Sunday, March 23, 2014

What where these Pa. Fire Officials thinking when they Designed and Approved Fire System in this Apartment Building ?

I do work for other alarm installers who are small independents like me helping them out with programming etc. since I am all setup with computers and cables and certified to work on certain brands.
One called me to a building up  Butler County about 50 miles  North of Pittsburgh   where he had just installed a Silent Knight 5700 - 50 point addressable panel
Very nice small addressable panel for this 12 unit building.
There had been a fire in one of the apartments and building owner hired my friend to put in a a fire system the fire officials wanted and my friend did an excellent job putting it in. Only problem the Fire Officials did not want smoke detectors in common hall ways and stairways areas just a smoke detector in bedroom and hall way  with accessory sounder bases  in the individual apartments even after my friend tried to convince them otherwise .
Which is a very bad decision  on the officials as many fires start in hallways and if it does it can block the way to escape. The faster a fire in a hallway is detected  the greater chance occupants could escape and in this case they could not get out windows they are too small or non existent in many rooms. When I talked to the official who came to inspect he said he did not want the false alarms caused by kids loitering around the building?   Clearly the  Pa. State Fire & Panic  codes in effect  at time  and the new State wide code which was just coming into law called for a full fire system that means hallways  and stairways but that's not what they wanted .they also did not want all the pull stations as well so you could notify all the tenants theirs a problem if you did discover a fire .
So shame on them for approving it this way which was completely against code but they get away with it all the time .I filed a complaint with state fire official but he has no powers to enforce and can only suggest things and labor & industry let it pass the way it was done .
Hopefully there never comes a time where the system will be put to test and there is a hallway fire and it goes undetected till it is too late .
But this is what you put up with In Pa. some protection ,no protection  or full protection  some times inspected some times not inspected. and if something goes wrong its cover your ass .
 Until Pa. gets serous about fire protection and following codes correctly the state will continue to lead the nation in fire deaths and firefighter deaths.
Like I keep saying " the Fire service is its own worse enemy" and in this case it proves it.

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