Smaller Text Button Larger Text Button
MyClearwater.com - The Official Website of the City of Clearwater, Florida
Home Information Services Activities Government Employment Site Map Espanol Contact Us

Fire & Rescue Department

Fire & Rescue Home

Construction Bureau Home



Fire Protection Systems Review Guidelines
Florida Fire Prevention Code Resources


Frequently Asked Questions

Recommended Links

Current Weather Conditions





Building Requirements

Minimum Plan Requirements - Fire Alarm Systems

A fire alarm system consists of a number of initiating devices, control panels and indicating appliances designed and installed to produce an alarm signal in the event of a fire. It provides constant monitoring of a building and its contents in the event of an emergency requiring immediate action.

When a fire detection and alarm system is required, the guidelines for planning and testing a new fire alarm system as well as the procedures leading to the systems acceptance are delineated.

Plans Submission

  • a. Three (3) sets of workshop drawings shall be submitted and approved by the authority having jurisdiction (A.H.J.) prior to installation.


  • b. A.H.J. will process plans submitted only after all applicable codes and ordinances are met.


  • c. Approved plans shall be on site at time of alarm testing and C.O.


  • d. System drawings /plans shall be at least 24" x 36" blueprints and shall indicate the following:
    • i. Name and address of building/project/tenant.
    • ii. Name of contractor with address, phone number and certification/ license number.
    • iii. Floor plan with dimensions with scale.
    • iv. Symbol list and equipment identification (flow, bell, horns, pull, etc.).
    • v. Coverage, per manufacturer specifications, for detectors.
    • vi. Type of transmitting equipment that transfers signal to central station.
    • vii. Location of zones and annunciators.
    • viii. Compliance with Local and N.F.P.A. Codes 70, 71, 72 as applicable.
    • ix. Location of all devices.

  • e. Additional Guidelines Notes: In the past there has been some confusion as to the proper location of fire alarm devices, detectors, pull stations, alarm control panels, etc. The following recommendation should aid designers and installers of location(s) and requirements:
    • 1. Heat detector in rest room facilities and in assembly occupancies not protected by automatic sprinklers.
    • 2. Ceilings over twenty feet (20') certain type smoke detectors may not be advisable, check manufacturers' specifications.
    • 3. In non-atmosphere controlled environments smoke detectors are not recommended (i.e. warehouses, open shops).
    • 4. Heat detectors are not required in a building that is fully protected by fire sprinklers.
    • 5. All fire control panels are to be located by AHJ.
    • 6. If the above panel cannot be located within six feet (6') of a main entrance then an enunciator panel will be required within six feet (6') of the main entrance of the building.
    • 7. Outside fire control panels are not acceptable.
    • 8. Keys shall be provided to gain access to the building, fire alarm panel, etc. Fire department key box system shall be used. Contact fire department for an application.

Pre-Acceptance Testing

  • a. Prior to acceptance test, contractor shall notify A.H.J. at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance.


  • b. Alarm contractor shall do a complete test of system before the A.H.J. is called for the acceptance test.


  • c. Alarm contractor shall provide sufficient personnel to properly conduct system test.


  • d. Alarm contractor or owner shall arrange for a written agreement with a licensed contractor to cover:
    • 1. Equipment and system repairs.
    • 2. Annual total system inspection. Copies shall be provided to A.H.J. at time of test.

  • e. Alarm contractor or owner shall arrange for a monitoring agreement with a listed central station (if required) approved by the A.H.J. A copy of this agreement shall be provided to the A.H.J. at time of system test.


  • f. Alarm contractor shall notify all parties concerned regarding the test. (A.H.J., occupants of building, security, central station, etc.). NOTE: U.L. licensed monitoring stations are the only A.H.J. approved stations.

Fire Alarm System Inspector Checklist (printable PDF file)

More minimum plan requirements...