SECTION 901  GENERAL
Delete Section 901.3 and replace as follows:
F-901.3 Permits. Construction permits shall be required as set forth in Section F-105.9.
Add Sections F-901.6.4 through F-901.6.4.9.2 as follows:
   F-901.6.4 Periodic testing. The testing of fire protection systems shall be in accordance with Sections 901.6 and F-901.6.4 through F-901.6.4.8.1. Annually the owner of each building that contains fire protection systems shall have such systems certified as operating properly by a person certified or licensed by the Department of Licenses and Inspections to provide such certifications in accordance with this Section. Certification forms shall be maintained on the property and made available for inspection upon the request of a fire code official. The certification form shall be submitted to the Department of Licenses and Inspections who may, by regulation, establish a fee to be paid upon submission of the form.
      Exceptions:
         1.   Smoke alarms in residential occupancies provided that they are tested by the building owner or tenant in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
         2.   Automatic sprinkler systems in one- and two-family dwellings.
      F-901.6.4.1 Submission of deficiencies. When deficiencies of a fire protection system are not corrected within the annual certification time frame, the contractor performing the annual certification shall submit a list of deficiencies that precludes certification of the system, in approved form to the Department of Licenses and Inspections.
      F-901.6.4.2 Submission of certifications. The Department of Licenses and Inspections is authorized to require that certification forms be submitted to the Department electronically by the company that performed the certification.
      F-901.6.4.3 Partial certification. When a fire suppression system is repaired, altered or extended between periodic testing dates, the modified portion of the system is required to be certified upon a return to service. When the entire system is certified upon return to service at the owner's discretion, the date of certification will become the new periodic test date.
      F-901.6.4.4 Annual certification of fire suppression system during period of retrofit or new installation. During the period of sprinkler and/or standpipe retrofit or new installation, the normal certification procedures shall continue to apply to existing systems and to completed portions of new installations.
      F-901.6.4.5 Consistency of required test dates. To ensure consistency of required tests for fire alarm, sprinkler and standpipe systems, where the maximum frequency exceeds one year (multi-year tests) tests shall be conducted in accordance with the dates indicated in Sections F-901.6.4.5.1 through F-901.6.4.5.4. Where a test is performed during the 12 months preceding the next required multi-year test, the next required test need not be performed.
      F-901.6.4.5.1 Maximum 3-year interval. Where the code or referenced standard requires inspection, testing and/or maintenance at a maximum 3-year interval, such inspection, testing and/or maintenance shall be required in 2017 and every 3 years thereafter, except those water-based systems protecting areas that are constantly maintained below a freezing temperature.
      F-901.6.4.5.2 Maximum 5-year interval. Where the code or referenced standard requires inspection, testing and/or maintenance at a maximum 5-year interval, such inspection, testing and/or maintenance shall be required in 2015 and every 5 years thereafter.
      F-901.6.4.5.3 Maximum 10 year test. Where the code or referenced standard requires inspection, testing and/or maintenance at a maximum 10-year interval, such inspection, testing and/or maintenance shall be required in 2015 and every 10 years thereafter.
      F-901.6.4.5.4 Alternate year smoke detector sensitivity testing. Alternate year smoke detector sensitivity testing shall begin in the odd-numbered years. When the one-year sensitivity test occurs in an even- numbered year, the next sensitivity test is not due until the second subsequent odd-numbered year. Results of sensitivity tests shall be listed on the annual inspection and certification form.
      F-901.6.4.6 Annual audibility testing in Groups I-1, R-1, R-2 and R-4. In Group I-1, R-1, R-2 and R-4 occupancies, the annual certification of the fire alarm systems shall contain the results of audibility tests performed in accordance with NFPA 72 in the sleeping rooms of a representative sample of units contained within the building. The specific units tested and the audibility readings taken shall be entered on the annual certification form. The sample shall include, as a minimum, areas in Numbers 1 through 4 as follows:
         1.   One of each type of unit contained in the building.
         2.   The unit or units most remote from the audible alarm notification appliances.
         3.   Any unit or units with sleeping rooms that are separated from the corridor by building cores, such as elevator cores, stairways, etc.
         4.   One unit per floor.
      F-901.6.4.7 Audibility of fire alarm systems. The audibility of fire alarm system notification appliances in existing buildings shall be in accordance with the Numbers 1, 2 or 3 as applicable.
         1.   Occupancies with an existing, previously approved fire alarm system installed prior to March 1, 1991, are permitted to have audible alarm notification appliances that produce a sound pressure level above the normal ambient sound level of at least 15 decibels per the A scale of a sound pressure level meter (dBA) throughout the building.
         2.   Fire alarm systems installed between March 1, 1991, and December 31, 2009, are permitted to have audible alarm notification appliances that produce a sound pressure level of at least 15 dBA above the normal sound level, but not less than 60 dBA throughout the building, and not less than 70 dBA throughout Group I-1 and R occupancies.
         3.   Fire alarm systems installed after December 31, 2009, shall have audible alarm notification appliances that produce a sound pressure level of at least 15 dBA above the normal sound level, but not less than 60 dBA throughout the building, and not less than 75 dBA throughout Group I-1 and R occupancies.
      F-901.6.4.8 Testing and maintenance of smoke alarms. Smoke alarms, both battery powered and hard wired, shall be tested, inspected and maintained in accordance with manufacturer's instructions. They shall be tested weekly.
      F-901.6.4.8.1 Responsibility. Occupants shall be responsible for the testing and battery replacement of battery-powered smoke alarms within their dwelling units. Owners shall be responsible for the replacement of non-operating smoke alarms within three days of written notice.
      F-901.6.4.9 Testing of smoke control systems. The periodic inspection and testing of smoke control systems shall follow the operational testing program established by the system design professional and initiated immediately after the smoke control system passed the acceptance tests required by the Building Code. If such a testing program does not exist, the contractor is authorized to develop one in accordance with generally accepted engineering practice and, where possible, based upon published standards for the existing system. Testing of smoke control systems shall be performed by a Sheet Metal Systems Technician, certified by the Department of Licenses and Inspections pursuant to Chapter 9-3000 of The Philadelphia Code and employed by a contractor licensed in one of the following categories in accordance with Chapter 9-1000 302 of The Philadelphia Code:
         1.   Master Plumber (9-1003)
         2.   Contractor (9-1004)
         3.   Fire Suppression System Contractor (9-1005)
         4.   Electrical Contractor (9-1006)
      F-901.6.4.9.1 Additional certification required. The Technician performing periodic testing of smoke control systems shall also hold a mechanical system testing certification from the Sheet Metal Industry International Certification Board (ICB) as a Fire Life Safety Level 2 Technician; a similar certification from an independent personal certification program approved by the Department; or certification as an air balancer from one of the following:
            1.   Associated Air Balance Council (AABC);
            2.   Testing & Balancing Bureau (TABB);
            3.   National Environmental Balancing Bureau (NEBB); or
            4.   National Balancing Council (NBC).
      F-901.6.4.9.2 Initial inspection and testing. The initial inspection and testing of each smoke control system, installed prior to the effective date of this Ordinance, and regulated by this Section, shall be completed by January 1, 2020.
Delete Section 901.7 (Retain Sections 901.7.1 through 901.7.6) and replace as follows:
F-901.7 Systems out of service. Where a required fire protection system is out of service, the fire department shall be notified immediately in accordance with, and under the conditions specified in Section F-106.5.1. Out of service fire protection systems in vacant buildings shall be subject to the requirements of Section 311. Where required by the fire code official, the building shall either be evacuated, or an approved fire watch shall be provided for all occupants left unprotected by the shutdown until the fire protection system has been returned to service.
Where utilized, fire watches shall be provided with at least one approved means for notification of the fire department and their only duty shall be to perform constant patrols of the protected premises and keep watch for fires. In the event that the fire watch observes smoke or fire, the fire department shall be notified immediately. The fire department shall be notified upon the return of the system to service.
The duties of the fire watch are as follows:
   1.   An adequate number of fire watch personnel shall be on duty to ensure that all areas of a property are inspected every 30 minutes. In multi-story buildings there shall be at least one fire watch for every five floors.
   2.   At the beginning of the fire watch, fire watch personnel shall notify occupants of the temporary means by which they will be notified of the need to evacuate. A compressed air horn or other loud sounding device shall be used to alert occupants to evacuate the building in the event of smoke or fire.
   3.   Fire watch personnel shall be trained in their duties in accordance with Section 406.
   4.   A log shall be maintained of all fire watch activities.
Add Sections F-901.11 through F-901.11.2 as follows:
F-901.11 Monitoring of fire protection equipment. Fire alarm systems and automatic fire extinguishing systems in existing building and structures shall be monitored in accordance with this Section. Alarm, supervisory and trouble signals shall be distinctly different and shall be automatically transmitted to an approved supervising station or, when approved by the fire department, shall sound an audible signal at a constantly attended location.
   F-901.11.1 Monitoring of fire alarm systems. In buildings constructed on or after January 1, 2004, and in buildings constructed prior to January 1, 2004, containing a Group I or H occupancy or high-rise buildings, the fire alarm system shall be monitored in accordance with Section F-901.11.
   F-901.11.2 Monitoring of fire extinguishing systems. Automatic fire extinguishing systems installed on or after March 1, 1991, and automatic fire extinguishing systems installed in Group H and I occupancies and high-rise buildings prior to March 1, 1991, shall be monitored in accordance with Section F-901.11.

 

Notes

302
   Enrolled bill cited Chapter 9; citation corrected by Code editor.