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FDC and Exterior Alarm

FDC and Exterior Alarm

FDC and Exterior Alarm

Is an Alarm/Bell required by NFPA 13 to be installed by the FDC?  I know a local alarm is required, but does it need to be located by the FDC?

RE: FDC and Exterior Alarm

I don't believe it is required.

A.  Audible alarms are normally located on the outside of the building. Listed electric gongs, bells, horns, or sirens inside the building, or a combination of such used inside and outside, are sometimes advisable.
Outside alarms can be omitted where the sprinkler system is used as part of a central station; auxiliary, remote station, or proprietary signaling fire alarm system utilizing listed audible inside alarm devices.
A.  All alarm apparatus should be so located and installed that all parts are accessible for inspection, removal, and repair, and such apparatus should be substantially supported.
The water motor gong bell mechanism should be protected from weather-related elements such as rain, snow, or ice. To the extent practicable, it should also be protected from other influencing factors such as birds or other small animals that might attempt to nest in such a device.

RE: FDC and Exterior Alarm

I believe NFPA 72 does not requires it but AHJ may want such device installed

RE: FDC and Exterior Alarm

not required by nfpa 13 to be above the fdc

check with ahj

RE: FDC and Exterior Alarm

Thanks all for the confirmation.

RE: FDC and Exterior Alarm

Agree with above.....the old school of thought was to guide arriving apparatus to the fdc via the ringing exterior bell or motor gong

RE: FDC and Exterior Alarm

International Fire Code (2006) states the following:

903.4.2 Alarms. Approved audible devices shall be connected to every automatic sprinkler system. Such sprinkler water-flow alarm devices shall be activated by water flow equivalent to the flow of a single sprinkler of the smallest orifice size installed in the system. Alarm devices shall be provided on the exterior of the building in an approved location.

Where a fire alarm system is installed, actuation of the automatic sprinkler system shall actuate the building fire alarm system.

I simply do not understand WHY this statement of fact is not included in NFPA 1, NFPA 101, NFPA 13 or NFPA 72!

This requirement (shall is the key word used 4 times) is simply too hard to find.

RE: FDC and Exterior Alarm


I agree with you however the point and question here is: Is it required to be above the FDC

No standard that I know of requires such thing unless required by local or insurance AHJ

RE: FDC and Exterior Alarm

Good point NJ1........details are important & I missed the mark on this one!

I am not aware of any requirement for alarm devices in the vicinity of the system FDC.

RE: FDC and Exterior Alarm

It's not required in the 2009 or 2012 International Fire Code.

RE: FDC and Exterior Alarm

As an AHJ, (recently retired), I usually asked that the alarm device be over the fdc when installed on the building.  This was mainly for the firefighters to locate the fdc easier.  It was not a code requirement.
Later in my career, I required the alarm device to be a horn/strobe because modern fire departments require the use of headsets for their firefighters. This was required, even though the outside alarm was not required when the building had a monitored fire alarm system, even though it exceeded the minimum.  I got very few objections.

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