Fire Alarm Installation Standards


Submittal Guidelines

Fire alarm permit plan submittals and applications shall be in electronic format. Information regarding electronic submittal requirements may be found on our eplans Electronic review page.

  • All Fire Alarm contractors are required to be registered with the Town of Vail prior to submittal of installation permit applications. Contractors must be considered in good standing with Vail Fire & Emergency Services (VF&ES) and the Town of Vail.
  • All digital files shall be MS windows compatible.
  • All digital documents shall be in PDF and compatible with Adobe Acrobat version 7.0 or greater.
  • If a separate electrical contractor is performing wire pull, NICET requirements shall apply to contractor. A separate wire pull permit may be required.
  • Installation of Fire Alarm Systems shall comply with standards set forth in NFPA 72 (2010 ed), NFPA 720 (2012 ed) the International Fire Code (2012 ed.) or as set forth in this standard.
  • Fire alarm installation plans shall be submitted in 1/8” or ¼” scale.
  • Plans are required to be stamped by a fire alarm design technician with NICET level 3 or 4 certification, or a Fire Protection Engineer. Fire alarm permits shall be paid for prior to commencing installation of system.
  • Fire alarm permit shall be posted in a visible location on job site at all times. Stamped approved plans shall be available at time of inspection.
  • Permit valuation shall include cost of wire pull and associated labor as well as costs of actual fire alarm devices and associated appurtenances.
  • Permit fee shall include one rough wire inspection and the fire alarm final acceptance inspection and test. Partial inspection may be requested. Partial inspection and re-inspection fees shall be based on the hourly rate as adopted by Vail Fire & Emergency Services (VF&ES). A minimum of 2 hour fee ($144.00) will be assessed to the fire alarm permit. Payment shall be rendered to the Town of Vail prior to a final fire alarm approval sign off. Fire alarm contractor and general contractor shall be present for both rough and final inspections.
  • Fire alarm contractor shall be responsible for scheduling inspections. General contractors should not attempt to schedule these inspections unless approved by the fire alarm contractor and fire code official.
  • Reflected ceiling plans are required and shall include ceiling height and slope and shall show features such as, but not limited, to beam depth and ceiling fans.
  • Fire alarm installation personnel shall meet the criteria set forth in NFPA 72. Installation shall be supervised or completed by technicians holding a NICET II or higher level of certification.

Installation Guidelines

Monitored fire alarm systems are required to point addressable capable. Combination systems are not approved for installation. (Single station/monitored)

  • Smoke detection is required in living rooms, family rooms and home theaters as well as areas defined in NFPA 72 (2010 ed) and the International Fire Code (2012 ed.).
  • Boiler and mechanical rooms are required to be furnished with heat detection. Other areas may be required to have heat or smoke detection based on use, or as required by VF&ES fire code official.
  • Storage rooms and closets are not required to have smoke detection.
  • Unfinished crawl spaces are not required to have smoke detection.
  • Garages shall have either a sounder or a sounding keypad to provide notification of system activation. Heat detection in garages is required.
  • Smoke and heat detectors shall be oriented toward the center of ceilings of the protected area. Wall mounted installation may be allowed based on field inspection and demonstrated hardship.
  • Heat activated detection is not required in kitchens.
  • Rooms containing (Alarm System) Control Units are not required to be furnished with smoke or heat detecting devices unless otherwise required by this standard or NFPA 72 (2010 ed.). (Applies to residential systems only).
  • Carbon monoxide detection is required to be installed per NFPA 720 (2012 ed.) and Colorado HB 1091. Additionally the following installation requirements shall be met:
  • Kitchens with natural gas or propane supplied devices shall be furnished with carbon monoxide detection.
  • Carbon monoxide detection is required in living areas directly adjacent to attached garages.
  • Carbon monoxide detection is required in areas equipped where indoor fireplaces are installed. (Wood burning appliances included).
  • Wireless (RF) systems are allowed when circumstance prevents installation of hard wired systems. Prior approval by VF&ES is required.
  • Wireless devices may be combined with hardwire systems when appropriate (ie: small remodels). Devices must be listed to be used with existing system. Consult Design Professional or VF&ES for further guidance if needed.
  • Wireless (RF) systems shall only be approved for residential installations. Multi family occupancies of more than three units are not suitable for wireless (RF) systems due to technical limitations. Consult VF&ES or your design professional for further guidance if needed.

Inspection Guidelines

Inspection requests can be directed to VF&ES Prevention office at 970.479.2252.

  • Inspection requests should be made at least 48 hours in advance. Requests for rough and final fire alarm inspections should be made by the fire alarm contractor.
  • A representative of both the fire alarm contractor and project manager or general contractor are required to be present for the requested inspection.
  • Re-inspection fees shall be assessed on an hourly basis, 2 hour minimum fee ($144.00) and shall be due prior to project receiving final approvals.

Knox Box / Contact Information

All properties equipped with a monitored fire alarm system are required to have an approved key box on the exterior of the property. Location shall be approved by VF&ES. Key boxes shall be of recess mounting type. Surface mounted key boxes are not approved for installation. See Section 506, International Fire Code 2012 ed for further guidance.

  • Key boxes shall be furnished by the Knox Company. Boxes may be ordered electronically. Contact VF&ES Prevention Office for further guidance if needed. Duplex and multi-family occupancies are permitted to share a single key box.
  • VF&ES does not require key boxes to be tamper monitored.
  • Master keys and key cards are required to be presented for installation in the key box at final inspection.
  • Keys will not be accepted by VF&ES personnel except when on property and in the presence of a contractor or responsible party. Keys will be clearly marked as to what doors they will operate.
  • For residential properties, a residential preplan information sheet shall be prepared and presented to the fire code official prior to a final inspection being signed off. Document may be found in electronic format on the Town of Vail website. Consult VF&ES Prevention office for further guidance if needed.


This document is not intended to serve as a replacement for NFPA 72, 2010 edition. The purpose of this document is to provide information as related to fire alarm installations in VF&ES jurisdictions.

  • Where conflicts occur with these standards and NFPA 72, or if a particular topic is not addressed, please contact the VF&ES Prevention office at 970.479.2252 for clarification.

Last Modified 5/20/2013

Contact Info

Mark Novak
Fire Chief

Mike Vaughan
Fire Marshal