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July 20, 2008

                             []< ET NEWS                               
====================================================================== 
    NEWS AND INFORMATION FOR THE FIRE PROTECTION ENGINEERING TEAM      
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
 Issue No. 349  ISSN 1554-074X      http://www.etnews.org   7-20-2008  
====================================================================== 
 
Contents 
-------- 
- News 
- Journal 
- Employment 
- Seminar Schedule 
- Comments & Acknowledgements 
 
====================================================================== 
NEWS 
====================================================================== 
 
Flowerpot's spontaneous combustion blamed for fire
The Associated Press - 
Homeowner Dan Stoven said it's hard to believe, but said he's just 
glad his 17-year-old daughter was able to escape when passers-by 
entered the home to wake ... 
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hD8ailbeRHra5GH1fKcmajVwSX_gD91VQL801 
 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
 
New Fire Code Replaces Rules From 1913
Western Queens Gazette - Queens,NY,USA
The new Fire Code is also in line with the new city Building Code. But 
while the Building Code is about design and construction, including 
fire safety ... 
http://www.qgazette.com/news/2008/0716/features/008.html 
 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
 
Appealed Strike Call Taken All The Way To Supreme Court 
The Onion, Jul 17, 2008 
WASHINGTON - The United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments 
yesterday in the case of Wright v. Dreckman, which calls into question 
professional baseball player David Wright's 2005 check swing against 
the San Diego Padres and... 
http://www.theonion.com/content/news/appealed_strike_call_taken_all_the 
 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
 
This week I'll see you in San Leandro. 
http://www.afaa.org/pdf/101_AdvFA_SanLeandro_Jul2008.pdf 
 
Have fun! 
 
Mike 
mailto:mike@etnews.org 
 
DL-79,005 AS-11,426 HA-2,602 CO-1,000 F9-650 UA-500 
 
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====================================================================== 
ET NEWS JOURNAL                                                        
====================================================================== 
 
IS FIRE ALARM SYSTEM DESIGN, ENGINEERING? 
----------------------------------------- 
 
As I travel the USA I notice that some states consider fire alarm 
system design to be engineering.  My state of Oregon has been 
wrestling with this issue since at least 2004 when OSBEELS (Oregon 
State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying) asked the 
Oregon Department of Justice to opine on the role of a fire alarm 
system designer.  The result was a declaration that the design of fire 
alarm systems is considered to be engineering and therefore may only 
be done by an Oregon licensed professional engineer: 
 
"The design of fire protection services and systems falls within the 
purview of engineering. As such, it must be performed by a registered 
professional fire protection engineer." 
 
A copy of their memo may be downloaded from here: 
http://www.etnews.org/docs/OR_Dept_of_Justice_memo_11-30-04.pdf. 
 
The most obvious problem with this interpretation is the lack of 
licensed fire protection engineers in Oregon.  I count 9 that reside 
within the state.  Look for yourself here: http://www.osbeels.org/.  
 
When I was submitting permit applications that included fire alarm 
system design, many jurisdictions in and around Portland required that 
I be certified NICET level III in fire alarm systems.  If my work 
included interconnection to other systems such as deluge or smoke 
control, the Building Official or Fire Marshal would require a 
supporting statement from a Fire Protection Engineer.  That's the way 
SFPE (Society of Fire Protection Engineers) sees it as well:
 
"The fire protection Technician is an individual who has achieved 
NICET Level III or IV certification in the appropriate subfield and 
who has the knowledge, experience and skills necessary to layout fire 
protection systems." 
 
You can download the SFPE position statement here: 
http://sfpe.org/upload/sfpe_position_statement_october_2005_001.pdf 
 
As I see it the engineer determines the fire protection objective to 
be achieved while the technician lays out a system to satisfy the 
objective.  Laying out a fire alarm system is not complex.  
Prescriptive design is spelled out very clearly within NFPA 72.  
In my opinion, a licensed electrician attending a 10-week course 
(40 hours) that reviews the fire alarm relevant bits of IBC, NFPA 70, 
and NFPA 72 can layout a fire alarm system to the satisfaction of a 
building official or fire marshal. 
 
Now the Oregon Building Codes division, Electrical and Elevator Board 
is considering changing the Oregon Administrative Rules to allow "J" 
(Electrician, General Journeyman) and "LEA" (Electrician, Limited 
Energy Technician, Class A) license holders to submit fire alarm 
system shop drawings.  
 
"... because the electrical portion of a fire protection system is a 
noncomplex electrical installation."  
 
You can download their most recent memo regarding this proposed change 
here: 
http://www.etnews.org/docs/Oregon_Fire_Protection_Design_exemptions.pdf  
 
I agree with the proposed change though I recommend adding a 
requirement that the designer be certified NICET Level III or IV in 
fire alarm systems.  That would ensure that the individual has 
specific fire protection job knowledge and work experience.  
The National Fire Alarm Code encourages this as well: 
 
"NFPA 72 4.3.2* System Designer.
A.4.3.2 Examples of qualified personnel include individuals who can 
demonstrate experience on similar systems and have the following 
qualifications: 
(1) Factory trained and certified in fire alarm system design
(2) National Institute of Certification in Engineering Technologies 
(NICET) fire alarm certified - minimum level III
(3) Licensed or certified by a state or local authority
 
4.3.2.1 Fire alarm system plans and specifications shall be developed 
in accordance with this Code by persons who are experienced in the 
proper design, application, installation, and testing of fire alarm 
systems."
 
Clearly NFPA 72 requires the designer to be experienced in 
installation and testing of fire alarm systems. 
 
What do you think? 
 
- Mike 
 
Here are my bona fides:
----------------------- 
Oregon Electrician, Limited Energy Technician, Class A 
Washington Master Specialty Electrician 
NICET Level IV, Fire Alarm Systems 
US Navy Nuclear Engineering Technician (retired bubble head) 
 
The "ET" in ET News stands for Engineering Team, which includes the 
AHJ, the engineer, and the technician working to a common goal - life 
safety and property protection. 
 
====================================================================== 
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====================================================================== 
JOB OPPORTUNITIES
====================================================================== 
 
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.   
 
Post your announcement at http://www.etnews.org/index.php?s=257 
 
====================================================================== 
SEMINAR SCHEDULE
====================================================================== 
 
Contact me to find out how your group can sponsor seminars. 
mailto:mikebaker@afaa.org 
 
------------------ 
July 22-24, 2008 San Leandro, CA 
------------------ 
Understanding NFPA 101 Fire Alarm Requirements 
Advanced Fire Alarm Seminar (NICET III & IV) 
http://www.afaa.org/pdf/101_AdvFA_SanLeandro_Jul2008.pdf 
 
------------------ 
July 29-31, 2008 Detroit, MI 
------------------ 
Basic Fire Alarm Seminar 
Fire Alarm Plan Review Seminar 
Understanding IBC Fire Alarm Requirements 
http://www.afaa.org/pdf/BasFA_PR_IBC_Detroit_Jul2008.pdf 
 
------------------ 
August 19-21, 2008 San Francisco, CA  
------------------ 
Understanding NFPA 101 Fire Alarm Requirements 
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar (NICET I & II) 
http://www.afaa.org/pdf/101_IntFA_SanFrancisco_Aug2008.pdf 
 
------------------ 
August 26-28, 2008 San Jose, CA 
------------------ 
Understanding NFPA 101 Fire Alarm Requirements 
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar (NICET I & II) 
http://www.afaa.org/pdf/101_AdvFA_SanJose_Aug2008.pdf 
 
------------------ 
September 2-4, 2008 Rolling Meadows, IL 
------------------ 
Understanding NFPA 101 Fire Alarm Requirements 
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar (NICET I & II) 
http://www.afaa.org/pdf/101_IntFA_RollingMeadows_Sep2008.pdf 
 
------------------ 
September 8-10, 2008 Minneapolis, MN 
------------------ 
Basic Fire Alarm 
Understanding IBC Fire Alarm Requirements 
Understanding NFPA 101 Fire Alarm Requirements 
http://www.afaa.org/pdf/BasFA_IBC_101_Minneapolis_Sep2008.pdf 
 
------------------ 
September 16-18, 2008 Anchorage, AK 
------------------ 
Understanding IBC Fire Alarm Requirements 
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar (NICET I & II) 
http://www.afaa.org/pdf/IBC_IntFA_Anchorage_Sep2008.pdf 
 
------------------ 
September 18, 2008 East Hanover, NJ 
------------------ 
Fire Alarm System Testing and Inspection 
http://www.afaa.org/pdf/TI_AFAA-NJ_Sept2008.pdf 
 
------------------ 
September 23-25, 2008 Laurel, MD 
------------------ 
More info to follow ... 
 
------------------ 
September 29 and October 1-2, 2008 Louisville, KY  
------------------ 
Basic Fire Alarm 
Fire Alarm System Testing and Inspection 
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar (NICET I & II) 
http://www.afaa.org/pdf/KYAFAA_Training_September_08.pdf 
 
====================================================================== 
COMMENTS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 
====================================================================== 
 
ET News is written nearly every week and almost always sent on Sunday. 
 
Doug Hockinson built ETNews.org using PHP/MySQL-> http://www.phpvs.com 
 
Purchase new & used codes & standards on line http://tinyurl.com/36zzk 
 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
Some information may be found in this message and etnews.org 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.