Fire Alarm Systems

 Fire Alarm Systems Requirements

Fire alarm systems shall be installed with a fire alarm / sprinkler permit, an electrical permit and shall comply with the following requirements:

Submittal Requirements

  •  A permit application signed by the fire alarm contractor or electrical engineer.
  • Permit fee (based on valuation): Call 651-747-2407 for fee.
  • A minimum of two sets of scaled floor plans showing the location of all devices.
  • Manufacturer’s specification sheets on all devices being installed.
  •  Back-up battery calculations.

General Requirements

  • All system components must be U.L. listed and installed for the appropriate application in accordance with their listing.
  • System must be designed and installed per current applicable standard NFPA 72.
  • City approved plans for the system are required to be on the site at all times.


  • The fire alarm control panel or remote annunciator must be located at the main entrance or at an approved location.
  • The fire alarm panel must be monitored by a UL central station – when the system is required to be monitored.
  • Alarm verification is required. Verification cycle is required to be a minimum of 30seconds.
  • Zoning of the fire alarm system shall be per North St. Paul Fire Department requirements. A minimum of one zone per floor will be required.
  • Water flow alarm must be monitored as a distinct signal.
  • Low air pressure on sprinkler systems containing air pressure shall be monitored.
  • Devices designed to initiate a specific function or actions i.e. duct smoke detection,
  • elevator recall, and door hold open detectors shall be monitored only for supervision.

System Components and Hardware

  • Power supply for alarm systems must be on a dedicated circuit. Breakers for all alarm system components, including exterior sprinkler alarms, must have approved locking devices to prevent the accidental disconnecting of power.
  • Monitoring systems shall comply with NFPA 72 including panel requirements for audible trouble signals and must have two means of signal transmission.
  • When audible/visual signaling devices are required to alert building occupants of an alarm condition, the signal shall be a synchronized temporal pattern.
  • Remote alarm indicating devices are required at locations when duct detectors are not visible from floor. <li>On addressable systems, devices must be labeled to coincide with the device/address displayed on the panel.
  •  Listed smoke detectors are required within 5 feet of all smoke damper locations.
  • Detectors used with hold open devices must be UL listed for the release function.
  • All indicating sprinkler control valves must be secures and electronically supervised.
  • The fire alarm control panel (FACP) must be located in an enclosed room, i.e. mechanical room. Location of FACP shall have prior approval.
  • The fire alarm control panel or a remote annunciator panel must be located at the main entrance unless otherwise approved.
  • Zoning of the fire protection systems shall be approved and shall be annunciated on the alarm panel.
  •  Each floor shall be a separate fire alarm zone and be annunciated on the alarm panel.
  • An alarm zone map is required on all multiple sprinkler riser or zoned systems. The map must be permanently mounted adjacent to the sprinkler riser, alarm control panel and remote annunciator panel. 

Additional Requirements for Multifamily Residential Systems

  •  Smoke detectors in apartment units must be single station and are not required to be monitored.
  • Alarm horns must meet audibility requirements of NFPA 72.
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) detectors and alarms shall be installed per City Ordinance 155

Inspections Required

Systems shall be 100% tested prior to inspection. If system fails, a re-inspection shall be scheduled.

  • Test all devices, smoke detectors, CO detectors, pull stations, heat detectors, water flow for alarm signal. Contractor should have adequate staff and/or radios to verify signals at panels.
  • System activation test shall be conducted with Fire Department personnel on site.
  • Random test for trouble signals on devices. Distinct trouble signal required.
  • All audible/visual signaling devices functioning on the activation of any device in the automatic fire alarm system and the automatic sprinkler system.
  • The alarm panel and annunciator panel zones are annunciated when each zone is activated.
  • Magnetic door devices release, doors close and latch on activation of any device.
  • Ventilation system shutdown upon activation of duct smoke detectors.
  • Test battery back-up of system: AC power is shut down and system is operated.
  •  Battery disconnect.
  • Test elevator recall function, primary and secondary floors fire service operation.
  • Smoke fire dampers close upon activation. Dampers do not have to be interconnected.
  • Contact alarm monitoring company to verify correct signals and address. A detailed test report shall be submitted to the North St. Paul Fire Department upon completion of test.
  • Completion of NFPA 72, installation/testing forms