A commercial fire alarm design is a complex job that must be performed by a licensed fire alarm engineer. Most consumers contact their local fire alarm company for assistance in the project. A fire alarm engineer designs a commercial fire alarm system based on the current NFPA-72 fire alarm code and requirements.
When it comes to designing a commercial fire alarm system, the NFPA-72 states that "Fire alarm system plans and specifications shall be developed in accordance with this code by a person who is experienced in the proper design, installation and testing of fire alarm systems." Commercial fire alarm system design in accordance to current fire alarm code must be performed by a (FPE) fire alarm protection engineer with a current state fire alarm license or electrical engineer with the specific knowledge of the current state, federal and local fire alarm codes. The fire alarm engineer is the person that is responsible for the design and operation of a fire alarm system while the fire alarm contractor is responsible for the installation, maintenance and fire alarm programming.
The fire alarm engineer is required to have specific and precise understanding of the applicable building fire codes as it relates to the interaction of the commercial fire system with other life safety functions such as the fire detection system, fire suppression system, fire protection system, ventilation system, air control system, heating and elevator recall system in accordance to the national fire alarm code.