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WTC 7 Fire Alarm System Shut Down on 9/11 – And Every Morning from September 4th
Topic Started: Jun 27 2010, 01:46 PM (2,956 Views)
The Surgeon

WTC 7 Fire Alarm System Shut Down on 9/11 – And Every Morning from September 4th

Smoking Gun #1: The fire alarm system in WTC 7 was effectively shut down at the off-site monitoring station on 9/11 until 14:48 PM because it was in TEST : ALL condition. That means the operator monitoring the system would not be informed of any fire alarms. However, fire alarm data is recorded in a history file.

Smoking Gun #2:
The system had also been shut down every morning for a week before 9/11!

Smoking Gun #3:
There is only one fire alarm at 10:00 AM, which was recorded in the history file. No other fire alarms were recorded up to 14:48 PM when the system returned to normal (after the 8 hour TEST condition ended). Even though the system was in TEST condition, it would record fire alarms -- they would not be reported to the operator, but would be recorded in the history file. During TEST condition, no specific location of the fire alarm would be transmitted -- only the designation AREA 1 is used, meaning the fire alarm occurred somewhere in WTC 7. Fires were reported during this time period. But, no records of fire alarms in the history file!

Smoking Gun #4: NIST provides no information about the fire alarm record history after 14:48 when the TEST condition ended and the system returned to normal. WTC 7 collapsed at 17:20 PM. Fires were reported during this time period. There should have been fire alarms reported to the monitoring station and their specific location recorded in the history file.

Background Information:


TEST condition is used during maintenance or testing so that: “… alarm signals are not shown on the operator’s display, but records of the alarm are recorded into the history file.”

This is important to understand. If there is an alarm signal during TEST condition, the operator at the monitoring station (which was offsite, and not within WTC 7) would not see it. But, the alarm would be recorded in the history file.

During TEST condition, any alarm data would be represented as AREA 1 – meaning the entire building. Therefore, specific data such as the location of fire detectors would not be transmitted – all data would be represented as AREA 1.

For the preceding 7 days, the WTC 7 fire alarm system was placed in TEST mode every morning!

Only one fire alarm was recorded, at 10:00 AM, shortly after the collapse of WTC 2. NIST states the alarm was probably triggered by smoke or dust from the collapse.

Questions:

• How often was the WTC 7 fire alarm system placed in TEST : ALL condition before September 4th? Was the TEST : ALL condition used for multiple days in a row?

• Why use a TEST : ALL condition? This disables the entire system. WTC 7 was a 47 story building. If a fire broke out during the TEST : ALL period, the monitoring station would not be informed. Unless someone within WTC 7 noticed the fire and reported it, a fire would spread. Time is critical in detecting fires so that firefighting resources can be mobilized.

• It would seem prudent that if maintenance work would be done on a fire alarm system, that only the sector being worked on would be placed in TEST condition. And, that personnel would monitor that sector for fires.

• What authority level is “CAT:11”? Was the same authority level used for the preceding 7 days? Is this the required authority level to place the system in TEST condition?

• Who is Williams? What was his position and authority? Did he work for WTC 7? AFA Protective Systems -- the fire monitoring company? Did Williams authorize the TEST condition in the preceding 7 days?

Conspiracy Theory:

My theory is that the fire alarm system was disabled to set up the story that WTC 7 collapsed due to fire. “… a great amount of information is normally collected and stored by any fire alarm system from fire detectors installed throughout a building.” The lack of data simplified the cover-up – no inconvenient fire alarm data to contradict the official story that fire caused the collapse of WTC 7.

No fire alarms were recorded in the history file from 10:01 AM to 14:48 PM indicates that either the communications link from WTC 7 to AFA's monitoring station was disabled (preventing transfer of fire alarm data); or that the fire alarm history file was scrubbed clean. Remember, one fire alarm was recorded at 10:00 AM, one minute after WTC 2 collapsed.

Where is the fire alarm history file from 14:48 PM to 17:20 PM? The system had re-set to normal and there should be a record of fire alarm data with specific information about each alarm and its location. NIST conveniently forgets to mention the history file during this time period. Was the communications link disabled or the fire alarm history file scrubbed clean?

The report that the system was effectively shut down every day for a week before 9/11 indicates to me, that the actual date of the attack was not known to those responsible for disabling the alarm system.

The system was placed in TEST mode up to 14:48 PM. Was WTC 7 supposed to collapse before 14:48 PM? If WTC 7 collapsed before 14:48 PM, then any fire alarms recorded would not include the location. The lack of location data would simplify the cover-up.

Quote:
 
NIST Report Progress Report June 2004
Chapter 1, Page 28

Active Fire Protection Systems—Fire Alarm Systems
Finding 2.25:The fire alarm system that was monitoring WTC 7 sent to the monitoring company only one signal (at 10:00:52 a.m. shortly after the collapse of WTC 2) indicating a fire condition in the building on September 11, 2001. This signal did not contain any specific information about the location of the fire within the building. From the alarm system monitor service view, the building had only one zone, "AREA 1."

The building fire alarm system was placed on TEST for a period of 8 h beginning at 6:47:03 a.m. on September 11, 2001. Ordinarily, this is requested when maintenance or other testing is being performed on the system, so that any alarms that are received from the system are considered the result of the maintenance or testing and are ignored. NIST was told by the monitoring company that for systems placed in the TEST condition, alarm signals are not shown on the operator’s display, but records of the alarm are recorded into the history file.

http://wtc.nist.gov/progress_report_june04/chapter1.pdf

Quote:
 
NIST Report Progress Report June 2004
Chapter 2, Pages 51 - 53

2.5.5 Fire Alarm Systems
The WTC 7 fire alarm system was monitored at a location remote from the WTC site. AFA Protective Systems furnished the record from the fire alarm system history tape to NIST for use in the Investigation.
…..
WTC 7 Alarm System Monitoring Record
Although a great amount of information is normally collected and stored by any fire alarm system from fire detectors installed throughout a building, typically, and in the case of WTC 7, no specific fire information is sent to the monitoring site beyond the fact that a fire condition has been detected.

The information from the WTC 7 alarm system monitoring record for September 11, 2001, is shown in Fig. 2–8.

Posted Image

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The fire alarm history tape record is read from the bottom to the top. Some entries occur as the result of normal operations, and others are the result of actions taken by operators.

The bottom line of the record shows that at 6:05:01 a.m. on September 11, 2001, the fire alarm system completed a normal communications check with the central monitoring station. This check is made every day.

At 6:47:02 a.m., AFA (AFA Protective Systems, Inc.) placed WTC 7 in a “TEST: ALL” condition. This is normally done in response to a request from the building manager. Ordinarily, it is requested when maintenance or other testing is being performed on the system, that any alarms that are received from the system are considered the result of the maintenance or testing and are ignored.”NIST was told by AFA that for systems placed in the TEST condition, alarm signals are not shown on the operator’s display, but records of the alarm are recorded into the history file.

At 6:47:03 a.m., the record includes an explanation of the request to put the system in the TEST condition. Continuing to read from bottom to top, the date and time the system was placed in TEST is recorded. In this case it is 091101 647 (6:47 a.m., September 11, 2001), and the system will automatically go back to normal monitoring after 8 hr, a system default value, at 091101 1447 (2:47 p.m., September 11, 2001).

On the next line above, “RIC” identifies the AFA operator; 4210 is a code number for the “PLACE ON TEST” message. CAT:11 indicates the authority of the person requesting the action. On the next line above, the comment entered by RIC identifies that the person who requested that the system be placed on TEST was Williams. This action appears to be common for the building alarm system. Records show that the system was placed on test condition every morning for the 7 days preceding September 11, 2001.

At 10:00:52 a.m., a fire condition [1 1510 CO TO CLASS E] was indicated in WTC 7 by sensing performed by the fire alarm system. The *T at the right end of that record indicates that the system was in TEST at the time. The alarm record also shows that the fire condition is in AREA 1. NIST has been told by AFA that AREA 1 is not a specific area within the building, but a reference to a zone consisting of the entire building. That is to say, fires detected in any fire alarm zone in the building by the fire alarm system would result in the same AREA 1 identification at the monitoring station. The time 10:00:52 a.m. is shortly after the collapse of WTC 2. It is unknown if this fire alarm was triggered by smoke from a fire or dust entering smoke detectors.


At 2:47:21 p.m. and 2:47:22 p.m. (14:47:21 hr and 14:47:22 hr), at the time the 8 hour “TEST: ALL” condition was set to expire, additional actions are recorded that end in an operator (DYJ) entry to “FULL CLEAR.”

http://wtc.nist.gov/progress_report_june04/chapter2.pdf
This information is not included in the NIST Final Report on the Collapse of Word Trade Center Building 7.

http://wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/NCSTAR%201A.pdf

For Reference:

NIST Web Site Page for the June 2004 Progress Report
NIST-SP 1000-5
June 2004
Progress Report on the Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center
http://wtc.nist.gov/progress_report_june04/progress_report_june04.htm

Final Comment:

Every time I investigate some aspect of 9/11, I only find more unanswered questions, missing data and evidence that numerous individuals and organizations were involved in both perpetrating the attacks and the subsequent cover-ups. Every time. Always.
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Walk_the_walk

I just stumbled onto this posting while watching "Loose Change The Final Cut". This whole fire alarm system issue is very odd. Very unusual. I speak with experience, as I am NICET Level II Certified in Life Safety Systems Design, and I used to design, program, install, troubleshoot, service and train users on digital life safety systems (fire alarm systems). But, there are some aspects to this bizarre event, that are important to understand:

1. It is EXTREMELY rare to put a fire alarm system into "test mode", or to leave it in "trouble condition", which is similar. This is usually only done once a year for the annual test in our state. Also, the company that services the panel (again our state, not NY) has to use a licensed technician who signs the sticker that is used to recertify the panel. These requirements are per the NFPA national guidelines, which most states adopt, probably including NY. The New York State Fire Marshall's Office could explain the NY specific requirements for certifying/testing a fire alarm panel, as to frequency, tagging of the panel by the F/A tech, etc. But, someone is ALWAYS on the line for a F/A panel being in "test" mode, or even in "trouble" mode for any extended period of time. You can lose your licence or go to jail for violations of these requirements in my state!

Exceptions in our state include when a person who works for the facility holds a facility license and can do their own testing/certification. The NFPA guidelines provide for this, but the person is still "on the hook" for filing out the test certificate/documentation.

A facility like this one would have a log book to log any such activities which would have been kept by the Fire Alarm Control Panel (FACP), but that may have been destroyed in the fire.

2. The other information presented is not a log of the FACP. It appears to be a log of the info that was sent by phone from the FACP to the Alarm Monitoring Facility, which is typically a UL-listed facility at a remote location with 24/7 staffing and service and backup generator. This connection is typically done using a device called a "dialer", as in "fire alarm dialer". The dialer is a more simplistic panel that is tied into the main FACP via a set of contacts. The main FACP closes a set of contacts (a SPST relay) that sends a hard-wired signal to the Dialer, and the dialer dials the UL listed monitoring facility. THIS IS WHY THE LOG SAYS "AREA 1". It's because the UL Listed facility only has one zone to represent the whole building, which is a separate issue from the building being put in test mode. In fact, what was in test mode was the "dialer panel", NOT the main FACP, in all likelihood, as a building this size would have had a larger and better alarm system by NFPA 101 requirements.

Here is what the typical F/A dialer panel looks like. This is the one most companies use to tie the main FACP to a UL Listed remote monitoring center. This panel, model 5204, is made by Silent Knight: http://www.silentknight.com/pdffiles/Firepdf/5204pdf/5204iman.pdf . It has 4 zones (which are not nearly enough to monitor such a large building, as you might realize, so this unit would be used to connect up to 4 outputs from the main FACP to the UL listed monitoring center. Some it is not unusual for an entire building to be reported to a monitoring center as a single zone, and appear on screen at the UL listed center on their monitors as "AREA 1". This is in fact quite typical.

3. In all likelihood, the REAL Fire Alarm Control Panel (FACP) is probably a much larger digital system made by a company like Simplex, EST, etc. Here is an example of the kind of panels I designed and programmed, so you can get an idea of what I am talking about. The FACP is the black panel at the top of the picture: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_alarm_control_panel

You are correct that newer digital FACPs are connected to, and programmed to monitor and report the exact location of every smoke detector, heat detector, duct smoke detector, water flow switches. etc and report them back to the control room in the building or lobby, where ever the main FACP is located on the plan drawings for the building (a copy of which should be on file with the local planning board by the way). In this building, given its nature, I would expect the FACP to be located in the control room, if it was manned 24/7, rather than the 1st floor lobby. FACP location also has to meet NFPA guidelines, too!

Now, here is the important point: IF it was not totally destroyed in the fire, the main FACP on any newer alarm panel would have logged each and every alarm event as it happened and stored it in EPROM memory. This feature of all modern FACPs is pretty resilient, and is designed specifically to withstand a fire, to act as a history log of the events in the fire. And it is NOT erasable EXCEPT by the manufacturer at the factory.

However, if the building collapsed, it stands to reason that the main FACP, no matter which location it was installed in, would have been destroyed by the collapse and subsequent fire event. There is the possibility that the "guts" of the panel, including the EPROM memory were still intact after the collapse, but whether anyone thought to have the data analyzed, or whether it just became part of the debris pile, may not be known.

Now, I have gone on and on about this, but I am trying to explain a topic that is still VERY IMPORTANT. And, even in a worst case, where the data from the main FACP panel is gone and is not recoverable, even at the factory by the manufacturer, there still remains the issue of WHO was testing the fire alarm system for the ENTIRE week, and who permitted this to happen, as it is a clear violation of NFPA guidelines.

I am not sure what the rules are in NYC, and whether this kind of scenario occurs frequently there and is laxly enforced, but it's not allowed in my state.

In any case, I hope my explanation of how the intermediary fire alarm dialer panel reduces a complex fire alarm system down to a single zone that reports as "Area 1" makes sense to those who are interested. This is standard practice in literally thousands of multistory buildings. What is not standard practice is how this F/A system was left in test mode for days at a time. Incompetence? Conspiracy? You be the judge.




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Walk_the_walk

One last thing I should point out is this: IF there was construction or renovation going on at Building 7 during the week preceding 9-11-10, then it would make sense that the staff at WTC 7 would put the F/A dialer panel in "test" mode for that week. This is because the dust from renovations cause smoke detectors to generate false alarms, which could lead to extra charges from NYC Fire Department. Also, it is a common practice to cover the smoke detectors with plastic during such events. However, the local Fire Department would also typically be notified of such a situation, as would the monitoring company. So, there should be some kind of record if there was a renovation going on, with regard to the F/A panel being in test mode for such a long time.
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JFK
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From the slideshow in THIS NY Times article.

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Edited by JFK, Sep 22 2010, 03:15 PM.
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The Surgeon

Thank you Walk_the_walk! Appreciate your comments, insight and analysis.

And JFK, thanks to you also. The NY Times does not state for which building is the sign-in log. But, my question is how did the sign-in log survive? Was it found in the rubble pile or did someone carry it out before the controlled demolitions?
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JFK
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You are welcome and I don't know Surgeon, perhaps you can contact the person who took the pic ?
The times usually credits the photographer, although not in the exif data.
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