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

Fire Alarm Plans and Code Requirements

Older structures

In a major northern city, an office building is being renovated. It was originally constructed in 1972 and was constructed as a completely fire resistive building - all concrete and concrete-encased steel. The building is nine stories high, and meets the definition of a high-rise building as listed in the modern building code applied by the city now.

The code requires total sprinkler protection for a high-rise building. To provide total sprinkler protection will make the renovation cost prohibitive, resulting in another vacant building. The owner and the AHJ sit down with a qualified engineer, and they together develop alternative protection for the building, consisting of stairwell pressurization, partial automatic sprinkler protection to protect all exit paths, a smoke barrier dividing each floor into two zones, and a total fire alarm system, designed in strict accordance with NFPA 72, using voice communications and firefighter's telephones.

The alternatives offered an acceptable level of protection, when compared to the benefits of total automatic sprinkler protection. Keep in mind that the people in an office building will be able to move or easily be moved to the exit stairs, or to the other side of the smoke barrier. This arrangement would probably not be allowed in an occupancy that housed impaired people.
NOTE: This is an unformatted excerpt from our online fire protection training library.

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