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Leveraging Security to Meet the Life-Safety Mission

Learn code requisites for access control, elevator control, plus how to leverage surveillance cameras, among other life-safety enhancements.

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Typically, the elevator contractor provides twisted pair cable connections from the machine room interface to the return panel in the elevator car. Additionally, the elevator contractor connects each elevator bank to the access control system to allow the former to be put into card reader-controlled mode. Opening the dry relay contact returns the elevator bank to normal mode.

With an in-depth understanding of fire and life-safety codes and requirements, the security system designer and integrator can be 100% compliant with code.

The elevator contractor also must provide a connection on every floor for each controlled elevator, except the recall floor, so the access control system can enable the floor select button. Opening the contact disables the floor select button. In all situations, the security system cannot override any code-required safety or fire system “return provisions” that are provided within the actual elevator control system.

All of the interconnection wiring must be monitored for integrity and installed per NFPA 70. Each interconnected control unit must be separately monitored for alarm, supervisory and trouble signals. In addition, the other systems cannot interfere with the operation of the fire alarm, and any fault of the other system cannot affect the required operation of the fire alarm system, including the monitoring for integrity of the fire alarm circuits. With higher security concerns in today’s environment, access control and other security systems will increasingly be interconnected with fi re alarm systems. The following NFPA documents can be referenced for further information:

  • NFPA 730 Guide for Premises Security
  • NFPA 731 Standard for Installation of Electronic Premises Security Systems
  • NFPA 3 Recommended Practice on Commissioning and Integrated Testing of Fire Protection and Life Safety System (2012 Edition covers both commissioning and periodic testing of building systems, and integrated testing with coordination among contractors)

Technology continues to advance with improved functionality, reliability and easier integration. This has produced a higher level of confidence with interconnected systems , as well as expectations from building owners/managers and their occupants.

With an in-depth understanding of fire and life-safety codes and requirements, the security system designer and integrator can be 100% compliant with code. Equally vital is the ability to meet the building owner’s requirements and exceed the occupants’ expectations while also improving the safety and security of the space, building, facility and campus.

Sam Docknevich, PSP, is the service agreement portfolio manager for Siemens’ Building Technologies Division. Reach him at (508) 558-3353 or


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Article Topics
Fire/Life Safety · All Topics


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