New Code Requirements for Strobes

New Code Requirements for Strobes

There is a lot of talk lately about the 2018 Illinois Accessibility Code and the State of Illinois requirement to install strobes in all workplace environments.  This is being interpreted to include single user offices although it is our understanding that the state’s largest independent plan reviewer will be reviewing submittals under this context. 

By definition of Employee Work Area and Section 215.3 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Employee Work Areas must comply with section 702 which references you back to NFPA 72 for proper audible and visual requirements.  The request to install strobes in single user offices will be a common corrective action item.  

This is a big deal. Fire alarm systems will have to be properly engineered to handle the larger number of strobes. Systems will need additional strobe power, battery capacity, circuitry, and added attention in properly synchronizing the large quantity of strobes.

The modification to the Illinois Accessibility Code exceeds most other national standards. This requirement is not unique to Illinois. Chicago has recently modified it’s 2019 code to mandate strobes in all work place environments.

It is unclear at the moment whether Chicago considers single user offices as an “Employee Work Area”.  This mandate to include strobes in offices still requires time to see if Chicago will follow suit to the State’s definition of workplace environments and whether individual offices fall into the state’s definition.  

If you are receiving proposals from our office, expect to see a line item breakout calling out the number of  individual offices that may require strobes.  At the moment this is a suburban matter which require compliance with 2018 Illinois Accessibility Code.  

HRSS is always available to answer your questions regarding fire and safety building code requirements in Chicago and the State of Illinois.  We provide fire and life safety system equipment, design, testing, maintenance and monitoring 24/7/365.  Contact us with any questions on the 2019 Chicago Code or the 2018 Illinois Accessibility Code.

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