Development of a Standardized Fire Service Interface for Fire Alarm Systems.
Development of a Standardized Fire Service Interface for
Fire Alarm Systems.
Bukowski, R. W.
Research and Practice: Bridging the Gap. Fire
Suppression and Detection Research Application
Symposium. Proceedings. Fire Protection Research
Foundation. February 23-25, 2000, Orlando, FL, 2000.
Fire Protection Engineering, 4,6-8, Spring 2000.
fire alarm systems; standardization; fire departments;
fire codes; management systems
The National Fire Alarm Code in paragraph 1-5.7.1
requires that, "Where required, the location of an
operated initiating device shall be visibly indicated by
building, floor, fire zone, or other approved
subdivision, by annunciation, printout, or other
approved means." Paragraph 1-126.96.36.199 states, "The
primary purpose of fire alarm system annunciation is to
enable responding personnel to identify the location of
a fire quickly and accurately and to indicate the status
of emergency equipment or fire safety functions that
might affect the safety of occupants in a fire
situation." Paragraph 3-188.8.131.52 requires a fire
command center, ...near a building entrance or other
location approved by the authority having jurisdiction.
The fire command center shall provide a communications
center for the arriving fire department and shall
provide for the control and display of the status of
detection, alarm, and communications systems.
...Operating controls for use by the fiie department
shall be clearly marked." In light of these
requirements, it is disconcerting that many fire
departments report seldom using the provided features
because every system (from different manufacturers or
even different systems from the same manufacturer) has a
different interface. Displays and controls are not
consistent, and there is no time to study the manuals.
To address these issues, the National Fire Alarm Code,
Technical Correlating Committee established a task group
to develop proposals for a standard interface for the
2002 Code cycle (the author chairs that task group).
NIST's Building and Fire Research Laboratory (BFRL)
established a cooperative research project through the
National Electrical Manufacturers' Association (NEMA)
and the major fire alarm panel manufacturers to develop
the technical basis for these proposals. This article
describes the work done to date and planned activities
that should lead to an interface that addresses the
needs of the fire service.