Fire Alarm Code violations

I created this topic for posting pictures of code violations you have seen in public.

I’ll go first. While visiting my Great Aunt’s nursing home, I found a system sensor 2400 within a foot of an AC vent.

Next, a really high mounted fire extinguisher in a pet store.

Lastly, a simplex T-bar that originally fell, so they taped over the handle to re install it.

Its funny you mention the t-bar. When I was a kid, there was a Chinese restaurant that used to have a Simplex t-bar with a bunch of clear tape holding up the bar. Odd signals in that place, too. It used to have an old 4050-80 light plate above that pull with the horn taken out and swapped with a System Sensor MASS ADA.

I could fill this topic up quickly! I usually take pictures of the worst case so I’ll just try to post them.

Some “Fire Alarm” code violations so far…

Pull station a little too far from the door:

Camera inside a smoke detector: [attachment=0]camera.jpg[/attachment]

Some “Sprinkler” code violations…

Christmas lights wrapped around some sprinkler piping:

Painted sprinkler head - what made this one unusual is that the sprinkler company painted them! They did a good job, didn't get the bulb or seal painted, but still a code violation. Only permitted paint is factory applied paint. Every sprinkler head was like this. [attachment=1]Painted.jpg[/attachment]
Pipe was just a tad bit too short! There were two heads beyond this that were not connected to the sprinkler system. [attachment=0]Sprinkler.jpg[/attachment]

Some miscellaneous code violations, that would effect life safety:

Electrical shortcut?

Exit corridor in a retail store - and this was in a public space! [attachment=0]Donotblock.jpg[/attachment]

Those EST heads are about perfect for sticking a camera in.

I feel like retail stores really are pretty bad when it comes to blocking fire exits. Grocery stores down here are the worst, the just park carts and displays in front of them all of the time.

Oh yeah, agreed! Especially in the back stock room - and even worst right after a truck just got unloaded. The last place I will go in a fire in a retail store is the back room. But usually people don’t complain (or the FM sees it) because it’s out of sight. I also know of a couple older grocery stores in my area where the is no exit in the back room. There are a couple of roll-up doors but they are padlocked shut unless there is a delivery. The newer stores will have an exit, but you can always put money on it they are blocked.

This picture was taken in what is basically an exit corridor, the shelves on the right have product anyone can come up and grab. I’m pretty sure there is also a buried pull station behind the wooden crate in the rear right, below the horn/strobe.

Those sprinkler violations…wow. What a crappy, unprofessional group to do stuff like that. Most fitters take a lot of pride in their work. I’m surprised to see that image of the pipe not being long enough. As a fitter, your job is to make it fit. You don’t leave two dead ends like that, without seeing the rest of the system and knowing how its fed, its hard to say, but it would be safe to assume that this setup critically cuts down on the hydraulic functions of this system.

Then there’s the painted heads…wtf? Any sprinkler installer worth their salt would know not to do this, its not rocket science. My guess is that they were trying to cut corners and save money. Custom color heads from the factory can cost hundreds in start-up fees. Looks like a bunch of lazy, sloppy boneheads to me. I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that these kinds of installers exist out there. Scary stuff.

I don’t get it? Instead of painting the sprinkler head why can’t they just use a hide away sprinkler (a pop out sprinkler) with the cap. Wouldn’t that be cheaper and have a more sleak finish?

First, on the disconnected pipe… This is a building that technically doesn’t exist on paper. Picture below will help to explain:
What you are looking at is a site that was developed sometime in the 80’s I believe. There was supposed to be two mid-rise buildings here. The parking garage and ground floor were built first, then the tower on the right, then they were supposed to build a tower to the left. But due to the economy taking a hit the tower on the left never got built. But the foundation and parking garage underneath is still there. The sprinkler branch line in the picture I posted is in what was supposed to be the ground floor exit corridor for one of the stairtowers. The red line outlines the corridor. Because the building was never built, this corridor goes nowhere. The maintenance guy who had been there for years didn’t even know it was there! I’m sure what happened was that the original company who installed the system probably didn’t get fully paid for the job and decided to just walk away - or this was supposed to be finished up when the second tower got built but never was.

Second the painted heads… Totally agree with you! It was probably done lowest bidder and to save costs the company thought they could get away with it. At first we did a double take on them, but the clincher was finding the pieces of cardboard in the riser room with holes punched in them so they could hold up the heads while they painted them - and the outline of the escutcheons on other pieces with the same paint. It was something like 50-60 heads I believe, in a restaurant that has several locations in this regions (which I’ve been in and this is the only one I saw this was done). I think to cut down on all the truckslammers, the state went to a system years ago where to do inspections on sprinkler systems you have to be personally licensed by the state, along with your company license. You can’t even sign a tag if you don’t have the license, which I have. They didn’t go to it with installations, don’t know why. And there is talk with doing the same for fire alarms. It would definitely help cut down on the crappy work out there.

I think concealed sprinkler heads are a relatively new thing. They seem to be popping up everywhere now, but I don’t remember seeing them very much 10-15 years ago. Firefly probably has a better idea of when these were popularized.

Concealed sprinklers came out around 1970, I have one of the first models. They really didn’t start gaining popularity until about the early to mid '90s though. The older ones were hell to install compared to the modern ones.

It really doesn’t matter though, the cover plates generally come in the same standard finishes as regular heads, so if you want the color to match, it will cost you.

And those concealed sprinklers really aren’t totally concealed. You still have that shadow line between the plate and ceiling. But that can be cleaned up with a little caulk, right?


It was discussed earlier in the topic that sprinkler head can’t be painted, in one of the violations Lambda posted.

NFPA 25 - - “Sprinklers shall not show signs of leakage; shall be free of corrosion, foreign materials, paint, and physical damage; and shall be installed in the correct orientation.”

NFPA 25 - - “Sprinklers shall not be altered in any respect or have any type of ornamentation, paint, or coating applied after shipment from the place of manufacture.”

ANY paint on ANY part of the sprinkler head that was not applied at the factory is considered a deficiency. I’ve been in discussions with some old time fitters who will tell you that the little speckle of paint on the edge of the deflector will do nothing to effect the performance of the head, and they are probably right! Honestly, I use a judgement call. Look for paint on the bulb or link, seat, seal, or obvious purposeful painting - that is getting written up. The painter who got careless and put that 1/4" speck of paint on the frame, I won’t make it a big deal - maybe more of a comment. It’s always a judgement call.

Oh sure, we wouldn’t want the cover plate to fall off!

Nothing the Fire Marshel would mind, you know :lol: