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Standby generators are extensively covered in International Building Code with regard to equipment and installation. IBC specifically requires generators for support of certain items of life safety equipment. International Fire Code deals with inspection and testing to make sure the generator will operate when called upon. Of primary concern are:

smoke control systems, fire pumps, and elevators.

All are life safety systems.

The primary standard used is NFPA 110, Standard for Emergency and Standby Power systems. Although other standards like NFPA 70, NEC and NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities have chapters specifically dedicated to standby generators and also apply in many cases.

Little of this has anything to do with the comfort of a building’s occupants during an ice storm or hurricane. Generators are in place as primary life safety equipment.

Building inspectors and fire marshals are starting to take a fresh look at standby generators. In the past they let them slide. That will not continue.

I can help you understand the ins and outs of the generator industry and applicable codes. This equipment is way too important to risk a mistake.

Note: We are in the process of building this site. All links are not yet up. If you do not see an article or subject you are looking for, e-mail me at paul@standbypowersolutions.com.

  • Learn how marketing affects the safety of the equipment.
    • Know what points of failure to avoid.
    • Understand how computerized controls can spell extra costs and downtime for your clients.
    • Learn how battery chargers and coolant heaters may result in added expense and lowered reliability
  • Be prepared for the new push by inspectors to meet NFPA standards
    • Remote manual stop stations
    • Emergency lighting at the generator
    • Installation acceptance tests
    • Properly installed remote annunciators
    • The ability to achieve 30% load during required monthly tests
    • The appropriate connected load
  • The codes and standards are brilliantly written. Learn what the standards writers build into the text that they expect you to already know.
    • 4 hour load test, 2 of those hours at full load before acceptance
    • Letter of compliance with NFPA 110 from the generator supplier
    • Modbus signal to start the generator during an outage is disallowed
    • Sign at service entrance is required
    • The battery charger must be able to fully recharge the battery within 24 hours.
    • The automatic transfer switch must be protected from sprinklers.

With over 35 years in the industry and a thorough understanding of the applicable codes, I am in an ideal position to be your consultant.

I have conducted training for Kansas and Missouri state fire marshals, municipal fire marshals and building inspectors, and federal healthcare surveyors. I know firsthand they are improving their skills at inspecting standby power systems.

I can help you improve your skills so that your jobs will not be the ones found deficient by the officials.

I also offer help with specifications writing and submittal review. Call: 1-816-373-4768

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Be Careful!

Generators and automatic transfer switches as well as their appurtenant devices employ high voltages that can hurt you. Do not attempt to work with this equipment unless you are qualified. Observe all rules and cautions found in the manufacturer’s manuals as well as NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace.

The assistance I provide is based on the questions you ask and the accuracy of the information you provide about your equipment or project. I cannot guarantee you will like or agree with my response.

Standby Power Solutions LLC disclaims any liability for any personal injury, property, or other damages of any nature whatsoever, whether special, indirect, consequential or compensatory, directly or indirectly resulting from the publication, use of, or reliance on this document. Standby Power Solutions, LLC also makes no guaranty or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained herein. Anyone using this document should rely on his or her own independent judgment, or as appropriate, seek the advice of a competent professional in determining the exercise of reasonable care in any given circumstances.

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