commerical building fire sprinklers


Last year we purchased a brand new industrial/office building in Orange County, CA. The building came with fire sprinklers installed and there is also a phone line dedicated to call 911 should a fire occur. We are paying for this phone line apart from the regular phone lines that we are paying for our normal office use. I am wondering if there is any mandatory code requirement to have this fire service phone line standby at all times? Or is it OK to disconnect this phone line service, but of course, keeping the sprinklers.
Any tips are welcome.
Thanks
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Have you considered talking to the fire department, or appropriate enforcement agancy?
Bob
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And your insurance company. At least with residential alarms, you get a cut in premiums if the alarms are monitored. I would assume that the same might apply in commercial areas, too. If the only marginal expense is the phone line, you might end up being penny wise and pound foolish.
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Kurt Ullman wrote:

Alarm monitoring usually does not require a dedicated phone line. I think what he means is that he would switch from a dedicated line to using one of the business lines. But I agree, he should be checking with the local fire code officials and his insurance company, because only they can answer his question.
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On 31 Oct 2006 11:13:33 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

We had to have a second line, but it didn't have to be dedicated (in LA).
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GWB wrote:

Now I'm really confused. Why would you have to have a second line if it's not dedicated to the alarm? If it's not dedicated, then what makes the second one different from the first phone line, or any other phone line?
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Some jurisdictions require that two phone lines be connected to the dialer of the FACP, in case one goes down.
nate
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On 31 Oct 2006 17:18:15 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

It's been awhile and I'm not exactly sure why. Although, as somebody else mentioned (and reminded me) it did have to be hooked up at the entry point so that it would take priority.
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I may not have to be dedicated, but it should definitely be one that is not in general use - it's kinda hard for the alarm to dial out if the line is already in use receiving a fax or some other such use.
But again - what's the point. Even at business line rates, the cost of a single line that isn't making any calls isn't very much, and for a business of any size at all, it's down in the noise level. If you are looking to economize, I'm sure there are other things that make a lot more sense than messing with your safety systems.
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On 31 Oct 2006 10:25:00 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Ask your municipality. Why would you want to shut off the alarm monitor line anyway? What's it costing you, $40 a month?
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

I don't know about CA but here (NoVA/DC) you are required to have a dedicated phone line for your fire alarm system's dialer, and also to maintain a monitoring service (assuming that the building is not occupied 24/7 and that the FACP does not report to a continuously occupied station such as a PBX room or similar) It might even be a requirement in NFPA 72 but I am too lazy to look it up right now. In any case be vewwy, vewwy caweful about discontinuing services that you may be required to maintain.
If nothing else, wouldn't you want the FD to respond to a fire condition at your building?
nate
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Probably yes. Call the fire chief. Most sprinkler alarms require some sort of monitoring. Larger buildings require a call box direct to the fire department. Only your local officials can tell you exactly what is needed.
Oh, usually, systems must be checked regularly by an authorized party. Alarm checks once month, flow tests once a year.
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Although no one mentioned it so far, I think your first step might be to contact an alarm company (either the one that installed and/or monitors your present system, or another alarm company, or an alarm supply company). I'm sure the answer is a no-brainer for them.
In our area, the fire alarm system for a residential property only needs to be set up so it "seizes" the existing phone line to make the outgoing alarm call. It has to be set up so it accesses the phone line at the "D-Mark" I think -- where the phone line comes in. I wouldn't be surprised if the same is true of a commercial fire alarm system. Also in our area, all fire alarm systems have to be set up so they are armed all of the time and cannot be disarmed like burglar alarms can.

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that is "demarc" as in an abbreviation for "point of demarcation", which as you noted, is the dividing point between telco owned wiring and wiring that is part of the building.
sdb
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Thanks. I knew it was something like that. Now I know where the name came from.
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I wouldn't trust anything written on a usenet group. Call the building department and the fire department tomorrow. Get the real answers from the people who know the laws in your area.
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Fire sprinklers have what is called a "flow switch". This switch trips if one sprinkler head pops. A sprinkler head can pop because of a fire or sometimes for a non fire event.
If it is a non fire (nearby high heat furnace or whatever) which causes the sprinkler head to pop and this happens on a Friday night, there could be a lot of water damage by Monday! So it is a good idea to have the sprinkler flow switch monitored by an alarm company.
As to monitoring of the flow switch, fire departments will sometimes require a "dedicated direct" line. This line does not dial any number, but instantly sends a signal to a monitoring company or directly to the fire department.
In the past there have been commercial building fires where many people died. Fire departments have their requirements to prevent these things from happening again. So for some situations like potential loss of many lives (like high-rise buildings), a direct dedicated line will be required. Dial-up lines will not cut it. Sometimes "all circuits" can be busy and the signal will not get through. Also can depend on if hazardous materials are stored or manufactured at the building. Something where the fire department needs to know as soon as possible when there is a fire. Seconds could save lives in these cases.
And then insurance companies want to minimize losses in the case of a fire or a head which pops in a non fire situation. Sometimes you are required to have a "U.L. Grade [something] rated fire system. This can include a dedicated direct line. Usually these go to an alarm company and the alarm company will have a direct line to the fire department. (Very fast reporting of alarm.)
So if you have an alarm company, check with them. Also check with the local fire department and your insurance company. If you want to save money, ask your insurance company what you can install (alarms, fire extinguishers, etc.) which will give you lower rates. Then weigh the cost of the additional protection against the savings in insurance rates.

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