When Fire Alarm Strobe Lights Are RequiredMayara
The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 require public buildings to have fire alarm systems outfitted with strobe lights. This quick guide will break down the details of when fire alarm strobe lights are required in public buildings, including specific room guidelines and spacing requirements.
According to NFPA 72, the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, sleeping areas in public buildings must have 110 cd (a measurement of luminous intensity) strobe lights no further than 24 inches from the ceiling fan. If the sleeping area has 177 cd strobes, then they have to be within 24 inches of the ceiling itself, not the fan. Whichever type of strobe you place on the wall, it must also be within 16 feet of the end of the bed in which someone lays down their head.
If a building has no more than 100 sleeping rooms, this is when fire alarm strobe lights are required for one in every 25 rooms. If the building has between 101 and 150 sleeping rooms, then a total of five of them should have strobe lights. If the building has between 151 and 200 sleeping areas, six rooms need strobe lights.
Hopefully, you see the pattern now. If your commercial building is large enough to contain 1,000 sleeping areas, two percent of those areas need strobe lights. When your sleeping room count exceeds 1,000, you need 20 rooms with strobes as well as one additional room per each extra 100 rooms past the 1,000 mark.
In non-sleeping areas, strobe lights must be 80 to 96 inches above the floor and at least six inches from the ceiling. If your ceiling raises further than 30 feet, your strobes must be on the wall. However, you can install strobes on the ceiling as long as they don’t surpass that 30-foot height limit. Here are some specific details regarding room dimensions:
- Rooms that are 20 by 20-feet need one 15 cd strobe light.
- 30-by-30-foot rooms require two 15 cd strobe lights or a single 30 cd strobe.
- 40-by-40-foot rooms require two 30 cd strobe lights or a single 60 cd strobe.
- 50-by-50-foot rooms require two 60 cd strobe lights or a single 95 cd strobe.
- 60-by-60-foot rooms require two 95 cd strobe lights or a single 135 cd strobe.
- 100-by-100-foot rooms require three 95 cd strobe lights, two 240 cd strobes, or a single 375 cd strobe.
To remain in accordance with NFPA guidelines, strobe lights need to be visible in every corridor or hallway, no matter what direction you’re facing. What this means is that if you have a single hallway that doesn’t turn a corner and expand into another hallway, each end of the corridor requires strobe lights. However, if that hallway does extend into a separate one, you must place a strobe light at the corner as well as at each opposite end of the corridor.
For specific positioning, strobes in hallways should not be more than 100 feet apart. Additionally, strobes must be located no further than 15 feet away from each end of the hallway. At The Fire Alarm Supplier, we can provide you with system components such as Simplex horn strobes to help you keep your building up to code.