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#165835 - 07/06/07 06:11 AM Alarm strobe colors
pauluk Offline

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
In your respective areas, do you have anything in state/local codes to specify what color strobes should be used with alarms? Or is there a generally accepted convention in your area, e.g. red=fire, blue=intruder, etc.?

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#165839 - 07/06/07 07:35 AM Re: Alarm strobe colors [Re: pauluk]
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Most strobes I've seen here are a simple white. The one exception has been certain government jobs, which have used red for fire, and white (with coded pulses) for other matters.

One issue may be a difference in philosophies: Strobes are not seen by our codes as 'communication devices.' Rather, they have steadily been made more annoying, with a deliberate desire to yse the strobe to 'drive' you out .... rather than just to tell you there's trouble.

#165842 - 07/06/07 08:39 AM Re: Alarm strobe colors [Re: renosteinke]
gfretwell Offline


Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9023
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
I agree there does not seem to be a standard. You usually have to read the cover plate on the strobe but that may not be practical if you are a visitor.
I agree this might be a good place for a convention. Now days we do seem to have an array of emergencies they want to warn you about, particularly in "secure" locations.
I remember in some places I worked there was always some kind of strobe going off when I was in a room because my clearance wasn't high enough.
Greg Fretwell

#165844 - 07/06/07 09:00 AM Re: Alarm strobe colors [Re: gfretwell]
mr_electrician Offline

Registered: 06/22/07
Posts: 106
Loc: London, Ontario
Where I work we have all clear strobes for the fire alarm. To me it would reduce confusion if they were red, and had a sign beside it saying what it is!
Never trust an electrician with no eyebrows!!

#165866 - 07/06/07 03:38 PM Re: Alarm strobe colors [Re: mr_electrician]
frenchelectrican Offline


Registered: 02/06/03
Posts: 938
Loc: Wi/ Paris France { France for ...
this is the strobelight codes but it is not in the NEC or IBC but little diffrent because my daughters go to state school for the deaf and we have mutli color strobelight in the system

Red = Firealarm
Bleu = Torando warning
Clear = telephone or genreal signal
Yellow = Doorbell signal

[ when my daughters go back to school in the fall they will informed me for update with this ]

but keep in your mind each area may have little diffrent way to describe it.

Merci, Marc

also ,, some industrail area will used the multi color strobelight for machineray breakdown or etc etc so they will have few arreay of colors as well

Edited by frenchelectrican (07/06/07 03:41 PM)
Edit Reason: add more details
Pas de problme,il marche n'est-ce pas?"(No problem, it works doesn't it?)

#165972 - 07/09/07 03:26 AM Re: Alarm strobe colors [Re: frenchelectrican]
pauluk Offline

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
So far as I'm aware, there is no "official" standard here. I don't get involved with industrial fire alarms, but I understand that red is often the preferred color, although often changed if that conflicts with any other warning devices on site.

By far the majority of intruder alarms these days use blue strobes, but again, there is no specific standard.


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