If you're seeking guidance on fire alarm system operation, look no further than NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®. NFPA Journal columnist Chip Carson explains that the code works in tandem with NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, to ensure that these systems operate properly.
For instance, the Life Safety Code states that fire alarm system activation isn't required under two conditions: the evacuation of an entire facility is impractical (settings such as a high-rise structure or large shopping mall) or in places where occupants are incapable of evacuating themselves (e.g., prisons). In these circumstances the Life Safety Code permits the use of "private operating mode" as described in NFPA 72.
Check out Carson's column in the latest edition of NFPA Journal for more details.