Before a fire emergency hits campus, end users should review the Fire Alarm & Signaling Code and apply technologies accordingly.
Fire alarm installers and technicians are familiar with the Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (NFPA 72); they regularly work with the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) to determine whether a fire alarm control panel is compliant with NFPA 72 and other safety provisions relating to fire detection, signaling, and emergency communications demands.
As the mass notification system market evolves and expands, many fire alarm system designers and emergency mass notification system providers have started integrating fire alarms with security and mass notification systems. This allows organizations to leverage existing fire panels to expand their emergency communication efforts in the event of an emergency.
As emergency mass notification systems continue to evolve, so too has the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code Handbook. According to the 2013 handbook preface, “requirements have been incorporated in the Code in an effort to keep pace with this ongoing evolution in integrated system designs and to preserve the integrity, reliability, and performance that are essential for fire alarm systems.”
Organizations exploring options for enhancing their emergency mass notification capabilities using an existing fire alarm panel will find Chapter 24 of the handbook on emergency communications systems (ECS) a helpful resource when conducting a risk assessment.
Chapter 24 was added to the 2010 edition of the Code to address “requirements for the installation and performance of emergency communication systems (ECSs) for in-building fire emergency voice/alarm communications systems (EVACs).”
End users will find information pertaining to one-way emergency communications systems, in-building mass notification systems, wide-area mass notification systems, and distributed recipient mass notification systems (DRMNSs); however, the handbook does provide some flexibility pertaining to unified facility notification systems and components.