2.01 Fire Alarm Submittal
Reference: 2019 San Francisco Fire Code (SFFC), Section 907.1.1; 2016 NFPA 72, Chapter 7 & § 10.4.1
The San Francisco Building Code (SFBC), Section 1.11.1 requires that all fire alarm system installations, repairs, alterations, and upgrades of existing systems be approved by the San Francisco Fire Department. Detailed plans shall be submitted to the SFFD Plan Check Section. Effective 1/1/2020, the 2016 edition of NFPA 72 shall remain the applicable edition of this code, as adopted by the 2019 SFBC and SFFC.
Signaling systems are defined as all other Emergency/ Life-Safety Communication Systems indicated in NFPA 72 Chapter 24 and are not Fire-Alarm systems, such as Two-Way Emergency Communications System (ECS), Emergency Responders Radio Coverage System (ERRCS), Mass Notification System (MNS), etc.
Purpose: The following information shall be provided when plans are submitted for a building permit to install or modify a fire alarm system.
NOTE: Approved reference ARCHITECTURAL and MECHANICAL plans must be provided with NEW fire alarm system plan submittals. Approved reference MECHANICAL plans must be provided for fire alarm permits for tenant improvement having mechanical work such as fans and fire smoke dampers.
Fire alarm permit plans shall be drawn to an indicated scale (not smaller than 1/8" = 1') with all fonts on the plans not less than 1/8” in size, on sheets of uniform size (11" x 17" minimum), with a plan of each floor. Plans must be clear with legible text and symbols so they could be electronically scanned. The scope of work must be indicated in detail and the reason for providing the fire alarm system must be indicated (e.g. new system required by code, voluntary/non-required system at the owner’s request, etc.). All applicable codes and standards used must be referenced (e.g. NFPA 72, SFBC, SFFC, SFEC). The Fire Alarm submittal plans must comply with all applicable sections of NFPA 72, Chapter 7 “Documentation”.
The following notes shall be incorporated as verbatim notes on the plans:
- “The fire alarm system shall be designed and installed in accordance with the City and County of San Francisco Fire Department requirements, Specific SFFD applicable administrative bulletins, NFPA 72, and other applicable NFPA Standards as adopted in the SFBC and SFFC.”
- “The primary power source for the Fire Alarm Control Unit (FACU) and remote power supplies shall be from a dedicated circuit. This circuit shall be labeled at both the electrical sub panel and on the inside of the FACU/Power supply door, and be provided with a circuit lock (if it is not installed in a locked room).”
I. THE FOLLOWING ITEMS MUST BE INCLUDED ON THE PLANS:
A. Name(s) of owner and occupant/tenant;
B. Address of building, including assessor's block and lot number;
C. Contractor's name, address, telephone number, and license number;
D. Two sets of plans with the wet signature and stamp of the engineer, or C-10 design-build contractor. (Reference DBI Information Sheet G-01). Designer’s full name and all other applicable information per NFPA 72 Chapter 7, must be clearly indicated. New or replacement fire alarm systems for high- rise buildings require an engineer’s stamp and signatures on all sheets;
E. Engineers’ signatures and stamps on Fire Alarm plans associated with smoke control shall comply with all requirements set forth in DBI AB-047. All Fire Alarm Plans including Smoke Control interface shall include the following features from the approved Mechanical permit plans:
- Final Smoke Control report stamped by all required engineers,
- Third party smoke control review letter signed and stamped by a SFFD approved third-party smoke control reviewer (if applicable),
- Smoke control sequence of operation matrix (could be a part of the final smoke control report),
- Complete mechanical fans and dampers matrix for the entire building,
- Layout of the Firefighters’ Smoke Control Panel (stamped and signed by the mechanical engineer and coordinated with the Fire Alarm system designer).
- All the required reference smoke control sheets from the approved mechanical permit plans shall be incorporated as “FOR REFERENCE ONLY” sheets within the Fire Alarm permit plans submittal.
- All reference smoke control sheets shall have a review statement and/or stamp by the smoke control author for smoke control system compliance.
F. Symbol list combined with equipment list specified in item “M” below;
G. Point of compass, surrounding street names, location of main entrance/fire department response point to the building, and full-height cross section of the building, if required for clarity, include ceiling construction and height, with indication of ceiling beams and beam pockets;
H. A readily visible sign shall identify the location of the FACU indicating: "Fire Alarm Control Unit". This sign shall be mounted on the door or other access means to the FACU area or space. In addition, another approved readily visible sign (or a key-map) identifying the location of the FACU within the building, shall be provided at the SFFD main response point to the building in an approved location. The owner shall be responsible for these required signs;
I. Locations of partitions and walls, indicating which ones extend through concealed spaces;
J. Visual and/or Audible protection provided by Fire Alarm or Signaling System visual appliances (strobes) and/or audible appliances (speakers, horns, sounders etc.) shall comply with CFC Section 907.5.2.3 and NFPA 72 coverage and installation requirements, and with the following specific SFFD requirements:
- (J.1) The Architect shall specifically label on the architectural permit plans each room/space/area, regardless its size, per its specific use/function, and with a specific indication stating if it is:
- “Public Use” - Normally occupied and used by member(s) of the general public (Ex.: Wellness/Mother’s room, Phone/Quiet room, Restrooms, Toilet rooms, Conference/Huddle/Meeting rooms with general public access, etc.)
- “Common Use” - Normally occupied and used by more than one building employee. Typically, these are enclosed rooms shared by two or more employees and have more than one workstation/ computer, work desk, etc. or other shared function, (Ex.: Shared office room, Breakroom, Security room, Engineers room, Copy room, Conference/Huddle/Meeting rooms for building employees use only)
- “Private Office” – Normally occupied and used by ONE building employee only for office work purposes (This could be a large Private Office with a large meeting/conference table and it is not considered as a Conference/Meeting room).
- “Private Room/Space” – Normally occupied and used by ONE building employee only for other than office work purposes (Ex. Prayer room, Phone room, Focus/ Quiet room, etc.)
- The Fire Alarm contractor shall be required to submit reference approved architectural plans with the above room/spaces/areas labeling and designations, and shall design and submit visual appliances coverage on the fire alarm or signaling system permit plans per the specific requirements of this section.
- (J.2) All “Public Use” rooms/areas/spaces, regardless their size and labeling, shall be provided with visual appliance(s) in accordance with NFPA 72.
- (J.3) All “Common Use” rooms/areas/spaces, regardless their size and labeling, shall be provided with visual appliance(s) in accordance with NFPA 72.
- (J.4) A “Private Office” shall not be required to be provided with visual appliance(s) unless the employee occupying that office is deaf or hard-of-hearing (hearing-impaired). The building owner shall be responsible for providing visual appliance(s) as required. It shall be permitted to provide visual appliance(s) in Private Office(s) on a voluntary/ non-required basis at the owner’s request.
- (J.5) All “Private Rooms/Spaces” shall not be required to be provided with visual appliance(s) unless any employee who potentially could occupy that room/space is deaf or hard-of-hearing (hearing-impaired). The building owner shall be responsible for providing visual appliance(s) as required. It shall be permitted to provide visual appliance(s) in Private Rooms/Spaces on a voluntary/ non-required basis at the owner’s request
- (J.6) All Medical Exam rooms in any building/occupancy shall be provided with visual appliance(s) in accordance with NFPA 72.
- (J.7) All “NORMALLY NON-OCCUPIED” rooms/areas/spaces such as mechanical/electrical /IT/server/ /telephone rooms, janitor closet/rooms, elevator machine or control rooms, fire pump rooms, etc. shall not be required to be provided with visual appliance(s) – An audible alarm signal of minimum 15dBA above the ambient noise level, is required in these rooms/areas/spaces which shall be provided by audible appliances located inside or outside these rooms/areas/spaces. Where the ambient noise level is greater than 95 dBA, visual appliance(s) shall be provided in accordance with NFPA 72 and audible appliance(s) shall not be required.
- (J.8) Private use storage room/space/ closet used by only one person/tenant/employee shall not be required to be provided with visual appliance(s)
- (J.9) Common/Public use and Normally-Occupied storage rooms/areas/spaces shall be provided with visual appliance(s) in accordance with NFPA 72.
- (J.10) A Fire Alarm or Signaling System Control Unit (FACU/ FCU/ MCU) located in an enclosed room/space shall be prohibited from having visual and/or audible notification appliance(s) in that room/space. If the Control Unit and/or its associated Remote Annunciator is located in an open space/area, the audible and visual appliance(s) at that space shall be located on the wall or ceiling in accordance with NFPA 72 and at least 10 feet away, measured horizontally from the center of the Control Unit or each Remote Annunciator. (If the 10 feet distance is not feasible – a closer distance may be approved on a case-by-case basis)
- (J.11) A Fire Command Center (FCC) shall be prohibited from having visual and audible notification appliance(s).
- (J.12) Enclosed interior or exterior stairways and exit passageways shall be prohibited from having visual and audible notification appliance(s). Exception: Speakers shall be permitted to be installed in enclosed stairways of high-rise buildings for manual paging only.
K. Location of each device/appliance and any system components such as control units, power supplies and remote annunciator/s.
L. Mounting heights of manual fire alarm boxes, visual notification appliances and all other fire alarm
system equipment and control units such as FACU, remote power supplies, annunciators, etc. Refer to NFPA 72-2019 regarding control units mounting height on a best practices basis.
M. Equipment list showing quantity, make, model, and current CSFM listing number for each device; (differentiate between new and existing devices on the equipment list with “E” and “N” notations);
N. Manufacturer's specification sheets and current CSFM listing sheets (may be loose leaf), highlight all specific proposed parts on those sheets;
O. Type and size of wire, cable, and conduit (include conduit fill ratio); Specify wire types, sizes and number of conductors between all devices/components on all shop drawings floor plans; All Fire Alarm system wiring and all signaling systems specified in NFPA 72-2019 Chapter 24 – shall be installed in metallic raceways. Armored cables are not permitted.
P. Single line riser diagram; The single line Riser Diagram shall show all wire types, sizes and number of conductors coordinated with the floor plans and comply with NFPA 72 chapter 7 requirements;
Q. Point-to-point wiring diagram (on floor plans) between all panels, control units, communicators, and
typical devices, modules and appliances;
R. Wiring diagram showing the connection to primary power source and system communicator/s;
S. Standby battery calculation. For notification appliance circuits; all standby and alarm currents used in the calculation shall be supported by catalog cut sheets or documentation from the manufacturer. Highlight all values of all standby and alarm currents used in the calculations;
T. Speaker power calculations for voice fire alarm systems (indicate wattage tap per speaker, power per audio circuit, and total power for each amplifier);
U. Voltage drop calculations not to exceed 10% voltage drop per Notification Appliance Circuit (NAC); where the starting voltage is 85% of the nominal NAC voltage (20.4 VDC where nominal voltages 24 VDC); The use of nominal current (at 24 VDC) is acceptable for this 10% calculations where the voltage on the EOL resistor shall not be lower than 18.36 VDC. As an alternative – It would be acceptable to use UL Max current (at 16VDC) with a starting voltage of 20.4 VDC and maximum drop of 20% per NAC where the voltage on the EOL resistor shall not be lower than 16.32 VDC;
V. Provide a Sequence of Operations Matrix (S.O.O.M) using the format of NFPA 72, Figure A.184.108.40.206. (Refer to Sample Matrix in Addendum “A” below); Other S.O.O.M formats may be approved on a case-by-case basis.
W. Type of system such as: Supervising Station (Central, Remote or Proprietary) fire alarm system per NFPA 72 Chapter 26, Or Protected Premises (local) fire alarm system per NFPA 72 Chapter 23. Specifically indicate if the system is a Code required fire alarm system or a non-required/voluntary fire alarm system provided at the owner’s request. Or a replaced FA system on a like-for-like basis per CSFM Code interpretation 12-001 and information bulletin dated 9/4/2008.
X. Assignment of class designation to device circuits and pathways per NFPA 72 Chapter 12; All new high-rise buildings shall comply with 2019 SFBC Section 907.6.1.1;
Y. Description of annunciation zones or list of device locations and their addresses;
- If LED style annunciator panel is required in low rise buildings per San Francisco Administrative Bulletin 3.02, provide schematic layout of this panel on the plans.
- All high-rise buildings shall be provided with LED Matrix style annunciators complying with SFFD AB 3.01.
- All LED Annunciators and LED colors for both low and high rise buildings shall comply with SFFD AB 3.01;
- Graphic style annunciators may be required by SFFD on case-by-case basis for buildings
- having large floor areas, unusual designs with area separation walls, or multiple buildings served by a single fire alarm system.
- The location and configuration of the Graphic Annunciator shall be approved by the SFFD;
- A key map/sign shall be required to be mounted adjacent all LCD and LED Matrix style annunciators with a “You Are Here” symbol and the following features: Location of FACU, Other buildings in the complex (if applicable), Egress Stairs, Elevators, Exits Doors, Horizontal Exits, FDCs, locations of other Emergency Systems control units and other required features on a case by case basis. The owner shall be responsible for providing this required key map.
Z. Provide the script for the pre-recorded voice message content and languages used and all associated evacuation/relocation alert tones preceding and following the message per Addendum “B” and SFFD AB 3.05. (For example steady tone 1-3 sec, temporal-3 tone, in accordance with 2019 NFPA 72, Chapter 24);
AA. Description of ancillary features and operations (e.g., type of smoke control system, fire/smoke damper operation, fan shutdown, special extinguishing systems etc.) The required operation and shutdown of the mechanical systems and its associated components such as AHUs and FSDs, etc. upon smoke detection, shall be specified by the Mechanical Engineer on the Mechanical permit plans;
BB. Description of any special features such as detector cross zoning, positive alarm sequence, etc. Positive Alarm Sequence shall require a specific training description provided by the building owner;
CC. Name of alarm Service Company (including UL No.) which will be responsible initially for inspection, testing, and maintenance of the system after it is accepted. New and existing Fire Alarm systems shall be UL certificated in accordance with SFFD AB 3.03;
DD. If system is to be monitored by a Supervising Station (specify Central; Remote or Proprietary station); indicate name; address; contact information and UL listing number;
EE. Describe the degree the building is protected by automatic sprinklers:
- Not sprinklered
- Partially (Not Fully sprinklered)
- Fully (100%) Sprinklered
FF. For high-rise buildings, indicate the fire alarm system evacuation/relocation method in conformance with SFFD AB 3.05 (full evacuation, partial evacuation, or relocation/evacuation). The fire alarm system sequence of operation shall be consistent with the facility emergency plan. If relocation of occupants is required provide a relocation/evacuation matrix on the plans (See example matrix in Addendum B). The facility emergency plan shall be current and shall include the relocation/evacuation procedure based on the approved fire alarm permit;
GG. In partial evacuation and/or relocation of occupants is provided, demonstrate how pathway survivability is achieved per NFPA 72 Chapter 12 (via approved/listed 2-hour circuit integrity cable; 2-hour enclosure; etc.) Comply with NFPA 72, Chapter 12 & 24 requirements for pathway survivability. Provide a separate “Survivability Riser” on the plans showing the 2-hour pathways protection (See sample riser diagram in Addendum “C”);
HH. If only one manual fire alarm box is provided in a fully sprinklered building or for a sprinkler waterflow and supervisory system, the fire alarm box shall be installed adjacent to FACU. This manual fire alarm box shall generate full building general alarm (total evacuation) where a building fire alarm system is installed. For a sprinkler waterflow and supervisory system, the manual fire alarm box shall generate an alarm signal at the FACU and transmit an alarm signal to the supervising station and shall not activate the exterior audible device. This single manual fire alarm box shall be required to be connected to a separate zone or circuit on the FACU that shall not be placed on TEST mode when the building FA system or the sprinkler waterflow and supervisory system are placed on TEST mode;
II. Dedicated function fire alarm systems (such as sprinkler waterflow and supervisory system; elevator recall and supervisory systems; etc.) are permitted to incorporate multiple functions. (For example, elevator recall smoke detectors and/or duct smoke detectors may be tied into a sprinkler waterflow and supervisory system control unit for supervision purposes, if an existing fire alarm system is not already installed in the building. A separate dedicated control panel for each function is not required in this case). A sign indicating all system functions shall be provided adjacent the FACU (For example: “Sprinkler waterflow and elevator recall and supervisory control unit”). See SFFD AB 4.11 for specific requirements for Sprinkler Waterflow and Supervisory systems. Dedicated function(s) fire alarm systems which are not required to be supervised off-site by a supervising station, such as an elevator recall and supervisory system, are not required to be provided with a smoke or heat detector at the FACU location;
JJ. It is prohibited to provide the “Alarm Verification Feature” and/or the “Pre-signal Feature” for any fire alarm system (under SFFD jurisdiction). Reference NFPA 72 Sections 3.3.17 & 220.127.116.11.1.
KK. Buildings with one or more elevator shall clearly show all elevator location(s) and must include on the plans all relevant associated elevator information per the “Elevator Checklist” (shown in Addendum “F” below) for reference. All associated elevator information must be obtained from the elevator service company; building owner; and/or the elevator consultant associated with the project.
- NOTE: Compliance with Addendum “E” below is required regarding the “Flashing Hat” feature for all new Group IV elevators and retro-actively for all existing Group IV* elevators upgrades. A copy of addendum “E” shall be incorporated on all fire alarm permit plans having Group IV elevators adjacent the fire alarm system sequence of operation matrix.
- NOTE: Compliance with Addendum “E” will also be required when observed during annual fire alarm system inspections.
- (*Any contract to install an elevator that was signed on or after May 1, 2008 mandates that the elevator comply with all Group IV Elevator requirements per California Title 8 (Elevator Safety Order, Chapter 4, Sub-Chapter 6 which adopts ASME A17.1- 2004 edition).
II. MODIFICATION OF FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS (FIRE ALARM SYSTEM TENANT IMPROVEMENTS)
A. Indicate make, model number and current State Fire Marshal listing sheet of existing FACU;
B. Indicate make, model number, and size of existing batteries, include battery calculations for new devices (provide larger capacity batteries if required);
C. Indicate make and model number of existing initiating devices (to ensure California State Fire Marshal [CSFM] compatibility) with the new FACU if provided;
D. Provide manufacturer's specification sheets and State Fire Marshal listing sheets for all new devices and components (may be loose leaf);
E. Address all items for new submittal with regard for new or existing devices;
F. With regard to minor alterations to a system (three or less new devices or appliances in general) voltage drop calculations may not be required if an existing NAC is maintaining building standards and is less than 200 feet from the FACU or remote power supply (following the path of the wire). Voltage drop calculations shall be provided for all new NACs;
G. At a minimum, a detailed scope of work, an equipment list for all new and existing devices/components, a Sequence of Operations Matrix and a riser-diagram must be included with associated plans for each fire alarm and/or signaling system permit submittal. Provide a copy of the approved fire alarm system plans for reference as applicable. If a copy of the previously approved fire alarm/signaling system submittal is not available, the minimum submittal requirements in this section must be followed. Floor plans to scale will not be required in that case. This minimum submittal requirement shall also apply for like-for-like system replacement and/or emergency fire alarm control unit replacement permits;
H. Central processing unit (CPU) and/or motherboard replacement require permit application and plans submittal. The plans shall indicate that a 100% test of all of the fire alarm system functions plus 10% of all existing devices is required per the approved S.O.O.M; this test (100% functions + 10% initiating devices) shall also be required for an FACU/CPU/ Motherboards replacement projects when the existing initiating devices are not replaced Compatibility listing between the new FACU and the existing initiating devices must be provided by the applicant and be placed on the permit plans. All new fire alarm system devices and components (if provided) must be tested. The minimum submittal requirements in item G above, must be followed.
I. Any FACU/CPU or Motherboard replacement work shall require the new or modified FACU to be supervised off-site by an approved supervising station via a wireless communicator per item VIII of this document. Exception: If the fire alarm system is not required by current code and is installed on a non- required/voluntary basis, it shall not be required to be supervised off-site.
J. Any FACU/CPU or Motherboard replacement work in buildings having more than 4 levels shall require to provide an approved LED annunciator per ABs # 3.01 and 3.02.
K. Provide a reference copy of the approved architectural and mechanical plans associated with the fire alarm T.I. scope of work. (Note: At the discretion of the plan reviewer, reference plans can be waived.)
III. The use of a LOW-POWER RADIO (WIRELESS) FIRE ALARM SYSTEM (AKA: WIRELESS FIRE ALARM SYSTEM) shall be approved only under all of the following conditions:
A. All Low-Power Radio (Wireless) fire alarm systems’ components, design and installation, must be approved by SFFD as a “Fire Only” permit and must have associated Fire Inspection and Electrical Inspection per the approved permit.
B. Low-Power Radio (Wireless) fire alarm systems shall be permitted to be installed in existing buildings only (low-rise and high-rise buildings).
C. Low-Power Radio (Wireless) fire alarm systems shall not be permitted to be installed in existing buildings having an existing Emergency Voice Alarm Communications system (EVACS).
D. Low-Power Radio (Wireless) fire alarm systems shall not be permitted to be installed in existing buildings having existing smoke control systems in accordance with CBC Section 909 (Section 905 for
E. All Low-Power Radio (Wireless) fire alarm systems shall be UL certificated and shall meet SFFD AB 3.03 requirements for a new Fire Alarm system.
F. The installation of Low-Power Radio (Wireless) fire alarm systems shall be monitored by an approved off-site supervising station with a runner service (Central or Proprietary service only). See Section VIII for the required means of communications between the Fire Alarm system and the off-site supervising station.
G. The Low-Power Radio (Wireless) fire alarm System shall be designed, installed, and maintained per 2016 NFPA 72: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.
H. All Low-Power Radio (Wireless) fire alarm systems’ components shall be listed for the purpose for which they are installed by Underwriters Laboratory Inc. (UL) or other approved listing and testing laboratory. They shall also have current California State Fire Marshal listing.
I. Low-Power Radio (Wireless) fire alarm systems are permitted to serve as the only Fire Alarm system for the building or they could be connected or combined with the existing building Fire Alarm system as approved by SFFD on a case-by-case basis.
J. Low-Power Radio (Wireless) fire alarm systems shall include on the fire alarm permit plans a “Site Survey Record Sheet” showing all required repeater and antennas signal readings and proposed locations. The site survey may not be required for a meshed-network Low-Power Radio (Wireless) CSFM listed system.
IV. ELEVATOR INTERFACE WITH FA SYSTEM WHEN A NEW OR REPLACEMENT FIRE ALARM SYSTEM IS INSTALLED
A. EXISTING BUILDINGS
1. A fire alarm system upgrade does not generate an existing elevator system (or controller) upgrade. If an elevator is upgraded, modernized, or altered (elevator modernization or controller replacement, etc.) the requirements of CA Title 8 Elevator Safety Orders, ASME A17.1-2004, NFPA 72, and items 2-4 below shall apply.
2. Low-rise buildings: If new sprinklers are installed in an elevator machine room/hoistway, a shunt trip function and all its associated components shall be provided.
3. High-rise buildings. Existing sprinklers shall not be removed from freight elevator hoistways and shunt trip function shall be provided.
(Items 4 through 6 pertain to elevator controller replacements or elevator group IV modernization projects)
4. High-rise buildings. If the existing elevator was provided with a shunt-trip function, the fire alarm system shall maintain this function unless the SFFD procedure for sprinklers removal was performed under separate permit. (Removal of sprinklers from elevator machine rooms/hoistways is permitted in high- rise buildings or in low-rise buildings on a case-by-case basis). See attached procedure for sprinkler removal in Addendum “D” below).
5. High-rise buildings. If the existing elevator was not provided with the shunt-trip function and existing sprinklers are located in the elevator machine room/hoistway, these sprinklers shall be removed per addendum “D” below, or shunt-trip function shall be provided.
6. Low-rise buildings. If the existing elevator was not provided with a shunt trip function and existing sprinklers are located in the elevator machine room/hoistway, these sprinklers shall not be removed, and a shunt-trip function shall be provided. Exception: On a case-by-case basis the sprinklers may be permitted to be removed.
7. New High-rise buildings provided with Fire Service Access Elevators (FSAEs) and/or Occupant Evacuation Elevators (OEE) having Occupant Evacuation Operation (OEO) shall comply with SFFD AB 5.08. Specific temperature monitoring system and FSAE/OEE status panel shall be provided in the Fire Command Center. Refer to NFPA 72-2019 Section 21.5, A.21.5 and 21.6 on a best practices basis.
B. NEW BUILDINGS
1. High-rise buildings: Sprinklers shall not be installed in all passenger traction (standard overhead and Machine Room Less – MRL elevators) associated spaces: machine rooms, control rooms, machinery spaces, hoistways’ pits and top of hoistways, per SFFD AB 2.04. Shunt-trip function shall not be provided. Control spaces for new MRL elevators are prohibited per CEC-2016 & 2019. All MRL elevators having steel-coated-belts shall have FT-1 rated belts. Combustible belts (without FT-1 rating) are prohibited.
2. Low-rise buildings: Sprinklers shall not be installed in all passenger traction (standard overhead and Machine Room Less – MRL elevators) associated spaces: machine rooms, control rooms, machinery spaces, hoistways’ pits and top of hoistways, per SFFD AB 2.04. Shunt-trip function shall not be provided.
3. All buildings: Sprinklers shall be installed in every hydraulic elevator machine room with associated shunt trip function. Sprinklers and associated fire alarm initiating devices (FAIDs) shall not be installed in hydraulic elevator pits, per SFFD AB 2.04 and this bulletin.
C. BUILDINGS with Machine-Room-Less (MRL) Elevators
1. All MRL elevators must be provided with smoke detection coverage at the top of their hoistways at their machinery space containing the driving machine & the smoke detection device/component must be accessible for repair testing and maintenance from outside the hoistway, in accordance with 2019 NFPA Section 21.3.7. This required smoke detection shall be either with an Air-Sampling type smoke detector installed outside the hoistway in an approved location, or a spot type smoke detector installed on a metal shelf within a metal protective cage combined with a 90-minute fire rated and listed (i.e., UL) access hatch door provided at the top (ceiling or wall) of the elevator hoistway. If an Air-Sampling type smoke detector is provided by the fire alarm vendor, it shall not require associated architectural plans. If the access hatch door option is proposed, an approved (by both DBI and SFFD) detailed architectural plan must be submitted showing the access hatch detail with an approval letter from the elevator contractor for compliance with all required hoistway clearances.
V. RESIDENTIAL OCCUPANCIES--SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS
A. Indicate on the plans the specific residential occupancy for the building (R-1, R-2, SRO, etc.);
B. If the building is classified as R-1, the fire alarm plans shall show the required hearing-impaired devices and sequence of operation in specific units based on the number of units indicated in CFC Table 907.5.2.3.2. The specific hearing impaired unit numbers shall be specified by the owner and identified on the fire alarm plans as “hearing-impaired” units.
C. If the building is classified as R-2, incorporate CFC Section 907.5.2.3.3 as a verbatim note onto the plans. (It is not required to provide all dwelling units with visual appliances). R-2 occupancies having hearing-impaired and/or communication units specified by the owner, shall have the specific unit numbers identified on the plans.
D. Low frequency audible appliances must be provided in “R” occupancies per NFPA 72, Section 18.104.22.168.
E. Compliance with the SFFC section 122.214.171.124 and SFFD AB 3.08 is required for existing R occupancies as applicable.
F. Per NFPA 72-2016 Section A.126.96.36.199, the SFFD requires Low Frequency audible appliances to be installed in all sleeping areas in residential occupancies. Sleeping areas shall include all areas intended for sleeping and also areas that could be potentially used for sleeping such as living room areas of an apartment or dwelling unit.
G. Addressable fire alarm system smoke detectors with Low-Frequency sounder bases shall be permitted to be installed inside sleeping units in lieu of the required single or multiple stations smoke alarms. These system detectors shall be required to transmit supervisory signal to the FACU.
H. Where visual notification is required inside a hearing-impaired unit in existing R occupancies, it shall be permitted to have a CSFM listed combination single or multiple stations smoke alarm combined with a strobe for a local in-room audible and visual alarm notification. The strobe portion of this listed combination appliance shall not be required to have battery backup power as permitted by NFPA 72 Chapter 29. Fire alarm system audible and visual or combination audio/visual appliances shall also be permitted to be installed for this purpose. When provided, all fire alarm system in-room smoke detectors having integral sounder bases, shall be required to produce low-frequency tone per NFPA 72 Section 188.8.131.52 if they are used to generate a general-building-evacuation alarm tone in addition to the local in-room audible alarm. When provided in lieu of single and multiple stations smoke alarms, all fire alarm system in-room smoke detectors with integral sounder bases, shall not be required to generate low-frequency tone if separate fire alarm system low-frequency audible appliances are installed in each sleeping area and generate general-building-evacuation alarm tone. All single and multiple stations in-room smoke alarms with integral sounder bases shall not be required to produce low-frequency tone.
VI. RADIO COVERAGE FOR EMERGENCY RESPONDER WITHIN BUILDINGS
(See ADDENDUM “G”)
VII: TWO-WAY COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS
(See ADDENDUM “H”)
VIII: MEANS OF COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS AND SUPERVISING STATIONS.
Due to the lack of support and service by the telephone industry for the existing Public Switched Telephone Network (‘PSTN’) and Plain‐Old Telephone Service (‘POTS’) it is prohibited by the 2016 NFPA 72 section 184.108.40.206.4 to provide a Digital Alarm Communicator Transmitter (DACT) employing either POTS or cable telephone lines as single transmission means of communication between the protected premises Fire Alarm system and the off-site supervising station.
Since other transmission means of communication employing single technologies are permitted by the 2016 NFPA 72 Section 220.127.116.11, the SFFD is prohibiting the use of either POTS or cable telephone lines with a Digital Alarm Communicator Transmitter (DACT) for all new communicators installations.
New Fire Alarm systems:
All new Fire Alarm systems required by 2019 SFBC shall transmit the alarm, supervisory and trouble signals to an approved supervising station in accordance with the 2016 NFPA 72. The supervising station shall be listed as either UUFX (Central Station) or UUJS (remote & proprietary) by the Underwriters Laboratory Inc. (UL) or other approved listing and testing laboratory or shall comply with the requirements of FM 3011.
All new communicators shall employ either GSM (Cellular) or Mesh Radio (RF) technology as their required single technology communications means. If additional (Non-DACT) technology is requested to be provided on a non-required/voluntary basis, it may be approved by SFFD on a case-by-case basis.
The SFFD prohibits the use of IP-Based technology communicators as a single technology communication means due to their incompliance with the 2016 NFPA 72 Section 18.104.22.168 for the required 24 hours Secondary Power.
All new communicators shall be monitored for integrity at the FACU and at the supervising station for any communication or trouble condition.
Existing Fire Alarm systems:
It is recommended that building owners and/or Fire Alarm service companies be proactive and convert their existing Fire Alarm systems’ DACT communicators to a new Cellular or RF communicator prior to a potential catastrophic failure of the existing DACT telephone service. If an existing DACT communication means to the off-site supervising station is out of service due to a telephone service failure – a SFFD approved Fire Watch shall be provided until the required means of communications is restored.
The conversion process from an existing DACT to a new Cellular or RF communicator shall require a One-Dollar Over-The-Counter “FIRE only” permit and an associated fire inspection.
The permit application shall include, as a minimum:
1. A scope of work indicating: “Converting existing DACT to a new Cellular or RF communicator – ALL existing Fire Alarm system components and sequence of operation shall remain unchanged”
2. The existing previously approved Fire Alarm system sequence of operation matrix shall be provided with an indication: “The existing Fire Alarm system sequence of operation shall remain unchanged”
3. Current catalog cut sheets and CSFM listing sheets for the new proposed communicator.
4. Battery backup calculations for 24 hours standby plus 5 minutes of alarm (or 15 minutes of alarm for Voice Fire Alarm systems)
5. A floor plan or a diagram (not required to be to scale) showing the location of the new communicator as a NEW device and the existing DACT as “To be removed”
6. All new communicators are considered as “Control Equipment” and they shall have smoke detection at their installed location. If existing smoke detection does not exist at the installed location of the new communicator, a new smoke detection shall be provided.
7. All new communicators shall be monitored for integrity at the FACU and at the supervising station for any communication or power trouble condition.
IX: Wireless Zone Controller and NAC Extender shall be approved only under all of the following conditions:
A. All Wireless Zone Controller and NAC Extender systems’ components, design and installation, must be approved by SFFD on a “Fire Only” permit and must have associated Fire Inspection and Electrical Inspection per the approved permit.
B. Wireless Zone Controller and NAC Extender systems shall be permitted to be installed in existing buildings only (low-rise and high-rise buildings).
C. Wireless Zone Controller and NAC Extender systems shall not be permitted to be installed in existing buildings having an existing Emergency Voice Alarm Communications system (EVACS)
D. Wireless Zone Controller and NAC Extender systems shall not be permitted to be installed in existing buildings having existing smoke control systems in accordance with CBC Section 905 or 909.
E. Wireless Zone Controller and NAC Extender systems are only permitted to be connected or combined with the existing building Fire Alarm system as approved by SFFD on a case-by-case basis.
F. Wireless Zone Controller and NAC Extender systems shall be only permitted for use with separately listed compatible Fire Alarm Control Unit that must be UL certificated and meet SFFD AB 3.03 requirements for a new Fire Alarm system.
G. The installation of Wireless Zone Controller and NAC Extender shall be only permitted for use with separately listed compatible Fire Alarm Control Unit monitored by an approved off-site supervising station with a runner service (Central or Proprietary service only). See SFFD AB # 2.01 Section VII for the required means of communications between the Fire Alarm system and the off-site supervising station.
H. Wireless Zone Controller and NAC Extender Systems System shall be designed, installed and maintained per the applicable Edition of NFPA 72: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.
I. Wireless Zone Controller and NAC Extender systems’ components shall be listed for the purpose for which they are installed by Underwriters Laboratory Inc. (UL) or other approved listing and testing laboratory. They shall also have current California State Fire Marshal listing.
J. Wireless Zone Controller and NAC Extender systems shall include on the fire alarm permit plans a “Site Survey Record Sheet” showing all required equipment signal readings and proposed locations.
K. The San Francisco Electrical Code (SFEC) requires that the Wireless Input/output units be powered by a 15 or 20 ampere branch circuit within the dwelling unit and shall not be supplied by an existing receptacle circuit. It is permissible to power these devices from a dedicated circuit or an existing 120-volt smoke detector circuit. Arc-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection shall be provided for the wiring per SFEC 210.12. An accurate panel directory is required to reflect the modification to the system or circuit.