By July 1, 2021, San Francisco R-2 occupancy buildings with three residential units or more with existing fire alarms are required to upgrade their fire alarms to meet a “pillow test.” Since August 2016, the San Francisco Fire Department introduced a law requiring individuals to have fire systems that are loud enough to wake sleeping residents. The “Pillow Test” is one of the measures outlined in the Fire Alarm Sleeping Area Requirements to ensure fire safety. Are you fire code compliant? Contact us for a San Francisco fire alarm inspection today.

Aura Fire Safety has become one of the top-rated fire alarm contractors. The organization recognizes that understanding the right time frames for upgrading and testing fire alarms and sprinkler systems can confuse many property owners.

Understanding the Pillow Test

It’s a requirement for property owners to ensure they only install fire alarm systems that are loud enough for every resident to hear while sleeping. Fire safety experts like Aura Fire Safety use the A-weighted scale (dBA) when measuring the sound level. The test is done at the pillow level.

This means 15 dB above the average ambient sound level or 5 dB above the maximum sound level, with a minimum duration of 60 seconds, or a minimum sound level if 75 dBA, whichever is greater. Experts will measure the sound pressure level with the border placed simultaneously during a fire alarm inspection in situations where there’s a barrier between the notification devices and pillows.

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The test can also be done if there’s a permit to do work valued at a minimum of $50,000. This means some property owners will be required to upgrade their fire safety systems during renovations. Additionally, this will also be done if structures are sold after September 2017. One of the exceptions is where there are compulsory seismic retrofits. See our latest blogs for a San Francisco fire safety requirements for apartment buildings refresher.

How Can Aura Fire Safety Help?

We make it easy for you to comply with the new fire alarm regulations! Aura Fire Safety will make sure your apartment, in the event of smoke and fires, following the relevant codes is up to code with San Francisco’s new fire safety ordinance. Learn more about whether your fire alarm is code compliant with new 2021 San Francisco ordinances with our latest blogs.

Note that residents will be required to install updated systems by July 1, 2021. The company will install a monitored fire alarm system to give you peace of mind. This includes smoker detectors and notification devices, which are connected to a control panel to improve safety. Call Aura Fire Safety today!

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