Building Inspection


FIRE ALARM FAQS

Sustainable Development and Construction
Building Inspection

Fire Protection Plan Review | Fire Alarm
Frequently Asked Quesitons


What model codes are currently adopted?
What are the Fees for Fire Alarm Plans Review?
How do I register with the City as a Fire Alarm Contractor?
When is Fire Alarm Plan Review/Permitting required?
What is required for fire alarm plan review submittal?
When do I have to bring a fire alarm system up to current code? If I replace a Fire Alarm Control Panel do I have to bring the system up to current code?
Is a visual notification upgrade required throughout?
Does the city require Class “A” wiring?
Is there a Grandfather clause for existing buildings?
How do I get an inspection?
Is my building a high rise?
I have a fire wall that separates the building into several sections. Can I stop the fire alarm system at the fire wall?
Is the fire alarm system required to be monitored?
When are plans required to be resubmitted?
When do elevators require emergency operations?

  What model codes are currently adopted?

International Fire Code – 2006 edition with Dallas Amendments (as of 6/18/07)
NFPA 72 – 2002 edition
International Building Code – 2003 edition with Dallas Amendments (2006 on 4/1/08)
International Mechanical Code – 2003 edition with Dallas Amendments (2006 on 4/1/08)

What are the Fees for Fire Alarm Plans Review?

Fees are based on the number of initiating and/or signaling devices. The fees are published on the Fire Alarm Plan Review Request form (MS Word)(Adobe PDF) and range from $75 to $300. A Fire Alarm Permit Fee will be charged per Section 303.2.2 and associated Table B of Chapter 52 of the Dallas City Code. Please note that the permit fee is based on a percentage of the total value of work plus an additional standard fee. It is approximately equivalent to a $1,000 permit fee for every $100,000 of value of work.

Table B - Alterations or Repairs and Minimum Fee Sche​​dule

How do I register with the City as a Fire Alarm Contractor?

Fill out the Fire Alarm Contractor Registration form and submit it to the Permit Office at 320 E. Jefferson Room #105, FAX # 214-948-4511.

When is Fire Alarm Plan Review/Permitting required?

Any change, addition or alteration to a fire alarm system must be permitted. Fire alarm plans must be submitted for review and approval for any change, addition or alteration to a fire alarm system with the following exceptions .
1. Addition of a communicator/dialer for monitoring only
2. Connection of Kitchen hood and duct systems only
3. Connection of HVAC devices only

What is required for fire alarm plan review submittal?

The Fire Alarm Permit and Plan Review Procedures must be followed. A minimum of 3 sets of design drawings, drawn to a recognized architects scale must be submitted, stamped, signed and dated with either a Texas Fire Alarm Planning Superintendent (APS) registered with the submitting company, or a Professional Engineer registered in Texas whose major discipline is Fire Protection Engineering (FPE). A minimum 2 copies of battery and voltage drop calculations as well as manufacturer’s specifications for all equipment installed must be provided. The Fire Alarm Plan Review Fee must be paid prior to plan review. A completed Fire Alarm Plan Review Request form  (MS Word)(Adobe PDF) must also be submitted.

When do I have to bring a fire alarm system up to current code? If I replace a Fire Alarm Control Panel do I have to bring the system up to current code?

Upon any change in occupancy or building size/elevation, the facility must be brought up to current code requirements. Change in building ownership does not initiate current code compliance. In addition, Section 907.1.3 requires all new or replaced fire alarm systems to comply with the requirements of Section 907. Therefore, any fire alarm control panel replacement (including exact for exact) is considered to be replacing the system as the entire system is controlled by this control panel, and not merely repair work. Thus the panel and all associated equipment must meet the requirements of Section 907 (i.e. class “A” wiring, visual notification, etc.).

Is a visual notification upgrade required throughout?

Per Section 907.3.3 “When provided, visual notification appliances shall be installed throughout all contiguous spaces (tenant space, lease space of other definable boundaries) as approved by the fire code official.” Thus visual notification upgrade may not be restricted to a small remodeled area within a space. The entire space must be upgraded to meet current code requirements for visual notification, regardless of the contractor’s “scope of work”. Per Section 907.10.1 “Visual alarm notification appliances shall be provided where an existing fire alarm system is upgraded, altered or a new fire alarm system is installed.

Does the city require Class “A” wiring?

Per Section 907.6.1 “All fire alarm systems shall be installed in such a manner that the failure of any single alarm initiating device will not interfere with the normal operation of any other such device. All fire alarm systems shall be Class “A” wired with a minimum of six-feet separation between supply and return conductors. IDC - Class A style D; SLC – Class “A” Style 6; NAC - Class B Style Y. The IDC from an addressable device used to monitor the status of a suppression system may be wired Class B, Style B provided the distance from the addressable device is within 10-feet of the suppression system device.”

Thus the city requires Class A wiring to all initiating devices, except to suppression systems for a distance no greater than 10-feet. Should modules be utilized, outgoing and return wiring will be required from the module to the device. Class A wiring to the module and then Class B wiring from the module to the initiating device will not be allowed. The 6-foot separation may be exempted in accordance with the Exceptions detailed in NFPA 72-2002 edition, Section 6.4.2.2.2.

Is there a Grandfather clause for existing buildings?

No. International Fire Code 2006 edition, Section 907.3 deals with the fire alarm requirements for existing buildings.

How do I get an inspection?

The Fire Department conducts all inspections. Senior Fire Prevention Officers conduct the inspections. The Fire Department employs a master scheduler who schedules every inspection. Currently that is Ms. Michelle Robinson at 214-671-9844. A Pre-Test Form must be completed prior to inspection.

Is my building a high rise?

The International Fire Code defines a high rise as a building having floors used for human occupancy located more than 75-feet above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access.

I have a fire wall that separates the building into several sections. Can I stop the fire alarm system at the fire wall?

No. Per Section 907.1.4, “Area separation walls/fire walls shall not be used to reduce or eliminate fire alarm requirements.”

Is the fire alarm system required to be monitored?

Yes. Per section 907.15 “Fire alarm systems shall be monitored by an approved central station, remote supervising station or proprietary supervising station as defined in NFPA 72, or a local alarm which gives audible and visual signals at a constantly attended location.”

When are plans required to be resubmitted?

Any significant change to the approved plans due to architectural changes, relocation of devices (ceiling vs. wall, etc.) or other design changes must be resubmitted. A limited number of changes (3 or less) will be acceptable without resubmittal pending inspector approval. However, field changes and plan resubmittal are at the discretion of the fire department new construction inspector. A resubmittal fee based on the number of new devices or devices that have been changed from the original submittal will be counted as part of a new plan review submittal fee. Plans resubmitted due to rejection will not be charged a resubmittal fee unless resubmitted for the second time, and then a resubmittal fee of the original submittal fee will be charged.

When do elevators require emergency operations?

Per IFC-2006, Section 607.1: All new elevators, regardless of the travel distance, shall be provided with Phase I emergency recall operation and Phase II emergency in-car operation in accordance with ASME A17.1. All existing elevators with a travel distance of 25-feet or more above or below the main floor or other level of a building and intended to serve the needs of emergency personnel for fire-fighting or rescue purposes shall be provided with emergency operation in accordance with ASME A17.3.