QUARTERLY INFORMATION FROM THE LEADER IN DETECTION AND NOTIFICATION
FAAST protects restricted-access environments.
The FAAST Fire Alarm Aspiration Sensing Technology® offers the most early and accurate
fire detection available. And its ability to be mounted outside the protected space while
sampling air through nearly invisible, tamper-resistant sampling points makes it an ideal
solution for many restricted-access environments.
Learn more at systemsensor.com/faast.
EDITOR’S LETTER By Jackie Lorenty,
Manager of Product Marketing, System Sensor
Access Denied: Something Borrowed
Many of us can relate to the logic that there’s no Borrowing great ideas makes sense. Of
sense reinventing the wheel: Why start fire and course, planners must always keep the unique
life safety design from scratch when there are needs and applicable codes for every installation
already so many tried-and-true procedures and in mind. OSHA regulations, for instance, allow
examples from which to borrow? mental institutions to have locked doors blocking
This month’s issue discusses how to design egress routes, which leads to other necessary
and install fire and life safety systems for design considerations.
restricted-access zones, which may have more in Challenging the status quo with fresh
common with other applications than you think. approaches and new technologies is what will
Prisons, just like hospitals, use a protect-in-place help all of us excel as we move forward. System
strategy, which is based on the notion that it’s Sensor is committed to building on what works
unwise to discharge occupants onto the street with product development aimed at bringing even
every time a detector sounds. That strategy would greater ideas to fruition in the future.
be intolerable for schools, yet those serving the Fill out the enclosed business reply card
education market can relate to how prisons must or go to systemsensor.com/ls/brc for more
safeguard sprinkler heads and take other information.
IN THIS ISSUE
4 Finding a Safe Way
Out of Danger
WINTER 2011 Reference Icons Social Media LifeSafety Magazine is provided as a courtesy to our colleagues in the fire
and life safety community. While we make every attempt to ensure the
Follow us on Twitter: accuracy of all information contained herein, product specifications and
@systemsensor building codes are always subject to change. Under no circumstances
should product or code information published in LifeSafety Magazine be
considered a substitute for written instructions from the manufacturer or
Authority Having Jurisdiction. Always follow proper installation and
Join us on LinkedIn: maintenance practices, including carefully reading and understanding
System Sensor manufacturers’ instructions before attempting to install, operate or maintain
any life safety equipment.
Your thoughts and comments are welcome at email@example.com.
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SystemSensorUS or visit www.systemsensor.com.
Finding a Safe Way
Out of Danger
Inmates will abuse any building component within
reach. So how do you design a system to detect and
protect while keeping it safe, too?
Any building environment prone to highly intuitive, cutting-edge technology Fire and life safety within
vandalism requires special fire and life in compliance with local regulations and controlled-access institutions can be
safety systems design considerations. applicable standards. achieved through the use of early
In the case of prisons and correctional warning smoke detection, automatic
facilities, fire and life safety response Designing for High Security sprinklers, compartmentalization,
planning differs from other high-abuse established fire zones and a relocation
environments because the majority of Fire protection designs for a prison plan. Considering the small space and
the occupants are behind locked doors. follow strict guidelines that are spelled restricted means of egress, early
This poses unique challenges in terms out in NFPA and local building codes. detection and response are critical.
of fire safety and may be the most NFPA 101®: Life Safety Code®, requires Prisons have the reputation for
difficult to protect from fire, in part new jails to be constructed of limited- or being the worst abusers of fire
because the cardinal rule of immediate non-combustible materials. Automatic protection systems. Finding a balance
evacuation does not apply. fire sprinkler and detection systems are between effective smoke detection –
There are many different functional mandated to be present throughout. while avoiding nuisance alarms – and
buildings, or sections of buildings, in a When dealing with potentially hostile tamper resistance often leads to
prison, including workshops, laundries, facility types, NFPA 101 also requires a installation of detectors behind
stores, classrooms, athletic facilities, manual, automatic or combination ventilation grilles, outside cells or in
religious facilities, administrative offices, manual/automatic fire-alarm system to cross-listed cages. This makes
medical units and the house-blocks. be installed. maintenance, testing and inspections
Special consideration is needed in the In addition, the Federal Bureau cumbersome. Early warning is
cell blocks, and potentially the medical of Prisons has a set of fire protection imperative for controlled response and
unit, where prisoners are locked into guidelines for federally controlled evacuation before reaching dangerous
their accommodations. correctional facilities. The guidelines are levels of carbon monoxide, carbon
Similar to public hospitals, prisons focused on providing life safety for the dioxide and temperature.
and mental institutions adhere to a inmates while emphasizing the need to
“protect-in-place” strategy, opting to minimize fire hazards as well as to Viability of Spot Detection
relocate occupants from the area of fire remove the opportunity for vandalism in
origin to a secure area within the facility. the form of arson. Smoke control often Typically, photoelectric and ionization
Yet, to be effective, fire and life safety plays a key part of the design and fire detectors are used to passively detect
systems in these sites must incorporate engineering approach. smoke. These addressable, early
(continued on page 6)
4 LifeSafety Magazine WINTER 2011 System Sensor
warning smoke detectors, as well as heat Aspiration: High Sensitivity differences in air quality, humidity,
detectors, can be an option for protecting a and Security temperature and other factors.
prison if they are tamper resistant and are
strategically placed to avoid vandalism. Aspiration detection systems, which Sprinkler Considerations
Not only do the devices need to be are capable of detecting byproducts of
out of the physical reach of inmates who combustion in concentrations as low as Fire sprinkler systems are yet another
could damage or disable them; they must 0.00046% obscuration per foot, offer component of the fire and life safety
also be out of the range of other advanced and Very Early Warning Fire system in prisons. Many designs are
destructive sources, such as water that Detection for specialized applications, adjusted to minimize vandalism to the
inmates could throw on the devices. as well as for sites requiring more careful sprinkler heads. Because the sprinkler
Therfore, placement and installation can consideration. heads are an easy target, especially for
be just as important as the type of Because aspiration systems use bored inmates or institutionalized patients,
detection chosen. a series of pipes with pinpoint holes to pre-action fire sprinkler systems with
Another viable solution is intelligent continuously sample the air for trace pop-out designs are widely used.
Very Early Warning Fire Detection spot amounts of smoke, these detectors are An electronic valve controlled by the
detectors, which are similar to traditional well suited for prisons and other vandal- heat or smoke detection unit in pre-action
detectors except that they employ a more prone environments. The pipes can be fire sprinkler systems holds back water.
Individual sprinkler heads open to release
water onto the areas where it is most
[The Federal Bureau of Prisons] guidelines are focused on needed and concentrate the flow of water
providing life safety for the inmates while emphasizing the directly onto the fire.
need to minimize fire hazards as well as to remove the Pre-action systems normally have
only pressurized air in the pipe; merely
opportunity for vandalism in the form of arson. releasing the air pressure will not allow
water into the pipe. The pre-action valve is
advanced detection method. For run through the ceilings or other building controlled by a releasing panel, which can
example, laser-based smoke detectors components, well out of the reach of be configured to release water after
are up to 100 times more sensitive to prying hands. Plus, any portion of the receiving one or multiple signals.
smoke than standard addressable or piping projecting through to the protected The fire and life safety system design
conventional smoke detectors. They are rooms is so minimal that it can even be for prison and correctional facilities takes
designed to respond to incipient fire difficult to see. Most importantly, on elements that challenge current
conditions as low as 0.02% obscuration aspiration detection provides enough time detection technology. The high potential
per foot to provide valuable time for for personnel to plan or conduct a for vandalism and suicide attempts adds
personnel to investigate the affected area controlled response, whether it’s to equipment considerations that can be
and to take appropriate action. suppress the smoke source or to easily overlooked by those unfamiliar with
Because intelligent laser smoke evacuate a portion of the facility, which is this environment. Understanding the
detectors are individually addressable, important for protecting lives while features, listings and approvals for the
they are able to send information to the maintaining security. devices is always a primary element of a
central control station, thereby pinpointing Aspiration detection can be installed system design.
the exact location of the smoke. This can in various areas of a facility and can be Systems for prisons have unique
be key to providing the protect-in-place programmed at different sensitivity considerations and elements outside of
strategy in that officials can immediately ranges. In a prison, range adjustment the typical standards and building codes.
identify the problem area and take action, enables aspiration systems to work just as Care must be taken to ensure all aspects
including sending someone to investigate well in machine shops or boiler rooms of the design have been properly
the problem and moving occupants to a within the prison as they do in individual evaluated to ensure the safest fire and life
different section of the facility. cells or common areas, while allowing for safety system possible.
6 LifeSafety Magazine WINTER 2011 System Sensor
OSHA Fire Response evacuation procedures and be prepared remain unlocked and must swing
Regulations for Prisons to unlock any doors at a moment’s notice. outward, hinging on the side.
In these cases, according to OSHA Alarms and Detectors: Any fire
Locked Doors: According to OSHA regulation 1910.36(d)(3), exit route doors extinguishers, alarms and detectors all
(Occupational Safety and Health may be locked from the inside, given that undergo regular inspection and testing to
Administration), correctional, mental and the facility has an escape plan in place. ensure their proper functioning as
penal facilities have slightly different fire Means of Egress: OSHA requires required by OSHA. The precise number of
response regulations than other types of that all public places and workplaces fire extinguishers, alarms and detectors
workplaces and public places. OSHA have a clearly marked, easily navigable required in a correctional facility varies by
requires that all buildings have exit routes means of egress, or exit route, in case of state and even locally, according to which
unblocked by any locked doors or other an emergency such as a fire. This means version of the National Fire Protection
obstructions to a fast and efficient exit. In of egress must meet all of the criteria for Association code an area uses as its
the case of mental, penal or correctional regular workplaces. Locked, guarded standard. As part of emergency readiness
facilities, locked doors may block exit doors are permissible in correctional training, all guard personnel must be
routes as long as supervisory personnel facilities, however. Otherwise, the facility trained and capable of using fire
are continuously posted along the exit must have at least two exit routes and as extinguishers as needed.
routes, as necessary, to allow a fast exit many additional routes as necessary to For more information, fill out the
response in case of emergency. Guard allow full evacuation in a timely manner. enclosed business reply card or go to
personnel must be trained in emergency The main exit door of the exit route must systemsensor.com/ls/brc.
Smart, and Intelligent
The New Advanced Multi-Criteria
Meet both Fire and CO code with a single addressable
device that saves time and money on installations.
Learn more at systemsensor.com/fireco.
ASK THE EXPERT By Jim Mickowski
in High-Risk Zones
Jim Mickowski, an engineer with PSJ Engineering, has more than 25 years of experience
in the design and installation of fire suppression systems. His experience ranges from
working on stadiums, museums and office buildings to high-security, high-risk areas in correctional facilities
and nuclear facilities where there is “no access allowed.”
Can you tell us about your What types of fire safety systems How do you design for an area
company? and products do you that is to remain off-limits to
recommend for these types of most?
PSJ Engineering is a mechanical projects?
engineering company specializing in Typically, no-access areas are small
the design of fire protection building We recommend single and double areas in relationship to the whole
systems as well as heating, ventilating, interlock pre-action systems, because project. Those areas should not affect
air conditioning and plumbing. We have they have many benefits. They provide the overall impact of construction cost.
been designing fire protection systems early warning. They are relatively low We design each area as a pod. In that
for 25 years. PSJ is headquartered in cost, simple to install, easy to operate pod, we design the system so there has
Milwaukee with an office in Madison, and maintain, and you don’t have to to be a smoke or heat detector
Wisconsin. We’ve been fortunate to consider room construction or HVAC, as activated before the water even enters
have a wide gamut of projects from is the case when using a clean agent the piping. And then you still have the
stadiums to office buildings. The system. We’ve had a lot of problems final safeguard: the sprinkler head. The
company has completed work for Miller activating clean agent systems and water doesn’t discharge until the
Park (home of the Milwaukee Brewers) getting them to work correctly. The sprinkler heads open up. We are trying
and the Milwaukee Museum. envelope that those systems require to prevent accidental discharge.
depends on the HVAC and building For instance, a penal control room is
How do you define a no-access- construction. It’s very difficult to keep a very small area with numerous cells.
allowed area? the building construction tight enough. The cells obviously are vandal resistant
The air has to go somewhere, so the but are not really high security. A lot of
We have designed fire protection HVAC system has to complement a times, a prisoner will knock off a
systems for penal and nuclear reactor clean agent system. It gets a little sprinkler head and get a discharge of
control rooms and would consider these complicated. water. Sure, it’s a pain to fix, but it’s not
areas high-security, no-access-allowed A single or double pre-action with causing any catastrophic damage. The
areas. You can also classify control trouble alarms before the water actually penal control room, however, is the
rooms and areas that house computer enters the piping gives maintenance or no-access area. If the computers or the
infrastructure, where computers need to supervisory personnel an opportunity to security hardware are damaged, you
be protected from water and vandalism, investigate and then take appropriate are talking about infrastructure issues
as no-access-allowed areas. action. The best way to minimize impact that could cost large amounts of money.
is to provide early warning so people I think money and cost to repair go
can investigate and take action. hand in hand when designing a project
(continued on page 10)
8 LifeSafety Magazine WINTER 2011 System Sensor
“Can you imagine if
chaos erupted due to fire,
and someone got into a
penal control room? They
could release the cells
and doors. You need to
protect the electronics
and control mechanisms.”
— Jim Mickowski
Engineer, PSJ Engineering
ASK THE EXPERT
with no-access-allowed areas. That is sprinkler systems in computer rooms all What advice do you have for
what you are trying to eliminate. You are the time. The key in the computer room is others in your field when
trying to take the maximum safeguards to to turn the power off before water is designing a fire safety system for
protect that equipment. Can you imagine discharged. Computers can withstand high-security/no-access-allowed
if chaos erupted due to fire, and someone getting wet provided the power is not on. projects?
got into a penal control room? They could It’s when the computer power is on and
release the cells and doors. You need to the water shorts them out that you have a The fire protection engineer must look at it
protect the electronics and control problem. We use a combination of water from the perspective of the person who
mechanisms. Treating each of those flow switches that are in the piping; when has to maintain it. A sophisticated system
areas as pods helps secure that area and the water comes into the piping, it turns is not good if there is no one who knows
minimize cost in the event of a fire. off all power to the computers. And don’t how to maintain it. Meet the user to verify
forget the battery backup. that he understands the system and see if
So why wouldn’t you use an he has any comments. It has been our
aspiration system in these areas What specifics must you consider experience that if the user supports the
instead? when designing fire suppression design, you have a happy client. Have a
systems for no-access-areas? colleague look at the design with a fresh
It’s not that we wouldn’t use it. We just set of eyes and get his comments. The
prefer wet suppression. Aspiration is also In today’s economy, you want to open it building manager should be able to
a simple system; but it is smoke detection, up for every qualified individual to be able contract any fire protection contractor to
not fire suppression. It certainly has its to maintain the system you are designing. maintain the system if they cannot do the
maintenance themselves. Keep these
“Incipient fire detection, if a project can afford questions in mind:
it, is one of the nicest luxuries any owner can • Will maintenance personnel
afford. The false alarms caused by dust are understand the way it works?
• Is it simple enough?
a thing of the past.” • Is there something that I can do to help
— Jim Mickowski, Engineer, PSJ Engineering the maintenance person understand?
• Does your client want to subcontract
place. Incipient fire detection, if a project It only benefits the owner’s maintenance the maintenance?
can afford it, is one of the nicest luxuries budget. If you have a highly specialized • Will all fire protection contractors have
any owner can afford. The false alarms system that only the factory can maintain, the ability to maintain the system?
caused by dust are a thing of the past. it can drive up costs. We are firm
believers in keeping it simple; wet For more information, fill out the
What types of challenges do you suppression is a simple system. It’s enclosed business reply card or go
have with no-access-allowed important for the maintenance people to to systemsensor.com/ls/brc.
areas? understand the system and the operation
of it. Typically, the maintenance staff has
There is always the challenge to protect not been trained on high-tech fire
the computers. Computers should not be protection systems, so we try to make
subject to water exposure. We opt to sure we design the simplest system that
design water suppression systems in a will perform in accordance with the user’s
computer room all the time – and we put requirements.
10 LifeSafety Magazine WINTER 2011 System Sensor
If you need heat detection, System Sensor has a fixed temperature,
rate-of-rise, or combination heat detector for your application.
To learn more, visit systemsensor.com/heat.
of Seattle Schools
As one of Chief Sealth has undergone periodic system related to accommodating
Seattle’s upgrades to its fire and life safety unblemished ceilings, which in turn
largest school campuses, Chief Sealth system prior to this renovation. created obstacles in installing the
and its co-located facility Denny Already equipped with NOTIFIER® devices,” says Tony Bartling, Project
International Middle School are and System Sensor products, the Manager at Chubb. “The goal was to
undergoing a complete renovation newly designed system was required do as little exposed pipe work as
and rebuild. Although the changes are to maintain that standard and reuse as possible, which caused some
happening simultaneously, the project much as possible. additional challenges in determining
is split into building phases: Phase Because of its specific experience the locations of the smoke detectors
One is the renovation of Chief Sealth, with NOTIFIER and System Sensor and of the audible visible devices.”
and Phase Two is the rebuild of Denny devices, Chubb Fire & Security, a UTC Overall, detectors and notification
with a light-filled galleria joining the Fire & Security Company, worked with devices were placed throughout the
two campuses. Tres West Engineers of Tacoma, campus in accordance with the
Renovation of the 230,000-square- Wash., to design and manage the International Fire Code. But that didn’t
foot Chief Sealth was completed with installation of the fire and life safety always prove to be easy. “One of the
challenges in the building was the
“System Sensor devices are working number of beams that crossed
corridors.” says Dennis Lane, Sales
together in a networked fire alarm situation, Engineer at Chubb.
thereby providing increased fire protection The driving factor was to provide a
for one of the crown jewels of the Seattle code-compliant system. “The nice
part about the current fire alarm
school district.” system is it is easily expandable to
— Dennis Lane, Sales Engineer at Chubb accommodate additional notification
devices or the smoke detectors,
an emphasis on life safety issues system for the school renovation.
beam detectors, heat detectors, what
and energy and environmental Chubb is a fully licensed fire, life
have you. The device compatibility
conservation, while revitalizing the safety and security contractor with
and expansion becomes a non-
school’s appearance inside and out. expertise at retrofitting properties to
issue,” says Bartling.
The objective was to create a superior current safety standards.
“System Sensor devices are
educational environment, including Because Chief Sealth has serviced
working together in a networked fire
classrooms with technology the community since its opening in
alarm situation, thereby providing
upgrades, new foreign language 1957, the school district was concerned
increased fire protection for one of the
classrooms, a renovated auditorium about maintaining its heritage and
crown jewels of the Seattle school
and full Americans with Disabilities existing architecture, including its
district,” says Lane.
Act accessibility. beautiful, arched ceilings. This was one
For more information, fill out the
Catering to roughly 1,000 students, of the factors that played into the fire
enclosed business reply card or go
who comprise one of the most and life safety system design.
ethnically and culturally diverse “There were some complications in
student bodies in Washington state, the actual design of the fire alarm
12 LifeSafety Magazine WINTER 2011 System Sensor
*This is a representative image, not the actual Chief Sealth facilities.
Dual Strobe Expander Plates
Cut costs, speed installation, and improve the installation, hinge and attach the strobe
aesthetics on emergency communications or speaker strobe device with a single
applications that require fire and captured mounting screw.
emergency warnings by combining the Dual Strobe and Dual Strobe with
functions of two to three devices on a Speaker Expander Plates are designed for
single mounting plate and back box. use in 12 or 24 volt, DC or FWR (full wave
SpectrAlert® Advance Dual Strobe rectified) systems. Amber lens strobes are
and Dual Strobe with Speaker Expander UL 1638-Listed (Visual Signaling
Plates provide dual strobe and speaker Appliances) for Private Mode General
strobe functionality that’s easy for a single Utility Signaling. All SpectrAlert Advance
person to wire and install. Simply mount products are suitable for use in
the plate to a junction box and connect the synchronized systems. To learn more, visit
field wiring to the terminals. To complete systemsensor.com/ecs.
5151 Conventional Heat Detector
A conventional, 2-wire device, the 5151 is properties in a newer, more modern
a combination fixed and rate-of-rise package. The new housing matches other
thermal detector designed to provide System Sensor conventional products,
open-area protection with 50-foot spacing enabling you to provide your customers
capability as approved by UL 521. For with a consistent look throughout their
local alarm indication, it includes two LEDs facilities. For more information on the 5151,
on each detector for full 360° visibility. visit systemsensor.com/heat.
The 5151 replaces the 5451 heat
detector and carries the same electrical
5600 Series Heat Detectors
Model # Activation Type
5601P Fixed Temp./ROR
The System Sensor 5600 Series of
5602 Fixed Temp./ROR
mechanical heat detectors come in a 5603 Fixed Temp.
variety of configurations to meet your 5604 Fixed Temp.
application needs. To find the 5600 5621 Fixed Temp./ROR
Series heat detector for your project, 5622 Fixed Temp./ROR
visit systemsensor.com/heat. 5623 Fixed Temp.
5624 Fixed Temp.
14 LifeSafety Magazine WINTER 2011 System Sensor
CODES AND LEGISLATION
State and Municipal Code Adoption Update
The New Mexico Construction smoke detectors from being installed as TRAINING AND SEMINARS
Industries Division (CID) has a primary form of smoke protection.
adopted the 2009 International Residential
Code (IRC) without amendments to the CO
The state of Oklahoma has required
CO detection to be installed in child
and smoke detection sections. That means day-care occupancies since 2000. In July,
CO detection is required to be installed in the Uniform Building Code Commission
newly constructed one- and two-family officially adopted the 2009 IRC with To view the current seminar schedule,
dwellings and townhouses not more than modifications. The modifications are: visit systemsensor.com/seminars.
three stories that contain a fuel-fire
appliance or an attached garage. The CO • CO detection is not required within the Webinars
alarms shall be installed outside of each dwelling unit if the attached garage has
To view the current webinar schedule,
separate sleeping area in the immediate a sealed door between the residence
go to systemsensor.com/webinars.
vicinity of the bedrooms. In addition, the and the garage and no fuel-burning
West Virginia State Fire Commission has appliances are in the residence.
adopted the 2009 IRC without amendments
Trade Shows 2012
• The household fire alarm system
to the smoke detection section. requirements in R313.2 and R313.2.1 Association of Heating &
With New Mexico and West Virginia were moved from the body of the code Refrigeration Expo
adopting the 2009 IRC, household fire to the annex. January 23-25
alarm systems using system-connected Chicago, IL
smoke detectors will be permitted to be In Massachusetts, the Board of Fire
installed as a primary form of smoke Prevention Regulations (BFPR) has ISC West Expo
protection if the system is owned by the suspended all current fire code (527 CMR) March 27-29
homeowner as a permanent fixture and committee meetings, including 527 CMR Las Vegas, NV
installed in accordance with NFPA 72®. In 31, because it is in the process of adopting
the previous edition (2006) of the IRC, a NFPA 1, Fire Code, for the next edition of National Fire Sprinkler Association
provision prohibited system-connected the state fire code. June 11-13
Las Vegas, NV
Electronic Security Expo
SYSTEM SENSOR ONLINE June 25-29
System Sensor Launches New Emergency
Communications Systems (ECS) Page
Looking for product information, training, new Dual Strobe Expander Plates for
or design tools for your emergency emergency communications systems.
communications or mass notification In addition, you’ll find training and
system (MNS) project? The new System white papers on ECS-related subjects,
Sensor ECS landing page collects all this including codes and standards and
information and more on a single page. If meeting intelligibility requirements for
you go to systemsensor.com/ecs, you voice evacuation systems. Finally, you’ll
can access information on the full line of find information on new software tools that
SpectrAlert® Advance ECS and MNS can help you design intelligible voice
devices and accessories, including the evacuation systems for your ECS projects.
LifeSafety Magazine WINTER 2011 System Sensor 15
Dual it yourself.
Cut costs, speed installation, and improve aesthetics on your
emergency communication applications by combining the functions
of two to three devices on a single mounting plate and back box.
SpectrAlert® Advance Dual Strobe and Dual Strobe with Speaker
Expander Plates provide dual strobe functionality that’s easy for a
single person to wire and install.
Learn more at systemsensor.com/ecs.