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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006


    Hello Everyone:

    I'm reading this section (NFPA 101) and I'm not really clear on the intent of item # 5 (shown below). Do they mean the lights at the path of egress when they are controlled by an automatic shut off means (occupancy sensor) is required to be overridden by fire alarm signal if the fire alarm system is activated? example; lights at corridors with occupancy sensors, if fire alarm system activated then the occupancy sensors should be disabled by the fire alarm system and all lights to be "on", is this correct? if so, what is the most economical way to achieve this? I'm thinking lighting control relay panel might have that option but I need to investigate. The building is about 20,000sf.

    NFPA 101 Unless prohibited by Chapters 11 through 43, automatic lighting control devices shall be permitted to temporarily turn off the illumination within the means of egress, provided that each lighting control device complies with all of the following:

    (5) In new installations, the lighting control device is activated by activation of the building fire alarm system, if provided.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    New York, 40.7514,-73.9925
    The jurisdictions that I work in do not adopt that section of NFPA 101, so I can't talk from an enforcement standpoint, but your conclusion seems logical.

    BTW, although many jurisdictions adopt portions of NFPA 101, most do not adopt the whole thing. For example, egress lighting in most jurisdictions are per the adopted ICC Building Code Section 1008.

    For another example, the 2014 Florida Building Code covers egress illumination in Section 1006. The only sections of 101 that Florida adopts is referenced in the building code sections listed
    449.3.14.4, 450.3.18.4, 453.6.1, 453.14.2.1, 453.27.9.1, 453.27.10.1, 457.,457., 457., 457., 457., 457.,
    467.2.2.1, 467.2.2.5, 467.3.1, 467.3.2.1, 467.3.2.2, 469.3.1, 469.3.2,
    469., 903., 1029.6.2

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Thanks for your response. The reviewer who made that comments just pointed out that section to make sure we are in compliance with it even though he is not sure what it meant or this has been done before. The project is on a Navy base and I assume the AHJ is the fire marshal. I have looked through many vendors lighting control panels and it didn't have that option (interface with fire alarm), they only have it for emergency lighting control unit such as Wattstopper ELCU-200.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    In our experience, in most states the ICC codes are adopted codes and the NFPA codes end up being referenced codes, with exception that states typically adopt NFPA 70 (NEC), and many also adopt NFPA 72 (Fire Alarm) and NFPA 99 (Health Care). Conversely, at the Federal level (VA, GSA, military, etc.) that is not always the case. I found this on GSA web site:

    Life Safety Code. GSA has adopted the technical egress requirements of the NFPA, Life Safety Code (NFPA 101), in lieu of the technical egress requirements of the IBC. NFPA 101 is available through

    So even if you are in a jurisdiction that has adopted ICC codes, if it is a federal building the above would apply, meaning NFPA 101, would apply. At least that's how I see it. Will be interesting to see if ICC adopts these requirements for egress lighting.

    Would a simple night light circuit in the corridor and stairs satisfy this requirement?

    Would this apply to path of egress in a school gymnasium (if NFPA 101 applied)? I ask because bleachers are often retractable so pathway lighting similar to theater aisle lighting would not work.

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