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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 AlarmInspection & Maintenance (Fire Detection SysteTesting (Fire Detection Systems)

Q: A local authority stated that when performing the annual fire alarm inspection our service contractor needs to write up areas that have no smoke detection. Smoke detection was not …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jul 1, 2020
Fire AlarmFire Alarm Notification Devices

Q: We are currently in the process of installing a new fire alarm system in our hospital. The old system has an annunciator panel at every nurse station and multiple …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jun 29, 2020
Fire AlarmSmoke DetectorsOn Call Sleeping Rooms

Q: During a recent survey, we were cited for not having a single-station smoke alarm in our hospital on-call staff sleeping rooms. Since this was cited, I have learned that …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Dec 11, 2019
Fire AlarmFire WatchILSM

Q: If we put the fire alarm system in test by-pass but we are still monitoring the alarms so we can troubleshoot or test the system so we avoid nuisance …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Nov 15, 2019
Fire AlarmFire WatchConstructionSmoke Detectors

Q: We are seeking to eliminate accidental activation of existing smoke heads in healthcare spaces that are taken over for renovation/construction work while maintaining fire protection coverage in the space …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Nov 13, 2019
Equipment (Fire Detection Systems)Fire Alarm

Q: My fire alarm installer tells me that NFPA 72 does not require strobe synchronization of two (only two) devices. The sync is required if there are more than two …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Nov 4, 2019
Fire AlarmSmoke DetectorsSprinklers

Q: Are there any exceptions in NFPA 13 for smoke detectors in lieu of sprinklers in areas such as radiology rooms or other high tech equipment rooms and still be …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jul 31, 2019
Fire AlarmSmoke DetectorsILSM

Q: We are seeking to reduce activation of smoke heads contained in our construction areas. In your opinion, if the construction area has existing sprinkler coverage or if new active …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jul 17, 2019
Business OccupanciesFire AlarmSmoke Detectors

Q: What are the requirements for the use of smoke detectors in a business occupancy physician office that does not have an automatic sprinkler system? The fire marshal is telling …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jul 3, 2019
Fire AlarmInspection & Maintenance (Fire Detection SysteSmoke DetectorsTesting (Fire Detection Systems)Technician (Fire Detection Systems)

Q: I have a question regarding testing and repair of fire alarm system in a hospital setting. Is a maintenance person who is employed by the hospital as an electrician but …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jun 26, 2019
Fire AlarmInspection & Maintenance (Fire Detection SysteTesting (Fire Detection Systems)

Q: Is the alarm transmission verification test generally performed by a fire alarm testing company on every device during an annual test/inspection? I also thought that this was a quarterly …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | May 10, 2019
Fire AlarmFire Alarm Notification DevicesOn Call Sleeping Rooms

Q: In regards to audio/visual strobes in staff sleeping rooms, is it required for them to hear the fire alarm system? A: According to section 26.3.4.5.1 of the 2012 Life …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Apr 17, 2019
Fire AlarmDuct DetectosSmoke Dampers

Q: With regard to testing duct detectors in a hospital, I understand that on an annual basis the automatic shutdown of the AHU's must be verified when duct detectors are …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Apr 10, 2019
Fire AlarmFire Alarm Notification DevicesOperating Room

Q: Can you explain the fire alarm notification appliance location requirements as it pertains to the operating room? I seem to recall that there's no requirement to have them in …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Apr 3, 2019
Fire AlarmTesting (Fire Detection Systems)Batteries (Fire Detection Systems)

Q: We have a difference of opinion in our organization that I hope you can settle for us. I believe the sealed lead-acid batteries in our fire alarm system are …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Feb 15, 2019
Fire AlarmFire Alarm Notification Devices

Q: Our EP manager was discussing removing the code words like Code pink for a missing infant to missing child and the conversation about code red for fire came up …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jan 18, 2019
Fire AlarmArticleSmoke Detectors

Q: If a smoke detecting device is disabled for a breathing treatment (often for several days), what sort of fire watch, notification or signage is necessary? A: None. Fire watches …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Nov 14, 2018
Fire AlarmArticle

Continuing in a series of strange things that I have seen while consulting at hospitals... We already talked about this issue on 'Strange Observations - Part 20' posted April 5, …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Nov 1, 2018
Fire AlarmArticleTesting (Fire Detection Systems)

Q: We recently acquired a hospital that has been performing segments of their own fire system testing. What are the specific requirements or qualifications for an individual conducting testing or …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Sep 19, 2018
Fire AlarmArticle

Q: I work in a healthcare facility and we are in need to find an answer to a question regarding strobe lights. When we test our fire alarm system, and …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jul 27, 2018
Fire DoorsFire AlarmArticle

Q: My accreditation organization has a standard that says "testing and inspection of fire door assemblies needs to be conducted by a qualified person." By what specifically do they mean …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jul 11, 2018
Fire AlarmArticle

Q: Are you aware of any accrediting organization requiring the hospital to have an addressable fire alarm system installed? If so, what organizations? Please explain the rationale and any supporting …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jun 4, 2018
Fire AlarmArticle

Q: I can't seem to find anything in NFPA 72-2010 that says a facility is required to transmit a fire alarm signal to an off-site supervisory station. Our health care …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | May 29, 2018
Fire AlarmArticleClarification

The answer to this question was provided by my good friend Gene Rowe, Director of Business Development for Affiliated Fire Systems, Inc., Downers Grove, IL Q: With the impending discontinuation …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | May 18, 2018
Fire AlarmArticle

Continuing in a series of strange things I have seen while consulting at hospitals... Did you know that you cannot make home-made devices and connect them to the fire alarm …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Apr 5, 2018
Fire AlarmArticle

Q: I have a question regarding fire alarm manual pull stations. In our multi-level long term health care facility, we added a new building onto the existing building. At the …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Mar 30, 2018
Fire AlarmArticle

Continuing in a series of strange things that I have seen when consulting at hospitals... It's thoughtful that they put a protective bar infront of the fire alarm pull station, …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Mar 22, 2018
Fire AlarmArticle

I was reviewing some new standards and came across the Positive Alarm Sequence (PAS) issue for fire alarm systems, that the 2012 LSC now permits in fully sprinklered healthcare occupancies …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jan 16, 2018
Q&AFire AlarmAEM Program (Accreditation/Certification)Sprinklers

Q: Are sprinklers, smoke detectors, etc. considered to be operating components of the utility systems? If so, our inspections are based on the pertinent NFPA references. I think that the …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Oct 12, 2017
Q&AFire AlarmBatteries (Fire Detection Systems)

Q: Can you tell me where I could find the code reference for how often batteries serving fire alarm panels (booster panels, control panels, etc.) need to be replaced based …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Aug 28, 2017
Q&AFire Alarm

Q: Recently we had an actual fire that set off our fire alarm. Our operators did not silence the audible horns, which are very loud, before announcing the code and …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Aug 24, 2017
Q&AFire Alarm

Q: What code states that quarterly communication between our fire panel and our local fire department must be completed? A: What used to be called the off-site monitoring transmission equipment …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jul 13, 2017
Q&AFire Alarm

Q: In regards to multi-sensor devices, such as rate of rise/fixed temp combo heat detectors; if the rate of rise portion of the device is testable, but the fixed temp …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | May 4, 2017
Q&AFire Alarm

Q: We are in the process of putting manual pull station covers on most if not all of our stations. Some of the stations are dual action. Will putting a …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Apr 27, 2017
Q&AFire Alarm

Q: Is Class 'A' wiring required in new construction for new fire alarm systems? A: Per NFPA 72-2010, chapter 23.4.3.1, unless a class of wiring is determined by a local …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Apr 6, 2017
Q&AFire DoorsFire AlarmSmoke Detectors

Q: I have a life safety consultant doing our annual inspection, and he keeps saying that I need to have individual smoke detectors for my corridor fire rated doors. The …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Mar 31, 2017
Q&AFire Alarm

Q: Is there a specific distance that fire alarm audible/visible notification appliances are required to be mounted from other similar devices? We have multiple strobe devices in some rooms, but …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Feb 3, 2017
Q&ABusiness OccupanciesFire Alarm

Q: We are converting a facility that was used as a physician’s office into our women’s clinic and OB/GYN facility. There were previously 4 exam rooms and we are making …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Feb 2, 2017
Q&AFire Alarm

Q: Our hospital has an outpatient clinic attached via a hallway and connected to the hospital directly. When I am in the out-patient clinic you cannot hear the fire alarms …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jan 12, 2017
Q&AFire Alarm

Q: We have audible notification devices for the fire alarm system installed in our physician sleep rooms. We have a physician requesting the one in his area be removed. Are …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jan 11, 2017
Q&AAmbulatory Care OccupancyFire AlarmTesting (Fire Detection Systems)

Q: What section of NFPA 72 (the National Fire Alarm Code) requires ambulatory surgery centers to perform testing of their fire alarm system on a quarterly basis? Do devices that …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | May 23, 2016
Q&AFire AlarmTesting (Fire Detection Systems)

Q: Does NFPA 72-1999 edition specifically state that annual fire system inspection documentation include an itemized inventory of each system device as passed or fail? Does a report stating that …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Apr 4, 2016
Business OccupanciesFire AlarmArticle

Q: We have a physician practice that currently has fire extinguishers and a "panic button" that contacts 911. We do not have fire alarms, smoke detectors or a sprinkler system …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Mar 25, 2016
Fire AlarmLife Safety CodeInspection & Maintenance (Fire Detection SysteArticle

Q: A question came up recently on the NFPA 72 semi-annual visual inspections required for fire alarm system devices. Would the printed records from an intelligent fire alarm system suffice …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jan 15, 2016
Fire AlarmLife Safety CodeInspection & Maintenance (Fire Detection SysteArticle

Q: A question came up recently on the NFPA 72 semi-annual visual inspections required for fire alarm system devices. Would the printed records from an intelligent fire alarm system suffice …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jan 1, 2016
Q&AFire Alarm

Q: I am doing a renovation project in our hospital and the area of renovation is 50% of the total building area. Part of the renovation scope is a fire …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Nov 13, 2015
Q&AFire AlarmClearance (Fire Detection Systems)

Q: Where in the Life Safety Code does it require clearance in front of a fire alarm control panel? I have a situation in our hospital where we want to …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Oct 30, 2015
Fire AlarmArticle

A reader recently asked me where in NFPA 72 does it say that heat detectors have to be a minimum of 36 inches away from an air diffuser. He could …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Sep 23, 2015
Q&ABusiness OccupanciesFire Alarm

Q: We have an offsite physician’s clinic with a fire alarm system that is tied into our main hospital campus control center and is monitored 24/7. Are we required to …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jun 29, 2015
Fire AlarmDoor LocksArticle

I received a telephone call recently from a lawyer that asked me if I would be willing to serve as an expert witness in a pending litigation suit. The situation …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Feb 26, 2015
Q&AFire Alarm

Q: I am having trouble with locating in the 2000 edition of the Life Safety Code where single station battery powered smoke alarms are being addressed for maintenance. I know …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Feb 2, 2015
Q&AEvacuation (Life Safety Code)Fire AlarmHotel

Q: We own and operate a hotel on our hospital campus and are revamping our fire plan. Are we required to have all the hotel guests evacuate their rooms upon …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Dec 15, 2014
Q&AFire Alarm

Q: Are we supposed to have smoke detectors in the corridors of our hospital? I see the Statement of Conditions ask if we have smoke detectors in our corridors, which …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Nov 3, 2014
Fire AlarmLife Safety CodeArticle

Out of sight is out of mind. It is the master illusionist's greatest asset. He gets you looking at something that is distracting your attention away from the object at …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Oct 16, 2014
Fire AlarmLife Safety CodeArticleTesting (Life Safety Code)Documentation (Fire Detection Systems)

Fire alarm test reports are the number one item that surveyors look at during the document review session. It is also the number one document that draws the most findings …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | May 15, 2014
Fire AlarmGeneratorsArticle

Does your fire alarm system monitor the emergency power generator? It may have to. Section 1-5.8.7 of NFPA 72 (1999) requires the fire alarm system to monitor the primary and …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Mar 13, 2014
Q&AFire AlarmConstruction

Q: Are we required to install fire alarm occupant notification devices and manual pull stations in construction areas? I couldn’t find anything in NFPA 72 or the Life Safety Code …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Mar 3, 2014
Q&AFire AlarmTesting (Life Safety Code)

Q: What are the testing frequencies for fire alarm panel batteries and where do you find this requirement? A: The testing frequencies for batteries for fire alarm control panels (including …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Feb 10, 2014
Q&AFire AlarmOn Call Sleeping Rooms

Q: We have a physician on-call sleeping room inside our labor and delivery unit. A surveyor told us that we need audible smoke alarms in each on-call sleeping room. We …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Oct 7, 2013
Fire AlarmArticle

For obvious reasons, fire alarm systems are required to have two sources of electrical power sources according to NFPA 72 (1999 edition), section 1-5.2; a reliable primary source and a standby …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Sep 12, 2013
Q&AFire Alarm

Q: What is the spacing requirement for fire alarm occupant notification devices? A: The spacing requirements are not listed in a specific distance, but they are listed by their decibel …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jun 24, 2013
Fire AlarmDoor LocksArticle

Outside of the healthcare setting, locks on doors are utilized nearly everywhere we go, and we don’t give it much of a thought. But in the highly regulated industry of …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Apr 18, 2013
Q&AFire AlarmSprinklers

Q: The 2008 edition of NFPA 25 allows vane-style waterflow switches to be tested semi-annually, but during a recent survey, the surveyor cited us for not testing them on a …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Apr 1, 2013
Q&AFire AlarmFire Pump

Q: Are “fire pump running” and “fire pump power loss” switches which are connected to the hospital fire alarm system considered to be supervisory signal devices? I say they aren’t …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Feb 18, 2013
Q&AFire Alarm

Q: We recently had an inspection and we were cited for not having a smoke detector in the on-call sleeping room for physicians which is located on our Labor & …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Nov 5, 2012
Fire AlarmArticle

What's the number one item that fire alarm testing contractors fail to properly test? Batteries. OK, I don't keep statistics on these types of things, but based on the lack …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | May 29, 2012
Fire AlarmArticle

I was recently at a hospital where I noticed the smoke detector installation (at left) inside a mechanical room. It made me stop and exam the installation as my first thought …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | May 9, 2012
Fire AlarmArticle

The subject of a working, operable fire alarm system in construction sites recently came up and the question was: Are pull stations and occupant notification devices required in a construction …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Apr 20, 2012
Q&AFire Alarm

Q: We have an outpatient clinic which is a business occupancy and provides ancillary services like physical therapy and radiology, and there are no fire alarm pull stations in the …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Mar 11, 2012
Fire AlarmArticle

I was at a hospital recently that was installing a completly new fire alarm system in their building. I came across the disabled pull station in the picture to the …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jan 17, 2012
Q&AFire AlarmConstruction

Q: Our projects team currently disables our fire alarm control panel each morning during periods of construction and restores the panel each evening. They do this to prevent unwanted fire …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Nov 1, 2011
Q&AFire Alarm

Q: Is there a minimum reaction time for an air handler to respond to a duct detector activation? We had a consultant say that we had to record documentation that …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Aug 1, 2011
Q&AFire Alarm

Q: Are fire alarm notification appliances required to have annual sound level measurement testing? We had a consultant tell us that we are supposed to conduct the sound level testing …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Feb 1, 2011
Q&AFire Alarm

Q: We have our Code Blue medical emergency system tied into the hospital’s fire alarm system and the control panel is located next to the telephone operators. They will then …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Apr 1, 2010
Q&AFire Alarm

Q: What is the requirement in time that a fire alarm needs to be transmitted to the fire department? Our fire alarm communication automatic dialer takes nearly 3 minutes to …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Dec 1, 2009
Q&AFire AlarmDoors

Q: In our hospital, we have smoke compartment doors in the corridor that are held open with magnetic hold-open devices. When the fire alarm system is activated, the magnetic devices …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Sep 1, 2009
Q&AFire Alarm

Q: Are smoke detectors required to be installed in the corridors of hospitals? I attended a seminar recently and the instructor said we did not need them in the corridors …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jul 1, 2009
Q&AFire Alarm

Q. Should a free standing medical office (business occupancy) be required to evacuate everyone when an alarm is pulled? In this situation the building is a single story and has …

Brad Keyes, CHSP | Jun 1, 2009

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