Security Business

MAR 2019

Find news and information for the executive corporate security director, CSO, facility manager and assets protection manager on issues of policy, products, incidents, risk management, threat assessments and preparedness.

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T he caller tells me, "I'm ready to scream!" It was one of my alarm company clients for whom I provide fire alarm system submittals. He was engaged in a deep drama with a build- ing official on what should have been a simple project he picked up from an acquired customer. I asked him to slow down – to back up a bit so he can fill me in as to what was happening. Aer a few questions and re-starts, we finally get to the root of his problem. His customer is a business owner who hired an architect to add an expansion to his shop. e customer uses chemicals – stored in vats – in the process of finishing various metal products. e architect, with good intentions, asked the local Fire Chief to come by the shop and take a look at the preliminary plans for a small expansion, into which the sprinkler system would need to be extended. e building was already equipped with a fire sprinkler system electri- cally monitored for alarm and super- visory signals. It met code by having one outdoor audible appliance, one manual pull box, and a smoke detector positioned above the addressable con- trol panel. e owner had also decided to add supplemental strobes, horn strobes, heat detectors and manual pull boxes, which the code did not require. While there, the Chief asked that two smoke detectors be added – one in each of the two rooms of the addi- tion – along with a manual pull box at the addition's interior door, which is not an actual exit. e Chief explained that the fire department would then know if the alarm first came from one of these two storage rooms as opposed to the general water flow alarm for the entire 15,000 square-foot build- ing. e building owner and architect agreed to the request, and the archi- tect added the three devices to the construction plans. at's where things got dicey. The Mistake Within a week, the architect submit- ted the plans for the building's addi- tion – including the sprinkler system extension and the additional smoke detectors and pull box the Fire Chief required to the building department for a permit to begin construction. He indicated on the submitted con- struction plans that the drawings for the sprinkler and fire system addi- tions would be deferred until later – thus enabling those contracts to be awarded and installed. 62 Security Business / www.SecurityInfoWatch.com / March 2019 Fire & Life Safety BY GREG KESSINGER, SET, CFPS, IMSA, CDT, ICC Since the construction drawings showed two smoke detectors and a manual pull box that were not actually installed , the building inspector would not provide a Certificate of Occupancy." Drawing the Wrong Conclusions A story of forgotten fire equipment, a showdown with AHJs and a headache for a fire alarm designer and installer © Istock

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