BCAB #1097A - Two Stage Fire Alarm System, Sentence

December 14, 1989

BCAB #1097A

Re: Two Stage Fire Alarm System, Sentence

With reference to your letter of November 22, 1989, regarding the installation of a fire alarm system dealt with under Appeal #1097.

While we appreciate your concern that there be a maximum level of safety, we are unable to agree with your contention. The different types of signal are intended to perform specific functions, and in the case of the alert signal it advises designated persons of a certain condition. This condition may, or may not, develop into a full emergency, but requires investigation. For this purpose it must be audible as indicated, to designated persons.

Sentence requires that audible signals be heard throughout the floor area in which they are installed. This does not make it mandatory that they be installed in every floor area, merely that they be heard in the floor areas where their specific purpose necessitates installation; in the case of alert signals, this means the floor areas where designated persons could reasonably be present. Such persons would not be expected in the general seating area, but we had some concerns regarding lobbies, which was the reason for the comment in our decision. If a lobby is only for use by patrons, then it would not require coverage by the alert signal; however, we have seen lobbies also containing functions which would involve designated persons, and in such cases the lobby would not be exempt from alert signal coverage. No arbitrary solution is available for lobbies, designs will vary, and the requirement can only be administered reasonably, according to particular design features.

J.C. Currie, Chair