NIST Time|NIST Home|About NIST|Contact NIST

HomeAll Years:AuthorKeywordTitle2005-2010:AuthorKeywordTitle

Cost-Effective Compliance With the Life Safety Code for Health Care Occupancies.

pdf icon Cost-Effective Compliance With the Life Safety Code for Health Care Occupancies. (783 K)
Weber, S. F.; Lippiatt, B. C.

NISTIR 6030; June 1997.

U.S./Japan Government Cooperative Program on Natural Resources (UJNR). Fire Research and Safety. 13th Joint Panel Meeting. Volume 1. March 13-20, 1996, Gaithersburg, MD, Beall, K. A., Editor(s), 97-104 pp, 1997.

Available from:

National Technical Information Service
Order number: PB97-184204


fire safety; fire research; life safety code; cost effectiveness; health care facilities


ALARM, Alternative Life Safety Analysis for Retrofit Cost Minimization, is a personal computer software tool that helps building managers and fire safety officers achieve cost-effective compliance with the widely-used "Life Safety Code". This first version of ALARM supports analysis of health care occupancies. An equivalency provision of the code, called the Fire Safety Evaluation system, establishes a scoring system that permits trade-offs among safety features. ALARM exploits this flexible provision by helping users find cost-effective solutions to compliance. ALARM generates a set of near least cost alternative code compliance strategies and their estimated costs. These strategies offer decision support by providing a set of alternatives from which to select the most appropriate code compliance strategy based on both cost and design considerations. The software offers a code compliance optimizer, a comprehensive file manager, and a full-screen data editor. The optimization method used in ALARM has been field tested in nearly 100 hospitals since 1981. Cost savings have averaged between 30 and 35 percent of the cost of prescriptive compliance strategies. Future versions of ALARM could address other building occupancies.