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Fire Alarm Inspection - Synchronized Strobes

Question asked by allenfire on Aug 28, 2017
Latest reply on Nov 12, 2017 by

As an inspector, inspecting an existing fire alarm system, is it my responsibility to identify strobes that are not synced as a deficiency?


My issue is that there is no statement instructing me to inspect the synchronization of notification appliances.  NFAP 72 (2013) only states in Chapter 14 Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance the following:


Table - 22 (c) Visible - Perform initial and reacceptance testing in accordance with the manufacturer"s published instructions. Verify appliance locations to be per approved layout and confirm that no floor plan changes affect the approved layout.


Verify that the candela rating marking agrees with the approved drawing. Confirm that each appliance flashes.

Acceptance tests must ensure that visible notification appliances operate and that the marked candela rating agrees with the approved drawings. Periodic tests are only required to verify that each appliance operates. The visual inspection required by 14.3.1 includes verification that the strobe is not blocked by shelving, furniture, ceiling-mounted light fixtures, movable partitions, or

other obstructions.


Nothing in the above instructs me to verify synchronization.  It is not until I look at the installation of notification appliances do I find the following: Visible notification appliances shall be installed in accordance with Table or Table using one of the following:

(1) A single visible notification appliance.

(2)* Two groups of visible notification appliances, where visual appliances of each group are synchronized, in the same room or adjacent space within the field of view. This shall include synchronization of strobes operated by separate systems.

(3) More than two visible notification appliances or groups of synchronized appliances in the same room or adjacent space within the field of view that flash in synchronization.


Also, I would like also note that the manufacturer's installation document said nothing about synchronization of the strobe within field of view.


Again, my question is that if I am only at a customer's site to perform an inspection of the fire alarm system, should I not only follow NFPA 72 Chapter 14 - Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance?  Does this not allow an inspection to provide a compliance report for the fire alarm system even if the strobes are not synced? 


As a secondary question, as an inspector, am I required to inspect the fire alarm system as per the entire NFPA 72 or is it to just Chapter 14 - Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance?




John Allen, CET, CFPS