On a recent project (10,000 sq ft place of assembly) the fire protection inspector required two changes to the electrical work during final inspection. First, he directed that the fire alarm panel and the building security panel could not be fed by the same circuit as the plans had indicated. He made a reference to NFPA 72. (This was transmitted to me by the owner's agent. The electrical work had already passed final inspection.) Does anyone know the specific rule he might have been referencing? Also, he required that emergency lights be installed in the 2 public restrooms. No specific reason was given to support this. Again, is anyone aware of a national code that would require this?
NFPA (National Fire Protection Association)encompasses NFPA 72, which covers 'Fire Alarm', and NFPA 70 (NEC), along with a host of other 'codes'. It stands to reason that a circuit that provides power to a LIFE SAFETY system should be isolated. Also, emergency egress lighting is required for certain Building Occupancy types for the public. This is probably in NFPA 72, or maybe the UBC. Don't know the specifics.. ask you Fire Alarm installer, he should probably know precisely.
Re: fire & security on separate circuits#93638 12/03/0512:12 PM12/03/0512:12 PM
NFPA 72 requires the firealarm panel be on a seperate circuit. It also requires that that location of that circuit be posted on the front of the FACP. On the emergency light you would find that in NFPA 101. Though I think you may have difficulty finding that exact violation listed there.
Re: fire & security on separate circuits#93639 12/03/0512:17 PM12/03/0512:17 PM
Paul the bathroom violation is in the NEC although it may also be in 101. Check out the second paragraph of 700.16
700.16 Emergency Illumination. Emergency illumination shall include all required means of egress lighting, illuminated exit signs, and all other lights specified as necessary to provide required illumination.
Emergency lighting systems shall be designed and installed so that the failure of any individual lighting element, such as the burning out of a light bulb, cannot leave in total darkness any space that requires emergency illumination.
Where high-intensity discharge lighting such as high- and low-pressure sodium, mercury vapor, and metal halide is used as the sole source of normal illumination, the emergency lighting system shall be required to operate until normal illumination has been restored.
Exception: Alternative means that ensure emergency lighting illumination level is maintained shall be permitted.
Bob Badger Construction & Maintenance Electrician Massachusetts
Re: fire & security on separate circuits#93640 12/03/0505:41 PM12/03/0505:41 PM
Iwire, ... I'm not sure I understand your comment. The reference in the NEC you cited (as I understand it) means that the failure of a single lamp on the emergency light itself cannot leave the area without emergency illumination, therefore emergency lights come with two heads to satisfy that requirement. How does this address whether or not emergency lighting is required in a restroom?
Re: fire & security on separate circuits#93641 12/03/0509:35 PM12/03/0509:35 PM
Normally, bathrooms, closets, one man offices and the like do not require an emergency light. The means of egress is required to be illuminated to one footcandle. The means of egress consists of exit access, exits and exit discharge. Exit access is anywhere one can stand and move about, so technically, that includes the bathrooms. Not too many inspectors will require them in there, however. Check the plans. If the plans were approved by the building department at plan review without emergency lights in the bathrooms, then you have a case to appeal this decision. The fire marshal is required to check the plans as well.