Inspection date: 6/28/203X
Prepared by: Sparky W. Sands
Building: Suitably Scented Candles (Hazard Mills Location)
Address: 28 Hazard Mills Commons – Hazard City, PA 18111
Site Contact: Amanda Landa, Store Manager
System: Lucifire APF-200
Monitored by: Amco Alarms
- This inspection is for the scented candle store ONLY.
- Notify mall security before performing any work.
- On mall FACP, press “signal partition” hotkey and disable L2M028 to disconnect tenant FACP.
- Recommend synchronizing notification appliances.
- Recommend changing restroom horn/strobe to strobe.
- Recommend relocating smoke detector at least 36″ away from air vent.
- Pull station by main entrance obstructed by molding. Lever cannot be pulled down.
- Strobe did not function on horn/strobe in the employee restroom.
I arrived on-site at 8:30 AM, with Priscilla “Prissy” Czoschke (the intern) riding shotgun. We parked on the lowest level of the parking garage, and were escorted inside the mall by security personnel, via the rear entrance.
Our first order of business was to place the main mall system offline for testing. This was the brand-new Lucifire Obsidian LFS2-3030 at the front entrance vestibule, which our company helped install and program on behalf of the city’s Exposition & Intervention Taskforce (EXIT).
We called our monitoring center to place the system on test, and were on hold for about 20 minutes. After we finally got through, the security guard began pressing hotkeys on the panel’s ACM-24 (a modular array of 24 keys and LED indicators to the right of the main display). I stopped her for a second, and explained that this was unnecessary, as we would only be testing in the candle shop.
Sitting on the border between Hazard City and Gristmill, Hazard Mills Commons was the joint responsibility of both fire marshals, who stipulated that any fire alarm signal received must sound a general alarm throughout the entire building. At the same time, management insisted that most tenants remain responsible for maintaining and inspecting and maintaining the alarm devices within their space, per the terms of their lease.
There were several ways to approach this inspection. One way would be to put the tenant FACP on silent walk-test, verifying that the devices report to the panel without activating any signals or relays. Once the test was complete, we could read through the walk-test log. The problem with doing this was that the system automatically lapses out of this mode after one hour, which was pushing it. And we would still need to test the system live at least once to ensure that it would function in a real emergency. The challenge was doing this without dumping the entire mall.
Thanks to Mark Ashton’s incredible programming skills, this was a piece of cake. He disconnected the notification circuits from the tenant FACP’s, and wired them into control modules on the main mall FACP. He programmatically paired each control module with a corresponding monitor module that would be used to check if that tenant’s FACP was in alarm. He then programmed a hotkey on the ACM that switched between two modes of operation.
When this hotkey was pressed, the system would enter “signal partition mode”, a custom function that caused signals to sound separately for each store. Similarly, common area signals would only sound for common area devices. This was the inverse of systems like the one at Punxsutawney Technical College, where selective signaling was the normal state, and pressing a hotkey (usually called the drill button or “manual evac”) would override the partitions and immediately sound all the signals at once.
We pressed the partition mode hotkey, causing the system to register a trouble condition as a reminder that system functionality had been impaired. The horns in the candle shop would still sound periodically every time a device was tested, which was another thing we wanted to avoid, to prevent customers from getting annoyed.
Hey, I made a rhyme.
Fortunately, we here at Amco leave good notes. Well, at least now we do. On this system, the correct method is to disable the monitor module for the tenant panel being inspected.
The document cabinet by the FACP contained a directory of all the module addresses. Even better, Prissy and I had the complete, writable Inspection Map File saved in our OmniMeters. Ashton is quite a stickler for numbers, so he set the module addresses to correspond to the postal address for each tenant space. The format was as follows:
- Loop 1 = Mall devices and monitor modules
- Loop 2 = Tenant space monitor modules for FACP’s
- Loop 3 = Tenant space control modules for notification appliances
For example, our customer was located at 28 Hazard Mills Commons. Their monitor module would be L2M028, and their notification control module would be L3M028. The address L1M028 does not follow this format, and happens to belong to one of the addressable pull stations in the mall’s loading dock. We could only hope that future contractors wouldn’t mess with Ashton’s mojo.
We disabled L2M028, headed up the escalator, and made our way to the store to greet the customer. The store manager was waiting for us inside the storefront gate, which she opened upon seeing us approaching. We introduced ourselves, and she introduced herself as Amanda. I almost accidentally called her Amendoa a several times, referring to Kelly Amendoa, Hazard City’s fire marshal and director of EXIT.
Well, I'm definitely NOT her. I don't have the weight to throw around.
We apologized for our tardiness, but she had been watching us intently and already knew we had been on hold with monitoring. She took us behind the customer service desk to see the FACP, which was a Lucifire APF-200. We had to move a heavy candelabra out of the way, and gently reminded her not to allow employees to store items near the panel.