Fire Alarm & Detection Systems Submittal
Pre-engineered building fire alarm and detection systems are a means to provide early notification to occupants that an emergency exists or is imminent.
To provide and enhance new and existing construction with life safety features that adhere to the current fire code.
Installations of fire alarm systems shall comply with the National Fire Alarm Code (NFPA Standard #72), as amended by Chapter 35 of the California Building Code, California Fire Code, and Berkeley Fire Code- local ordinances.
California Fire Code, Berkeley Fire Code, NFPA 72 “National Fire Alarm Code”
Apartment Building Owners and Alarm Technicians:
You may have recently received a letter from the Berkeley Fire Department regarding the need for a fire alarm system in your building. The following is the Berkeley Fire Code (BMC 19.48) citation from the letter:
“TT. 907.3.1.7 Group R-2 Occupancies [Amended subsection] An automatic and manual fire alarm system shall be installed and maintained in existing Group R-2 occupancies with three or more stories or sixteen (16) or more sleeping units.”
To explain further, if your building is 3 or more stories in height or contains 16 or more apartments, there must be a fire alarm installed. This fire alarm must be manual, meaning it has manual pull stations requiring a human being to recognize a fire and activate the alarm and it must have specific automatic equipment that will detect a fire and activate the alarm automatically. The automatic alarm requirement is satisfied by the use of smoke detectors that are system connected and electronically supervised. These detectors must be located in the common areas and interior corridors. Individual apartments need only the non-system connected smoke alarms (battery or hardwired).
Your building may already have a manual fire alarm; if so, it needs to be upgraded to include an approved automatic alarm. If your building is already outfitted with an automatic and manual fire alarm, you may disregard the letter. All apartment buildings are inspected as a part of the Berkeley Fire Department’s Annual Fire Prevention Inspection Program. This automatic requirement was not an enforcement focus in previous years. Therefore, if you have not received a violation notice for your fire alarm in previous years, this is not an indication that your building is in compliance now.
Please contact the Welcome desk of the Permit Service Center to find out details on the permit process – 510-981-7502.
Permit Application, Fees, and Inspections:
At the time of plan submittal, the contractor shall provide for each separate address:
- A separate, completed and signed permit application
- A certificate of Worker's Compensation Insurance
- A copy of the installer's business license
- Three (3) complete sets of shop drawings (max. 30"x44")
- One (1) copy of the manufacturer's specifications and listings, and CSFM listing sheets
- Full payment of required fees
The approved permit will entitle the applicant to two inspections:
- Inspection of the rough wiring installation prior to cover, to include the battery test, at which time all initiating and audible devices shall be tested;
- A final inspection.
Additional inspections, if necessary, are subject to additional fees, paid prior to scheduling. It is the installers responsibility to perform sufficient pre-inspection testing to ensure operational integrity and reliability of the system in order to avoid delays at time of final inspection. Requests for an inspection shall be scheduled a minimum of 48 hours in advance by contacting the fire prevention division at (510) 981-5585.
The “Blue” Job Card from the Permit Safety Center (PSC) identifies the permit number for that job to be performed, the Blue Job Card must be present on site during execution of installation and upon site inspections.
The "Title" sheet shall reflect a completed "Fire Alarm System Submittal Cover Sheet", Plans shall be produced in 1/8":1' or 1/4":1' scale, and be a maximum size of 30"x44", utilizing symbols outlined in NFPA Standard 170 “Standard for fire Safety and Emergency Symbols.” The submittal shall consist of a floor plan, reflected ceiling plan, and building/area elevations for each floor that reflect the following:
- Location of all devices
- Type of device
- Location of the fire alarm control panel (FACP)
- Location of remote annunciators
- Conduit connections and size
- Type and size of wire or cable
- Location of exterior mounted devices
- Complete building address, to include floor and suite designations
- Building owners name
- Tenant business name
B. Wiring Diagram:
- Provide both a point-to-point and riser diagram
- Note the type of power supply for the control panel
- External connections of modules in the control panel
C. Symbols list and equipment identification:
- A symbol legend complying with NFPA Std. 170
- Device model number, manufacturers specification and CSFM listing number
D. Alarm circuit load consumption:
- Show quantity of audible devices on the furthest circuit and current consumption
- Show length of the furthest circuit
E. Attachment to drawings:
- Battery Calculations:
- Stand-by power consumption of all current drawing devices
- Alarm power consumption of all current drawing devices including operating signals, lights, relays, etc. Omit power consumption for door Hold opens, unless they are intended to be maintained as part of the system.
- Formula format for battery calculations
- Sequence of operations:
- Provide a step by step outline for the operation of each type of initiating device in the system, to include reset procedures
F. Testing procedures:
The contractor shall provide a testing sequence in accordance with NFPA Std. #72, manufacturers recommendations, and Berkeley Fire Prevention Divisions requirements..