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Fire Alarm Systems
  • Radio Bi-Directional Amplifier "BDA" systems are permitted through Manatee County Radio Division and NOT through the Fire Marshal's Office.

  • Do not connect the BDA system to the fire alarm panel (lightning issue), use separate monitoring source.  

  • NO DUCT smoke detectors.  Use HVAC relay shunt trips on general alarms only in order to reset with fire alarm system.

  • NO PHONE lines to fire alarm panel (lightning issue), use cell dialer or radio for monitoring.

  • NO TAMPER to fire backflow as copper underground poses a lightning issue.

  • Pulls must be double-action with protective covers.  Add covers with sounders if risk of children tampering is present.

  • Document box required

  • Add KNOX BOX to the location identified by Fire Marshal or staff.

  • Waterproof EXTERIOR STROBE above OR near Knox Box with NO HORN.

  • Breakrooms require HEAT detectors, NO SMOKES.

  • Minimal smoke detectors in air-conditioned spaces.

  • Fire Alarm Annunciator at firefighter entrance, which will be entry door nearest Knox Box & Waterproof Strobe.

  • SPRINKLER BELL not required for monitored fire alarm system.

  • FLOW / TAMPER on sprinkler riser.

Fire Sprinkler System
  • ESFR (Early Suppression, Fast Response) ceiling mounted sprinklers can be used in warehouses in place of in-rack fire sprinkler systems contingent on the use of wire rack shelving (storage bin shelving is not permitted)

  • Multi-family apartments buildings will require lanai/balcony sidewall sprinkler protection (Hotels are not required to have this requirement due to NO SMOKING/COOKING policies)

  • 200 PSI for 2 HOURs acceptance test required (existing systems - 50 PSI over static pressure for 2 HOURS)

  • NFPA 13, 13 R, 13 D sprinkler system for new construction and renovations require a permit

Fire Pump System
  • Shop drawings must match installation

  • Manufacturer's specifications or cut sheets for all equipment to be installed

  • Hydraulic calculations and pump curve

  • Include address and legal description of project, with owner's details and contractor info

  • Plan of use, square footage and area involved listed

  • 2 Hour 200 PSI pressure test on all piping prior to final pump test

  • Work must be performed by the contractor indicated on the permit

  • Final acceptance test by a representative of the pump manufacturer, controller, and transfer switch with the fire department

Fire Underground
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  1. Protect restraints, bolts, and stainless steel riser with plastic sheeting prior to all cement work

  2. Use blue fluorocarbon (PTFE) coated bolts & nuts = NO TARRING is required with non-corroding hardware

  3. Remote FDC:  Add minimum of 500 pounds cement for thrust blocking

  4. 90° stainless steel in building riser:  Add minimum 300 pounds of cement for thrust blocking

  5. 90° bends:  Add minimum 300 pounds of cement for thrust blocking

  6. Tracer wire: THROUGHOUT

  7. 200# 2 hour pressure test and full bore flush at final 

  8. Burial tape required

  9. Remote FDC at final grade will require 18" x 18" cement pad (8" thick) WITH hole for U-channel signpost and tracer wire cap

  10. Pre-cast concrete thrust blocks allowed

Fire Standpipe System
  • Add pressure reducer valves if fire pump is providing PSI

  • Add ONLY class I 2.5" hose valves with brass reducer caps (2.5" - 1.5")

  • Label exterior stairwell doors with the word "STANDPIPE" in red lettering

  • Hose valves are on separate riser from sprinkler system unless approved by fire department

Fire Access Electronic Gates (Road and Pool)
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  • Plans must include emergency access remote control system (gate opener receiver & handheld gate openers / clickers) per Manatee County Ordinance AND Knox gate switch for fire apparatus as a back-up system

  • No solar powered gates allowed

  • Add KNOX GATE SWITCH #3502 to allow for fire department operation of gate

  • Provide county / city permit application number if new gate


For Pedestrian Gate (Community Pools, Parks, Nature Preserves or other public areas)

  • Add KNOX GATE SWITCH #3502 

  • Verify location in person with Fire Marshal or staff prior to install

  • For POOL areas please add signage similar to photo provided

To order from Knox Select Florida then NORTH RIVER FIRE DISTRICT

Fire Hydrants


  • Blue Reflective Tape on Collar

  • Solid Yellow

  • Annual Inspection Tag

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  Blue Pavement Marker for Hydrant                           Red Pavement Marker for FDC

  • Follow the latest edition of the FFPC, NFPA 14

  • Add pressure reducer valves if fire pump is providing PSI

  • Add ONLY class I 2.5" hose valves with brass reducer caps (2.5" - 1.5")

  • Label exterior stairwell doors with the word "STANDPIPE" in red lettering

  • Hose valves are on separate riser from sprinkler system unless approved by fire department


  • Sign with Address

  • Painted Red 

  • No Rust

  • Cap in Place

Radio BDA Rough-In
  • Follow the City of Palmetto or Manatee County Building permit requirements and inspections

  • An independent grid testing contractor must follow a "failed" grid test by the radio BDA seller/installer to protect the building owner from fraudulent tests

  • A permit from NRFD is for ROUGH-IN SYSTEM ONLY:  chase pipe 2" grey conduit or 2" blue smurf flex pipe, 12" x 12" NEMA 4 rated boxes, and the wall boxes for annunciators

  • No connection between the radio BDA panel and the FACP (lightning hazard for FACP) 

  • Monitor radio BDA separately from FACP

  • Elevator shafts and stairwells are NOT approved paths for radio BDA chase

  • Final approval GIVEN by Manatee County Radio Manager Ed Cittadino or 848-992-6220 

Addressing and Building Labels
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  • Contrasting Colors 

  • Facility address

  • 10" minimum for major highways, prefer reflective material

  • Identify buildings for emergency personnel to easily locate and train employees to give building identification when calling for assistance. 

  • Discuss specifics with Plans Reviewer as there are many options.

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