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NOTE: This is an unformatted excerpt from our online fire protection training library.

Fire Alarm Plans and Code Requirements

Codes and Standards

Alternatives in Fire Protection

Proper “fire protection” is a holistic concept, and involves many areas, such as building construction, fire alarm systems and automatic sprinklers. In some cases, there may be an allowance to reduce or even eliminate one form of protection in lieu of another.

In all cases, the practice of substituting one form of protection for another must be carefully reviewed, and applied only in conjunction with approval of the AHJ. Each case has to be approved on its own merits, and is an individual occurrence.

For example, having a fire alarm system sometimes means that sprinkler protection may be eliminated. In a situation where all occupants are completely alert and awake – an office, for example – the early warning capabilities of a properly designed fire alarm system may be deemed to be an acceptable alternative to automatic sprinklers. This type of substitution may not be allowed in a situation where many of the occupants may have impaired mobility, such as a hospital or nursing home.

In older structures , the application of alternative protection is used as a cost-saving measure during a renovation. The building code may require that the entire structure be brought up to the current code requirements. However, alternative measures may be allowed and applied that will bring the renovated space up to an acceptable level of protection.
NOTE: This is an unformatted excerpt from our online fire protection training library.

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