Fire legislation and legal documents, such as the NFPA
National Fire Protection Association
The National Fire Protection Association is an international nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. In 2018, the NFPA claims to have 50,000 members and 9,000 volunteers working with the organizati…
72 and ADA, stand that public areas require the installation of strobes. If so, you should see this type of device in hallways, lobbies, restrooms, classrooms, cafeterias, conference rooms, and other public spaces.
Are fire alarm strobes required in offices with more than one person?
Q: Ever since I’ve been working in healthcare, I keep hearing about fire alarm strobes being required in offices with more than one person. In other words, if there’s a one-person office, and a second desk and worker is brought in, a strobe is now required.
What is the minimum height for fire alarm strobe lights?
For sleeping areas, NFPA 72 requires the installation of fire alarm strobe lights with an intensity of 110 candelas, at least 24 inches from the ceiling. In non-sleeping areas, however, you must install strobes six inches from the ceiling.
Do ADA accessibility guidelines require strobe lights in certain rooms?
One common question is whether or not ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) or NFPA 72 require strobes in certain rooms. Neither of these documents actually require a fire alarm system or strobes to be installed at all. When a fire alarm system is provided, however, ADAAG brings in requirements for where visible notification is required.
Do employee work areas do not require strobes?
Employee work areas do not require strobes? This statement is once again stated in the ADAAG paragraph, “Where are visuals not required?” ADAAG does not require that areas used by employees as work areas be fully accessible. Thus, visual alarms are not required in individual employee offices and work stations.
Where are fire alarm strobes required?
Fire legislation and legal documents, such as the NFPA 72 and ADA, stand that public areas require the installation of strobes. If so, you should see this type of device in hallways, lobbies, restrooms, classrooms, cafeterias, conference rooms, and other public spaces.
Where do you need horn strobes?
NFPA 72 requires strobes installed in hallways and corridors to be visible from anywhere. The code states these specific requirements: Strobes must be installed no further than 100 feet apart down the length of a hallway. Strobes must be located within 15 feet of either end of a hallway.
Are strobes required in storage rooms?
With this said, there are areas of a warehouse that do require the installation of strobes. There are other support areas that serve the warehouse such as the office, bathrooms, waiting area, breakroom, locker room and interview rooms. These areas clearly require strobes.
Are fire alarm strobes required in mechanical rooms?
As with horns, NFPA 72 does not require strobes to be installed; the applicable building, fire or life safety code does. NFPA 72 provides requirements for mounting heights, brightness, location and synchronization.
Where are notification devices required?
Visible notification appliances are required to be located throughout the building or area and must be of a type, size, intensity and number to ensure the intended audience, regardless of its orientation in the space or area, sees the strobe’s light.
Where are audible fire alarms required?
The requirements for audible device decibel output differ slightly for private and public mode. In public mode, all areas requiring coverage must receive an audible signal at least 15 db above the average ambient sound or 5 db above the maximum 60 second sound, whichever is greater.
Are fire alarms mandatory?
Wondering ‘what kind of fire alarm do I need’? Current UK fire alarm regulations state that all business premises must have ‘an appropriate fire detection system’. That means that if there’s a fire, there needs to be a way for that fire to be easily detected and occupants can be warned easily.
What are the most common drivers for fire alarms?
The most common drivers are: Public use and common use areas. Group I-1 and R-1 sleeping/dwelling units.
Does 907.2 require a fire alarm?
In some instances, 907.2 requires a manual fire alarm system (pull stations) and in others a smoke detection system. For the purposes of this article though, the main concern is whether any type of fire alarm system is required at all.
Does NFPA 72 apply to fire alarms?
Assuming you are required to provide a fire alarm system, the requirements of NFPA 72 would apply (ADAAG would also apply, assuming your building is required to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which is a longer discussion for another article).
Do you need a strobe in a public area?
Public Uses Areas and Common Use Areas. Strobes are required in public and common use areas, with the exception of employee work areas, which are permitted to be provided with spare circuit capacity to account for future addition of strobes if needed for hearing-impaired employees.
Is ADAAG required for fire alarms?
When a fire alarm system is provided, however, ADAAG brings in requirements for where visible notification is required. Similarly, NFPA is only applicable when the IBC or other applicable codes require a fire alarm system. Assuming you are required to provide a fire alarm system, the requirements of NFPA 72 would apply (ADAAG would also apply, …
Why are visual alarms required in every common use room or space?
Because it is not always possible to fix the occupancy of a room or space or anticipate its use by a person with a hearing impairment , visual alarms are required in every common use room or space in facilities equipped with an emergency alarm system.
Do you need a visual alarm in an office?
Therefore, visual alarms are not required in individual employee offices and work stations. Having two persons in an office does not make that an area of congregation or a common use area. The other code consideration is private mode signaling in healthcare facilities.
Fire alarm requirements for educational, detention, assembly, business, mercantile, storage, and industrial occupancies
In the first installment of this series, we talked about the various ways of accomplishing the initiation, occupant notification, and monitoring of a fire alarm system. In this piece, we cover how NFPA 101: Life Safety Code specifically requires the following occupancies to perform those functions:
Fire alarm requirements for educational and detention and correctional occupancies
Educational and detention and correctional occupancies have similar requirements for alarms and their monitoring. NFPA 101 states that a facility where six or more people up to grade 12 receive instruction for four or more hours a day is considered an educational occupancy (22.214.171.124).
Fire alarms in assembly occupancies
Assembly occupancies are those where 50 or more people gather for deliberation, worship, entertainment, eating, drinking, amusement, awaiting transportation, or similar uses (126.96.36.199). Fire alarm requirements kick in when these structures exceed an occupant load of 300 people.
Mercantile and business occupancies: Fire alarm requirements
Buildings that store and display merchandise (mercantile occupancies) and those used for all other types of transactions (business occupancies) have very similar requirements for their fire alarm systems in NFPA 101.
Industrial and storage occupancies
Buildings where products or material are manufactured ( industrial occupancies) or where products, materials or vehicles are stored (storage occupancies) need alarm systems if they meet certain size or hazard levels (NFPA 101, 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206).
Satisfy your fire alarm requirements
It’s important to make sure your building satisfies the code for its unique occupancy type in order to ensure safety and avoid costly code violation fines. If you think your building’s fire alarm system may be lacking necessary features, remedy it immediately.