Fire Alarm and Sprinkler System Outages

Download the Procedures for Sprinkler and Fire Alarm Outages

Introduction and Scope

These safety guidelines are intended to provide fire prevention and to reduce the number of unwanted activations of fire protection systems.

An outage is defined as a planned temporary disabling of all or parts of fire alarm or suppression systems or associated equipment. The following activities shall require observance of these outage guidelines:

  1. Hot work i.e. welding, cutting or heating activities
  2. Projects involving construction, maintenance, demolition and remodeling or repair activities that may produce fumes, building dust or debris in concentrations high enough to create an explosion hazard or cause an unwanted fire alarm activation
  3. Repairs or alterations to fire alarm or fire suppression systems
  4. Special requests or need for fire protection system and equipment outages

Obtaining Approval for an Outage

Facilities & Services (F&S) personnel such as project managers, project coordinators and foremen; supervisors or other persons responsible for oversight of any project including activity that requires compliance with these guidelines are responsible for the health and safety of their employees, for compliance with all applicable health and safety regulations, and for compliance with all other applicable campus guidelines. Prior to or at the initiation of the project, they will pre-arrange with Campus Code Compliance and Fire Safety (CCC&FS) to gain approval for all outages (of more than 4 hours in a 24 hour period) associated with any project.

Whenever an external contractor will do project work involving activities that require the observance of these guidelines, the project manager, project coordinator or other F&S staff with oversight responsibility for the project will:

  1. Provide a copy of these guidelines to the contractor.
  2. Familiarize contractors with these guidelines. 
  3. Inform the contractor that any costs associated with complying with these guidelines will be incurred by the project. 
  4. Develop a floor plan showing the limits of the proposed outage/work area and any means proposed for controlling work area activities such as walls, doors or temporary partitions. The floor plan will be used during discussions with CCC&FS to determine the necessary extent of the outage.

Implementing an Outage

After initial arrangement, it is acceptable for the appropriate F&S alarm electricians/pipe fitters to disable fire protection systems and equipment as necessary and with proper notification in the immediate vicinity of the project work to protect against unwanted system or equipment activation. Contact the F&S Service Office at least 72 hours in advance of the job to:

  1. Schedule an F&S alarm electrician to disable fire alarm devices as necessary in the immediate vicinity of the work to protect against unwanted alarms. All other fire alarm system devices should remain functional. 
  2. Schedule an F&S pipe fitter to disable fire protection systems and equipment as necessary in the immediate vicinity of the project to protect against unwanted alarms or fire protection system activations. All other fire protection systems and equipment should remain functional.
  3. CCC&FS will notify the appropriate building/facility contact whenever a portion of the fire alarm or fire protection system will be disabled for any period of time exceeding one business day (eight hours) and whenever the entire fire alarm or fire protection system is disabled for any period of time.