(1) Installation and restoration. Fire detection systems must be designed by knowledgeable engineers or other professionals, with expertise in fire detection systems and when the systems are installed, there should be an acceptance test performed on the system to insure it operates properly. The manufacturer's recommendations for system design should be consulted. While entire systems may not be approved, each component used in the system is required to be approved. Custom fire detection systems should be designed by knowledgeable fire protection or electrical engineers who are familiar with the workplace hazards and conditions. Some systems may only have one or two individual detectors for a small workplace, but good design and installation is still important. An acceptance test should be performed on all systems, including these smaller systems.
WISHA has a requirement that spare components used to replace those which may be destroyed during an alarm situation be available in sufficient quantities and locations for prompt restoration of the system. This does not mean that the parts or components have to be stored at the workplace. If the employer can assure that the supply of parts is available in the local community or the general metropolitan area of the workplace, then the requirements for storage and availability have been met. The intent is to make sure that the alarm system is fully operational when employees are occupying the workplace, and that when the system operates it can be returned to full service the next day or sooner.
(2) Supervision. Fire detection systems should be supervised. The object of supervision is detection of any failure of the circuitry, and the employer should use any method that will assure that the system's circuits are operational. Electrically operated sensors for air pressure, fluid pressure, or electrical circuits, can provide effective monitoring and are the typical types of supervision.
(3) Protection of fire detectors. Fire detectors must be protected from corrosion either by protective coating, by being manufactured from noncorrosive materials or by location. Detectors must also be protected from mechanical impact damage, either by suitable cages or metal guards where such hazards are present, or by locating them above or out of contact with materials or equipment which may cause damage.
(4) Number, location, and spacing of detectors. This information can be obtained from the approval listing for detectors or NFPA standards. It can also be obtained from fire protection engineers or consultants or manufacturers of equipment who have access to approval listing and design methods.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 49.17.040 and 49.17.050. 82-02-003 (Order 81-32), § 296-24-62999, filed 12/24/81.]