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Fire Alarm Systems

The purpose of this page is to keep you up to date with revisions or interpretations to codes, laws and ordinances that affect Fire Alarm Systems. If you have specific questions that you feel should be answered and posted on this page, please send email regarding that issue.

You can contact either: Michael McLean, OSFM Fire Alarm Specialist, with suggested improvements or site links you have found that could help you or others in regards to fire alarm systems.

You can reach the Required Application Forms here. Future requests for Exemption from Plan Review for Non-Required Fire Alarm Systems, Access Control & Delayed Locking Systems, and Minor Additions or Modifications to Required Fire Alarm Systems can be found on that page.

The material on this page is not intended for duplication or reproduction without the expressed written consent of the State Fire Marshal.

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Acrobat Files

Listing Documentation on All Fire Alarm Devices

LAFAA June 15th Q&A Presentation

Powerpoint Files

Q&A from Fire Alarm Association Meeting

Q&A from Fire Alarm Association Meeting

Q&A from Fire Alarm Association Meeting

LA Automatic Fire Alarm Meeting Presentation

Web Pages

Central Station Memorandum
05.05.98 Regarding CS Submittals



pdf Tentative Operational Procedure
02.12.09 | Cable Digital Voice/Fire Alarm System Monitoring, see NFPA website for more.

More information listed below. This information is also available in .pdf format, Tentative Operational Procedure (Information):

Please note that compliance with NFPA 72: and 8.6.4 is mandatory.  In particular, the following shall be provided:

Equipment shall be connected to the public switched telephone network upstream of any private telephone system at the protected premises.

Equipment Requirement
A failure to complete connection shall not prevent subsequent attempts to transmit an alarm where such alarm is generated from any other initiating device circuit or signaling line circuit, or both. Additional attempts shall be made until the signal transmission sequence has been completed, up to a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 10 attempts.

Transmission Channels
A system employing signaling equipment shall employ one telephone line(number).  In addition, one of the following transmission means shall be employed:

  1. A second telephone line(number)
  2. A cellular telephone connection
  3. A one-way radio system
  4. A one-way private radio alarm system
  5. A private microwave radio system
  6. A two-way RF multiplex system
  7. A transmission means complying with 8.6.4

Both channels shall be tested at intervals not exceeding 24 hours.

The failure of either channel shall send a trouble signal on the other channel within 4 minutes.

When one transmission channel has failed, all status change signals shall be sent over the other channel.

Failure of telephone lines(numbers) or cellular service shall be annunciated locally.

Transmission Means
The first transmission attempt shall utilize the primary means of transmission.

Other Transmission Technologies

Communications Integrity
Provision shall be made to monitor the integrity of the transmission technology and its communications path.  The following requirements shall apply:

  1. Any failure shall be annunciated at the supervising station within 5 minutes of the failure.
  2. If communications cannot be established with the supervising station, an indication of this failure to communicate shall be annunciated at the protected premises.
  3. If a portion of the communications path cannot be monitored for integrity, a redundant communications path shall be provided.
  4. Provision shall be made to monitor the integrity of the redundant communications path.
  5. Failure of both the primary and redundant communications paths shall be annunciated at the supervising station within not more than 24 hours of failure.
  6. System units at the supervising station shall be restored to service within 30 minutes of a failure.
  7. The transmission technology shall be designed so that upon failure of a transmission channel serving a system unit at the supervising station, the loss of the ability to monitor shall not affect more than 3000 tranmitters.

Throughput Probability
When the supervising station does not regularly communicate with the transmitter at least once every 200 seconds, then the throughout probability of the alarm transmission shall be at least 90 percent in 90 seconds, 99 percent in 180 seconds, or 99,999 percent in 450 seconds.

Unique Flaws Not Covered by this Code
If a communications technology has a unique flaw that could result in the failure to communicate a signal, the implementation of that technology for fire alarm signaling shall compensate for that flaw so as to eliminate the risk of missing a fire alarm signal.

Use of Exemption Request Forms

Addition of Devices in Response to Inspection Citations

Memorandum 99-02

Location of Smoke Detectors with Respect to Ceiling Fans

Fire Alarm Shop Drawing Submittals



Remote Station Personnel
07.30.01 This letter outlines the different options that a remote station can pursue concerning the number of personnel on duty.



Formal Interpretation 2002-14
Signage for the Visually Impaired for Special Locking Systems

Formal Interpretation 2002-06
Fire Alarm Systems at Educational Facilities

Formal Interpretation 2002-05
Emergency Forces Notification for Small Building Additions & Modular Classroom Buildings at Educational Occupancies

Formal Interpretation 2001-02
Remote Station Personnel Requirements

Formal Interpretation 2000-16
Fire Alarm Service Calls

Formal Interpretation 2000-06
Strobe Placement in "Common Use" Areas

Fire Alarm Mandatory Rejection List

Formal Interpretation 98-02
Silencing of Visual Alarm Notification Appliances

Use of the Fire Alarm Exemption Request Form for Replacement of Fire Alarm Panels



Inspection & Testing Form
From NFPA 72:7-5.2


This page was last modified on September 8, 2015