What are the dedicated power circuit requirements for fire alarm systems?

Thanks to Ruben Garcia, The Life Safety Guy, for creating this FAQ! Connect with Ruben HERE


Per NFPA 72: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, 2010 Edition – Chapter 10 Fundamentals– fire alarm systems, to include fire alarm control panels, fire alarm audio/visual notification appliances (NAC) power supplies, and fire alarm communicators must be installed on a dedicated power circuit. The dedicated power circuit breaker shall have a red marking, be accessible only to authorized personnel, and be identified as “FIRE ALARM CIRCUIT”. In addition, the dedicated circuit breaker location must be identified at the fire alarm control unit, NAC power supply, or fire alarm communicator.

These fire alarm panel power circuit requirements are necessary to increase the reliability of the fire alarm systems’ power source.

Bonus Tip 1: Fire alarm systems in healthcare settings must be connected to the essential electrical system, specifically the life safety branch.

Bonus Tip 2: The requirement to install a listed breaker locking device on circuit breakers was introduced in the 2013 edition of NFPA 72.

Bonus Tip 3: The status of the fire alarm system is typically one of the first life safety features that is checked during an accreditation survey visit. Surveyors are looking to see if the fire alarm system’s disconnecting means is identified and if there are any fault conditions on the system that may warrant a life safety risk assessment such as a fire watch.


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