Ask an Expert
Discuss My Needs
Discuss My Needs
Ask an Expert
Keyes Life Safety

Our Life Safety educational resource hub is full of healthcare knowledge to help you be better informed of the changing world around you. 

Rather than sit back and act on decisions made by others, we are leading the charge as it relates to identifying best practices for Life Safety Code® and compliance. We have real people that give our clients real information that can be put into practice.

Interested in reading our experts' take on Life Safety? Then subscribe to our free blog below! We discuss readers' questions, share interesting observations from the field, and more.

Fire Alarm Notification

by Gene Rowe, on Jul 31, 2020 1:00:20 AM

Q: Our hospital facility is 800,000 square feet with several of our buildings connected by tunnels. We have fire alarm panels (slaves) in each of the buildings that are connected to the main fire alarm control panel located in our main hospital Security office which is staffed 24/7. Is it a requirement to notify each building occupant of an actual alarm? We also do overhead paging when the fire alarm is initiated with a coded announcement, although the paging system is only in the main hospital where fire alarm control panel is located. Is there a requirement to notify all occupants throughout the facility or only in the area of alarm?

A: Per NFPA 72-2010, section & 2, the alarm notification should only be in the building that is in alarm.  There are other, more subtle reasons such as the intent of hospital private mode signaling should be to alert responding staff, not occupants, but these two code references are direct: Notification zones shall be consistent with the emergency response or evacuation plan for the protected premises. The boundaries of notification zones shall be coincident with building outer walls, building fire or smoke compartment boundaries, floor separations, or other fire safety subdivisions.

Assuming there is a proper immediate response team in each non-evacuation building at all times, their response team isn’t coming from a different building, so you don’t need to notify other buildings.  The only issue I could see is a potential of specific engineering or security staff being in a different building when an alarm is activated.  However, most facilities use an in-house pager, phone or radio to alert these folks.


Topics:Fire Alarm Notification Devices

Real people. Real solutions.

We help you be better informed of the changing world around you.  Our life safety blog answers your real world questions! 



Subscribe to Updates

We care and want to help.

We want to help coach, guide, and navigate you through all things Life Safety.