Fire Alarms in... New Constuction

“Dang, I wonder what fire alarm system that place is gonna have”

All of you new construction fire alarm nerds, this topic is for you!

Choose a commercial building in your area that’s either under construction or planned to be constructed, speculate what sort of fire alarm system will be installed, and post the results when the building is completed. Multiple people are welcome to take guesses on the same building. Building additions and renovations are also fair game. I’ll start…

There’s a new convention center complex being built near my house (scheduled to be complete next month), with two five-story hotels. I’m expecting the building to have a Notifier voice-evacuation system with System Sensor SPSRL(C) speaker/strobes, SRL(C) strobes, Notifier FSP-851 smoke detectors, and Notifier NBG-12LX pull stations.

A nearby mall is undergoing an addition (scheduled to be complete in March). The building currently has two Simplex 4100U voice-evac panels tied together with Wheelock E-series speaker/strobes and Simplex TrueAlarm smoke detectors, and I’m thinking that the new wing is going to have Simplex TrueAlert speaker/stobes (just the standard addressable version) with TrueAlarm smoke detectors. My second guess would be TrueAlarm smoke detectors with Wheelock E-50/60 speaker/strobes. I don’t expect any other major system changes as the system is only about ten years old.

A middle school in the school district that I attend is most likely getting their system upgraded in the summer. The current system is a simplex 4002 (that’s all I know as I never been to the school). It most likely will get replaced in the summer of 2019. I speculate that the new system will be an EST 3 because the school district has used EST equipment as an ideal replacement system for older systems. I predict the system to have EST genesis ceiling mount speaker strobes, ceiling mount remote strobes and wall mount speaker strobes (in some areas), wall mount speakers and wall mount remote strobes, similar to what my high school has.

There’s talk my high school may be undergoing an expansion and renovation project. Currently the campus consists of the main building, the field house/athletic building and the Fine Arts building, linked via overpasses. They want to add a new science and technology building to the school. The campus was built in 1969-1970 with Simplex 4247 fire alarm systems; the alarms were Simplex 4040 horns that were mostly flush-mounted and REALLY loud! (Matter of fact, it’s currently the loudest fire alarm system in the whole city!) They also put in Simplex 4255-1 and 4265 heat sensors, but for some odd reason they used Edwards 270-SPO pulls!

Some time in the 90s, the main building’s Simplex 4247 system was replaced with a big red 24-zone FCI FC-72 panel, and System Sensor 2400 smokes were installed for elevator recall, but everything else stayed the same. During the 70s or 80s two of the Edwards pulls that failed were replaced with Simplex 4251-20 pulls, and from the 90s onward a few more Edwards pulls got replaced with newer Edwards/AIP/GE 270-SPOs. The athletic building still has the old Simplex 4247 system setup, though in the swimming pool room there are two Simplex 4251-20 pulls replacing the old Edwards pulls. Didn’t see the panel in Fine Arts.

Of course, this setup is beyond obsolete by now, but the school has been really tight on money so they have to follow grandfather clauses for the time being. The school doesn’t even have sprinklers! But with the impending renovation and expansion, they will HAVE to put in new fire alarm equipment. Chances are it’ll be voice-evac, given it’s a code for fully-new fire alarm systems in Massachusetts schools nowadays, and it’ll be either EST or Notifier. Maybe they can link all the new systems together on a network or something; that should make it a lot easier for when they conduct fire drills and whatnot. They will obviously have to get sprinklers as well.

Isn’t it a code now for new systems and new buildings to have voice evac anyway?

Large buildings, it is. Around here, voice-evac is definitely a requirement for new schools, hospitals, and other certain large high-occupancy areas. Smaller restaurants and stores still typically go with horn/strobes.

A brand new soccer complex was just completed pretty much right down the road from me, and it has a pretty unexpected system. The actual soccer fields are all outside, so the indoor area is basically just locker rooms and a concessions area. The building couldn’t be more than maybe 15,000 square feet, yet is has a full Gamewell-FCI E3 voice-evac system with System Sensor L-series speakers and speaker/strobes (no remote strobes), all wall-mounted as far as I could tell. While the concessions area and restrooms had exactly what you’d expect and pretty normal device placement, the concourse that is used to access the different soccer fields has alternating speakers and speaker/strobes spaced less than 20 feet apart! Another oddity is that the building only had beam detectors for detection purposes, no pull stations or smoke detectors.

Sorry for the thread bump, but something like this is going to happen at my college during this semester, in the Student Union building! They’re working on renovating the cafeteria and adding a new enrollment office, and as part of this, the existing fire alarm equipment in the cafeteria will be replaced. Currently there is a Faraday U-HN-MCS horn/strobe, and a Simplex 2901-9833 horn on a 2903-9001 light plate. Both are replacing Standard 450 horns on the flush-mount Standard light plates, original to the building’s construction in 1971. There are also two Faraday F1G Chevron pulls on ADA-extension adapters, replacing the original Standard 200177 pulls.

Since the building currently has a Notifier AFP-200 system (installed in the early 2000s), chances are they will go with Notifier for the new devices; they did so when they renovated parts of the building’s ground floor in 2013-2015, plus the college has stuck with Notifier and Fire-Lite since this decade began (previously using Faraday systems and equipment along with System Sensor detectors). They will obviously put in NBG-12LX pulls (and yes, I learned they’re going to put Stopper II covers over them to prevent any more false alarms) and FSP-851 smoke detectors, but I am wondering what they’ll do for alarm signals. The renovated ground floor wings have SpectrAlert Advance horn/strobes that sound on Code-3, while the other electromechanical horns in the building (old Standard 450s and a couple more U-HN-MCSs) are on Continuous. Perhaps they’ll either clear out old stock on Advances, or maybe even go with the new L-series horn/strobes! That wouldn’t surprise me either, seeing as how we’ve been using Honeywell fire alarm equipment for quite a while now (plus, a few stores in my town’s mall have the L-series horn/strobes, as they have a Notifier NFS2-3030 system with devices from the 90s to the present.)

Update: Turns out they are indeed going with the System Sensor L-series horn/strobes as part of this construction! I knew it was only a matter of time before they began appearing at my college, since we started using Fire-Lite and Notifier at the start of this decade (before that it was Faraday and Space Age Electronics.)

Maybe then you will get a chance to see them in action. :slight_smile: