Everyone knows that on a typical fire alarm system that is usually from before 2019/2020, pull stations would be included. These devices are prone to false alarm and therefore would occasionally be set to generate an alarm at the panel without setting off any NAC’s.
Do you think that it should be done in a two-stage setup with a standby tone or coding , a standby message (voice evac system only), silently (only going off at a point of annunciation), or not done at all?
I say that even in this era pull stations are still important for manual actuation of the fire alarm system; as for false alarms measures can be taken to help reduce them, such as installing alarm-equipped covers (such as STI’s Stopper II) over the stations.
I believe that all buildings should have manual pull stations, for several reasons.
- In many cases, pull stations aren’t the source of false alarms
- In many fires, high amounts of smoke and poisonous gases can build up long before a sprinkler system would activate
- If someone is determined to cause a false alarm, there are other ways to do so - e.g. damaging a sprinkler head
If there are concerns about false alarms from pull stations, my recommendation would be either or both of the following:
- Signage reading “Misuse of this alarm will result in prosecution”
- Break-glass covers, like these:
Those are interesting ideas. The problem with STO stoppers is that in any emergency people don’t realize that the cover isn’t the actual alarm, and those break glass ones aren’t ADA compliant at all. You guys keep mentioning sprinkler heads activating, in your area are smoke detectors not installed? Where I live smoke detectors are used throughout every single building regardless of sprinkler coverage.
I still say that every component of a fire alarm system: the panel, the pull stations, the smoke, beam, duct, heat, flame, & CO detectors, the notification appliances, everything, are all still very important to have even in modern systems. Also both covers clearly say “Either break or lift me then pull the station behind me”. How exactly is the break-glass one not ADA-compliant anyway? All one has to do is grab the hammer & smash the glass with it, which virtually anyone can do.
In my area only certain types of buildings like schools and hospitals require smoke detectors throughout when fully sprinklered. Other buildings that are fully sprinklered only require a smoke detector above the panel, by the elevator if there is one, and by the magnetic fire doors if they exist in the building.
To reply to your comment about being ADA compliant, the reason it’s not is because if you don’t have the ability to grab the hammer for reasons such as you not having fingers, you wouldn’t be able to raise the alarm. Those covers are actually banned in my state along with several types of pull stations due to this.
Well yeah, but most pull stations also require one to have fingers to activate it.
Which state is this?
In that case I’d recommend a lift-cover Stopper, with a tamper-evident seal: Non-Residue Label - Tamper Evident Tape