Florida State Hospital Fire Alarm Replacement

Dell Consulting was contracted by the Florida Department of Children and Families to design a fire alarm system replacement for the Florida State Hospital campus. The scope of work included 76 buildings, totaling approximately 1,500,000 square feet. The existing fire alarm system serving these buildings consisted of 30-year-old obsolete fire alarm equipment that was no longer supported by the fire alarm vendor.


    • Location:  Chattahoochee, FL
    • Project Size: 1,500,000 SF
    • Cost:  $18,500,000
    • Facility Type: Government
    • Owner: Florida Department of Children and Families
    • Services:  Electrical , Fire Alarm and Mechanical/ Plumbing Engineer

The project was divided into two separate design efforts. The first consisted of a fast-track site telecommunications infrastructure upgrade to provide new single-mode fiber optic infrastructure to each of the campus’s 76 buildings. Dell Consulting surveyed the existing underground telecommunications site infrastructure, documenting existing ductbank sizes, quantities and fill capacities. Approximately 13 miles of fiber optic backbone and 2 additional miles of telecommunications ductbank was designed to support the new fire alarm system network.

The second effort consisted of the fire alarm system design. The fire alarm replacement provided a new, dedicated, fire alarm control panel for each building, new fault-tolerant Class X signal line circuits (SLC) and devices, and notification appliance circuits (NAC) and devices. Each fire alarm control panel was networked together via new single-mode fiber optic outside plant dedicated to the fire alarm system. All fire alarm system functions and alarms are transmitted to a new central fire management system located at the campus fire department.

The central fire management system displays the entire campus through a graphical user interface. In the event of an alarm, the security staff can display the alarmed building’s floor plan and identify the exact device that is in alarm. The central fire management system is also integrated into the facility’s existing CCTV camera system consisting of over 1,000 cameras to allow security staff to view the camera feed nearest to the alarmed device. This capability served as a force multiplier for the campus’s limited fire department staff, allowing them to quickly identify the conditions around an alarmed device prior to arrival.

Dell Consulting provided the following additional services to assist DCF and the development of this project:

  • Life Safety Survey and Assessment for each of the 76 buildings receiving a fire alarm system. The report analyzed the building construction, occupancy, smoke compartment configuration and location of rated walls. The report included recommendations to address observed code deficiencies along with rough-order-of-magnitude costs to address the deficiencies.
  • HVAC Life Safety Assessment for each of the patient care and support facilities under AHCA jurisdiction. The assessment documents existing HVAC and fire protection systems and includes recommendations to address observed code deficiencies. A rough-order-of-magnitude cost estimate is associated with each deficiency.
  • HVAC Equipment Assessment for 25 campus buildings. The assessment evaluates the condition and operational capability of the HVAC equipment serving the assessed buildings. The report included recommendations for ongoing operation and maintenance of the equipment.
  • HVAC As-Built Survey for 9 campus buildings where existing HVAC records were not previously available. This effort produced AutoCAD as-built drawings for the facility manager.

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