No fire alarms in 20-story building?

I once was at a relatively recent 20-STORY apartment building in NYC. (Liberty Green) The lobby and some common areas are available on Google Street View.



This building basically has NO FIRE ALARM SYSTEM. (except for 2 smoke detectors on each floor, to control a set of fire doors)



How could this be? Every other building of this size/height that I’ve been to has a fire alarm system.







Sorry for the all caps, but this is ridiculous.

Maybe there’s a tone or message on the PA system?


They don’t have one…

It seems like there are many high rise residential buildings in New York lacking alarms. Some friends of mine live in a 12 story building that only has Nest Protects, albeit the building was built in the early 1900s…

Clarification: There are smoke alarms in the apartments, too.

Coincidentally, I came across a similar situation at the Gershwin Theatre (also in New York City) about ten years ago. It was quite surprising to notice a lack of noticeable fire alarm devices in a theatre featuring nearly 2000 seats.

My grandparent’s 36-story condo building in Chicago had a small Cerberus Pyrotronics system that only had heat detectors (granted the building has sprinklers). A few years ago the building was remodeled and a new Notifier ONYX voice-evac system was installed, but the units themselves were grandfathered in and still just have residential smoke detectors.

The building I’m talking about was built new in 2010…

Are you sure? I noticed on the virtual tour speakers mounted in the ceiling. But the building also has a sprinkler system in it as well, I’m assuming the units have heads in them, which could explain the no fire alarm?

Those speakers are for a sound system. They are only in that area.

Does it have a sprinkler system because if it does, it may be the reason why there are no alarms since they have sprinklers.

I think that only applies to certain smaller buildings, this is a large 20-story apartment building.

Well it may but does it have sprinklers in general though?

Yes, it does

That appears to definitely be true for a typical early-1900s (or not too long before the 1900s) building to have a sprinkler system and a sprinkler bell only.

(Often with those bells that I like to nickname “flower-petal bells”, for the covers having flower-shaped patterns. (the grille) )

Well maybe there is a code that allows for just sprinklers and no fire alarms.

I’ve heard of this for some smaller buildings (e.g. stand-alone McDonalds), but a 20-story apartment building?!

I was reading the NYC building code, and this is the best answer I could come up with. From what I understand from this code the building is a R-2 occupancy.