NEC 700 and Life safety code

Isaiah

Senior Member
Location
Baton Rouge
Occupation
Electrical Inspector
I would not go so far as to assume the egress "emergency" lighting as "Optional". Generally these are a requirement of building codes.
There are conditions that the simple exit and and associated egress light (typical flood type) also would not be enough. Warehouses, large stores, etc that might require additional lighting for pathway egress maneuvering. There are troughers that also provide battery backup that are often used in such situations. Building code usually will include minimum egress lighting requirements in the form of "minimum candle power" at pathway. If you don't have these codes try contacting the building codes AHJ for their requirements in your municipality.

Fred, let’s say it’s determined the system is optional standby does this preclude the requirement for 90 minute backup battery in the exit signs as per NFPA 101? Could it be reduced to 60 min or 30 minutes?


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d0nut

Senior Member
Location
Omaha, NE
Fred, let’s say it’s determined the system is optional standby does this preclude the requirement for 90 minute backup battery in the exit signs as per NFPA 101? Could it be reduced to 60 min or 30 minutes?


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No, an optional standby system does not change the requirements of the emergency system. There are no testing and maintenance requirements for an optional standby system like there are for an emergency system. You can't really count on the optional standby system being available like you can with the emergency system. You could certainly put your emergency system lights on the optional standby system to be able to occupy the building during a power outage, but the systems are not interchangeable as they have different requirements and purposes.
 

Isaiah

Senior Member
Location
Baton Rouge
Occupation
Electrical Inspector
No, an optional standby system does not change the requirements of the emergency system. There are no testing and maintenance requirements for an optional standby system like there are for an emergency system. You can't really count on the optional standby system being available like you can with the emergency system. You could certainly put your emergency system lights on the optional standby system to be able to occupy the building during a power outage, but the systems are not interchangeable as they have different requirements and purposes.

So just to be clear the 90 minute rule is still required even if it’s optional standby?


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ron

Senior Member
When you say building code do you mean the life safety code NFPA 101?


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NFPA 101 is NOT the Building Code, and is often not adopted as a Code in many jurisdictions, it is just a consensus standard that can be used as a reference by some AHJ's for certain things like Hospitals.
For example California uses a version of the International Building Code and references the Egress Lighting Requirements in Section 1008 and 1013. Here you need Means of Egress Illumination and Exit Signs, both needing Emergency Power Article 700.
 
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