I'll admit my ignorance upfront, but all of the clients that I have worked for in the recent past, took my recommendation for smoke detection in various areas without being challenged. This client has a data center in a jurisdiction in which they follow the IBC. We have a sprinkler system throughout per NFPA 13. There are manual pull stations and audible/visual devices throughout. The occupancy is "Business". There is smoke detection installed in many areas of the building but not all. Here's the questions, Is smoke detection required? Since there is smoke detection installed in various areas of the building, must the entire building be covered in the same fashion for consistency based on NFPA 72? Is there an exception, not requiring smoke detection if there is NPFA 13 sprinklers installed?
Besides special buildings such as atriums, undergound buildings and high rise buildings, I see nothing in the IBC that requires detection for garden variety group "B" occupancy building.
A manual fire alarm system is required for group "B"'s with an occupant load over 500 persons or more than 100 persons above or below the highest level of exit discharge, there is also an exception for this for a sprinklered building.
I have never laid eyes on the NFPA 13 or NFPA 72, so they might contradict what I'm saying.
The thing about a group "B" occupancy, from a code point of view, is that provisions are quite lenient compared to the other major occupancy groups. For example, a typical office building never requires sprinkler sytems, unless for specific reasons (such as area increase, atrium, high rise, underground, etc.).
I hope this helps you Ron, but I'm not sure that it does
Hi Ron. I just got off the phone with our Fire Marshall (and you might consider doing the same), and he tells me that the NFPA 72 is the document that applies.
From what he tells me, if you are sprinklered throughout, the only smoke detector you need is to be located in the same room as the fire alarm control panel, usually right above it, and it must be wired into the control panel. Beyond that, they are not required.
OK, appears that Occupancy B building does not require smoke detection other than the control panels (as mentioned). The other smoke detection installed in 95% of the building is considered "non required coverage". NFPA 72 is confusing regarding this, as in the first article it says, if it is non required or not, you must comply with this code. Which implies that you have to install throughout anyway. Then the second paragraph says, install them where you want, and coverage of the rest of the space or building is not required. It's almost like these two paragraphs conflict, or should have been in the same paragraph to have one qualify the other.