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FIR-6.08 - Fire Alarm Initiating Devices on Security Systems


Administrative Rule Adopted by Portland Fire & Recuse Pursuant to Rule-Making Authority



A. This policy is established November 12, 2008.

B. The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for the allowance of a limited number of fire alarm initiating devices reporting to security alarm systems.

C. Because of the code sections referenced below it has been a practice of the FMO not to allow fire alarm initiating devices on security/burglar systems in commercial occupancies because security systems generally do not conform to NFPA 72 standards. The argument is two fold: If a member of the public notes that there is a fire protection device present in the building, there is an expectation that the system is built to national standards; second, that security systems are not built to the same standards as fire systems, therefore more false calls would be received by emergency responders.

D. It is this office's determination that heat/rate-of-rise detectors tied to security system do not resemble the installed components of a fully compliant NFPA 72. Further, heat/rate-of-rise detectors are not as prone to false calls as smoke detectors.



    1. Portland Fire Code 2008

a. 901.4.4 Appearance of equipment. Any device that has the appearance of fire protection equipment but does not perform that function shall be prohibited (paraphrased).

b. 901.4.2 Non-required fire protection systems not required by code shall be allowed to be furnished provided such installed systems meet the requirements of this code (paraphrased).

    2. Portland City Code Title 31


 A. Smoke detectors are not allowed on security systems.

 B. Heat/rate-of-rise detectors are allowed as components of a security system up to the following limits:

1. The security system is limited to 4 rate-of-rise heat detectors. System owners that require more protection than four devices must permit the alarm system through the FMO.

2. False fire calls will be tracked by the FMO and may initiate citations per Title 31.

3. Fire alarm pull stations are not allowed.

a. A panic button is allowed.

4. Fire alarm notification appliances are not allowed.

a. Horns, strobes or horn/strobes that are either red or white in color or have the word "Fire" embossed anywhere on the exterior of the device are not allowed.

b. Use of the fire alarm temporal notification tone is not allowed.

5. The heat/rate-of-rise detectors have to be operable.

a. The FMO does not require annual testing, but if it appears that the device is not working, documentation must be provided that the detector is operational or it must be removed.


Originally adopted by Fire Marshall as FMO Policy CE F-8, November 12, 2008.

Filed for inclusion in PPD by Chief of Portland Fire & Rescue November 25, 2008.