june 2023

FSM December 2022

Inside the June Issue



Does Your Facility’s Fire and Life Safety Systems Comply with the NFPA 4 Standard for Integrated Testing?

Today’s buildings are becoming greener, smarter and more complex as they incorporate new design approaches. At the same time, fire and life safety system integrations are also becoming increasingly complex. While the main focus of greener/smarter systems is energy or utility savings, a holistic
approach is at the center of fire and life safety integrations. Fire and life safety systems need to be designed, coordinated, installed, programmed, tested, and integrated to protect an entire building’s life safety ecosystem.

NFPA 4 Standard for Integrated Testing
Requirements for testing of integrated fire and life safety systems are found in NFPA 4, Standard for Integrated Fire Protection and Life Safety Systems Testing. NFPA 4 is applicable where the 2018 or 2021 editions of the International Building Code, International Fire Code, NFPA 101® Life Safety Code®, or NFPA 1 Fire Code have been adopted. Integrated testing is already a requirement for many jurisdictions through locally adopted building or fire codes. Locations that have not adopted the standard will likely do so in the near future.

In the event of a fire or other emergency, more complex buildings (e.g., hospitals or prisons) may rely on staff
response, passive fire protection features (e.g., fire or smoke barriers) and increasingly complex active fire protection systems (e.g., sprinklers, fire alarms, doors closing, smoke control). Other systems that may interface with fire and life safety systems include security, audio/visual, access control, building management system/ building automation system, lighting controls, and elevator controls, to name a few. When interfaced with fire and life safety systems, these become subject to NFPA 4 integrated testing requirements.

The purpose of integrated testing, as required by NFPA 4, is not to retest all the individual systems in the building but test the interfaces between the systems. Testing is done to verify and document that systems are coordinated with each other, function properly, and respond or work as intended within the overall holistic fire protection approach. This is called end-to-end testing, as the various systems are tested to see how they interact.

The NFPA 4 standard provides minimum requirements for testing the integration of fire and life safety systems in both new and existing buildings. When a local, city, county, or state jurisdiction adopts one of the above codes requiring NFPA 4 for new buildings, they must also implement integrated testing for existing buildings. NFPA 4 allows five years from the adoption of the standard to develop an integrated testing plan for existing buildings and five years or the number of years as identified by the Integrated Testing Agent to perform the integrated testing.

Role of the Integrated Testing Agent
NFPA 4 has identified the Integrated Testing Agent (ITa) as a
new role to be held by a qualified individual who can help lead
the team through the complexities of the integrated testing process. Ultimately, facilities do not have a one-size-fits-all approach to fire and life safety. Full story »


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Honeywell Recognized For Exceptional Design With Prestigious Red Dot and If Design Awards

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Norfolk Southern Appoints Atkins Nuclear Secured to Lead Independent Safety Review

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Altus Fire and Life Safety Acquires Crime Intervention Alarm

FSM Staff | 05.31.23

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