Another design feature involves the use of smoke doors that are held open
magnetically. Should a fire alarm be transmitted, the smoke doors close preventing
smoke from spreading to corridors or stairwells.
Northeastern University is recognized by the city of Boston as an authorized
central station that monitors its own fire detection and alarm system. Full-time
dispatchers answer calls 24 hours a day from Northeastern University’s Police Operations
Center. In addition, the operations center has direct phone lines to both Boston Police
and Fire Departments.
Like any high-rise apartment building in Boston, the West Campus Residence
Hall is fully sprinkled with a wet-pipe system. An automatic 1,000 gallon-per-minute
pump serves the facility. A smoke evacuation system is also provided to prevent smoke
and fire gases from spreading to adjacent areas of the building.
Smoke detectors that are monitored by the central station are installed in every
room with a battery back up. If smoke is detected in a single room, a fire alarm is
sounded only in the local area of the smoke detector. In other words, only a selected area
is evacuated due to selective alarm notification. Conversely, if a smoke detector or pull
station is activated in a common living area such as a lobby, a fire alarm for the entire
building will be sounded, the elevators will be recalled, and an alarm will be sent directly
to the Boston Fire Department.
In summary, three types of fire detection and alarm systems are available.
However, automatic fire sprinkler systems appear to provide the best protection from fire
in any residential occupancy. NFPA 101, the Life Safety Code provides only minimal
requirements for fire protection systems. A manual fire alarm system may be used as an