New Code.

If you can change code, what code would you change? Or would you just change all code altogether?

What do you mean by “code”? :?

If I could change fire alarm code, I would allow frosted strobes, march time, and mechanical horns.

ADA code? Like something that has to be followed in a real life safety system.

The idea behind changing codes is to make buildings safer for their occupants, not to pander to personal wishes on what fire systems should be. Code changes usually revolve around technology changes and building uses among many other things. If you were to actually review just the code books that are involved with fire alarm (there are 4 that come to mind but many more exist) installation, your mind would be blown away. Even further, different code books contradict each other. I really wish the codes were publically accessible to all over the internet that way you young guys here could actually read up on them. Like I said I think you might come away with more questions than answers.


I think they should allow fire alarms to be controlled through ethernet – especially with PoE.

They shot that idea down though because of the lack of ground fault detection.

Allow new installs to have the control panel wired to a power cord that plugs into a receptacle.

Allow in-suite notification appliances (e.g. mini-horns) to have a Silence button, like on Canadian models.

I would allow electric horns to have to be made and put into systems again.

but couldent someone hack it and BOOM!!! they now have the control of the fire alarm system

If they were to control the alarms that way, I’m sure that they would put up a lot of security to prevent that from happening.

I believe you think I’m trying to say that I want to change code? If so, you are incorrect. I’m asking "
If you can change code, what code would you change? Or would you just change all code altogether?". Sorry for the confusion.

That Is true

No, it could only hack that NAC, much like pumping in 24V into the line yourself and make it seem like the system was in alarm.

there is nothing that says you can’t use any type of horn over another.

UL, NFPA, BOCA, etc, all play a part. these aren’t meant to tailor to the preferences of the people in the building.

Remote control via IP has been brought up in a product demo for Honeywell Totalconnect, which is available for all newer Vista control panels from the 15P/20P series to the large 128FBP/250FBP. Although these can be controlled via smartphone or the internet, UL standards do not allow it. (as per the Honeywell rep).

Alarm communication via IP is still coming into the age - I, as a service tech, am 100 percent opposed to IP communication - you are relying on too many hands in the pot. The end user, their in-house IT people, the router, the internet company, etc. Too much to go wrong - we have quite a few burglar alarm systems that are or were monitored via IP transmitters and either they would lock up, or the customer would switch internet providers and the proper ports weren’t opened, etc. Or (and this is the experience of most alarm guys), the in-house IT people are computer geeks that have to have control of everything, they get in and start messing with port settings and next thing you know, a tech has to drop what he’s doing to get out there now only to find out it’s not the IP transmitter, it’s a router issue. That also makes all alarm guys have to now be IT people, something I am not the least bit educated on - then when we go on a service call, we have to usually contact their IT guys and reschedule the service call so that they can be there too.

Decades of POTS communication via copper telephone lines have proven to be reliable. Panel, phone jack, then bam, out the door to the local central office. sure, a line could go down - but honestly, the majority of line failure service calls I see are due to the lines being turned off by the customer. Any alarm guy can troubleshoot this - all he needs is a butt set. No dial tone at the demarc? call Verizon. done. Gamewell systems in cities are still more reliable and easier to troubleshoot than IP.

We are looking for reliability, not so much convenience.

I wouldn’t be in favor of any type of remote access. In many jurisdictions, the user isn’t even allowed to reset the panel until the fire department arrives and says it’s ok. A person should absolutely be in front of the panel or an annunciator to silence. Exceptions, of course, are for large facilities that have a dedicated remote annunciator terminal. Convenience isn’t a factor in making codes.

No, I think things are fine just the way they are.

So someone can easily unplug it my mistake.

They don’t prohibit mechanical horns. Electronic horns take way less amperage so voltage drop is much less so engineers just don’t want to specify mechanical horns, so manufacturers stopped making them for the most part…

These are all hypothetical, overlooking the real-life life safety issues.


Anyway, in small houses and gas stations, where a small system is installed, it can be useful to not have to add another circuit to the sub power panel.

I think a gas station would have a fairly large breaker panel, fuel pumps, refrigeration, lighting, controls…etc… Also, a small home is not going to need a commercial FACP, a Burg/Fire panel will be used and/or a flow switch and bell if the house is sprinklered. Another issue of having the FACP on a shared circuit is that a breaker could trip because of a faulty appliance, appliance goes boom, no AC to the FACP, for whatever reason the batteries fail. No alarms will be going off. They have these codes in place for a reason.