Fire Marshals have stepped up the enforcement of NFPA72 Fire Code to due recent deaths in commercial buildings. Putting a commercial building out of service, outside the parameters of the code, leaves the installer and the monitoring company at risk.

That being said, Fire Marshals around the country are within their limits to interpret the code as they deem applicable. We are asking you to contact your local Fire Marshall and indicate the guidelines you must operate within and notify us using the form located under installer support. Duplicate the form for each Fire Marshal you deal with.

Unless otherwise indicated, CMS follows the NFPA72 Code, and handle putting commercial fire accounts out of service as follows:

Commercial Fire

Who can put out of service?

  • Installer with Installer Code and/or Installer Password
  • Authority Having Jurisdiction referred to as AHJ (ex: Fire Marshal), or representative appointed by AHJ( ex :Fire Department Representative). AHJ or representative should indicate name and badge number.
  • Manufacturer or certified representative of the system or equipment. Ex: Simplex Grinnell

For how long?

  •  The code states, 4 Hours during a 24 hour period when putting the entire systemon test.
  •  Where the system remains operational and is still able to report fire, the 4 hour rule does not apply.

[1] NFPA 101 Life Safety Code Handbook, 2009 Edition Where a require fire alarm system is out of service for more than 4 hours in a 24 hour period, the authority having jurisdiction shall be notified, and the building shall be evacuated, or an approved fire watch shall be provided for all parties left unprotected by the shutdown, unit the fire alarm system has been returned to service.

A. A fire watch should at least involve some special action beyond normal staffing such as assigning an additional security guard(s) to walk the affected area. Such individuals should be specially trained in fire prevention and in occupant and fire department notification techniques, and they should understand the particular fire safety situation for public education purposes.

The term out of service in is intended to imply that a significant portion of the fire alarm system is not in operation. It is not the intent of the code to require notification of the authority having jurisdiction, or evacuation of the portion of the building affected, for a single non-operating device or appliance.


27.3.7 Personnel Qualification Service Personnel.

Service Personnel shall be qualified in the service, inspection, maintenance, and testing of public emergency alarm reporting systems. Personnel shall demonstrate qualification by being trained and certified in public emergency alarm reporting system design, installation, or service (as appropriate) by one or more of the following:

(1) Certified by the manufacturer of the system or equipment

(2) Cerftified by an organization acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction.

(3) Licensed or certified by a state or local authority.

New York State Fire Code

§F901.7 Systems out of service. Where a required fire protection system is out of service, the fire department and the code enforcement official shall be notified immediately and, where required by the code enforcement official, the building shall either be evacuated or an approved fire watch shall be provided for all occupants left unprotected by the shut down 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.

Exception: The code enforcement official is permitted to waive the requirement for evacuation or a fire watch where there is not a substantial risk to life safety or where alternatives to maintain an equivalent level of safety are prescribed.

F901.8 Removal of or tampering with equipment. It shall be prohibited for any person to remove, tamper with or otherwise disturb any fire hydrant, fire detection and alarm system, fire suppression system, or other fire appliance required by this code except for the purpose of extinguishing fire, training purposes, recharging or making necessary repairs, or when approved by the code enforcement official.