NECA NEIS 305
Standard for Fire Alarm System Job Practices
|Publication Date:||1 January 2018|
This standard describes practices for installing, testing, and maintaining fire alarm systems. These job practices represent a minimum level of quality for fire alarm system installations. This standard is intended to define what is meant by installing equipment in a "neat and workmanlike manner" as required by the National Electrical Code, Article 760, and Section 760.24.
All information in this publication is intended to comply with the following standards. Installers should always follow NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code; NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC); and other applicable standards, state and local codes; and manufacturers' instructions when installing fire alarm equipment and systems.
Note: All references in this standard are to NFPA 72-2016 and NFPA 70-2017.
Fire Alarm System Overview
The NFPA definition of a fire alarm system is: "A system or portion of a combination system that consists of components and circuits arranged to monitor and annunciate the status of fire alarm or supervisory signal-initiating devices and to initiate the appropriate response to those signals." In order to meet the intent of the definition, all fire alarm system installations must conform to NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code requirements. All system components must be listed for use in a fire alarm system and installed in accordance with applicable installation instructions. Additionally, the system must meet local codes and be approved by the authority having jurisdiction(s).
Simply put, a fire alarm system detects fire conditions, notifies building occupants and emergency response personnel, and provides control functions (elevators, fans, dampers).
However, there is a major difference between fire alarm systems and most other electrical systems.
A fire alarm system monitors field wiring and key system components for operational readiness. In a typical electrical system, a broken wire goes unnoticed until a switch is turned on or a thermostat calls for heat or cooling. The fire alarm system monitors for broken wires, shorted wires, grounded wires, and failure of key components. Each of these faults generates a visible and audible trouble signal. The required fire alarm system functionality makes proper installation of the field wiring critical to the successful completion and operation of the system.
Fire alarm systems interconnect with other systems for the purpose of providing control signals during a fire emergency. It is sometimes difficult to determine where the fire alarm system stops and other systems start. If a fire alarm system controls and powers the "other system," the "other system" is part of the fire alarm system. Example: A fire alarm system can control and power a smoke control system making it part of the fire alarm system. Or, a fire alarm system can provide signals (e.g., relay dry contacts) to a separately listed smoke control system, which has its own power source: This "other system" is not part of the fire alarm system. The wiring requirements for the "other system" are covered by the NEC, but not covered by Article 760. The following Section from the NEC provides guidance.
This article covers the installation of wiring and equipment of fire alarm systems including all circuits controlled and powered by the fire alarm system.
Informational Note No. 1:
Fire alarm systems include fire detection and alarm notification, guard's tour, sprinkler waterflow, and sprinkler supervisory systems. Circuits controlled and powered by the fire alarm system include circuits for the control of building systems safety functions, elevator capture, elevator shutdown, door release, smoke doors and damper control, fire doors and damper control and fan shutdown, but only where these circuits are powered by and controlled by the fire alarm system. For further information on the installation and monitoring for integrity requirements for fire alarm systems, refer to the NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.
Informational Note No. 2:
Class 1, 2, and 3 circuits are defined in Article 725."
The following table shows Chapter assignments for the 2016 editions of NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.