Everyone knows how to test a manual fire alarm: you just pull down the handle. Right? Right. But some people whose job it is to test fire alarm systems do not, in fact, always do this, instead using a key without actually pulling down the handle. This does not constitute a test that complies with the National Electrical Code, says Wayne Moore in his column "All About the Pull" in the latest issue of NFPA Journal.
The argument that it is too difficult or expensive to test some types of fire alarm boxes, such as those with break-glass fronts, in this manner does not negate the code's requirements to test the alarm manually. Why do you have to test a manual fire alarm box by operating the way a user would to report an actual fire? Read Wayne's column in the September/October issue of NFPA Journal to find out.
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