When you are a business owner, you must always consider the safety of your building’s occupants – especially when the building is one of high occupancy such as a school, church, hospital, hotel or high-rise buildings with multiple tenants. Safety threats such as fire are high on the list of concerns, and various building codes require certain features to ensure that all areas of the building are always kept safe in the event of a fire emergency. For large buildings, you will need an understanding of what a Class E fire alarm system is.
Class E features
Unless you are familiar with the various classes of fire alarm systems, the question of “What is a class E fire alarm system?” is probably unclear. A simple explanation would be that Class E alarm systems are very similar to high-rise fire alarm/voice communication systems in many ways. The E refers to the business occupancy classification of the City Building Code. Basically, Class E buildings that are over 100 feet high must provide a fire alarm system with characteristics including:
- A fire alarm signaling system that includes smoke detectors in air-handling systems that serve multiple floors, manual pull stations and smoke detectors located at each elevator landing
- Activation of voice communication stations at the fire command station, mechanical control center and the “assigned” location of the fire safety director
- An electrically supervised direct wire or radio fire alarm signal system and voice communication system or a combination of the two
- Audible and visual annunciation of fire alarm signals
- Elevator recall, termination of the supply air and return air to the floor of alarm activation and activation of the exhaust fans in smoke shafts or the fans in stairwell pressurization whenever activation of an elevator landing smoke detector occurs
- Sounding of a fire alarm signal on the floor of activation as well as the floor above it whenever activation of an alarm occurs
- Sounding of a fire alarm signal on the floor of activation as well as the floor above it whenever activation of a manual pull station occurs
- Termination of the supply air and return air to the floor of alarm activation and activation of exhaust fans in smoke shafts or fans in stairwell-pressurization systems whenever activation of an air-handling smoke detector occurs
- Transmission of alarm signals to the fire department through a central station
Fire alarm systems that satisfy these requirements are called Class E fire alarm systems.
Other Class E considerations
Buildings with automatic sprinkler systems installed throughout have no need for smoke detectors in the elevator landings and return-air ducts because of the presence of water-flow alarm devices. Still, water-flow alarms must have the function of recalling all elevators and stopping the supply air and return air to the floor on which the alarm activation occurs. The alarm must also activate the exhaust fans in smoke shafts or the fans in stairwell-pressurization systems, sound alarm signals both on the floor of activation as well as the floor above, send a fire alarm signal to the fire department through a central station and annunciate an alarm condition at the fire command station, the mechanical control center and the fire safety director.
At Ivanco, we know the extreme importance of having a fire alarm system that is effective, efficient and reliable – especially in large buildings with high occupancies. We offer our clients peace of mind in the quality of their system by installing only the most technologically advanced Class E fire alarm systems, using trusted brands like Edwards. Our mission of providing only the best drives us as a company, and our clients find a great sense of security in knowing that we deliver the same level of superior service in all that we do.
Call the knowledgeable team of fire alarm system experts at Ivanco, Inc. today to learn more about class E fire alarm systems!