Course Objective
Attendees will learn how to navigate, locate and interpret code provisions and apply them in their daily work. Attendees will also learn how to improve the quality of signaling system applications as an integral part of fire protection. REGISTER NOW!

Module 1. The Basics

  • Explain the relationship between building codes, fire codes, elevator codes, mechanical codes, NFPA codes and standards and NRTL (UL/FM) standards. Understand how one gets to NFPA 72.
  • List three basic fire safety goals.
  • Explain basic fire behavior including flaming vs. smoldering, basic heat and smoke dynamics and general smoke characteristics.
  • Explain the difference between fire protection and fire detection/alarm.
  • Describe how fire safety is a system and list several distinct events that must occur for a fire alarm system to be successful.
  • List the different parties that have an interest in the planning, design, approval, installation, inspection, testing, maintenance and use of a signaling system.
  • Discuss the responsibilities that each party has for the planning, design, approval, installation, inspection, testing, maintenance and use of a signaling system.
  • Explain the organization of NFPA 72.
  • Define the key terms used in NFPA 72.
  • Describe the similarities and the differences between a fire alarm system, and emergency voice alarm communication system and a mass notification system.
  • Explain the difference between a protected premise fire alarm system, a household fire alarm system (or single/multiple station smoke alarms) and a supervising station fire alarm system. Also explain how a Dedicated Function Fire Alarm Control Unit and Releasing Service Fire Alarm Control Unit differ from other types of systems.
  • Identify components used to create a fire detection and alarm system.

Module 2. Initiating Devices

  • Explain how the basic components of fire detection systems work.
  • Explain how each component of a fire detection system is used in a design, how it is installed and how it is inspected, tested, maintained and used.
  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of each type of fire detector – including life cycle costs.
  • Demonstrate how to correctly choose the spacing and location of fire detectors for smooth, non-smooth, flat and sloping ceilings by using fire alarm system design plans.
  • Determine the radius of coverage when given a detector spacing requirement and explain how the radius can be used for system design.
  • Demonstrate how to determine the frequency of visual inspection and testing of the various components of a fire alarm system by using the appropriate Tables.
  • Explain the required test methods for the most common components of a fire alarm system.
  • Recognize the unique challenges of fire detection in high ceiling spaces and the factors involved in selecting fire detection to provide fire protection.
  • Layout smoke alarms for different residential applications.
  • List at least three functions of a fire suppression system that can be monitored by a fire detection system.

Module 3. Notification

  • Explain how the basic components of a fire alarm system work.
  • Explain how each component of a fire alarm system is used in a design, how it is installed and how it is inspected, tested, maintained and used.
  • Explain the difference between "public mode notification" and "private mode notification."
  • Determine the required sound level to be produced by a fire alarm system for a given set of conditions.
  • Demonstrate how to correctly choose the spacing and location of audible and visible notification appliances by using fire alarm system design plans.
  • Demonstrate how to determine the frequency of visual inspection and testing of the various components of a fire alarm system by using the appropriate Tables.
  • Explain how to test the most common components of a fire alarm system by using the appropriate Table.
  • Explain why intelligibility is different than simple audibility.
  • Explain the concept of Acoustically Distinguishable Spaces.
  • Explain narrow band signaling and list at least three situations where it may be warranted.
  • Explain how to use alternative approaches for the design of visible signaling in high ceiling spaces.

Module 4. Control Units and Power Supplies

  • Explain how the basic control and power supply components of a fire alarm system work.
  • Explain how each fire alarm system control equipment and power sources are used, installed, inspected, tested, maintained and used.
  • Explain the primary and secondary power supply requirements for fire alarm systems.
  • Demonstrate how to determine the frequency of visual inspection and testing of fire alarm system control units and power supplies using the Code Tables.
  • Explain the requirements for testing the primary and secondary power supplies of a fire alarm system.
  • Discuss how and why how to perform standby battery calculations.

Module 5. Circuits & Pathways

  • Explain how Class B and Class A circuits operate and the principle difference between them.
  • Explain the differences between conventional, addressable and analog addressable components.
  • Show at least two ways to wire emergency control functions for proper supervision and operation.
  • Explain what a “tee” tap is and the list the types of circuits where they are permitted and where they are not permitted.
  • Apply requirements for Class A wiring separation.
  • Explain survivability requirements and their purpose.
  • Demonstrate loop resistance calculations, and voltage drop calculations. (Tools will be provided.)
  • Locate the requirements for the inspection and testing of fire alarm system circuits.
  • List the two fundamental categories of fire alarm circuits used by the National Electrical Code to determine installation requirements.

Module 6. Emergency Control Functions and Interfaces

  • Explain how to interface a fire alarm system in order to perform emergency control functions including elevator recall, elevator shutdown, door control, HVAC control and actuation of a fire suppression or fire extinguishing system.
  • Explain the specific requirements and coordination derived from all applicable codes and standards for elevator recall and power shutdown. (Building code, elevator code, ANSI/ASME A17.1, NFPA 13 and NFPA 72)

Module 7. Off-Premises Signaling

  • Identify the different types of supervising station alarm systems and how they are commonly used.
  • Explain the fundamental difference between Central Station Service and the other types of Supervising Station Service.
  • Demonstrate how to properly connect a Digital Alarm Communicator between a fire alarm system and the telephone system.
  • Demonstrate how to determine the frequency of visual inspection and testing of the supervising station transmitter by using the appropriate Tables.

Module 8. Planning and Design of Fire Detection and Alarm Systems

  • Explain how code requirements for other protection systems impact requirements for fire detection and alarm systems.
  • Explain how identify distinct notification zones in a building.
  • Explain the purpose for providing smoke detection at control unit locations.
  • Explain how an evacuation zone can be comprised of several notification zones and why a notification zone may require several notification appliance circuits.
  • Discuss various types of qualifications for persons who plan, design, install, inspect, test or maintain various types of equipment or systems.
  • Demonstrate how to prepare an input/output matrix for a system.

Module 9. Fire Detection and Alarm System Plans Review

  • Discuss various types of qualifications for persons who plan, design, install, inspect, test or maintain various types of equipment or systems.
  • Create a list of items and information necessary to conduct a thorough review of a proposed fire detection and alarm system.
  • List at least four common mistakes or omissions made by persons submitting plans for review.

Module 10. Accepting/Commissioning Fire Detetion and Alarm Systems

  • Explain the difference between testing and commissioning a fire alarm system.
  • Discuss various types of qualifications for persons who plan, design, install, inspect, test or maintain various types of equipment or systems.
  • Explain the documentation requirements for new and existing systems, including who is responsible for producing and maintaining them.
  • Demonstrate how to determine the frequency of visual inspection and testing of the various components of a fire alarm system by using the appropriate Tables.
  • Explain how to test the most common components of a fire alarm system by using the appropriate Table.
  • Describe at least two situations where coordination with other trades might be required in order to properly test a system.

Module 11. Using and Living with Fire Detection and Alarm Systems

  • For a given system, develop a program and list the requirements for document retention and control.
  • Locate and explain the code requirements for software backup and retention.
  • Identify who is responsible for the inspection, testing and maintenance of a system and how that responsibility can be delegated.