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Fire Alarm System permitting

The following information is necessary for a review to begin, and must be submitted.

This unit reviews and inspects interior fire alarm systems for all buildings in the City. This includes new construction, renovated buildings, or if changes are made to an existing system. 

Fire Protection Engineers look at plans for new fire department and hydrant locations. They also review building and fire codes for other projects, like:

  • smoke control plans
  • sprinkler system plans
  • fire suppression plans
  • place of assembly plans, and 
  • any other plans related to fire safety.

Information for Review and Submission

Plans with device locations, room labels and scale noted
Plans should be submitted as fire alarm layer only. Where more than one type of visual appliance is specified, the candela of each should be noted as a subscript to the device on the drawings. A riser diagram is required for each system.
Manufacturer's cut sheets for all equipment
Manufacturer’s cut sheets are checked for UL listing, compatibility and to double-check battery calculations. Be sure this information is available. 
Complete Battery calculations back to main panel
All initiating devices and notification appliances should be included. If this is an addition to an existing system, the ability of the existing panel to accept the addition of a zone or devices should be shown. 
Narrative describing scope of work and basis of design
The narrative should briefly but completely address the scope of work being done. This should also state the type of occupancy per 780 CMR, chapter 3 (use groups) as well as the code which the fire alarm system is designed under. If the designer is taking advantage of exceptions within the State Building Code, this should be addressed here. 
Sequence of Operations for alarm system
This will describe how the initiating devices report an alarm condition to the building occupants and/or the fire department. Additional controls by the fire alarm system, such as elevator recall and smoke control should be addressed.
  • Plans will be assigned a “document number” which is used for internal tracking purposes only. All contact or information between an applicant and the Boston Fire Department concerning a set of plans should always reference the assigned document number.
  • Locations requesting a Masterbox installation must have the designer or installer contact the Superintendent of Fire Alarm, 617-343-2060, prior to beginning installation.
  • Locations requiring Emergency Responder Radio Coverage should refer to the Boston Fire Communications page and follow that process.

Permits are valid for one year after approval. Contact the Fire Prevention Division for extensions.

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