Walmart and Target stores in my area are not to be big on pull stations. They just have one at the desk. Are the Walmart and Target stores in your area like this?
My local target has nothing but annunciators and walmarts have them by exits and one near the customer service desk. My local Costco has a single one behind the customer service desk.
Systems in stores like these seem to skimp out on safety and build a code compliant system for as cheap as possible. They take the bid from the lowest bidder, and then the installer uses as little devices as possible. If there were an actual emergency, I doubt these systems would save any lives.
Remember, these stores are more then likely fully sprinklered. The sprinkler systems would then be tired to the fire alarm system. Pull stations could be eliminated from public exits with FM blessing to reduce malicious alarms. Pull stations would then be located in less public areas accessible to staff, like behind the customer service counter. Some jurisdictions also allow the PA system to be used for a means of mass notification.
Recent codes seem to allow this, though I can’t point to the specific code change. My company has installed a number of systems recently (all in sprinklered buildings, I believe) with only one pull station on the entire system, and it is not necessarily at an exit.
the IBC and 101 changed a long time ago to eliminate pull stations in fully sprinkled buildings. we almost always put one next to the facp in an electrical room somewhere as required by the ahj.
for example, this is from the 2006 IBC regarding group M buildings (mercantile)
“Manual fire alarm boxes are not required where the building is equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system and the alarm notification appliances will automatically activate upon sprinkler water flow.”
The Walmart stores I’ve been to have pull stations by each exit and behind the customer service desk, and they don’t have sprinklers. The local Costco has one pull station behind the customer service desk, which is itself right next to the fire alarm control panel and to the main entrance, and I believe the emergency exits might be rigged to set off the fire alarm upon opening, the store is fully sprinklered.
They are still pretty good about installing pull stations throughout around here. I can only think of two places where they have limited the pull stations. One is a large shopping mall where they took them out. But then again, there are about 500+ smoke detectors in the building. If something starts up, they find out quickly. The “one pull station” system I see are mostly in multi tenant buildings (strip centers and business parks) with no common areas. Like you said, in an electrical or sprinkler room and just there to monitor the sprinkler systems. Individual fire alarm systems are up to the tenants. Makes it fun when you’ve got three or more systems in a building, all interconnected.
New York requires pull stations everywhere, including at these stores. Pull stations are by all exits, as well as all hallways leading to an exit. I have never seen a Walmart, Target, or other big box store/supermarket in this state without a full set of pull stations.The only places I see regularly with few pull stations are convenience stores.
I guess it really just depends on where you live. I have seen institutional pulls in places in the downtown of my city because it’s a pretty sketchy place. My state is very prone to false alarms so lager stores will not have them anywhere but where employees can activate them. Although, in places where they are everywhere, it’s usually in a place where cameras are present.
Usually the Wal-Mart’s and Target’s near me have two of three pulls, but they have a ton of smokes and some of what I assume are heat detectors and plenty sprinklers.
That doesnt really explain why there is still only one NA.
I think it would have to do with code there even if it seems dumb.
Because they have a PA system. If the alarm goes off, they can key up the PA system and announce to everyone to evacuate the building.
The code here in my province, is that you need a pull station near every principal entrance and required exit. We aren’t allowed to have any installations with only one pull station, even if the building is fully sprinklered. You don’t need to install any fire detectors if the room/store has sprinklers, though.