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December 26, 2004

                           []< ET NEWS                                 
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             NEWS AND INFORMATION FOR THE ENGINEERING TEAM
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Issue No. 183   http://etnews.org  mailto:mike@etnews.org   12-26-2004
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Contents
--------
- News
- ET News Journal
- Job Opportunities
- Fire Alarm Class Schedule
- Comments & Acknowledgements

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NEWS 
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I'll see you in Happyrock this week. 

Happy New Year!

Mike
mailto:mike@etnews.org


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ET NEWS JOURNAL 
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THE MOORE-WILSON SIGNALING REPORT
---------------------------------

QUESTION #1188
--------------

We have received a Request for Proposal from a client who has asked us to design
a diesel engine-driven generator to supply power for the fire alarm system
serving their property. In researching the requirements of NFPA 72-2002, we note
that Section 4.4.1.9.6.1 requires outside storage of fuel in underground tanks
and prohibits the use of gravity feed for the fuel supplying the engine. In
contrast, NFPA 20-1999, Standard for the Installation of Stationary Pumps for
Fire Protection, requires that the fuel tank for a diesel engine-driven fire
pump be located above ground and that the inlet to the fuel supply line be
located so that its opening is no lower than the level of the engine fuel
transfer pump. In other words, the diesel engine serving a fire pump must
essentially use gravity feed for the fuel supply. It seems to us that the
requirement in NFPA 72-2002 is not consistent with the requirement in
NFPA 20-1999. Are we reading the requirement in NFPA 72 correctly?

ANSWER
------

Unfortunately, you are reading the requirement in NFPA 72-2002, National Fire
Alarm Code, correctly. You have also correctly quoted from Section 8-4.5 of
NFPA 20-1999. What presents even more confusion is that Section 4.4.1.9.6.1
appears to conflict with the requirements of Section 4.4.1.9.3.1(A), which reads
as follows:
4.4.1.9.3.1 Protected Premises. (A) Engine-driven generators used to provide
secondary power for a protected premises fire alarm system shall comply with
NFPA 110, Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems, Section 2.2,
requirements for a Type 10, Class 24, Level 1 System. Installation shall be in
accordance with NFPA 70, National Electrical Code, Article 700. This Section
basically requires that the diesel engine-driven generator comply with the
requirements of NFPA 110-2002. The generator shall provide Type 10, Class 24,
Level 1 service. In other words, it shall supply lost power within 10 seconds,
provide the power for 24 hours, and meet the requirements for an emergency power
supply where loss of power could threaten life safety. Among the requirements of
NFPA 110-2002, Section 7.9 contains the requirements for the fuel system. In
this Section, the Standard clearly does not prohibit gravity feed for the fuel
supply. Nor does this Section require an underground location for the fuel tanks.

You have raised an excellent point of logic. Why should the requirements for the
fuel supply serving a diesel engine-driven generator for a fire alarm system
exceed those for the fuel supply serving a diesel engine-driven fire pump? The
Technical Committee writing the requirements for the diesel engine-driven fire
pump has concerns that have prompted them to write a specific requirement that
the inlet from the fuel tank not be lower than the level of the engine fuel
transfer pump. Should not the Technical Committee writing requirements for the
diesel engine-driven generator serving a fire alarm system have similar concerns?

In discussing these requirements with a long term member of the Technical
Committee on Stationary Fire Pumps, we learned that the Committee had viewed a
series of failure reports where the fire pumps failed to operate because of fuel
transfer pump failures. By placing the fuel tank above ground where it can be
more readily inspected and by requiring essentially a gravity feed to the
transfer pump, this will help assure the delivery of fuel to the fire pump engine.

We suppose that the original requirements for underground storage tank and
prohibition of gravity feed in the National Fire Alarm Code may have related to
the use of gasoline engine-driven generators where a greater concern existed due
to the hazard of the fuel. It seems as if the Technical Committee on
Fundamentals of Fire Alarm Systems should consider revising this Section. In the
meantime, we recommend that you seek approval from the Authority Having
Jurisdiction for a variance from the requirements of Section 4.4.1.9.6.1 of
NFPA 72-2002, by making your case based on the way tank location and gravity feed
is handled in both NFPA 20 and NFPA 110.

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: http://www.haifire.com. 

Subscribe to The Moore-Wilson Signaling Report: http://tinyurl.com/5y23n.

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JOB OPPORTUNITIES 
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JOB OPPORTUNITY and SEEKING EMPLOYMENT announcements are provided as a service.
ET News provides a venue for direct contact between job seekers and employers.
ET News is not a placement agency and does not endorse either job seekers or
employers.

--

Send your announcement to: mailto:jobs@etnews.org 
or post your own ad: http://www.etnews.org/index.php?s=257

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FIRE ALARM CLASS SCHEDULE 
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Contact me to find out how your group can sponsor an AFAA seminar. 
mailto:mikebaker@afaa.org

------------------
January 11-13, 2005 Kansas City, MO
------------------
Fire Alarm System Testing and Inspection Seminar 
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar (NICET I & II) 
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/TI_IntFA_KansasCity_Jan2005.pdf

------------------
January 18-20, 2005 Las Vegas, NV
------------------
Fire Alarm Plan Review Seminar 
Understanding IBC Fire Alarm Requirements 
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/PR_UCR-IBC_LasVegas_Jan2005.pdf

------------------
January 25-27, 2005 Rogers, AR
------------------
Fire Alarm Plan Review Seminar 
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar (NICET I & II) 
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/PR_IntFA_Rogers_Jan2005.pdf

------------------
February 22-24, 2005 Honolulu, HI
------------------
Fire Alarm System Testing and Inspection Seminar 
Advanced Fire Alarm Seminar (NICET III & IV) 
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/TI_AdvFA_Honolulu_Feb2005.pdf

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COMMENTS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 
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ET News is written nearly every week and almost always sent on Sunday.

Doug Hockinson built the PHP/MySQL ET News website -> http://phpvs.com

Subscribe to Moore-Wilson Signaling report -> http://tinyurl.com/5y23n

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----------------------------------------------------------------------
Some information may be found within this email message that is reprinted with
permission from one or more of the following; NFPA 70 National Electrical Code(r),
NFPA 72(r) National Fire Alarm Code(r), NFPA 101(r) Life Safety Code(r),
Copyright(c) 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. 
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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.