Where Are Smoke Detectors Required In Commercial Building

A commercial building with a huge influx of people should always be up to date with the latest security standards. Oftentimes the number one dilemma in maintaining the security systems for a commercial building is where the smoke alarms should be installed. Through various trusted sources we’ll find where are smoke detectors required in commercial building.

It is no surprise that the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported that the majority of fires in office buildings occurred in locations that were without smoke detectors.

What Does The Regulations State?

1999 Building Officials and Code Administrators International (BOCA) Code –

States that all high rise buildings & underground structures must have smoke detectors.

Where Are Smoke Detectors Required In Commercial Building

Considering individual properties inside of a building will have their own safety measures in place we will focus more on the outside structure. Upholding excellent safety standards is always expected from a large commercial establishment. We’ll discuss which are the key locations where the smoke detectors should be placed.

Location No. 1 – Car Parking Area

One of the most dangerous places to be in case a fire breaks out. This means this is also the area that should get the most attention. The car parking area discussed here is underground since car parking outside cannot have smoke detectors.

Car parking which is in the underground area is very much prone to fire hazards and the precise location of smoke detectors will help counter this emergency.

Since this is a huge area we have to cover, measures must be taken to calculate the entire area and plan the detectors accordingly. This is to make sure one doesn’t go overboard with the budget allocated to cover the parking lot.

There is no recommended spacing specified between detectors so you can go with a figure anywhere between 30-40 feet. Of course, this will depend on the budget one is willing to allocate but this standard should be maintained.

Care must be taken to ensure the spacing between devices are not too big as this can have negative consequences.

Location No. 2 – Control Rooms

Control rooms, in general, are a hotbed for disaster and oftentimes ignored in terms of safety. It is wise to equip these control rooms with smoke detectors depending on its area per sq/ft.

The CCTV control room is another room that shouldn’t be ignored. More such control rooms that have electronic equipment in it should be protected at all costs with a detector.

Location No. 3 – Corridors

Corridors of a commercial building can be difficult for detector placement and spacing. But neglecting them can be really hazardous, especially when the placements made are not accurate. This can easily trigger a fire emergency.

Corridor in building that is up to ten feet wide can have smoke alarms placed 40 feet from each other. Based on the area the alarms can be placed using this as a rough reference point. If the corridor is more than 10 feet wide you will have to bring the devices slightly closer which will mean more detectors need to be placed.

Location No.4 – Canteen

This one is a no brainer and probably requires no explanation. The canteen and areas where food preparation takes place are vulnerable to mishaps.

An appropriate amount of smoke detectors needs to be in place. Especially the carbon monoxide ones, to distinguish between smoke & carbon monoxide.

AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction)

The AHJ has an important role to play in the safety of commercial buildings. The AHJ acronym is broadly used in a lot of documents by the NFPA(National Fire Protection Association). Here the authority is the owner of the premises or a representative on his behalf. In other circumstances, this role may be assumed by a government official or a representative from an insurance company.

We won’t go much in-depth in this as it will make us sway from our original topic. If you wish to know more about this you may refer to this link which is a document by NFPA (National Fire Protection Association).

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