Fire Prevention & Protection

Fire Protection Research Foundation Completes Report On Visual Signaling

Quincy, MA – The Fire Protection Research Foundation, an affiliate of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), has released a study on Direct Visual Signaling as a Means for Occupant Notification in Large Spaces. The project was conducted in support of the requirements of NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code(r). NFPA 72 requires occupants be alerted by the illumination of their surroundings, not necessarily by direct viewing of the signaling appliance.

The testing that led to the current requirements in NFPA 72 was limited to classroom and office type spaces and was not tested in large, well-lit spaces such as warehouses, “super stores,” and other large buildings. Nevertheless, because strobes are required by other codes in these spaces, the installation and requirements of NFPA 72 are being enforced. The committee was seeking additional data to substantiate the addition of text to the code Annex explaining possible effects in large spaces.

Tests were conducted in three different warehouse type stores. According to the study, it is possible to have effective occupant notification by strobes installed in accordance to NFPA 72. The tests also highlighted additional factors that designers, installers and owners should consider to increase the effectiveness of these type systems in large spaces.

The complete report can be found at