Q: We have an outpatient clinic which is a business occupancy and provides ancillary services like physical therapy and radiology, and there are no fire alarm pull stations in the building. Are we required to have a fire alarm system and if so, do we need pull stations?
A: According to section 39.3.4 of the 2000 edition of the Life Safety Code (LSC), there are multiple options that may or may not require pull stations. An automatic fire alarm system is required if the building is two or more stories in height above the level of exit discharge, OR there are 100 or more occupants above or below the level of exit discharge, OR there are 1,000 or more total occupants in the building. Therefore, if the building does not qualify for any of the above conditions, then a fire alarm system is not required and manual pull stations also would not be required. However, if your clinic does meet one of the requirements for a fire alarm system, then initiating devices are required by one of the following methods:
• Manual pull stations, OR
• Smoke detectors and heat detectors installed throughout the building, OR
• Automatic sprinklers installed throughout the building that will initiate a fire alarm upon water-flow.
Therefore, it is possible that manual pull stations may not be required in your clinic if the building meets the exceptions listed in section 39.3.4. However, please check with your local and state authorities to determine if they have other requirements you need to comply with.