Fire Detection & Alarm Glossary

Here is a list of terms and definitions related to fire detection & alarm systems.

Note: The main source of this document is the NFPA 2016 Glossary of Terms. We also make extensive use of the terms defined in the Ontario Fire Code and the Whitby Fire Safety Plan Glossary. Our goal with this list is to use the most official, correct language for these definitions so that our industry terms are not misused.


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

abandoned fire alarm cable

NFPA defines this as "installed fire alarm cable that is not terminated at equipment other than a connector and not identified for future use with a tag."

abnormal condition

AKA off-normal condition

NFPA defines abnormal condition as "a situation, environmental state, or equipment state that warrants some type of signal, notification, communication, response, action, or service."

accelerant

NFPA defines this as "a fuel or oxidizer, often an ignitible liquid, intentionally used to initiate a fire or increase the rate of growth or spread of fire."

acceptable level of risk

NFPA defines this as "the minimum risk occurrence magnitude that is accepted by the stakeholders in the community."

acceptance

NFPA defines this as "an agreement between the purchasing authority and the contractor that the terms and conditions of the contract have been met."

acceptance tests

NFPA defines this as "tests performed on behalf of or by the purchaser at the time of delivery to determine compliance with the specifications for the fire apparatus."

access control

NFPA defines this as "the monitoring or control of traffic through portals of a protected area by identifying the requestor and approving entrance or exit."

Mircom has a complete line of access control equipment available.

access for fire fighting

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "an unobstructed approach to the building including access to the fire route, fire hydrant(s), fire department connections, principal entrance and the means of egress for the occupants."

access to exit

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "that part of a means of egress within a floor area that provides access to an exit serving the floor area."

accessibility

NFPA defines this as "the degree to which a product, device, service, or environment is available to as many people as possible. Accessibility enables people with disabilties to fully participate, use a product or device, and receive information. Accessibility might require alternative formats or assistive technologies"

accidental fire

NFPA defines this as "fire for which the cause does not involve a human act with the intent to ignite or spread a fire."

acknowledge

NFPA defines this as "to confirm that a message or signal has been received, such as by the pressing of a button or the selection of a software command."

The operator of a fire alarm system sometimes has to acknowledge that they have received a message while operating the system.

activate

To turn on a device or function.

active fire protection system

NFPA defines this as "a system that uses moving mechanical or electrical parts to achieve a fire protection goal."

address

A number or value that uniquely identifies a device in an addressable fire alarm system.

addressable device

NFPA defines this as "a fire alarm system component with discrete identification that can have its status individually identified or that is used to individually control other functions."

Mircom manufactures and distributes a number of intelligent addressable devices.

addressable fire alarm

A fire alarm system that gives each of its devices a unique number so that the status of each device can be monitored.

Mircom manufactures and distributes a number of different addressable systems.

See also: conventional fire alarm

addressable loop

Loops are faulty industry jargon.

In the industry you will often hear loop used to describe any type of fire alarm wiring including circuits, paths and designations.

For an in-depth discussion of why this is incorrect and the proper wording to use see the blog post below.

See: https://www.mircom.com/blog/item/228-the-trouble-with-fire-alarm-language-part-2-loops

ADS

Accountsically distinguishable spaces

NFPA defines this as "an emergency communications system notification zone, or subdivision thereof, that might be an enclosed or otherwise physically defined space, or that might be distinguished from other spaces because of different acoustical, environmental, or use characteristics, such as reverberation time and ambient sound pressure level."

See: https://www.mircom.com/blog/item/233-exploring-intelligibility-design-in-acoustically-distinguishable-spaces-ads

adverse condition

In terms of fire detection & alarm systems adverse conditions can cause fire to not be detected or messages not to be sent in case of fires.

NFPA defines this as "any condition occurring in a communications or transmission channel that interferes with the proper transmission or interpretation, or both, of status change signals at the supervising station."

AHJ

Authority having jursdiction.

ie. fire marshal

NFPA defines this as "an organization, office, or individual responsible for enforcing the requirements of a code or standard, or for approving equipment, materials, an installation, or a procedure."

"Following completion of construction, local authorities review new buildings before an occupancy permit is granted;"

See: https://www.mircom.com/blog/item/279-understanding-canadian-fire-alarm-system-codes-and-standards-the-six-w-s

alarm

NFPA defines this as "a warning of danger."

alarm condition

NFPA defines this as "an abnormal condition that poses an immediate threat to life, property, or mission."

alarm signal

NFPA defines this as "a signal that results from the manual or automatic detection of an alarm condition."

alarm verification feature

NFPA defines this as "a feature of automatic fire detection and alarm systems to reduce unwanted alarms wherein smoke detectors report alarm conditions for a minimum period of time, or confirm alarm conditions within a given time period after being reset, in order to be accepted as a valid alarm initiation signal."

annunciator

NFPA defines this as "a unit containing one or more indicator lamps, alphanumeric displays, computer monitor, or other equivalent means on which each indication provides status information about a circuit, condition, system, or location."

Mircom manufactures and distributes a wide variety of remote annunciators.

appliance

NFPA defines this as "utilization equipment, generally other than industrial, that is normally built in standardized sizes or types and is installed or connected as a unit to perform one or more functions."

In the life safety industry we have notification appliances such as bells, horns, strobes and speakers.

Mircom manufactures and distributes a wide variety of notification appliances.

applicable code

Applicable code is used to discuss the part of the building or fire code that AHJs will be using.

NFPA defines this as "the building code, fire code, or NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, adopted by the jurisdiction, or NFPA 101 where no such code has been adopted by the jurisdiction."

ASME

American Society of Mechanical Engineers

The ASME promotes the art, science & practice of multidisciplinary engineering around the globe.

See: https://www.asme.org/

assembly occupancy

The Whitby Fire and Emergency Services department defines this as "the use of a building by a gathering of persons for civic, religious, social, educational, recreational purposes or for the consumption of food or drink."

automatic fire detector

NFPA defines this as "a device designed to detect the presence of a fire signature and to initiate action. For the purpose of this Code, automatic fire detectors are classified as follows: Automatic Fire Extinguishing or Suppression System Operation Detector, Fire–Gas Detector, Heat Detector, Other Fire Detectors, Radiant Energy–Sensing Fire Detector, and Smoke Detector."

automatic sprinkler

NFPA defines this as "a fire suppression or control device that operates automatically when its heat-activated element is heated to its thermal rating or above, allowing water to discharge over a specified area."

automatic sprinkler system

NFPA defines this as "a sprinkler system of pipes with water under pressure that allows water to be discharged immediately when a sprinkler head operates."

Mircom's UEC division distributes a number of automatic sprinkler systems.

auxiliary alarm box

NFPA defines this as "an alarm box that can only be operated from one or more remote initiating devices or an auxiliary alarm system used to send an alarm to the communications center."


B

BAS

Buidling automation system

NFPA defines this as "an automated system used to control building functions such as HVAC control, lighting, and smoke management."

basic spray nozzle

NFPA defines this as "an adjustable-pattern spray nozzle in which the rated discharge is delivered at a designated nozzle pressure and nozzle setting."

battery

A battery is a backup source of power for a fire detection system to be used in the event of a power failure.

NFPA defines this as "a system consisting of two or more electrochemical cells connected in series or parallel and capable of storing electrical energy received and that can give it back by reconversion."

BNQ

Bureau de Normalisation du Quebec

The central body for standardization, certification and distribution of information on standards in Quebec.

See: https://www.bnq.qc.ca/en/

building code

A set of rules that specify the standards for constructed buildings.

NFPA defines this as "the building or construction code adopted by the jurisdiction."

In Canada there is both the National Building Code and Provincial Building Codes such as the Ontario Building Code.

In most of the USA the International Building Code applies.

bypass-isolation switch

NFPA defines this as "a manually operated device used in conjunction with an automatic transfer switch to provide a means of directly connecting load conductors to a power source and disconnecting the automatic transfer switch."


C

carbon dioxide

NFPA defines this as "a colorless, odorless, electrically nonconductive inert gas that is a suitable medium for extinguishing Class B and Class C fires."

carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas created when certain fuels burn incompletely. It is very dangerous and often called the 'invisible killer.'

carbon monoxide alarm signal

NFPA defines this as "a signal indicating a concentration of carbon monoxide at or above the alarm threshold that could pose a risk to the life safety of the occupants and that requires immediate action."

CCFMFC

Council of Canadian Fire Marshals and Fire Commissioners

The council promotes fire safety awareness. They advise and promote legislation, policies, procedures pertinent to fire protection.

See: http://www.ccfmfc.ca/

CEC

Canadian Electrical Code

The code that regulates the installation and maintenance of electrical equipment in Canada.

The first part of the code is CSA Part I. Safety Standard for Electrical Installations.

See: http://www.csagroup.org/services/codes-and-standards/installation-codes/canadian-electrical-code/

central station service alarm system

NFPA defines this as "a system or group of systems in which the operations of circuits and devices are transmitted automatically to, recorded in, maintained by, and supervised from a listed central station that has competent and experienced servers and operators who, upon receipt of a signal, take such action as required by NFPA 72. Such service is to be controlled and operated by a person, firm, or corporation whose business is the furnishing, maintaining, or monitoring of supervised alarm systems."

Mircom does not currently provide a central station monitoring service but our fire detection & alarm systems should work with all major providers.

certification

NFPA defines this as "an authoritative attestment; specifically, the issuance of a document that states that an individual has demonstrated the knowledge and skills necessary to function in a particular fire service professional field."

Most Mircom products have the relevant UL, ULC, FM and local certifications. See individual product pages for which certifications they have.

certification organization

NFPA defines this as "an independent, third-party organization that determines product compliance with the requirements of this standard with a labeling/listing/follow-up program."

Some of the main certification organizations are Underwriters Laboratory and Factory Mutual.

CFAA

Canadian Fire Alarm Association

The CFAA's mission is to "maximize the Effectiveness and Use of Fire Alarm Systems in the Protection of Life and Property."

See: http://www.cfaa.ca/

CFO

Chief Fire Official

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "the assistant to the Fire Marshal who is the Municipal Fire Chief or a member or members of the fire department appointed by the Municipal Fire Chief under Article 1.1.1.2. of Division C or a person appointed by the Fire Marshal under Article 1.1.1.1. of Division C."

CGSB

Canadian General Standards Board

The CGSB offers comprehensive standards development and conformity assessment services in support of the economic, regulatory, procurement, health, safety and environmental interests of government, industry and consumers.

See: http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/ongc-cgsb/index-eng.html

check

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as a "visual observation to ensure the device or system is in place and is not obviously damaged or obstructed."

circuit breaker

NFPA defines this as "a device designed to open and close a circuit by nonautomatic means and to open the circuit automatically on a predetermined overcurrent without damage to itself when properly applied within its rating."

CIS

Common Intelligibility Scale

The CIS is a measure of a sound system’s intelligibility.

For more information read the blog post below.

See: https://www.mircom.com/blog/item/272-testing-fire-alarm-system-intelligibility

Class "A" Fire

NFPA defines this as "a fire in ordinary combustible materials, such as wood, cloth, paper, rubber, and many plastics."

Class "B" Fire

NFPA defines this as "a fire in flammable liquids, combustible liquids, petroleum greases, tars, oils, oil-based paints, solvents, lacquers, alcohols, and flammable gases."

Mircom's PRO-2000 addressable system can detect gas & flames.

Class "C" Fire

NFPA defines this as "a fire that involves energized electrical equipment."

Class "D" Fire

NFPA defines this as "a fire in combustible metals, such as magnesium, titanium, zirconium, sodium, lithium, and potassium."

Class "K" / "F" Fire

NFPA defines this as "Class K fires are fires in cooking appliances that involve combustible cooking media (vegetable or animal oils and fats.)"

CO detector

A device that detects carbon monoxide.

codes

NFPA defines this as "a standard that is an extensive compilation of provisions covering broad subject matter or that is suitable for adoption into law independently of other codes and standards."

David Sylvester groups the codes using the six W's to make them easier to understand:

  • Where = building code
  • When = fire code
  • Who = fire code, occupational health & safety act
  • How = standards
  • What = updates to codes & standards & industry training
  • Why = code updates

For more information see the full blost post.

See: https://www.mircom.com/blog/item/279-understanding-canadian-fire-alarm-system-codes-and-standards-the-six-w-s

combustible construction

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as a "type of construction that does not meet the requirements for noncombustible construction."

combustible dust

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "dust and particles ignitable and liable to explode when mixed with air."

communications center

NFPA defines this as "a building or portion of a building that is specifically configured for the primary purpose of providing emergency communications services or public safety answering point (PSAP) services to one or more public safety agencies under the authority or authorities having jurisdiction."

compressed gas

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "any contained mixture or material with either an absolute pressure exceeding 275.8 kPa at 21°C or an absolute pressure exceeding 717 kPa at 54°C, or both, or any liquid having an absolute vapour pressure exceeding 275.8 kPa at 37.8°C."

contained use area

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "a supervised area containing one or more rooms in which occupant movement is restricted to a single room by security measures not under the control of the occupant."

cutsheet

aka datasheet

NFPA defines this as "a document that specifies the dimensions, slope, and other pertinent information regarding a particular excavation."

To lookup Mircom product datasheets you can visit individual product pages or use our product catalog app.


D

DCL

Data Communications Link

The data channel between two control units, transponders or annunciators.

deficiency

NFPA defines this as "for the purposes of inspection, testing, and maintenance of life safety systems, a condition that will or has the potential to adversely impact the performance of a system or portion thereof but does not rise to the level of an impairment."

Mircom offers preventative maintenance agreements to help businesses avoid deficiencies in their fire detection & alarm systems and quickly fix those that do arise.

design fire scenario

NFPA defines this as "a fire scenario selected for evaluation of a proposed design."

When evaluating potential designs engineers would run through a fire scenario to see if the proposed design can handle that scenario.

detection

NFPA defines this as "(1) Sensing the existence of a fire, especially by a detector from one or more products of the fire, such as smoke, heat, infrared radiation, and the like. (2) The act or process of discovering and locating a fire."

detection devices

NFPA defines this as "electrical, pneumatic, thermal, mechanical, or optical sensing instruments, or subcomponents of such instruments, whose purpose is to cause an automatic action upon the occurrence of some preselected event."

Mircom manufactures and distributes a wide variety of conventional and addressable detection devices.

detection system

NFPA defines this as "a system consisting of detectors; controls; control panels; automatic and manual actuating mechanisms; all wiring, piping, and tubing; and all associated equipment that is used to actuate an extinguishing system."

Examples of detection systems include the FA-1000 convential system, the FX-3500 addressable system and the FleX-Net networked system.

detention occupancy

Whitby Fire and Emergency Services defines this as "an occupancy in which persons are under restraint or are incapable of self preservation because of security measures not under their control."

detention occupancy

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "an occupancy in which persons are under restraint or are incapable of self preservation because of security measures not under their control."

device

NFPA defines this as "a unit of an electrical system, other than a conductor, that carries or controls electric energy as its principal function."

device (class N)

NFPA defines this as "a supervised component of a life safety system that communicates with other components of life safety systems and that collects environmental data or performs specific input or output functions necessary to the operation of the life safety system."

door control

NFPA defines this as "the process of ensuring the entrance door providing access to the fire area is controlled and closed as much as possible after the search team enters without the protection of a hose line."

This definition covers fire doors, not our security access control systems.

dry pipe sprinkler system

NFPA defines this as "a sprinkler system employing automatic sprinklers that are attached to a piping system containing air or nitrogen under pressure, the release of which (as from the opening of a sprinkler) permits the water pressure to open a valve known as a dry pipe valve, and the water then flows into the piping system and out the opened sprinklers."

dry sprinkler

NFPA defines this as "a sprinkler secured in an extension nipple that has a seal at the inlet end to prevent water from entering the nipple until the sprinkler operates."

dwelling unit

Whitby Fire and Emergency Services defines this as "a suite operated as a housekeeping unit, intended to be used by one or more persons containing cooking, eating, living, sleeping and sanitary facilities."

dwelling unit

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "a suite operated as a housekeeping unit, used or intended to be used as a domicile by one or more persons and usually containing cooking, eating, living, sleeping and sanitary facilities."


E

emergency evacuation

The four elements of evacuation people need are: notification, way finding, use of the way and assistance.

See: https://www.mircom.com/blog/item/230-navigating-emergency-evacuation-with-a-disability

See: https://www.mircom.com/blog/item/278-fire-safe-evacuation-elevators

emergency lighting

Whitby Fire and Emergency Services defines this as "a lighting device that is either battery powered or has a dedicated emergency power supply and is intended to automatically activate upon the loss of building power."

emergency power

Whitby Fire and Emergency Services defines this as "the supplementary power supplied within the building to ensure the uninterrupted function of the life safety systems (fire alarm, emergency lighting, firefighter’s elevator) through the use of a battery or an electric generator."

emergency procedures

Whitby Fire and Emergency Services defines this as "the prescribed course of action to be taken by the building occupants upon notification or discovery of a fire."

ESD

(1) Engineered Systems Distributor

These partners sell and service Mircom systems.

For a list of Mircom distributors click here.

(2) Emergency Shutdown Systems

These are industrial safety systems that are often found in nuclear or oil and gas plants and are succeptible to fire.

These systems are defined in terms of ESD levels:

  • Level 1 In charge of general plant area shutdown, can activate ESD level 2 if necessary. This level can only be activated from main control room in the process industrial plants.
  • Level 2 This level shuts down and isolates individual ESD zones and activates if necessary EDP
  • Level 3 provides liquid inventory containment in case of extreme danger
exit

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "that part of a means of egress, including doorways, that leads from the floor area it serves to a separate building, an open public thoroughfare or an exterior open space protected from fire exposure from the building and having access to an open public thoroughfare."

explosionproof equipment

NFPA defines this as "equipment enclosed in a case that is capable of withstanding an explosion of a specified gas or vapor that may occur within it and of preventing the ignition of a specified gas or vapor surrounding the enclosure by sparks, flashes, or explosion of the gas or vapor within, and that operates at such an external temperature that a surrounding flammable atmosphere will not be ignited thereby."

extinguish

NFPA defines extinguish as "to cause to cease burning."

In layman's terms extinguishing a fire puts it out.


F

FACU

Fire Alarm Control Units

NFPA 72 Chapter 3 defines fire alarm control units as "A component of the fire alarm system, provided with primary and secondary power sources, which receives signals from initiating devices or other fire alarm control units, and processes these signals to determine part or all of the required fire alarm system output function".

Mircom manufactures a wide variety of conventional, addressable and network fire alarm control units.

For more information see the blog post below.

See: https://www.mircom.com/blog/item/227-the-trouble-with-fire-alarm-language-part-3-panels

false alarm

One of the banes of firefighters, false alarms are fire alarms that are trigged via pranks, delibarate attempts to harm the system, and equipment failure. They waste firefighters time and endanger lives.

fire alarm

See: fire alarm control units

fire alarm circuit

NFPA defines this as "the portion of the wiring system between the load side of the overcurrent device or the power-limited supply and the connected equipment of all circuits powered and controlled by the fire alarm system. Fire alarm circuits are classified as either non–power-limited or power-limited."

fire alarm panel

Panel is an industry slang term for fire alarm control units.

See: fire alarm control units

See: https://www.mircom.com/blog/item/227-the-trouble-with-fire-alarm-language-part-3-panels

fire alarm signal

NFPA defines this as "a signal that results from the manual or automatic detection of a fire alarm condition."

fire alarm system

Whitby Fire and Emergency Services defines this as "an automatic or manual device designed to alert the occupants within a building to the presence of fire. The alarm system may also alert a monitoring company (if monitored) or actuate devices connected to the alarm system, such as smoke control devices, strobe lights, magnetic devices, fire dampers or other life safety devices."

Mircom offers a wide range of conventional, addressable and network fire alarm systems.

fire analysis

NFPA defines this as "the process of determining the origin, cause, development, responsibility, and, when required, failure analysis of a fire or explosion."

fire code

NFPA defines this as "the fire code enforced by the jurisdiction or agency enforcing this Code."

fire compartment

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "an enclosed space in a building that is separated from all other parts of the building by enclosing construction that provides a fire separation having a required fire-resistance rating."

fire damper

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "a closure that consists of a damper installed in an air distribution system or in a wall or floor assembly that is normally held in the open position and that is designed to close automatically in the event of a fire in order to maintain the integrity of the fire separation."

fire department

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "a group of firefighters authorized to provide fire protection services by a municipality, group of municipalities or by an agreement made under section 3 of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997."

fire detection and alarm system

NFPA defines this as "a system or portion of a combination system that consists of components and circuits arranged to monitor and annunciate the status of fire alarm or supervisory signal-initiating devices and to initiate the appropriate response to those signals."

These systems are made of up one or more control units plus a number of input/output devices and the wiring to tie them all in together.

Mircom is known around the world for our UL/ULC/FM listed fire detection & alarm systems.

fire drill

Whitby Fire and Emergency Services defiens this as "a practice exercise of the building’s emergency fire procedure conducted to ensure all approved procedures and supervisory duties will be completed by owner, supervisory staff and occupants in the event of a fire."

fire protection

NFPA defines this as "methods used to achieve any of the following: fire prevention, fire detection, and fire suppression."

fire protection system

NFPA defines this as "any fire alarm device or system or fire-extinguishing device or system, or combination thereof, that is designed and installed for detecting, controlling, or extinguishing a fire or otherwise alerting occupants, or the fire department, or both, that a fire has occurred."

Mircom's UEC division is an exporter of many fire protection systems.

fire safety plan

Whitby Fire and Emergency Services defines this as "an approved document describing following:

  • The building description and schematic diagrams,
  • Occupancy type and human resources related to the building,
  • The emergency procedures, appointment and training of supervisory staff,
  • The control of fire hazards,
  • A description of the life safety systems including the maintenance schedules and alternative procedures in the event that those systems become inoperative."

Mircom provides fire safety plans through our network of branches.

fire separation

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "a construction assembly that acts as a barrier against the spread of fire and may or may not have a fire-resistance rating or a fire-protection rating."

fire stop

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "a draft-tight barrier within or between construction assemblies that acts to retard the passage of smoke and flame."

fire suppression

NFPA defines this as "the activities involved in controlling and extinguishing fires."

fire-protection rating

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "the time in hours or fraction thereof that a closure, window assembly or glass block assembly will withstand the passage of flame when exposed to fire under specified conditions of test and performance criteria, or as otherwise prescribed in the Building Code."

fire-resistance rating

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "the time in hours or fraction thereof that a material or assembly of materials will withstand the passage of flame and the transmission of heat when exposed to fire under specified conditions of test and performance criteria, or as determined by extension or interpretation of information derived therefrom as prescribed in the Building Code."

fire-stop flap

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "a device intended for use in horizontal assemblies that are required to have a fire-resistance rating and incorporate protective ceiling membranes and that operates to close off a duct opening through the membrane in the event of a fire."

firewall

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "a fire separation of noncombustible construction that subdivides a building or separates adjoining buildings to resist the spread of fire that has a fire-resistance rating as prescribed in the Building Code and that has structural stability to remain intact under fire conditions for the required fire-rated time."

first storey

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "the storey with its floor closest to grade and having its ceiling more than 1.8 m above grade."

flammable liquid

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "a liquid having a flash point below 37.8ºC and having a vapour pressure not more than 275.8 kPa (absolute) at 37.8ºC as determined by ASTM D 323, “Vapor Pressure of Petroleum Products (Reid Method)”."

flash point

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "the minimum temperature at which a liquid within a container gives off vapour in sufficient concentration to form an ignitable mixture with air near the surface of the liquid."

flue

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "an enclosed passageway for conveying exhaust gases."

FM

Factory Mutual

FM is a third-party certification agency that handles property loss prevention product testing and certification.

See: http://www.fmglobal.com/research-and-resources/standards-and-certification/fm-approvals

follow-up program

NFPA defines this as "the sampling, inspections, tests, or other measures conducted by the certification organization on a periodic basis to determine the continued compliance of labeled and listed products that are being produced by the manufacturer to the requirements of this standard."

Mircom has our UL, ULC and FM certifications followed-up by those organizations are part of the listing process.


G

gas detector

A device that detects gases.

Mircom's PRO-2000 system can be configured with gas detecting devices.

grounded conductor

NFPA defines this as "a system or circuit conductor that is intentionally grounded. This intentional grounding to earth or some conducting body that serves in place of earth takes place at the premises service location or at a separately derived source. Control circuit transformers are permitted to have a secondary conductor bonded to a metallic surface that is in turn bonded to the supply equipment-grounding conductor. Examples of grounded system conductors would be a grounded system neutral conductor (three phase or split phase) or a grounded phase conductor of a 3-phase, three-wire, delta system."


H

heat detector

NFPA defines this as "a fire detector that detects either abnormally high temperature or rate of temperature rise, or both."

The Ontario Fire Code defines a heat detector as "a fire detector designed to operate at a predetermined temperature or rate of temperature rise."

Mircom provides both addressable and conventional heat detectors.

high hazard industrial occupancy

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "an industrial occupancy that contains sufficient quantities of highly combustible and flammable or explosive materials that, because of their inherent characteristics, constitute a special fire hazard.

hose

NFPA defines this as "a flexible tube for conveying a liquid or gas."

hose line
NFPA defines this as "one or more lengths of hose coupled together."
hose nozzle

NFPA defines this as "a device intended for discharging water for manual suppression or extinguishment of a fire."

hose nozzle valve

NFPA defines this as "the terminal output end of a dispensing system hose."

hose reel

NFPA defines this as "A circular device used to store hose."

hose size

NFPA defines this as "An expression of the internal diameter of the hose."

hose station

NFPA defines this as "A combination of a hose rack, hose nozzle, hose, and hose connection."

hose valve

NFPA defines this as "The valve to an individual hose connection."

hotel

The Ontario Fire Code defines a hotel as "floor areas, a floor area or part of a floor area containing four or more suites that provide sleeping accommodation for the travelling public or for recreational purposes."


I

IBC

International Building Code

The building code that applies in most of the United States as well as various other parts of the world.

See: http://codes.iccsafe.org/I-Codes.html

IEC

International Electrotechnical Commission

The IEC is an organization known for the preparation and publication of International Standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies.

See: http://www.iec.ch/

impeded egress zone

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "a supervised area in which occupants have free movement but require the release, by security personnel, of security doors at the boundary before they are able to leave the area, but does not include a contained use area."

industrial occupancy

The Ontario Fire Code defiens this as "the occupancy or use of a building or part thereof for assembling, fabricating, manufacturing, processing, repairing or storing of goods and materials."

inert gas

NFPA defines this as "any gas that is nonflammable, chemically inactive, noncontaminating for the use intended, and oxygen deficient to the extent required."

input data specification

NFPA defines this as "information required by the verification method."

inspection

The Ontario Fire Code defines an inspection as a "physical examination to determine that the device or system will apparently perform in accordance with its intended function."

Mircom Engineered Systems branches provide inspection services to meet the standards of the local authority having jurisdiction.

intelligibility

NFPA defines this as "the quality or condition of being intelligible" where intelligible means capable of being understood. Intelligibility is very important with emergency evacuation messages.

The International Building Code defines intelligibility as "Concept of Intelligibility intended to mean that a person with average hearing and cognitive abilities is able to understand the message that is transmitted into the space occupied by the person."

See: https://www.mircom.com/blog/item/233-exploring-intelligibility-design-in-acoustically-distinguishable-spaces-ads

intrinsically safe

NFPA defines this as "as applied to equipment and wiring, equipment and wiring that are incapable of releasing sufficient electrical energy under normal or abnormal conditions to cause ignition of a specific hazardous atmospheric mixture."

intrinsically safe system

NFPA defines this as "an assembly of interconnected intrinsically safe apparatus, associated apparatus, and interconnecting cables, in that those parts of the system that may be used in hazardous (classified) locations are intrinsically safe circuits."

ISO

International Organization for Standardization

ISO is an independent, non-governmental international organization that helps bring together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based, market relevant International Standards.

See: http://www.iso.org/iso/home.html


J

None found.


K

None found.


L

listed

NFPA defines this as "equipment, materials, or services included in a list published by an organization that is acceptable to the AHJ and concerned with evaluation of products or services, that maintains periodic inspection of production of listed equipment or materials or periodic evaluation of services, and whose listing states that either the equipment, material, or service meets appropriate designated standards or has been tested and found suitable for a specified purpose."

listing agency

NFPA defines this as "an organization acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction and concerned with product evaluation that maintains periodic inspection of production of listed equipment or materials and whose listing states that the equipment or material either meets appropriate standards or has been tested and found suitable for use in a specified manner."

LOC

Local operating console

NFPA defines this as "equipment used by authorized personnel and emergency responders to activate and operate an in-building mass notification system."

Some examples of Mircom systems with LOCs are FX-MNS and QX-mini.

local application system

NFPA defines this as "a system consisting of a supply of extinguishing agent arranged to discharge directly on the burning material."

looped sprinkler system

NFPA defines this as "a sprinkler system in which multiple cross mains are tied together so as to provide more than one path for water to flow to an operating sprinkler and branch lines are not tied together."

loops

In fire alarm circuit terminology the term loops is often used incorrectly as a catch-all phrase for all fire alarm wiring, circuits, paths and designations.

See the blog post below for an in-depth explanation of the correct terminology to use.

See: https://www.mircom.com/blog/item/228-the-trouble-with-fire-alarm-language-part-2-loops


M

maintenance

NFPA defines this as "work performed to ensure that equipment operates as directed by the manufacturer."

Mircom offers preventative maintenance agreements to help businesses avoid deficiencies in their fire detection & alarm systems and quickly fix those that do arise.

major occupancy

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "the principal occupancy for which a building or part thereof is used or intended to be used, and includes the subsidiary occupancies that are an integral part of the principal occupancy."

manage fire impact

NFPA defines this as "coordinate[d] measures to limit any harm directly or indirectly resulting from fire or fire products, or both."

manual operation

NFPA defines this as "operation of a system or its components through human action."

manual station

A manual station is a wall mounted device normally located near exit doors. When they are activated they will cause a fire alarm to activate.

Often all manual stations are incorrectly labeled pull stations.

Other common names are: manual signalling box, manual fire alarm box, manual pull station, fire alarm pull station

For more information read this blog post: https://www.mircom.com/blog/item/229-updating-industry-language-the-consequences-of-misuse

manufacturer

NFPA defines this as "the entity that directs and controls any of the following: compliant product design, compliant product manufacturing, or compliant product quality assurance; or the entity that assumes the liability for the compliant product or provides the warranty for the compliant product."

Mircom is a compliant manufacturer and distributor of life safety and intelligent building solutions.

master alarm box

NFPA defines this as "a publicly accessible alarm box that can also be operated by one or more remote initiating devices or an auxiliary alarm system used to send an alarm to the communications center."

means of egress

NFPA defines this as "a continuous and unobstructed way of travel from any point in a building or structure to a public way consisting of three separate and distinct parts: (1) the exit access, (2) the exit, and (3) the exit discharge."

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "a continuous path of travel provided for the escape of persons from any point in a building or contained open space to a separate building, an open public thoroughfare or an exterior open space protected from fire exposure from the building and having access to an open public thoroughfare. Means of egress includes both exits and access to exits."

means of escape

NFPA defines this as "a way out of a building or structure that does not conform to the strict definition of means of egress but does provide an alternate way out."

MEC

Minimum Explosible Concentration

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "the minimum concentration of combustible dust suspended in air, measured in mass per unit volume, that will support a deflagration as defined by the test procedure in ASTM E 1515, Standard Test Method for Minimum Explosible Concentration of Combustible Dusts.

mercantile occupancy

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "the occupancy or use of a building or part thereof for the displaying or selling of retail goods, wares or merchandise."

metallic hose

NFPA defines this as "a hose whose strength depends primarily on the strength of its metallic parts; it can have metallic liners or covers, or both."

method of instruction

NFPA defines this as "various ways in which information is delivered to students, both in a classroom and on the training ground."

At Mircom we offer both online and in-class training for our product lineup.

MODBUS

The Modbus Protocol is a messaging structure developed by Modicon in 1979. It is used to establish master-slave/client-server communication between intelligent devices.

The Modbus organization is a group of independent users and suppliers of automation devices that seeks to drive the adoption of the Modbus communication protocol suite and the evolution to address architectures for distributed automation systems across multiple market segments. The Modbus Organization will also provide the infrastructure to obtain and share information about the protocols, their application and certification to simplify implementation by users resulting in reduced costs.

The Modbus communication protocol is used by our PRO-2000 gas detection & alarm system.

See: http://www.modbus.org/

monitor

NFPA defines this as being able "to sense and indicate a condition without initiating automatic corrective action."

monitoring company

Whitby Fire and Emergency Services defines this as "a Fire Signal Receiving Centre that meets CAN/ULC or NFPA standards to receive fire alarm signals and transmit those alarms to the fire department for immediate response."

MSDS

Material Safety Data Sheet

NFPA defines this as "a form, provided by manufacturers and compounders (blenders) of chemicals, containing information about chemical composition, physical and chemical properties, health and safety hazards, emergency response, and waste disposal of the material."

A MSDS is an important document that aids in occupational safety and health. MSDS formats can vary from source to source within a country depending on national requirements.

For more information on MSDS in the context of WHMIS in Canada please see: https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/legisl/msdss.html

multi-sensor detector

NFPA defines this as "a device that contains multiple sensors that separately respond to physical stimulus such as heat, smoke, or fire gases, or employs more than one sensor to sense the same stimulus. A device capable of generating multiple alarm signals from any one of the sensors employed in the design, independently or in combination. The sensor output signals are mathematically evaluated to determine when an alarm signal is warranted. The evaluation can be performed either at the detector or at the control unit. This device has listings for each sensing method employed."

multiple occupancy

NFPA defines this as "a building or structure in which two or more classes of occupancy exist."

An example of this could be a mixed condominium-office tower building.


N

NAC

Notification Appliance Circuit

AKA Bell Circuit, Output Circuit, Signal Circuit

NACs have output devices terminated to them using either a Class "A" or Class "B" circuit.

Mircom's INX-10A booster power supply extends the power capabilities of any NAC circuits in a system.

NBC

National Building Code of Canada

The NBC specifies where a fire alarm system is needed.

It was developed as a complementary and coordinated document to NFC to minimize the possibility of conflicting provisions.

See: http://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/publications/codes_centre/2015_national_building_code.html

net-centric alerting system

NFPA notes that "a net-centric alerting system incorporates web-based management and alert activation application through which all operators and administrators could gain access to the system's capabilities based on the users' permissions and the defined access policy."

NFC

National Fire Code of Canada

Developed as complementary and coordinated document to NFC to minimize the possibility of conflicting provisions.

See: http://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/publications/codes_centre/2015_national_fire_code.html

NFPA

National Fire Protection Association

Publishes fire and building safety standards including the National Electrical Code.

See: http://www.nfpa.org/

NICET

National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies

An examining body whose function is to evaluate the qualifications of those who voluntarily apply for certification in engineering technology fields.

NICET is the main fire alarm technician certification body in the United States.

See: http://www.nicet.org/

NIMS

National Incident Management System

NFPA defines this as the "U.S. National Incident Management System or national/regional equivalent."

NIMS is a comprehensive, national approach to incident management that is applicable at all jurisdictional levels and across functional disciplines.

NIMS provides a consistent nationwide framework and approach to enable government at all levels (federal, state, tribal and local), the private sector and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to work together to prepare for, prevent, respond to, recover from and mitigate the effects of incidents regardless of the incident’s cause, size, location or complexity.

NIMS is part of the FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security.

See: https://www.fema.gov/national-incident-management-system

noncombustible

NFPA defines this as "not capable of igniting and burning when subjected to a fire."

noncombustible material

NFPA defines this as "material that, in the form in which it is used and under the conditions anticipated, will not ignite, burn, support combustion, or release flammable vapors when subjected to fire or heat."

nonflammable

NFPA defines this as "(1) Not readily capable of burning with a flame. (2) Not liable to ignite and burn when exposed to flame. Its antonym is flammable."

notification appliance

NFPA defines this as "a fire alarm system component such as a bell, horn, speaker, light, or text display that provides audible, tactile, or visible outputs, or any combination thereof."

Mircom offers a complete line of notification appliances.

NSS

National Standards System

The network of people and organizations involved in the development, promotion and implementation of standards in Canada.

See: https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/oca-bc.nsf/eng/ca01579.html


O

OBC

Ontario Building Code

The OBC governs the construction of new buildings and the renovation of existing buildings in Ontario.

See: http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page7393.aspx

See: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/docs/92b23_eV019.doc

occupancy

NFPA defines this as "the purpose for which a building or other structure, or part thereof, is used or intended to be used."

The Ontario Fire Code uses occupancy to mean "the use or intended use of a building or part thereof for the shelter or support of persons, animals or property."

occupancy classification

NFPA defines this as "the system of defining the predominant operating characteristic of a portion of a building or plant for purposes of applying relevant sections of this code."

occupancy hazard classification number

NFPA defines this as "a series of numbers from 3 through 7 that are mathematical factors used in a formula to determine total water supply requirements."

occupancy phase

NFPA defines this as "the phase during which the training and periodic inspection, testing, and maintenance are scheduled and performed."

occupancy protection system

NFPA defines this as "a water mist system utilizing automatic water mist nozzles installed throughout a building or a portion of a building and intended to control, suppress, or extinguish a fire."

occupant load

NFPA defines this as "the total number of persons that might occupy a building or portion thereof at any one time."

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "the number of persons for which a building or part thereof is designed."

occupany characteristics

NFPA defines this as "the abilities or behaviors of people before and during a fire."

occupiable story

NFPA defines this as "a story occupied by people on a regular basis."

OFC

Ontario Fire Code

The Ontario Fire Code and its enabling legislation, the Fire Protection and Prevention Act establishes fire safety standards for equipment, systems, buildings, structures, lands and premises.

The OFC was created under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act in 1997.

See: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/r07213

open sprinkler

NFPA defines this as "a sprinkler that does not have actuators or heat-responsive elements."

operating devices

NFPA defines this as "mechanical, electrical, or pneumatic devices involved in the operation of a system."

operator's panel

NFPA defines this as "a panel containinggauges, switches, instruments, or controls where an operator can visually monitor the applicable functions."

oxygen reduction system

AKA hypoxic air technology for fire prevention

An active fire protection technique based on a permanent reduction of the oxygen concentration in the protected rooms.

Applications for this technique include: cold storage, data centers, freezes, IT facilities, utilities and warehouses.

If there is still 15% oxygen in the room fire can still occur so extinguishing systems are still required.


P

partition system

NFPA defines this as "a part of one control unit that through software acts as a separate control unit."

performance-based approach

NFPA defines this as "an approach that relies upon measurable (or calculable) outcomes (i.e., performance results) to be met but provides more flexibility as to the means of meeting those outcomes. A performance-based approach is one that establishes performance and results as the primary basis for decision-making and incorporates the following attributes: (1) Measurable or calculable parameters exist to monitor the system, including facility performance; (2) objective criteria to assess performance are established based on risk insights, deterministic analyses, and/or performance history; (3) plant operators have the flexibility to determine how to meet established performance criteria in ways that will encourage and reward improved outcomes; and (4) a framework exists in which the failure to meet a performance criterion, while undesirable, will not in and of itself constitute or result in an immediate safety concern."

permit

NFPA defines this as "a document issued by the AHJ for the purpose of authorizing performance of a specified activity."

piping

NFPA defines this as "assemblies of piping components used to convey, distribute, mix, separate, discharge, meter, control, or snub fluid flows. Piping also includes pipe-supporting elements, but does not include support structures, such as building frames, bents, foundations, or any other equipment excluded from this standard."

PMA

Preventitive Maintenance Agreement

A contract between the building owner or manager and a fire alarm service company to perform semi-annual and annual testing and maintenance of the life safety equipment on a site.

If you would like to have peace of mind about your life safety equipment, we are happy to help.

point of safety

NFPA defines this as "a point of safety is one of the following: (1) an enclosed exit that leads to a public way or safe location outside the station, trainway, or vehicle; (2) an at-grade point beyond the vehicle, enclosing station, or trainway; (3) any other approved location."

portable fire extinguisher

NFPA defines this as "an extinguisher of the hand-held or wheeled type that is capable of being carried or moved about, or a transportable system consisting of a hose reel or rack, hose, and discharge nozzle assembly connected to a supply of suppressant."

Mircom does not currently manufacture fire extinguishers, but our UEC brand distributes some of the top brands.

power station

NFPA defines this as "an electric-generating plant for supplying electrical energy to the system."

preaction sprinkler system

NFPA defines this as "a sprinkler system employing automatic sprinklers that are attached to a piping system containing air that might or might not be under pressure, with a supplemental detection system installed in the same areas as the sprinklers."

premises

NFPA defines this as "the land and buildings of a user located on the user side of the utility-user network point of demarcation."

preventitive maintenance

NFPA defines this as "the act or work of keeping something in proper condition by performing necessary preventive actions in a routine manner to prevent failure or breakdown."

See: PMA

proposed design

NFPA defines this as "a design developed by a design team and submitted to the authority having jurisdiction for approval."

public amusement area

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "an area where the public is ordinarily invited or permitted access, either expressly or by implication, whether or not a fee is charged for entry, and includes entertainment displays or structures used on a temporary, seasonal or permanent basis."

public corridor

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "a corridor that provides access to exit from more than one suite."


Q

qualified person

NFPA defines this as "a person who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, professional standing, or skill, and who, by knowledge, training, and experience, has demonstrated the ability to deal with problems relating to a particular subject matter, work, or project."

Mircom employees all have the required education and certifiation for their positions and receive company training on installing, maintaining and repairing our products.

quint

NFPA defines this as "fire apparatus with a permanently mounted fire pump, a water tank, a hose storage area, an aerial ladder or elevating platform with a permanently mounted waterway, and a complement of ground ladders."


R

recessed sprinkler

NFPA defines this as "a sprinkler in which all or part of the body, other than the shank thread, is mounted within a recessed housing."

recommended practice

NFPA defines this as "A document that is similar in content and structure to a code or standard but that contains only nonmandatory provisions using the word 'should' to indicate recommendations in the body of the text."

redundancy

NFPA defines this as "the application of more than one device or system, or part of a device or system, with the objective of ensuring that in the event of one failing to perform its function another is available to perform that function."

remote supervisory station

NFPA defines this as "a protected premises fire alarm system (exclusive of any connected to a public emergency reporting system) in which alarm, supervisory, or trouble signals are transmitted automatically to, recorded in, and supervised from a remote supervising station that has competent and experienced servers and operators who, upon receipt of a signal, take such action as required by this Code."

residential board and care occupancy

NFPA defines this as "an occupancy used for lodging and boarding of four or more residents, not related by blood or marriage to the owners or operators, for the purpose of providing personal care services."

residential occupancies

NFPA defines this as "occupancies that include the following, as defined in NFPA 101: (1) apartment buildings, (2) lodging and rooming houses, (3) board and care facilities, and (4) hotels, motels, and dormitories."

The Ontario Fire Code says that "the occupancy or use of a building or part thereof by persons for whom sleeping accommodation is provided but who are not harboured or detained to receive medical care or treatment or are not involuntarily detained."

residential occupancy

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "the occupancy or use of a building or part thereof by persons for whom sleeping accommodation is provided but who are not harboured or detained to receive medical care or treatment or are not involuntarily detained."

residential sprinkler

NFPA defines this as "a type of fast-response sprinkler having a thermal element with an RTI of 50 (meters-seconds)1/2 or less that has been specifically investigated for its ability to enhance survivability in the room of fire origin, and that is listed for use in the protection of dwelling units."

retrofit

NFPA defines this as "as applied to vehicles and facilities, to furnish with new parts or equipment to constitute a deliberate modification of the original design (as opposed to an overhaul or a replacement in kind.)"

The Ontario Fire Code adds that retrofits are "the minimum performance requirements for life safety for existing buildings."

reverberation

Sound bouncing off walls or other objects in a room. This makes any fire alarm messages less intelligible.

Factors that can cause reverberation include: room dimensions, construction type and materials, objects within the room and number of occupants. For more information see the blog post below.

See: https://www.mircom.com/blog/item/273-principles-of-intelligibility-for-fire-alarm-system

risk

NFPA defines this as "a measure of the probability and severity of adverse effects that result from exposure to a hazard."

risk analysis

NFPA defines this as "a process to characterize the likelihood, vulnerability, and magnitude of incidents associated with natural, technological, and manmade disasters and other emergencies that address scenarios of concern, their probability, and their potential consequences."

risk assessment

NFPA defines this as "an assessment of the likelihood, vulnerability, and magnitude of incidents that could result from exposure to hazards."

risk control

NFPA defines this as "the management of risk through stopping losses via exposure avoidance, prevention of loss (addressing frequency) and reduction of loss (addressing severity), segregation of exposures, and contractual transfer techniques."

risk management

NFPA defines this as "the process of planning, organizing, directing, and controlling the resources and activities of an organization in order to minimize detrimental effects on that organization."

risk management plan

NFPA defines this as "a risk management plan is a written document that evaluates all the activities typicallyperformed by a fire department and identifies the risk associated with those activities."


S

safe location

NFPA defines this as "a location remote or separated from the effects of a fire so that such effects no longer pose a threat."

SCC

Standards Council of Canada (Conseil canadien des normes)

The SCC is a federal crown corporation that aims to promote efficient and effective standardization as a means of enhancing Canada's competitive and social well-being.

See: https://www.scc.ca/

SFPE

Society of Fire Protection Engineers

A professional society for fire safety engineers. They have over 4,200 members, 66 regional and local chapters, and 15 student chapters worldwide.

Their goal is to advance the science and practice of fire protection engineering and its allied fields, to maintain a high ethical standard among its members and to foster fire protection engineering education.

See: http://www.sfpe.org/

sidewall sprinkler

NFPA defines this as "a sprinkler having special deflectors that are designed to discharge most of the water away from the nearby wall in a pattern resembling one-quarter of a sphere, with a small portion of the discharge directed at the wall behind the sprinkler."

signaling device

NFPA defines this as "any resource that provides a distinct and predictable display, noise, or sensation that can be used to communicate a predetermined message or to attract the attention of other persons as desired by the initiator of the signal."

signaling line circuit

NFPA defines this as "a circuit or path between any combination of circuit interfaces, control units, or transmitters over which multiple system input signals or output signals, or both, are carried."

signaling zone

NFPA defines this as "an area consisting of one or more notification zones where signals are actuated simultaneously."

site safety and control plan

NFPA defines this as "a site safety and control plan should be completed and approved by the hazardous materials officer, the hazardous materials safety officer, and the incident commander for inclusion in the incident action plan. The plan must be briefed to personnel operating within the hot zone by the hazardous materials safety officer or the hazardous materials officer prior to entry mission initiation. The initial site safety and control plan for the first operational period can be written or oral. The plan should be documented as soon as resources allow."

situation analysis

NFPA defines this as "the process of collecting, evaluating, and disseminating information related to the incident, including information on the current and forecasted situation and on the status of resources for management of the incident."

SLC

Signalling Line Circuit

AKA: Data communication link (DCL)

Used to communicate with compatible devices such as: annunciators, input devices, output devices and transponders.

smoke alarm

NFPA defines this as "a single or multiple-station alarm responsive to smoke."

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "a combined smoke detector and audible alarm device that is designed to sound an alarm within the room or suite in which it is located when there is smoke within the room or suite."

smoke detector

NFPA defines this as "a device that detects visible or invisible particles of combustion."

The Ontario Fire Code defines smoke detectors as "a fire detector designed to operate when the concentration of airborne combustion products exceeds a predetermined level."

sprinkler system

NFPA defines this as "a system that consists of an integrated network of piping designed in accordance with fire protection engineering standards that includes a water supply source, a water control valve, a waterflow alarm, and a drain. The portion of the sprinkler system above ground is a network of specifically sized or hydraulically designed piping installed in a building, structure, or area, generally overhead, and to which sprinklers are attached in a systematic pattern. The system is commonly activated by heat from a fire and discharges water over the fire area."

sprinklered (as applying to a building or part thereof)

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "that the building or part thereof is equipped with a system of automatic sprinklers."

standard operating procedure

NFPA defines this as "a written organizational directive that establishes or prescribes specific operational or administrative methods to be followed routinely for the performance of designated operations or actions."

standards

NFPA defines this as "a document, the main text of which contains only mandatory provisions using the word “shall” to indicate requirements and which is in a form generally suitable for mandatory reference by another standard or code or for adoption into law. Nonmandatory provisions shall be located in an appendix or annex, footnote, or fine-print note and are not to be considered a part of the requirements of a standard."

STI

Speech Transmission Index.

STI is a measure of how intelligible speech is. Read the blog post below for a more in-depth explanation.

See: https://www.mircom.com/blog/item/272-testing-fire-alarm-system-intelligibility

storey

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "that portion of a building that is situated between the top of any floor and the top of the floor next above it, and where there is no floor above it, that portion between the top of the floor and the ceiling above it."

structure

NFPA defines this as "that which is built or constructed, an edifice or building of any kind, or any piece of work artificially built up or composed of parts joined together in some definite manner."

supervisory device

NFPA defines this as "a device arranged to supervise the operative condition of automatic sprinkler systems."

supervisory signal

NFPA defines this as "a signal that results from the detection of a supervisory condition."

supervisory staff

The Ontario Fire Code defines supervisory staff as "those occupants of a building who have some delegated responsibility for the fire safety of other occupants under the fire safety plan and may include the fire department where the fire department agrees to accept these responsibilities."


T

test

NFPA defines this as a means of "verify(ing) serviceability by measuring the mechanical, pneumatic, hydraulic, or electrical characteristics of an item and comparing those characteristics with prescribed standards."

The Ontario Fire Code defines test as "the operation of a device or system to ensure that it will perform in accordance with its intended operation or function."

testing

NFPA defines this as "a procedure used to determine the operational status of a component or system by conducting periodic physical checks, such as waterflow tests, fire pump tests, alarm tests, and trip tests of dry pipe, deluge, or preaction valves."

trouble condition

NFPA defines this as "an abnormal condition in a system due to a fault."

trouble response

NFPA defines this as "the response to the receipt of a trouble signal."

trouble signal

NFPA defines this as "a signal that results from the detection of a trouble condition."


U

UL

Underwriters Laboratories Inc.

UL is an independant safety science and certification agency that handles certification for the US fire alarm industry.

See: http://www.ul.com/

ULC

Underwriters Laboratories Canada

Underwriters Laboratories of Canada is an independent product safety testing, certification and inspection organization.

They are accredited by the Standards Council of Canada and International Accreditation Service, Inc.

See: http://canada.ul.com/

unauthorized person

NFPA defines this as "a person who does not have permission to enter a protected premises or is not authorized to have access to specific confidential information."

uncertainty analysis

NFPA defines this as "an analysis intended to (1) identify key sources of uncertainties in the predictions of a model, (2) assess the potential impacts of these uncertainties on the predictions, and (3) assess the likelihood of these potential impacts. Per this definition, sensitivity analysis performs some but not all of the functions of uncertainty analysis."

unstable liquid

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "a liquid, including a flammable and combustible liquid, which is chemically reactive to the extent that it will vigorously react or decompose at or near normal temperature and pressure conditions or which is chemically unstable when subject to impact."


V

validation

NFPA defines this as "verification by responsible individuals as indicated in the code text where the requirement appears."

valve member

NFPA defines this as "that part of a gas valve rotating within or in respect to the valve body that, by its position with respect to the valve body, controls the flow of gas."

verification

NFPA defines this as "the process of determining the correctness of the calculations or the solution of governing equations in a method."

verification method

NFPA defines this as "a procedure or process used to demonstrate or confirm that the proposed design meets the specified criteria."

vertical service space

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "a shaft oriented essentially vertically that is provided in a building to facilitate the installation of building services, including elevators, refuse chutes, linen chutes and mechanical, electrical and plumbing installations."

viscosity

The Ontario Fire Code defines this as "the resistance that a liquid offers to flow."

visual inspection

NFPA defines this as "observation by eye unaided by optical devices, except prescription eyeglasses or lenses."


W

warm zone

NFPA defines this as "the control zone at an incident that surrounds the hot zone and in which the fire fighter may be exposed to low levels of the products of combustion requiring standard fire fighter personal protective equipment for protection."

water spray system

NFPA defines this as "an automatic or manually actuated fixed pipe system connected to a water supply and equipped with water spray nozzles designed to provide a specific water discharge and distribution over the protected surfaces or area."


X

None found.


Y

None found.


Z

zone

The general definition of zone is an area or stretch of land having a particular characteristic, purpose, or use, or subject to particular restrictions.

In terms of life safety a zone is an area in a building monitored by a fire alarm system.

Conventional fire alarm systems are usually categorized by how many zones they can handle. For example the FA-100 is sold in one, two and five zone variants.