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18.5.1* Visual Signaling
18.5.1.1
Public mode visual signaling shall meet the requirements of Section 18.5 using visual notification appliances.
18.5.1.2*
The coverage area for visual notification shall be as required by other governing laws, codes, or standards.
18.5.1.3
Where other governing laws, codes, or standards require visual notification for all or part of an area or space, coverage shall only be required in occupiable areas as defined in 3.3.187.
18.5.2 Area of Coverage
18.5.2.1
The designer of the visual notification system shall document the rooms and spaces that will have visual notification and those where visual notification will not be provided.
18.5.2.2*
Unless otherwise specified or required by other sections of this Code, the required coverage area for visual notification shall be as required by other governing laws, codes, or standards.
18.5.2.3
Where required by the authority having jurisdiction, documentation of the effective intensity (cd) of the visual notification appliances for the area of coverage shall be submitted for review and approval.
18.5.3 Light, Color, and Pulse Characteristics
18.5.3.1
The flash rate shall not exceed two flashes per second (2 Hz) nor be less than one flash every second (1 Hz) throughout the listed voltage range of the appliance.
18.5.3.2
The maximum light pulse duration shall be 20 milliseconds, except as permitted in 18.5.3.3.
18.5.3.3*
Light pulse durations greater than 20 milliseconds, but not greater than 100 milliseconds, shall be permitted where the alerting capability of the visual notification appliance is demonstrated to be equal to or greater than visual notification appliances with a 20-millisecond pulse duration.
18.5.3.4
The pulse duration shall be defined as the time interval between initial and final points of 10 percent of maximum signal.
18.5.3.5*
Visual notification appliances used for fire alarm signaling only or to signal the intent for complete evacuation shall be clear or nominal white and shall not exceed 1000 cd (effective intensity).
18.5.3.6
Visual notification appliances used to signal occupants to seek information or instructions shall be clear, nominal white, or other color as required by the emergency plan and the authority having jurisdiction for the area or building.
18.5.3.7*
The visual synchronization requirements of this chapter shall not apply where the visual notification appliances located inside the building are viewed from outside of the building.
18.5.3.8
Visual notification appliances used for carbon monoxide signaling shall be as required by the emergency plan and the authority having jurisdiction for the area or building and shall not exceed 1000 cd (effective intensity).
18.5.4* Appliance Photometries
The light output shall comply with the polar dispersion requirements for public mode signaling as described in ANSI/UL 1971, Standard for Signaling Devices for the Hearing Impaired, ANSI/UL 1638, Standard for Visible Signaling Devices for Fire Alarm and Signaling Systems, Including Accessories, or equivalent.
18.5.5 Appliance Location
18.5.5.1*
Wall-mounted appliances shall be mounted such that the entire lens is not less than 80 in. (2.03 m) and not greater than 96 in. (2.44 m) above the finished floor or at the mounting height specified using the performance-based alternative of 18.5.5.7.
18.5.5.2
Where low ceiling heights do not permit wall mounting at a minimum of 80 in. (2.03 m), wall mounted visual notification appliances shall be mounted within 6 in. (150 mm) of the ceiling.
18.5.5.3
Where low ceiling heights do not permit wall mounting at a minimum of 80 in. (2.03 m), the room size covered by a visual notification appliance of a given value shall be reduced by twice the difference between the minimum mounting height of 80 in. (2.03 m) and the actual lower mounting height.
18.5.5.4*
Visual notification appliances listed for mounting parallel to the floor shall be permitted to be located on the ceiling or suspended below the ceiling.
18.5.5.5* Spacing in Rooms
18.5.5.5.1*
Spacing shall be in accordance with either Table 18.5.5.5.1(a) and Figure 18.5.5.5.1 or Table 18.5.5.5.1(b).
Table 18.5.5.5.1(a) Room Spacing for Wall-Mounted Visual Notification Appliances
Maximum Room Size Minimum Required Light Output [Effective Intensity (cd)]
ft m One Visual Notification Appliance per Room Four Visual Notification Appliances per Room (One per Wall)
20 × 20 6.10 × 6.10 15 NA
28 × 28 8.53 × 8.53 30 NA
30 × 30 9.14 × 9.14 34 NA
40 × 40 12.2 × 12.2 60 15
45 × 45 13.7 × 13.7 75 19
50 × 50 15.2 × 15.2 94 30
54 × 54 16.5 × 16.5 110 30
55 × 55 16.8 × 16.8 115 30
60 × 60 18.3 × 18.3 135 30
63 × 63 19.2 × 19.2 150 37
68 × 68 20.7 × 20.7 177 43
70 × 70 21.3 × 21.3 184 60
80 × 80 24.4 × 24.4 240 60
90 × 90 27.4 × 27.4 304 95
100 × 100 30.5 × 30.5 375 95
110 × 110 33.5 × 33.5 455 135
120 × 120 36.6 × 36.6 540 135
130 × 130 39.6 × 39.6 635 185
NA: Not allowable.
Table 18.5.5.5.1(b) Room Spacing for Ceiling-Mounted Visual Notification Appliances.
Maximum Room Size Maximum Lens Height* Minimum Required Light Output (Effective Intensity); One Visual Notification Appliance (cd)
ft m ft m
20 × 20 6.1 × 6.1 10 3.0 15
30 × 30 9.1 × 9.1 10 3.0 30
40 × 40 12.2 × 12.2 10 3.0 60
44 × 44 13.4 × 13.4 10 3.0 75
20 × 20 6.1 × 6.1 20 6.1 30
30 × 30 9.1 × 9.1 20 6.1 45
44 × 44 13.4 × 13.4 20 6.1 75
46 × 46 14.0 × 14.0 20 6.1 80
20 × 20 6.1 × 6.1 30 9.1 55
30 × 30 9.1 × 9.1 30 9.1 75
50 × 50 15.2 × 15.2 30 9.1 95
53 × 53 16.2 × 16.2 30 9.1 110
55 × 55 16.8 × 16.8 30 9.1 115
59 × 59 18.0 × 18.0 30 9.1 135
63 × 63 19.2 × 19.2 30 9.1 150
68 × 68 20.7 × 20.7 30 9.1 177
70 × 70 21.3 × 21.3 30 9.1 185
*This does not preclude mounting lens at lower heights.
18.5.5.5.2
Visual notification appliances shall be installed in accordance with Table 18.5.5.5.1(a) or Table 18.5.5.5.1(b) using one of the following:
  1. A single visual notification appliance.
  2. *Two groups of visual notification appliances, where visual notification appliances of each group are synchronized, in the same room or adjacent space within the field of view. This shall include synchronization of visual appliances operated by separate systems.
  3. More than two visual notification appliances or groups of synchronized appliances in the same room or adjacent space within the field of view that flash in synchronization.
18.5.5.5.3
Room spacing in accordance with Table 18.5.5.5.1(a) and Figure 18.5.5.5.1 for wall-mounted appliances shall be based on locating the visual notification appliance at the halfway distance of the wall.
18.5.5.5.4
In square rooms with appliances not centered or in nonsquare rooms, the effective intensity (cd) from one wall-mounted visual notification appliance shall be determined by maximum room size dimensions obtained either by measuring the distance to the farthest wall or by doubling the distance to the farthest adjacent wall, whichever is greater, as required by Table 18.5.5.5.1(a) and Figure 18.5.5.5.1.
18.5.5.5.5
If a room configuration is not square, the square room size that allows the entire room to be encompassed or allows the room to be subdivided into multiple squares shall be used.
18.5.5.5.6*
If ceiling heights exceed 30 ft (9.1 m), ceiling-mounted visual notification appliances shall be suspended at or below 30 ft (9.1 m) or at the mounting height determined using the performance-based alternative of 18.5.5.7, or wall-mounted visual notification appliances shall be installed in accordance with Table 18.5.5.5.1(a).
18.5.5.5.7
Table 18.5.5.5.1(b) shall be used if the ceiling-mounted visual notification appliance is at the center of the room.
18.5.5.5.8
If the ceiling-mounted visual notification appliance is not located at the center of the room, the effective intensity (cd) shall be determined by doubling the distance from the appliance to the farthest wall to obtain the maximum room size.
18.5.5.6* Spacing in Corridors
18.5.5.6.1
The installation of visual notification appliances in corridors 20 ft (6.1 m) or less in width shall be in accordance with the requirements of either 18.5.5.5 or 18.5.5.6.
18.5.5.6.2
Paragraph 18.5.5.6 shall apply to corridors not exceeding 20 ft (6.1 m) in width.
18.5.5.6.3
In a corridor application, visual notification appliances shall be rated not less than 15 cd.
18.5.5.6.4
Corridors greater than 20 ft (6.1 m) wide shall comply with the spacing requirements for rooms in accordance with 18.5.5.5.
18.5.5.6.5*
Visual notification appliances shall be located not more than 15 ft (4.6.m) from the end of the corridor with a separation not greater than 100 ft (30.5 m) between appliances.
18.5.5.6.6
If there is an interruption of the concentrated viewing path, such as a fire door, an elevation change, or any other obstruction, the area shall be treated as a separate corridor.
18.5.5.6.7
In corridors where more than two visual notification appliances are in any field of view, they shall flash in synchronization.
18.5.5.6.8
Wall-mounted visual notification appliances in corridors shall be permitted to be mounted on either the end wall or the side wall of the corridor in accordance with spacing requirements of 18.5.5.6.5.
18.5.5.7* Performance-Based Alternative
18.5.5.7.1
Any design that provides a minimum of 0.0375 lumens/ft2 (0.4036 lumens/m2) of illumination at any point within the covered area at all angles specified by the polar dispersion planes for wall- or ceiling-mounted public mode visual notification appliances in ANSI/UL 1971, Standard for Signaling Devices for the Hearing Impaired, ANSI/UL 1638, Visible Signaling Devices for Fire Alarm and Signaling Systems, Including Accessories, or equivalent, as calculated for the maximum distance from the nearest visual notification appliance, shall be permitted in lieu of the requirements of 18.5.5, excluding 18.5.5.8.
18.5.5.7.2
Documentation provided to the authority having jurisdiction shall include the following:
  1. Inverse Square Law calculations using each of the vertical and horizontal polar distribution angles in ANSI/UL 1971, Standard for Signaling Devices for the Hearing Impaired, or equivalent.
  2. The calculations shall account for the effects of polar distribution using one of the following:
    1. The percentages from the applicable table(s) in ANSI/UL 1971, Standard for Signaling Devices for the Hearing Impaired, or equivalent.
    2. The actual results of laboratory tests of the specific appliance to be used as recorded by the listing organization
18.5.5.8 Sleeping Areas
18.5.5.8.1
Combination smoke detectors and visual notification appliances or combination smoke alarms and visual notification appliances shall be installed in accordance with the applicable requirements of Chapters 17, 18, 23, and 29.
18.5.5.8.2
Combination carbon monoxide detectors or alarms with visual notification appliances shall be located in accordance with the applicable requirements for the visual notification appliance and the applicable requirements for the carbon monoxide detector or alarm of Chapters 17, 18, 23, and 29.
18.5.5.8.3*
Table 18.5.5.8.3 shall apply to the minimum required intensity of visual notification appliances in sleeping areas after establishing the mounting height.
Table 18.5.5.8.3 Effective Intensity Requirements for Sleeping Area Visual Notification Appliances
Distance from Ceiling to Top of Lens Minimum Intensity
(cd)
in. mm
≥24 ≥610 110
<24 <610 177
18.5.5.8.4
For rooms with a linear dimension greater than 16 ft (4.9 m), the visual notification appliance shall be located within 16 ft (4.9 m) of the pillow.
18.5.6 Location of Visual Notification Appliances for Wide-Area Signaling
Visual notification appliances for wide-area signaling shall be installed in accordance with the requirements of the authority having jurisdiction, approved design documents, and the manufacturer's published instructions to achieve the required performance.

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