We had a fire marshal inspection a month ago and I was told by the safety man that he wanted battery backup lights in areas that do not have them. It appears he was bothered by the 10 seconds of darkness.
I work at a county jail and most of our buildings have generators and none have battery back up lights. Except for exit signs.
Yes, it goes dark for the 10 seconds for the generator to spin up. That is in complice with the NEC.
The reason I am posting in this forum is to find out if theres another code that the fire marshal might be using to justify this?
The problem I have with this is If the FM wants every building retrofitted its going to cost the county some serious dough.
I plan to ask the FM for a code reference but want to do some homework first.
This is not an NEC issue, it is "life safety" or whatever your jurisdiction calls it. The prisons I worked in had waivers if they thought the inmates could cause a problem with something. I am not sure I would want a bunch of bored inmates doing science fair experiments with the stuff in a typical battery light. Talk to the security folks before you start the battle. You may have an ally that has signature authority to make this go away. We had waivers on lots of normal "places of assembly" rules. I'm not even sure they have exit signs in a dorm. Why bother, the door is locked anyway.
#154338 - 04/11/0507:41 PMRe: Battery back up lighting
We have no waivers on any life safety rules that I know of. We do have to follow a state jail standard and it actually is more strict in many ways. Gotta have smoke evac for example.
All the areas that are not inmate housing, such as offices and the like have to pass a local fire marshal inspection.
We still need exit signs, yeah I know the door is locked but they are required. The ones in inmate areas have rather strong housings. Inmates used to get inside some of the lights to do "experiments" they were replaced with heavy duty stuff.
Keep in mind we are a county jail, not a "prison".
I would like to clarify that the lights the fire marshal wanted are not inside inmate housing.
#154339 - 12/03/0501:19 PMRe: Battery back up lighting
I ran into this same scenario a few years ago. Our ups backed up lighting needed the batteries replaced. We are a five prison complex, and it was estimated that it was going to cost around $300k to do it. The Life Safety Code stated that the exit lights were to illuminate at all times, of course, and we have internal batteries on ours, and we were able to do away with the battery backup on the other lighting due to the Life Safety Code stating that the lights had to be back online within 20 seconds, and our gen sets spin up within 15. This was the 1999 edition.