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Life Safety & Fire Prevention creates “buzz” with local building owners
oncerned that safety standards for fire alarm bells in older multi-unit buildings would not effectively wake residents in bedrooms furthest from the public corridors, Fire Official enforce the mandated in-suite audibility to ensure the safety of occupants.
• Easiest upgrade with minimal tenant disruption • Quickest way to get compliant with fire code regulations • Exceeds minimum standards specified by UL and NFPA.
Mandated minimum standards for audibility has become the “hot topic” with building owners responsible for buildings that don’t comply.
• Compatible for the implementation of future applications little incremental infrastructure investment.
“SAY NO” to New Wiring, Mess, Noise and Long Term Interuptions for Audiblity Upgrades! When it comes to upgrading a Fire Alarm System, building owners should not have to be subjected to long retrofit renovations and rewiring to assure occupants safety.
Is your fire alarm loud enough to wake you? No exposed electrical conduit, wiring, electrical boxes, or booster power supplies. Fire-Link®II utilizes a revolutionary new technology to communicate through the building’s existing electrical AC wiring.
“The approved Fire Alarm Audibility Retrofit Upgrade that Save Lives!“ Install 2 - 3 devices in the electrical room and plug in the in-suite device, that`s it! A typical 50-unit install takes about a day.
Fire-Link®II is a UL / ULClisted fully supervised and addressable 75dBA mini-horn with optional 30 candela strobe that was specifically designed to meet NFPA 72 and this proven technology has been installed North America wide. Many lives and thousands of dollars could be saved thanks to a revolutionary new technology that sends signals through the existing AC wiring in a building. www.signalink.com 1(888)491-3883
• Less device tampering with built-in ISD mounting bracket for secure attachment to wall. • Improved user interface for residents, unit light does not blink and unit does not make any sound except in alarm conditions. • Optional 30 candela strobe feature for the hearing impared. • 24 Hour back up power - reliable device communication even in the event of power failure
Audibility problems with Fire Alarms in apartment buildings According to a study conducted by the Institute for Research in Construction, in 1995, it appears that not only the overall sound pressure level but also the sound spectrum and the location of alarm-bells, have a major impact on the audibility of the fire alarm throughout a building.
Location the alarm bells in the corridors or staircases does not ensure the occupants will hear the alarm from inside their units even if the sound pressure is set at a very high level. More importantly, locating alarm-bells in
corridors seems counterproductive because once the occupants have left their units to evacuate, they no longer need the sound of the alarm to be alerted of the danger. In the buildings studied, the sound of the alarm in corridors was so loud, that exchange of verbal information became impossible and occupants could not discuss a plan of action.
pressure to allow people to exchange information.
It is important to remember that fire alarms are installed to alert occupants that an emergency exists. If the occupants cannot hear and recognize the alarm, it entirely defeats the purpose of having fire alarms.
The 1995 National Building Code of Canada will have provision for an alarm-bell in every suite of new apartment buildings which, hopefully, will solve the problem in the future. Meanwhile, however, there is a very large existing building stock where alarms may not be audible by all occupants.
DID YOU KNOW?
It could be suggested that alarm-bells may not be needed in the corridors and staircases of apartment buildings. Nevertheless if alarm-bells appear needed, than they should have a low sound
occupants in residential 25% of buildings cannot hear the fire alarm signal from inside their suites.
Canada & U.S. Civilian Fire Deaths per Million People 1997 - 2001 Annual Averages, by Province or Territory and State Province Alberta British Columbia Manitoba New Brunswick Newfoundland* Nova Scotia Ontario Prince Edward Island* Quebec Saskatchewan
Average 12.0 9.4 21.3 11.4 12.9 8.3 10.7 14.5 11.1 14.4
Territory Northwest Territories Yukon
National average of listed territories and provinces 11.2 *These provinces did not report for all five years. Their rates are based on the year they reported.
State Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi
Average 25.9 20.5 8.4 24.2 6.4 5.3 8.1 11.6 8.2 15.8 5.1 8.2 12.2 14.4 12.1 14.4 17.1 21.3 12.3 10.9 8.7 14.9 8.3 32.1
State Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming
Average 16.6 10.2 9.6 8.7 7.9 8.7 8.5 10.7 15.7 8.4 11.7 17.3 9.4 15.1 7.9 20.1 9.1 23.1 11.4 4.2 16.2 12.5
Source: Annual report from Association of Canadian Fire Marshals and Fire Commissioners, excludes national defense and other Federal lands and First Nation reserves. NFPA, Analysis and Research Division, Fire in the U.S. and Canada 2001. U.S. death certificate data from National Center for Health Statistics, state population data from Statistical Abstract of the United States 2001. Some deaths in intentional fires may be grouped elsewhere as homicides or suicides, and most deaths in vehicle post-crash fires will be listed under crashes. Consequently, state fire marshal offices may have different data.