When it comes to warning building occupants of a fire, it’s imperative to have both audible and visible alarms. Audible alarms include sirens, horns, and bells, while visible alarms consist of flashing strobe lights and text banners.
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 led to the development of building, fire, and life safety codes that dictate whether you need to install strobe lights. Then, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provides codes for mounting height, brightness, location, and synchronization. Here’s a breakdown of those requirements, which you can use to assess the code compliance of your Houston building.
NFPA 72 requires strobe lights with a luminous intensity of 110 candelas (cd) to be installed on the wall of sleeping areas at least 24 inches from the ceiling. For 177 cd strobes, the lights must be installed no more than 24 inches from the ceiling. The light must also be within 16 feet of the head of the bed.
Only a small portion of sleeping areas in a place of lodging are required to have strobe lights:
Most commercial buildings deal with non-sleeping areas. Here, strobes must be installed 80 to 96 inches above the finished floor and six inches from the ceiling. Ceiling-mounted strobes are permitted on ceilings that are no higher than 30 feet.
The size of the non-sleeping area dictates the number of strobes required:
As building occupants leave rooms and enter corridors during an evacuation, they should be greeted by more strobe lights. NFPA 72 requires strobes installed in hallways and corridors to be visible from anywhere. The code states these specific requirements:
Whether you need fire alarm design and installation services or you’re concerned about your building’s code compliance, Kauffman Co. can help. We offer a wide range of fire protection services designed to help keep your building safe and compliant. Contact us today to schedule the fire protection services you need in the Houston area.
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