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I am thinking that the architect is proposing a monitoring panel for the sprinkler. It will be that – simply a panel that monitors and sends signals. This could be a security panel, or other type of dialer. (I had a pile of Silent Knight 5207 panels with customers in a past career). The electrical contacts from the various sprinkler components (valves, flow switch, low pressure) would connect to this panel and it would simply dial out when something is “not normal.”
I’m going to try to walk myself through this written here. Based on facts given, I am with the architect on this one from a facts point of view (although will always encourage the early warning and going above the code to provide better protection to buildings and occupants)
Under 188.8.131.52 a determination of whether a fire alarm system is needed or not is make. If we say yes, we continue to apply all of 3.2.4. If we say no, 3.2.4 is gone – we can’t selectively apply certain parts of that section.
The monitoring under S561 is indicated in 184.108.40.206(4), but we have already been kicked out of that because we don’t require a fire alarm (although, again, if a fire alarm system is installed, I feel that this level of monitoring would be required.)
220.127.116.11.(3) also requires the fire alarm to be be there before we can use this. As with the monitoring the presence of a sprinkler system does not require a fire alarm system to be there, however, if the fire alarm is there, the sprinkler must be connected. Once we connect sprinkler, we monitor. Kind of a vicious cycle.
As for the time and effort – It’s many hours of electrician time for installation. A 3rd party verification. Somewhere in the area of $1000 a year for 561 monitoring. Integrated system testing under ULC S1001 at time of occupancy, after year 1 and 5 years after that. With this in mine, it’s worth the architect to avoid installing this fire alarm.
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