BCAB #1283 - Two Stage Fire Alarm System - Silencing Switch, Sentence 3.2.4.6.(2)

June 19, 1992

BCAB #1283

Re: Two Stage Fire Alarm System - Silencing Switch, Sentence 3.2.4.6.(2)

Project Description

This appeal involves a new two stage fire alarm system recently installed in an existing hospital. The system incorporates switches at the main annunciator panel and at nurse station annunciator panels that permit the alert signal to be acknowledged and silenced.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence 3.2.4.6.(2) prohibits the incorporation of silencing switches in a fire alarm system except within the control unit and as permitted by Sentence 3.2.4.16.(2) for voice communication systems.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that acknowledgment switches accessible to designated staff using keys to acknowledge alert signals only meets the requirement of and does not contravene the Code. He feels that to consider otherwise negates the intent of two stage fire alarm systems.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that silencing switches are specifically prohibited except within the control unit and the acknowledge/silence switches at the nurse stations are, therefore, not permitted. His concern is that these switches at the nurse stations allow staff to quite easily disable the fire alarm system simply by turning off the alert signal with these readily accessible switches

Appeal Board Decision #1283

It is the determination of the Board that Sentence 3.2.4.6.(2) applies to all types of fire alarm systems. Based on the information submitted, the Board considers the nursing station switches to be "manual silencing switches" which are not permitted to be installed anywhere other than inside the fire alarm control unit.

George R. Humphrey, Chair