OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov.

August 7, 1981

Lee Palmer, C.S.P
Manager, Field Safety Services
Wausau Insurance Companies
1040 Woodcock Road
Box 20534
Orlando, Florida 32814

Dear Mr. Palmer:

This is in response to your letter to our Tampa Area Office concerning fire detection and employee alarm systems, 29 CFR 1910.164 and 29 CFR 1910.165.

A fire detection system, as defined in 1910.164, is installed only if it is required by a particular OSHA standard, for example, 29 CFR 1910.160(b)(13).

Relative to 29 CFR 1910.165, this also applies only to those employee alarm systems installed to meet a particular OSHA standard, such as 29 CFR [1910.37(e)], [1910.38(d)], 1910.160(b)(3) and 1910.161(b)(3).

If we may be of further assistance, please call or write.


Bruce Hillenbrand
Deputy Director,
Federal Compliance and State Programs

[Corrected 2/4/2004]