Don’t wait, the deadline is approaching!

As part of the 2016 Ordinance 163-16 and San Francisco Fire Code Section 1103.7.6.1, R-2 occupancy residential buildings with 3 units or more with existing fire alarms are required to comply with the sound level requirements for sleeping areas as set forth in Section 18.4.5 of NFPA 72.

This is to be completed by JULY 2023, or on completion of work under a building permit of over $50,000

Click here to read the official New Fire Safety Code Requirements


Sleeping Area Requirements

For all buildings that are required to have a fire alarm system under this [Fire] Code Section 1103.7.6, pertaining to Group R-2 occupancies, the Building Code, the Housing Code,. or any other law, the building owner shall upgrade the fire alarm system, if necessary, to comply with the sound level requirement for sleeping areas set forth in Section of NFPA 72 (2013 edition), as amended from time to time, upon either

(a) completion of work under a building permit with a cost of construction of $50,000 or more,

(b) July 1, 2023, or

(c) for buildings sold or transferred after September 1. 2017, twelve months after the sale of the property, whichever occurs first. 

Exceptions. Division 1103. 7. 6.1 (a) shall not apply to mandatory seismic strengthening alterations being performed pursuant to Chapter 4D of the Existing Building Code. This subsection 1103. 7. 6.1 applies only to Group R-2 occupancies.


NFPA 72 (2013)  Where audible appliances are installed to provide signals for sleeping areas, they shall have a sound level of at least 15 dB above the average ambient sound level or 5 dB above the maximum sound level having a duration of at least 60 seconds or a sound level of at least 75 dBA, whichever is greater, measured at the pillow level in the area required to be served by the system using the A-weighted scale (dBA).  If any barrier, such as a door, curtain, or retractable partition, is located between the notification appliance and the pillow, the sound pressure level shall be measured with the barrier placed between the appliance and the pillow.  Effective January 1, 2014, where audible appliances are provided to produce signals for sleeping areas, they shall produce a low frequency alarm signal that complies with the following:

(1)  The alarm signal shall be a square wave or provide equivalent awakening ability.
(2)  The wave shall have a fundamental frequency of 520 Hz +/- 10 percent. 


If you have any additional questions regarding these requirements or related procedures, please feel free to contact the SFFD Bureau of Fire Prevention at: (415) 558-3300