COMMERCIAL FIRE ALARM

Commercial Fire Alarm

A commercial fire alarm permit is required for the following work on a commercial building or structure.

  • Renovate and repair existing fire alarm systems, including suppression system supervisory and alarm systems.
  • Extend or modify an existing fire alarm system, including suppression system supervisory and alarm systems.
  • Installation of a new fire alarm system, including suppression system supervisory and alarm systems.

Please see Permit Home for the definition of commercial structures and work types. Please see work not requiring a permit for work that can be performed without a PLI permit. Please visit our Contacts page for the Construction Inspector's contact information.

New System Work Scopes:

The new system work type applies to the installation of new systems. The applicant shall identify one or more of the following work scopes: 

  • Automatic Smoke Detection System: installation of a fire alarm system for which automatic detectors serve as system initiating devices. 
  • Emergency Voice/Alarm Communication System: installation of an emergency voice/alarm communication system. 
  • Manual Fire Alarm System: installation of a fire alarm system that includes manual initiating devices. 
  • Manual Fire Alarm System with occupant notification only: installation of a fire alarm system for which activation of a suppression system initiates the system. 
  • Suppression System Monitoring System: installation of a fire alarm system that is limited to monitoring of a suppression system. 
  • Phased Work – Core & Shell: installation of systems associated with a phased building permit with a core and shell work scope. Work associated with the fit-out is not permitted. Selected in addition to one or more other work scopes.
  • Phased Work – Fit-out: installation of systems associated with a phased building permit with fit-out work scope. Work associated with the core and shell is not permitted. Selected in addition to one or more other work scopes. 

Addition / Alteration Work Scopes:

The addition/alteration work type applies to the alteration of an existing system. The applicant shall identify one or more of the following work scopes: 

  • Automatic Smoke Detection System: alteration of a fire alarm system for which automatic detectors serve as system initiating devices. 
  • Emergency Voice/Alarm Communication System: alteration of an emergency voice/alarm communication system. 
  • Manual Fire Alarm System: alteration of a fire alarm system that includes manual initiating devices. 
  • Manual Fire Alarm System with occupant notification only: alteration of a fire alarm system for which activation of a suppression system initiates the system. 
  • Suppression System Monitoring System: alteration of a fire alarm system that is limited to monitoring of a suppression system.
  • Circuit Wiring: alteration of fire alarm circuit wiring.
  • Fire Alarm Control and/or Annunciator Panel: installation of new or replacement fire alarm control and/or annunciator panels.
  • Initiating Devices: installation or modification of initiating devices.
  • Occupant Notification Devices: installation or modification of occupant notification devices.
  • Emergency Replacement of device/equipment: repair and/or replacement of elements condemned by PLI and/or damaged elements required to maintain safe occupancy of an occupied building. Replacement of a fire alarm control panel is permitted under this work scope.
  • Removal of System: removal of a system that is not replaced.

Minor Alteration Work Types:

The minor alteration work type applies to the modification of an existing system in an existing building with a valid certificate of occupancy. The applicant shall identify one or more of the following work scopes: 

  • Relay for Hood Suppression System: installation or modification of a relay for a hood suppression system. 
  • Relocation / Replacement of Devices In-Kind only: applies to the relocation or replacement in kind (same type and number) of devices (notification and/or initiating). Replacement and/or relocation of a fire alarm control panel is NOT permitted under this work scope.
  • Emergency Repairs: repairs to equipment condemned by PLI and/or damaged equipment. Replacement of a fire alarm control panel is NOT permitted under this work scope.

Permit Process:

See these web pages for additional information regarding the permitting process:

  • Permit Process
  • Application Submission
  • All other work types other than Minor Alterations require submission of construction drawings to OneStopPGH.
  • Drawings shall be one of the following:
    • Prepared and sealed by a PA-licensed architect or engineer.
    • Prepared and sealed by a PA-licensed architect or engineer supplemented by shop drawings if accompanied by a statement from the architect or engineer that they have accepted the shop drawings as part of the construction drawings.
    • Prepared and signed by an individual with a Level III Nicet certification for fire alarm systems.
  • Application Review
  • Permit Issuance
  • Permit Inspections
  • Permit Completion

Please see Other Agency Coordination for processes related to other agencies that may relate to your permit scope.  For commercial fire alarm permits:

  • Zoning Code Regulations: :
    • Development of a property in a regulated floodplain requires a PLI Floodplain permit.
  • PA Department of Health (DOH)
    • Required for a structure regulated by the PA Health Care Facilities Act.
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