnership
between the owner, designer, installer, and yourself as the AHJ. This partnership
serves as the only truly successful way of achieving the broadest goals of
providing proper fire protection for the citizens in your jurisdiction.

Wayne Moore and Dean Wilson are senior engineers at Hughes Associates, Inc., a
leading international provider of engineering and research services to the fire
protection field, including fire hazard and risk assessment services, fire
protection systems design and testing, code consulting, loss control, and
forensic engineering services. Its clientele includes architects, building owners
and manufacturing companies in the private sector, as well as the Department of
Defense and other governmental bodies. For more information on Hughes Associates
and its services, call (410) 737-8677. Web site address: 

Subscribe to The Moore-Wilson Signaling Report:


Place your "job opportunity" or "seeking employment" ad here.


November 2-4, 2004 Oakland, CA
Fire Alarm Plan Review Seminar 
Advanced Fire Alarm Seminar (NICET III & IV)

November 9-11, 2004 Anchorage, AK
Fire Alarm Plan Review Seminar 
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar (NICET I & II)

November 17-19, 2004 Buffalo, NY
Fire Alarm Plan Review Seminar 
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar (NICET I & II)
Contact Kristie Jesson for more information

November 30-December 3, 2004 Portland, OR
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar (NICET I & II)
Understanding IBC Fire Alarm Requirements

December 14-16, 2004 Houston, TX
Fire Alarm System Testing & Inspections Seminar
Understanding IBC Fire Alarm Requirements

December 15-16, 2004 Albuquerque, NM
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar (NICET I & II)

Contact me to find out how your group can sponsor an
AFAA seminar.


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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.