We have a project with a unique strobe situation.
New installation into an existing building, Department of Defense so we're under UFC criteria.
The new fire alarm and mass notification system uses Alert strobes (as is common), but in some portions of the building there are blue security strobes. These are used as a warning with non-classified personnel are in the area.
These blue strobes flash at the same rate as the fire alarm/mass notification strobes, but they are not synchronized. The blue security strobes are manually activated at an attendant's desk.
Is there a requirement to synchronize these different systems, from UFC criteria or elsewhere?
Fundamentally, the strobe synchronization issue and potential epileptic exposure is the same concern whether or not it's a concert, fire alarm system, security or dancing club - I certainly understand that we don't want the hazard from the strobes. I do wonder if any of you have come across this, and/or what your opinion might be to handle the situation.
We're on closeout for the project and there has been explicit requirement to override, synchronize or shutdown either the fire alarm or security strobes.
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8/16/2022 08:35:06 am
Having multiple strobes flashing in the same space might cause a medical issue event to occur. Not my field of knowledge.
8/16/2022 08:51:16 am
If I'm understanding correctly the blue strobes are on when you have uncleared personnel in the area. When they are activating, all of the blue strobes a synchronized. If a fire alarm activation occurs, while uncleared personnel are in the area, the fire alarm system alert strobes function. The fire alarm strobes are synchronized but not with the blue strobes, which remain active.
8/16/2022 09:36:03 am
This is not part of an emergency notification system. It is strictly to alert assigned personnel of the presence of foreign nationals, and to ensure classified material is secured prior to outside personnel being escorted in to the secure areas. Therefore from a strictly code sense, NFPA 72 or ADAG are not applicable.
8/16/2022 12:59:24 pm
I asked a similar question years ago and the accessibility code consultant with NC DOI Office of the State Fire Marshal told me that the eye doesn't pick up a different color strobe the same way as a clear strobe, so it was safe to them in the same area.
8/22/2022 06:23:53 pm
Sounds to me sort of similar to when you have a Mass voice evac/Public address system on a fire alarm. NFPA 72 allows for alternate uses of the system but must allow the fire system to override if there is an activation. I think it would be fair to see a similar set up here. Theoretically, if there was a security incident and a fire alarm activation at the same time, the life safety would take priority. You shouldn't be trying to put your files away when you should be evacuating. Just my two cents.
5/16/2023 08:41:46 am
Performing many DoD projects in my career, the Life Safety takes precedence over the security "blue" lighting. The blue lights are typically not automated and are manually turned on/ off by security escorts of non cleared persons in a secured area. The blue lights would typically be left on or have to be manually turned off ion an emergency fire / MNS notification. The fire alarm/ MNS system activates and operates independent of the "blue" security notification lighting. There may be an issue with an increased strobe effect. This issue must be considered.
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