NFPA Journal columnist Wayne Moore was interested in a recent post on one of NFPA’s LinkedIn pages that asked how far smoke detectors should be installed from fluorescent light fixtures, presumably to avoid electromagnetic interference. Commenters could give no concrete answers except to confirm that the 2013 edition of NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, did not contain an answer, either. So where, Wayne asks in his column “Proximity Question,” does one look for help?
How about installation manuals and manufacturers instructions? Many installation manuals tell installers to segregate fire alarm system circuits from other circuits to minimize the chance that the other circuits will cause the fire alarm system to malfunction. And fire alarm equipment manufacturers may require a minimum separation distance between fire alarm circuit cables and those of other services.
As Wayne notes in the March/April issue of NFPA Journal, good practice is at least as important as any minimum code requirement.