Originally posted on 3:39 PM on February 24, 2021
Last updated on January 3, 2023


What is a Fire Alarm System and Do You Need One?

By: Desirae Kennington on February 24, 2021
Last Updated: January 3, 2023

What is the purpose of a fire alarm system?

A fire alarm system is designed to notify building occupants of the presence of a fire and safely evacuate them from the building.

The primary purpose of a fire alarm system is for life safety, but they also communicate with local fire departments for faster response times which can result in less property damage.

Does my building require a fire alarm system?

It depends. There is more than one factor that will determine whether you need a fire alarm in your building.

To start, it will depend on the Building and Life Safety Codes adopted by your state such as the International Fire Code (IFC) and the Life Safety Code (LSC)/NFPA 101. These codes will dictate based on the building type or occupancy (occupancy classification or occupancy group) whether a fire alarm is required. The installation of a fire sprinkler system might also be a factor that will determine if a fire alarm is required.

The best course of action is to consult with fire protection contractor or engineer to find out if your building requires a fire alarm system.

Do I need a Fire Alarm System if I have a Fire Sprinkler System?

Once again, the answer is: it depends. Some buildings (certain classifications) according to LSC or IFC will require a fire alarm regardless of whether a fire sprinkler system is installed. Ultimately the decision lies in the hands of your local AHJ. Additionally, your insurance carrier’s requirements need to be considered.

For example, a fire alarm or automatic smoke detection system is required per IFC in a dormitory (Group R-2) building regardless of whether an automatic sprinkler system is installed.

Do you need help to determine if your building requires a fire alarm?

Century Fire can help you determine whether you need a fire alarm installed in your building or facility. We have multiple offices across the nation. Each one is an expert in executing work in their local jurisdiction and can help you navigate building, life safety and fire codes.

What about fire system inspection and testing? We can help with that as well! The frequency at which you inspect and test your fire system depends on many factors. READ MORE HERE

If you need us, we are here for you! Call us at 866-530-3743 or contact us online.

CTA Fire Alarm Inspection & Testing Frequency Resource-1


Topics: Fire Alarm, Fire Protection, Fire Systems