Communications Department: Fire Alarm Installation Procedures

South Kingstown Communications Department

509 Comm. Perry Highway, Wakefield, RI 02879
Phone: (401) 789-9331 x2242/2243 Fax: (401) 789-0344

For Local & Municipally Connected Fire Alarm Systems


  1. Before any building permits will be issued, four (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
    02879. TEL: 401.789.9331 x1235.
  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, four (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 aboveground
      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.

For Residential Fire Alarm System in 1 and 2-Family Dwellings And 3-Family Apartments


  1. Four (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
  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
    • 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.
Town of South Kingstown, Rhode Island
180 High Street | Wakefield, RI 02879
Tel. (401) 789-9331 | Fax. (401) 789-5280

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