<<Prev Rule

Texas Administrative Code

Next Rule>>
RULE §551.65Fire Alarms, Detection Systems, and Sprinkler Systems

(a) General. Fire alarms, detection systems, and sprinkler systems must be as required by NFPA 101, NFPA 72, NFPA 13, NFPA 13R, or NFPA 13D, as specified in NFPA 101, Chapter 32, New Residential Board and Care Occupancies and Chapter 33,Existing Residential Board and Care Occupancies, and as modified in this section.

  (1) Each building must have an approved fire alarm system.

  (2) Components must be compatible and laboratory listed for the use intended.

  (3) Wiring and circuitry for alarm systems must meet the applicable requirements of NFPA Codes, including NFPA 70, for such systems.

  (4) Fire alarm systems must be installed, maintained, and repaired by an agent having a current certificate of registration with the state fire marshal's office of the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, in accordance with the state law. A fire alarm system installation certificate must be provided as required by the State Fire Marshal's Office. An exception is that large facilities who have professional engineers on staff that are qualified in electrical and electronic installations are not required to have a certificate of registration with the State Fire Marshal's Office, provided they do not sell, install, or maintain fire alarm systems commercially.

  (5) Smoke detector sensitivity must be checked within one year after installation and every alternate year thereafter in accordance with NFPA 72. Documentation, including as-built installation drawings, operation and maintenance manuals, and a written sequence of operation must be available for examination by HHSC.

(b) Fire alarm and smoke detection and sprinkler systems for small facilities.

  (1) A manual alarm initiating system must be provided and must be supplemented by an automatic smoke detection and alarm initiation system in accordance with NFPA 101, Chapter 9, Building Service and Fire Protection Equipment, Section 9-6, Fire Detection, Alarm, and Communications Systems.

  (2) Smoke detectors must be installed in resident bedrooms, corridors, hallways, and common living/dining areas. Service areas such as laundries and kitchens must have heat detectors in lieu of smoke detectors.

  (3) The fire alarm control panel must be located to be in view of staff. The primary power source for the complete fire alarm system must be commercial electric.

  (4) Emergency power source must be from storage batteries or on-site engine-driven generator set.

  (5) The operation of any alarm initiating device will sound an audible or visual alarm at the site.

  (6) The facility must have a written contract with a fire alarm company or person licensed by the State Fire Marshal's Office to maintain the fire alarm system semiannually, and the system will be inspected as specified in the contract.

  (7) Facilities classified as "impractical evacuation capability," must be protected by a sprinkler system in compliance with NFPA 13, NFPA 13R, or NFPA 13D with additional requirements for coverage in all dwelling areas and all closets as specified by NFPA 101, Chapter 32, New Residential Board and Care Occupancies, and Chapter 33, Existing Residential Board and Care Occupancies.

(c) Fire alarm and emergency systems for large facilities.

  (1) The fire alarm system must be designed so that whenever the general alarm is sounded by activation of any device (manual pull, smoke sensor, sprinkler, kitchen range hood extinguisher, or other device) the following must occur automatically.

    (A) Smoke and fire doors which are held open by approved devices must be released to close.

    (B) Air handlers (air conditioning/heating distribution fans) serving three or more rooms or any means of egress must shut down immediately.

    (C) Smoke dampers must close.

    (D) The proper zone indicating lights must show on the fire alarm control panel, including auxiliary panels.

  (2) Fire alarm bells or horns must be located throughout the building for audible coverage. Flashing alarm lights (visual alarms) of proper intensity must be installed to be visible in corridors and public areas including dining rooms and living rooms.

  (3) A master control panel must be visible at the main staff station which has alarm and trouble conditions by zones, power-on lights, and required signal devices for trouble conditions. All control panels must be listed in accordance with the provisions of the Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL) for the intended use, i.e., manual, automatic, and water flow activation. Alarm and trouble zoning must be by smoke compartments and by floors in multi-story facilities.

  (4) Remote annunciator panels equipped with alarm by zone and a common trouble signal (both audible and visual) must be located at auxiliary or secondary staff stations on each floor or major subdivisions of single story facilities, that will indicate the alarm condition of adjacent zones and the alarm conditions at all other staff stations.

  (5) Manual pull stations must be provided at all exits, living rooms, dining rooms, and at or near the staff stations.

  (6) The NFPA 13 sprinkler system must be interconnected with the fire alarm panel as a separate zone for alarm and trouble. Activation of the tamper switch will provide a trouble condition on the fire alarm panel that will not impair the operation of the alarm.

  (7) The kitchen range hood extinguisher must be interconnected with the fire alarm system. This interconnection may be a separate zone on the panel or combined with other initiating devices located in the same zone as the range hood is located.

  (8) The fire alarm system must be arranged to transmit an alarm automatically to the fire department legally committed to serve the area in which the facility is located by the most direct and reliable method allowed by NFPA 101.

  (9) Partial sprinkler systems (those provided only for hazardous areas) must be interconnected to the fire alarm system and comply with NFPA 101. Each partial system must have a valve with a supervisory switch to sound a supervisory signal, water flow switch to activate the fire alarm, and an end of line test drain.

  (10) Emergency electrical services must be provided to comply with the provisions of NFPA 70. This includes such items as emergency power provided by generator or batteries for fire alarm systems, emergency egress lighting, call systems, TV cameras and monitors (if used for corridor observation), life support systems, or designated wall receptacles. The system must comply with NFPA 99 and NFPA 37.

  (11) Elevators, escalators, and moving walks. Elevators must comply with the provisions of NFPA 101 and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators (American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)) A17.1. Elevators are required for buildings having resident facilities (such as bedrooms, dining, or recreation areas) or services (such as diagnostic or therapy) located on other than the main entrance floor. Passenger elevators, escalators, and walks must be inspected by a qualified agent at least every six months. Freight elevators and dumbwaiters must be inspected every 12 months.

Source Note: The provisions of this §551.65 adopted to be effective July 1, 1996, 21 TexReg 5328; amended to be effective May 1, 1998, 23 TexReg 4060; amended to be effective May 1, 2000, 25 TexReg 3557; amended to be effective May 1, 2004, 29 TexReg 3237; transferred effective May 1, 2019, as published in the Texas Register April 12, 2019, 44 TexReg 1883; amended to be effective February 24, 2022, 47 TexReg 787

Link to Texas Secretary of State Home Page | link to Texas Register home page | link to Texas Administrative Code home page | link to Open Meetings home page