| NFPANFPA® 731
Standard for the
Installation of Electronic Premises Security Systems
NFPA and National Fire Protection Association are registered trademarks of the National Fire Protection Association, Quincy, Massachusetts 02169.
Copyright © 2008 National Fire Protection Association®. All Rights Reserved.
This edition of NFPA 731, Standard for the Installation of Electronic Premises Security Systems, was prepared by the Technical Committee on Premises Security. It was issued by the Standards Council on December 11, 2007, with an effective date of December 31, 2007, and supersedes all previous editions.
This edition of NFPA 731 was approved as an American National Standard on December 31, 2007.
Origin and Development of NFPA 731
The 2006 edition of NFPA 731, Standard for the Installation of Electronic Premises Security Systems, was the first edition of this standard. The standard, which was developed in parallel with NFPA 730, Guide for Premises Security, provided details of how to install electronic premises security equipment. In addition to installation requirements, testing, inspection, and maintenance were addressed to provide a comprehensive document.
The 2008 edition deletes several of the references to Underwriters Laboratories standards. The recharging of batteries is changed from 24 hours to 48 hours, and the secondary power supply requirements are changed from 4 hours to 24 hours. A new Chapter 9 addresses transmission methods for off-premises communication. The standard now defines several different verification methods.
Technical Committee on Premises Security
Wayne D. Moore, Chair
Hughes Associates, Inc., RI [SE]
John C. Fannin III, Secretary
SafePlace Corporation, DE [SE]
Rep. Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security
Allan M. Apo, Insurance Services Office, Inc., NJ [I]
Randall I. Atlas, Atlas Safety & Security Design, Inc., FL [IM]
George Bish, Advanced Technologies, NC [IM]
Rep. National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association
Josh D. Brown, The Fauquier Bank, VA [U]
Rep. Virginia Crime Prevention Association/National Crime Prevention Council
Chadwick Callaghan, Marriott International, DC [U]
Rep. American Society for Industrial Security
Louis Chavez, Underwriters Laboratories Inc., IL [RT]
Thomas L. Chronister, Oxnard Police Department, CA [E]
David S. Collins, The Preview Group, Inc., OH [SE]
Rep. American Institute of Architects
Michael D. DeVore, State Farm Insurance Company, IL [U]
Rep. NFPA Industrial Fire Protection Section
Louis T. Fiore, L. T. Fiore, Inc., NJ [IM]
Rep. Professional Alarm Services Organizations of North America
Bruce Fraser, Tyco/SimplexGrinnell, MA [M]
Lauris V. Freidenfelds, The RJA Group, Inc., IL [SE]
Clark B. Goodlett, CH2MHILL, OR [SE]
Charles Hahl, The Protection Engineering Group, PC, VA [SE]
George E. Johnston, Loma Linda University, CA [U]
Rep. NFPA Health Care Section
Stewart Kidd, Loss Prevention Consultancy, Ltd., United Kingdom [SE]
Charles B. King III, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, VA [E]
Jerry D. Loghry, EMC Insurance Companies, IA [I]
John M. Lombardi, Commercial Instruments & Alarm Systems, Inc., NY [IM]
Rep. Central Station Alarm Association
James Murphy, Vector Security Inc., PA [IM]
Isaac I. Papier, Honeywell, Inc., IL [M]
Rep. National Electrical Manufacturers Association
Rick D. Sheets, Brink’s Home Security, TX [IM]
James P. Simpson, National Joint Apprentice & Training Committee, MN [L]
Rep. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
Tom G. Smith, Cox Systems Technology, OK [IM]
Rep. National Electrical Contractors Association
Bill H. Strother, Weingarten Realty Management Co., TX [U]
Rep. International Council of Shopping Centers
Michael Tierney, Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association, CT [M]
Raymond Walker, Town of Windsor, CT [E]
Shane M. Clary, Bay Alarm Company, CA [IM]
(Alt. to J. M. Lombardi)
Scot Colby, Bayou Security Systems, Inc., LA [IM]
(Alt. to G. Bish)
David A. Dagenais, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, NH [U]
(Alt. to G. E. Johnston)
Larry R. Dischert, Tyco/ADT Security Services, Inc., NJ [M]
(Alt. to B. Fraser)
Mark M. Hankewycz, The Protection Engineering Group, PC, VA [SE]
(Alt. to C. Hahl)
Robert G. Harrington, Pyramid Management Group, Inc., NY [U]
(Alt. to B. H. Strother)
Patrick D. Harris, Virginia Crime Prevention Association, VA [U]
(Alt. to J. D. Brown)
Thomas R. Janicak, Ceco Door Products, TN [M]
(Alt. to M. Tierney)
Richard A. Mahnke, The RJA Group, Inc., IL [SE]
(Alt. to L. V. Freidenfelds)
Patrick M. Murphy, Marriott International, Inc., DC [U]
(Alt. to C. Callaghan)
Steven A. Schmit, Underwriters Laboratories Inc., IL [RT]
(Alt. to L. Chavez)
James W. Tosh, Puget Sound Electrical JATC, WA [L]
(Alt. to J. P. Simpson)
William F. Wayman, Jr., Hughes Associates, Inc., MD [SE]
(Alt. to W. D. Moore)
Richard P. Bielen, NFPA Staff Liaison
This list represents the membership at the time the Committee was balloted on the final text of this edition. Since that time, changes in the membership may have occurred. A key to classifications is found at the back of the document.
NOTE: Membership on a committee shall not in and of itself constitute an endorsement of the Association or any document developed by the committee on which the member serves.
Committee Scope: This Committee shall have primary responsibility for documents on the overall security program for the protection of premises, people, property, and information specific to a particular occupancy. The Committee shall have responsibility for documents on the installation of premises security systems.
Standard for the
Installation of Electronic Premises Security Systems
IMPORTANT NOTE: This NFPA document is made available for use subject to important notices and legal disclaimers. These notices and disclaimers appear in all publications containing this document and may be found under the heading “Important Notices and Disclaimers Concerning NFPA Documents.” They can also be obtained on request from NFPA or viewed at www.nfpa.org/disclaimers.
NOTICE: An asterisk (*) following the number or letter designating a paragraph indicates that explanatory material on the paragraph can be found in Annex A.
Changes other than editorial are indicated by a vertical rule beside the paragraph, table, or figure in which the change occurred. These rules are included as an aid to the user in identifying changes from the previous edition. Where one or more complete paragraphs have been deleted, the deletion is indicated by a bullet (•) between the paragraphs that remain.
A reference in brackets [ ] following a section or paragraph indicates material that has been extracted from another NFPA document. As an aid to the user, the complete title and edition of the source documents for extracts in mandatory sections of the document are given in Chapter 2 and those for extracts in informational sections are given in Annex D. Editorial changes to extracted material consist of revising references to an appropriate division in this document or the inclusion of the document number with the division number when the reference is to the original document. Requests for interpretations or revisions of extracted text shall be sent to the technical committee responsible for the source document.
Information on referenced publications can be found in Chapter 2 and Annex D.
Chapter 1 Administration
This standard covers the application, location, installation, performance, testing, and maintenance of electronic premises security systems and their components.
1.2.1 The purpose of this standard is to define the means of signal initiation, transmission, notification, and annunciation; the levels of performance; and the reliability of electronic premises security systems.
1.2.2 This standard defines the features associated with these systems and also provides information necessary to modify or upgrade an existing system to meet the requirements of a particular application.
1.2.3 This standard establishes minimum required levels of performance, extent of redundancy, and quality of installation but does not establish the only methods by which these requirements are to be achieved.
1.2.4 This standard shall not be interpreted to require a level of premises security other than that required by the applicable codes and standards.
1.3.1 Electronic Premises Security Systems. Electronic premises security systems shall include one or more of the following system types:
(1) Intrusion detection systems
(2) Access control systems
(3) Video surveillance systems
(4) Asset protection systems
(5) Environmental detection systems
(6) Holdup and duress systems
(7) Integrated systems
1.3.2 Endorsement. Any reference or implied reference to a particular type of hardware is for the purpose of clarity and shall not be interpreted as an endorsement.
1.3.3 Technical Terms. The intent and meaning of the terms used in this standard shall be, unless otherwise defined herein, the same as those of NFPA 70, National Electrical Code.
1.3.4 The requirements of NFPA 731 shall apply where expressly specified in an agreement or where required by an authority having jurisdiction.
1.3.5 Covered Locations.
126.96.36.199 Electronic Hardware Components. This standard applies to new installations of electronic premises security systems or their components installed for protection of building interiors, building perimeters, and surrounding property.
188.8.131.52 Other Hardware Components. This standard applies to nonelectronic building and physical security components where these items interface with, or become part of, an electronic premises security system.
184.108.40.206 Software. In this standard, software includes the system firmware.
220.127.116.11 One- and Two-Family Dwellings. Electronic premises security systems installed in one- and two-family dwellings are not covered by this standard.
18.104.22.168 Information Technology Systems. The security of data or software in information technology or computer systems is not covered by this standard.
22.214.171.124 Portable Assets. The authorized removal of portable articles is not covered by this standard.
1.4.1 The provisions of this standard reflect situations and the state of the art at the time the standard was issued.
1.4.2 Unless otherwise noted, it is not intended that the provisions of this standard be applied to facilities, equipment, structures, or installations that were existing or approved for construction or installation prior to the effective date of this standard.
1.5.1 A device or system having materials or forms that differ from those detailed in this standard shall be permitted to be examined and tested according to the intent of the standard and, if found equivalent, shall be approved.
1.5.2 Technical documentation shall be submitted to the authority having jurisdiction to demonstrate equivalency.
1.6 Units and Formulas.
1.6.1 Units. Metric units of measurement in this standard are in accordance with the modernized metric system known as the International System of Units (SI).
1.6.2 Primary and Equivalent Values. If a value for a measurement as given in this standard is followed by an equivalent value in other units, the first stated value shall be regarded as the requirement. A given equivalent value might be approximate.
1.6.3 Conversion Procedure. SI units have been converted by multiplying the quantity by the conversion factor and then rounding the result to the appropriate number of significant digits.
Chapter 2 Referenced Publications
The documents or portions thereof listed in this chapter are referenced within this standard and shall be considered part of the requirements of this document.
2.2 NFPA Publications.
National Fire Protection Association, 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169-7471.
NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code®, 2008 edition.
NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm Code®, 2007 edition.
NFPA 110, Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems, 2005 edition.
NFPA 111, Standard on Stored Electrical Energy Emergency and Standby Power Systems, 2005 edition.
2.3 Other Publications.
2.3.1 ANSI Publications.
American National Standards Institute, Inc., 25 West 43rd Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10036.
ANSI S1.4 with Amd. S1.4A-1985, Specification for Sound Level Meters, 1983, revised 20016.
2.3.2 SIA Publications.
Security Industry Association, 635 Slaters Lane, Suite 110, Alexandria, VA 22314.
ANSI/SIA CP-01, Control Panel Standard — Features for False Alarm Reduction, 2000. (Check on adoption date for CP-01)
ANSI/SIA PIR-01, Passive Infrared Motion Detector Standard — Features for Enhancing False Alarm Immunity, 2000.(check on adoption date for PIR-01)
2.3.3 UL Publications.
Underwriters Laboratories Inc., 333 Pfingsten Road, Northbrook, IL 60062-2096.
ANSI/UL 294, Standard for Access Control System Units, 1999, revised 2005.
ANSI/UL 606, Standard for Linings and Screens for Use with Burglar-Alarm Systems, 1999.
UL 634, Standard for Connectors and Switches for Use with Burglar-Alarm Systems, 2000.
UL 636, Standard for Holdup Alarm Units and Systems, 1996, revised 2001.
ANSI/UL 639, Standard for Safety for Intrusion-Detection Units, 1997, revised 2002.
UL 827, Standard for Central-Station Alarm Services, 1996.
ANSI/UL 1076, Standard for Proprietary Burglar Alarm Units and Systems, 1995.
ANSI/UL 2044, Standard for Commercial Closed-Circuit Television Equipment, 1997, revised 2004.
2.3.4 U.S. Government Publications.
U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402.
Title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 15, “Radio Frequency Devices.”
2.3.5 Other Publications.
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition, Merriam-Webster, Inc., Springfield, MA, 2003.
2.4 References for Extracts in Mandatory Sections.
NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm Code®, 2007 edition.
Chapter 3 Definitions
The definitions contained in this chapter shall apply to the terms used in this standard. Where terms are not defined in this chapter or within another chapter, they shall be defined using their ordinarily accepted meanings within the context in which they are used. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition, shall be the source for the ordinarily accepted meaning.
3.2 NFPA Official Definitions.
3.2.1* Approved. Acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction.
3.2.2* Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). An organization, office, or individual responsible for enforcing the requirements of a code or standard, or for approving equipment, materials, an installation, or a procedure.
3.2.3 Labeled. Equipment or materials to which has been attached a label, symbol, or other identifying mark of an organization that is acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction and concerned with product evaluation, that maintains periodic inspection of production of labeled equipment or materials, and by whose labeling the manufacturer indicates compliance with appropriate standards or performance in a specified manner.
3.2.4* Listed. Equipment, materials, or services included in a list published by an organization that is acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction and concerned with evaluation of products or services, that maintains periodic inspection of production of listed equipment or materials or periodic evaluation of services, and whose listing states that either the equipment, material, or service meets appropriate designated standards or has been tested and found suitable for a specified purpose.
3.2.5 Shall. Indicates a mandatory requirement.
3.2.6 Should. Indicates a recommendation or that which is advised but not required.
3.2.7 Standard. A document, the main text of which contains only mandatory provisions using the word “shall” to indicate requirements and which is in a form generally suitable for mandatory reference by another standard or code or for adoption into law. Nonmandatory provisions shall be located in an appendix or annex, footnote, or fine-print note and are not to be considered a part of the requirements of a standard.
3.3 General Definitions.
3.3.1* Access Control. The monitoring or control of traffic through portals of a protected area by identifying the requestor and approving entrance or exit.
3.3.2* Active Lock. An electric locking device that holds a portal closed and cannot be opened for egress by normal operation of the door hardware.
3.3.3* Ancillary Functions. Monitored points that are not security points but are incorporated into an electronic premises security system or outputs that are not necessary to the function of the electronic premises security system.
3.3.4* Annunciator. A unit containing one or more indicator lamps, alphanumeric displays, computer monitor, or other equivalent means on which each indication provides status information about a circuit, condition, system, or location.
3.3.5* Closed Circuit Television (CCTV). A video system in which an analog or digital video signal travels from the camera to video monitoring stations at the protected premises.
3.3.6 Control Unit. A system component that monitors inputs and controls outputs through various types of circuits. [72, 2007]
3.3.7 Controller. A control unit used to provide the logic in an access control system.
126.96.36.199 Intrusion Detection. The ability to detect the entry or attempted entry of a person or vehicle into a protected area.
188.8.131.52 Sound Detection. Recognition of an audio pattern indicative of unauthorized activity.
184.108.40.206 Initiating Device. A system component that originates transmission of a change-of-state condition.
220.127.116.11.1 Ambush Alarm Initiating Device. An initiating device or procedure that personnel authorized to disarm the intrusion system at a protected premises can use to transmit a signal indicating a forced disarming of an intrusion detection system.
18.104.22.168.2* Duress Alarm Initiating Device. An initiating device intended to enable a person at protected premises to indicate a hostile situation.
22.214.171.124.3* Holdup Alarm Initiating Device. An initiating device intended to enable an employee of a protected premises to transmit a signal indicating a robbery has transpired.
126.96.36.199 Signaling Device. A device that indicates an alarm, emergency, or abnormal condition by means of audible, visual, or both methods, including sirens, bells, horns, and strobes.
3.3.10 Electronic Premises Security System. See 188.8.131.52.
3.3.11* False Alarm. Notification of an alarm condition when no evidence of the event that the alarm signal was designed to report is found.
3.3.12* Foil. An electrically conductive ribbon used for a sensing circuit.
3.3.13* Identification Credential. A device or scheme containing some knowledge (personal identification number or code) or a biometric identifier.
3.3.14 Keypad. A device that is a type of human/machine interface (HMI) with numerical or function keys that can incorporate an annunciator or signaling device.
3.3.15* Monitoring Station. A facility that receives signals from electronic premises security systems and has personnel in attendance at all times to respond to these signals.
184.108.40.206* Commercial Monitoring Station. A monitoring station having ownership that is not the same ownership as the properties being monitored.
220.127.116.11* Proprietary Monitoring Station. A monitoring station having the same ownership as the property(ies) being monitored.
18.104.22.168 Public Safety Agency Monitoring Station. A monitoring station that is owned by a governmental body that monitors nongovernmental properties.
3.3.16 Point ID. The ability to identify, at the monitoring station, an intrusion detection device by address or zone number.
3.3.17 Position Sensor. A device that indicates whether a portal is open or closed.
3.3.18 Protective Wiring.
22.214.171.124 Fine Wire Lacing. Bare, hand-drawn, solid copper wire not larger than 24 AWG or film-coated solid copper wire not larger than 26 AWG or the equivalent applied to a door or similar surface in continuous parallel strips.
126.96.36.199 Grooved Striping. Soft wooden half round dowels that are assembled to a surface in parallel runs of opposite polarity.
188.8.131.52 Open Wiring. A form of protective wiring used across skylights and in areas not subject to damage consisting of bare, hard-drawn solid copper wire not larger than 24 AWG that is arranged in two perpendicular banks of horizontal runs of opposite polarity at intervals not exceeding 102 mm (4 in.).
3.3.19* Reader. A device that allows an identification credential to be entered into an access control system.
3.3.20 Record of Completion. A document that acknowledges the features of installation, operation (performance), service, and equipment with representation by the property owner, system installer, system supplier, service organization, and the authority having jurisdiction. [72, 2007]
3.3.21 Safe. An iron, steel, or equivalent container that has its door(s) equipped with a combination lock.
3.3.22* Screens. A fully framed assembly of grooved-wood dowels or meshed screening that is intended to form a protective barrier over windows or on doors, and on which fine wire lacing is installed in parallel runs of opposite polarity at intervals not exceeding 102 mm (4 in.).
3.3.23 Security Personnel. Employees or contract service personnel charged with duties to aid in the protection at a protected premises.
184.108.40.206* Alarm Signals. A signal indicating an unauthorized event at a protected premises.
220.127.116.11 Supervisory Signals. A signal indicating the need for action in connection with the supervision of guard tours or environmental or other nonintrusion monitored point or system.
18.104.22.168 Trouble Signals. A signal indicating a fault in a monitored circuit or component.
3.3.25 Special Instructions. A written directive between the responsible party for a protected premises and a monitoring station describing disposition and handling of signals.
3.3.26 Strain Relief. Cable termination that provides structural rigidity of conductors under conditions of flexure.
22.214.171.124 Combination System. A system of multiple control units that work together to provide one integrated control.
126.96.36.199* Digital Imaging System (DIS). A video system in which a digital video signal travels from the camera and can be viewed by any authorized user at or away from the protected premises.
188.8.131.52 Duress Alarm System.
184.108.40.206.1 Private Duress Alarm System. A system or portion thereof in which the action to activate the duress signal is known only to the person activating the device.
220.127.116.11.2 Public Duress Alarm System. A system or portion thereof in which the ability to activate a duress signal is available to any person at the protected premises.
18.104.22.168 Electronic Premises Security System. A system or portion of a combination system that consists of components and circuits arranged to monitor or control activity at or access to a protected premises.
22.214.171.124 Holdup Alarm System.
126.96.36.199.1 Manual Holdup Alarm System. A system or portion thereof in which the initiation of a holdup signal depends solely on operation of manually operated hand or foot initiating devices installed within the working area.
188.8.131.52.2 Semiautomatic Holdup Alarm System. A system or portion thereof in which the initiation of a holdup signal does not depend solely on operation of manually operated hand or foot initiating devices installed within the working area.
184.108.40.206* Integrated System. A control unit that includes other types of systems in addition to the electronic premises security system.
220.127.116.11 Partition System. A part of one control unit that through software acts as a separate control unit.
18.104.22.168* Ball Trap. A device consisting of two spring-tensioned balls that form a connector into which a flat metal clip that is attached to a conductor can be inserted to complete a circuit.
22.214.171.124 Barrier Bar Trap. A device consisting of a pressure-sensitive switch that is mounted onto one end of an adjustable bar that is installed across an opening.
126.96.36.199* Disconnecting Trap. A device intended to supervise the position of an air conditioner, small fan, fixed panel, or similar opening against movement in either direction with the use of a conductor or trip cord extended across the opening.
3.3.29* Vault. A room constructed of iron, steel, brick, concrete, stone, tile, or similar masonry units permanently built into or assembled on the premises and having an iron, steel, or equivalent door and frame with a combination lock.
188.8.131.52 Enhanced Call Verification (ECV). The attempt by monitoring station personnel to establish that an emergency exists at the protected premises by means of two (2) or more verifications calls.
184.108.40.206 Multiple Trip Verification (MTV). A method to validate an alarm signal by any of the following: (1) connection of sensors in a manner such that more than one sensor must be in alarm before an alarm signal is transmitted to the monitoring station, or (2) verification algorithm in an electronic premises security system that interprets multiple sensor inputs, or (3) procedural methods or programs employed by monitoring station personnel to interpret multiple alarm signals from a protected premises.
220.127.116.11 Remote Audio Verification (RAV). The attempt by monitoring station personnel to establish that an emergency exists at the protected premises by listening to live audio feed from the protected premises.
18.104.22.168 Remote Video Verification (RVV). The attempt by monitoring station personnel to establish that an emergency exists at the protected premises by watching video received from the protected premises.
Chapter 4 Fundamentals
4.1.1 The provisions of Chapter 4 shall apply to Chapters 5 through 10.
4.1.2 When an electronic premises security system connects to fire alarm or other life safety systems, the requirements of other codes and standards shall be followed.