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#154479 - 12/11/05 10:16 AM Do I need 2 power sources for Exit Signs? 2 story Occ. B
Scott35 Offline

Broom Pusher and
Member

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 2724
Loc: Anaheim, CA. USA
More of a Question directed to the Inspectors here, but anyone else may feel free to comment.

Scenario:
  • Lighted Exit Signs - with intregal Battery Back-up,
  • New Offices built to an existing Concrete Tilt-Up Warehouse (235,000 sq. ft. warehouse, 6,200 sq. ft new Offices),
  • Two (2) Story Office addition,
  • Occupancy class "B",
  • No Back-Up Genny required or requested,
  • Egress / "Night Lights" and Exit Signs have battery backups, and are connected unswitched (except for branch circuit breaker) to the General Lighting Circuits for this Office area,
  • Plancheck correction.


I designed the Lighting System, on one current Design/Build project, with the Exits and Night Lights connected to nearest General Lighting Circuit - only one input circuit (as the most commonly used exits for these types of projects are single circuit with Ni Cd backup cells (battery backup).

Submitted my "E" Sheets to City for Plancheck.
Planchecking firm (City's DBS contracts planchecking to outside firm) found only a few items for revision, one of them being I forgot to include the expiration date of the C-10 Elect. Contractor's License; but the most shocking correction was to provide two power sources for exit signs.

I do not remember this to be required on a Commercial 2 floor Occupancy B structure, only on structures like high rises and where emergency gennys were needed.

Quoted article is: UBC 1003.2.8.4

The version of the UBC I have on hand is the 1985 version, which does not have anything related to exit signs power sources in article 1003; but that's another story

Before calling the Planchecking firm to discuss this issue, I wanted to get an idea of what the article 1003.2.8.4 says.

Anyone have suggestions or comments?

TIA!!!

Scott35
_________________________
Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!

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Building Codes & Related References
#154480 - 12/11/05 04:36 PM Re: Do I need 2 power sources for Exit Signs? 2 story Occ. B
DougW Offline
Member

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 1083
Loc: North Chicago, IL
As an EC I've "observed" with the Fire Prevention Officer on several inspections, and I've never heard him require that arrangement in a situation like you describe.

of course, he's the AHJ here...

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#154481 - 12/12/05 04:44 AM Re: Do I need 2 power sources for Exit Signs? 2 story Occ. B
mahlere Offline
Member

Registered: 11/17/05
Posts: 514
Loc: New Jersey
Scott,

I believe that you do have 2 sources. The line voltage and the battery.

I would be hard pressed to see how to tie the exit sign into 2 separate sources without it going kaboom.

I think they may have missed the battery backup part.

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#154482 - 12/12/05 08:02 AM Re: Do I need 2 power sources for Exit Signs? 2 story Occ. B
raider1 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/08/05
Posts: 46
Loc: north logan, utah, US
Scott,

I have a copy of the 97 UBC, here is a direct quote of section 1003.2.8.4

1003.2.8.4 Illumination. Exit signs shall be internally or externally illuminated. When the face of an exit sign is illuminated from an external source, it shall have an intensity of not less than 5 footcandles from either of two electric lamps. Internally illuminated signs shall provide equivalent luminance and be listed for the purpose.

There is also an exception for self-luminous signs.

Section 1003.2.8.5 talks about the power source.

1003.2.8.5 Power source. All exit signs shall be illuminated at all times. To ensure continued illumination for a duration of not less than 1 1/2 hours in case of primary power loss, the exit signs shall also be connected to an emergency electrical system provided from storage batteries, unit equipment or an on-site generator set, and the system shall be installed in accordance with the Electric Code. For high-rise buildings,see Section 403.

This section also has an exception for self-luminous signs.

If you are using the 97 UBC then you also have to review section 403 Special Provisions for Group B office buildings and Group R, Division 1 Occupancies

Hope this helps, all I have is the 97 UBC we are now on the 2003 IBC.

Chris

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#154483 - 12/12/05 08:47 AM Re: Do I need 2 power sources for Exit Signs? 2 story Occ. B
energy7 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/10/02
Posts: 58
Loc: Oxnard, CA, USA
Scott,
If I remember correctly, you're in CA.
current CA Bldg Code sec. 1003.2.8.4 and 1003.2.8.5 are the same as Raider1's quote of the 97 UBC.
Sec. 403 is for B-occ's over 75 ft. to street level (highrise) so it does not apply.

If it's any help, City of Oxnard's FIre Plan Checker (me) and Oxnard's Bldg. Dept. plan checkers all read the code the way you do: If you have illum exits signs w/battery backup, & the unit is fed by the bldg. power, you've met the code requirement for power.

[This message has been edited by energy7 (edited 12-12-2005).]

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#154484 - 12/12/05 09:29 AM Re: Do I need 2 power sources for Exit Signs? 2 story Occ. B
raider1 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/08/05
Posts: 46
Loc: north logan, utah, US
energy7,

You are correct about section 403. It does only reference buildings 75 feet or more in height.

I agree, as I read it Scott is correct in using the unit equipment to meet code.

Chris

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#154485 - 12/22/05 01:05 AM Re: Do I need 2 power sources for Exit Signs? 2 story Occ. B
Scott35 Offline

Broom Pusher and
Member

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 2724
Loc: Anaheim, CA. USA
Hey everyone,

Just wanted to say thank you for the replies!

Going to contact the Planchecker tomorrow (Thursday, December 22nd), to discuss this item.

Now that I have a quote from the UBC Article to reference, we (the Planchecker and I) can go over this issue and come to an agreement.

Like mentioned in the replies, it seems to be an oversight by the Planchecker, that the Exit Signs have Intregal Battery Back-Ups (for no less than 90 Minutes of Primary Power Loss).

Thanks once again everyone!!!

Scott35

Oh, almost forgot to mention to energy7, yes I am in California - Southern California to be exact
Oxnard is about 100 Miles to the Northwest from where I live.
(and Disneyland is about 1 Mile to the Northeast)

[This message has been edited by Scott35 (edited 12-22-2005).]
_________________________
Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!

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