Fire Alarm Installation Procedures

Information is provided below regarding the installation procedures for:

  • Local and Municipally Connected Fire Alarm Systems
  • 1 & 2 Family Dwellings and 3 Family Apartments

Local & Municipally Connected
Fire Alarm Systems

All Commercial Inspections Will be Performed in Accordance With NFPA 1 (2003) - Chapter 13

  1. Before any building permits will be issued, 4 complete sets of construction drawings with specification book (if applicable), showing the complete design of the fire alarm system as prescribed by the Rhode Island Uniform Fire Code, Chapter 13, must be submitted to the Superintendent of Communications.
  2. The Superintendent of Communications or his/her designee will review said plans for Code compliance and once approved, they will be stamped and signed. Plans not in full compliance with the Code will not be approved and will be returned to the submitting party. Approved plans will be forwarded to the fire inspector of the appropriate fire district in which the proposed construction is to occur.
  3. Plans must include the following:
    • Site Name
    • Site Street Address
    • Property Owner's Name, Address and Telephone Number
  4. The person applying for the electrical permit for the installation of the fire alarm system must produce a valid “A” or “AF” electrical license prior to the permit being issued. All persons involved in the installation of the fire alarm system must hold a valid “B” or “BF” electrical license or a valid Apprentice Card. The ratio of apprentices to journeymen shall be 1:1.
  5. All appropriate permits may be obtained at the South Kingstown Building Official’s Department located at the South Kingstown Town Hall:
    180 High Street
    Wakefield, RI 20879
    Phone: 401-789-9331, ext. 1235
  6. Installation:
    • The assigned street number must be conspicuously located on the front of the building and visible from the street prior to any required inspections
    • All fire alarm system wiring and piping shall be inspected and approved by the Communications Department before any walls or ceilings are covered (Any work covered prior to the rough inspection will not be approved)
    • A wiring is to be inspected prior to devices being installed - if devices have been installed, they shall be left hanging from the junction box for inspection
    • All junction box covers shall remain off until the final inspection (All wiring shall be a continuous run from device to device - no splices shall be permitted unless in accordance with the Code)
    • All EMT fittings shall be steel with set screws except for LB or T connectors, which may be cast
    • All MC installations shall use the correct steel connectors with insulated bushings and set screws
  7. Devices
    • Fire alarm system cut sheets of all devices to be installed must be submitted and approved prior to installation
    • Smoke detectors shall not be installed until all construction trades have completed their work and final clean up has been performed
    • Any smoke detectors install prior to the final clean up shall be removed and cleaned or replaced
  8. Sprinkler Systems
    • For all buildings also requiring automatic sprinkler systems, 4 complete sets of sprinkler construction drawings must be included as part of the submittal including hydraulic calculations (All such installations shall be in compliance with NFPA 1, NFPA 13 and NFPA 72 and NFPA 101)
    • A representative from the appropriate fire district must witness the hydrostatic testing and approve same (The installing contractor must submit certified copies of the NFPA Contractor’s Materials Test Certificate for above ground piping and NFPA Contractor’s Materials Test Certificate for underground piping to the appropriate fire district)
  9. Final Inspection
    • The installing fire alarm contractor must have the entire fire alarm system pre-tested by a certified representative of the manufacturer of the equipment (A certified document of the pre-test must be submitted to the Communications department prior to the final acceptance test)
    • A Fire Alarm System Record of Completion must be completed and submitted before a final test and inspection of the fire alarm system is conducted

Residential Fire Alarm Systems in:
1 & 2 Family Dwellings and 3 Family Apartments

All Residential Inspections Will be Performed in Accordance With NFPA 72 (2002) - Chapter 11

  1. No fewer than 4 complete sets of legible construction plans must be submitted to the Communications Department showing the owner’s name, site street number and address, building dimensions including square feet per floor and the location of all smoke detectors and audible notification appliances.
  2. Placement of smoke detectors shall be in compliance with the Rhode Island Life Safety Code of the Rhode Island Fire Safety Code, Chapter 24 or 25 and the National Fire Alarm Code ®, NFPA 72 ® (2002 edition), Chapter 11.
  3. Any person applying for an electrical permit for the installation of a residential fire alarm system must be an officer in the company that is applying for the permit and must hold a valid “A” or “AF” master electrical license. A burglar alarm license is not acceptable for the application for a residential fire alarm system permit.
  4. Installers must hold a valid “B” or “BF” journeyman’s electrical license to install a residential fire alarm system. Any person classified as a helper or learner must hold a valid Apprentice Card. A burglar alarm license is not acceptable for the installation of a residential fire alarm system.
  5. Permits will only be issued after construction plans have been approved and stamped by the Communications Department and upon the receipt of a completed Authorization Application by the Building Official’s Department.
  6. All inspections (rough and final) are by appointment only with a minimum of twenty-four (24) business hours notice. Note: No inspections will take place if the assigned house number is not posted and visible from the street.
  7. A rough inspection shall consist of:
    • A thorough examination of all wiring and routing of same
    • The wiring method must be of a type approved for the application and EMT conduit shall be utilized where required by the National Electrical Code (NEC)
    • Mounting boxes shall be installed at each location for smoke and heat detectors and all audible devices
    • Wall and ceilings shall remain uncovered until the rough inspection has been approved
  8. Before a Certificate of Occupancy will be issued, a final inspection shall be conducted which consists of:
    • A complete functional test of all fire alarm devices that have been installed
    • Smoke detectors shall be activated by the introduction of smoke into the detector and heat detectors shall be activated by heat (open flame not permitted)
    • Operation of the system shall be conducted with a portion of the testing done on battery stand-by power
    • Audible notification devices shall be required to sound the required decibel level and be audible in all occupiable areas and must be a distinctive signal from any other signal
    • Control unit configuration shall be programmed so that any fire alarm signal shall take precedence or be clearly recognizable over any other signal, even when the non-fire alarm signal is initiated first
    • Distinctive alarm signals shall be used so that fire alarms can be distinguished from other functions such as burglar alarms (The use of a common sounding appliance for fire and burglar alarms shall be permitted where distinctive signals are used)