Building that just has remote strobes.

There’s an eye clinic I went to with someone when they were getting cataract surgery. All the NAs I saw there were SpectrAlert r

Classic remote strobes. No visible audible signals anywhere. Seems especially strange considering that this is an eye place. Have you seen something like this?



They had bg 10 pull stations.

In that case, the audible signal is probably broadcasted over the PA system. I’ve seen setups like this before.

The PA system could likely also be tied to the mass notification system, which takes precedence over the FA system. This means that MNS speakers do not have to have FIRE lettering. Did you notice any speakers anywhere?

I didn’t see any speakers. I don’t think they have a PA system.

They had a sprinkler system so there is probably a sprinkler bell outside.

Many AHJs are quite lenient on requiring the usual coverage of audible appliances in patient and surgical areas of medical facilities. A loud fire alarm audible can startle and frighten patients who may be partially sedated. The other consideration is that a surgeon performing a delicate operation would be startled by audible notification appliances. There may be audible appliances in employee and service areas isolated from the surgical and patient areas.



I installed a remodeled floor in a children’s hospital which was designed with A/V appliances covering the entire floor. The AHJ approved disconnecting all the horns except for the one at the nurse station. Another hospital I installed had Wheelock chime/strobes throughout. The AHJ allowed the chimes in the surgery area to ding one time only. The strobes continued as usual.

Can’t say I have ever seen a system like that but it does sound interesting.

I actually saw a strobe-only system not too long ago, though it was at a Walmart in Mexico. That building had by far the worst fire alarm installation I’ve ever seen in my life.

I was just reading about this the other day. There’s a chance that system has a private mode fire alarm system, meaning that only certain people have access to hearing the full alarm. Notification appliances in private mode systems may be located in staff corridors and in other areas in which patients don’t have access. Like Retired STR-SG said, the AHJ has the final say.



Page 3 of this document briefly discusses the difference between public and private mode.

If it was at a Walmart, the PA speakers might give the audible alarm.


I think their PA system was also dead (there were several speakers broken, missing or hanging from their wires, and not once did I heard them broadcast anything over them). Mexican regulations actually don’t require any kind of fire alarm system anywhere other than in “industrial facilities handling highly flammable or explosive materials”. Indeed I’ve been to large department stores there that don’t have fire alarms, or sprinklers, or exit signs, or even more than one exit (and these are otherwise luxurious stores in well-off areas). Most cars are also still sold without airbags there. Yeah, Mexico is kind of a deathtrap.






Well I guess people in that Wal-Mart can be alerted by the strobes. If someone there is visually impaired and can’t see the strobes they are probably there with someone who can tell them that the fire alarm strobes are going off.


There also aren’t that many strobes though. Just one above the main entrance, two on each side wall above the emergency exits, and four mounted on the pillars. Definitely doesn’t come anywhere close to meeting NFPA 72 coverage requirements. Other Walmarts in Mexico have roughly the same setup but actually use horn/strobes, so at least they get adequate sound coverage.

Union Station in Denver (the underground RTD bus one) is similar to this, any and all notification that needs to be made audibly is tied into the PA system, whether it is fire, shelter-in-place, or severe weather.

I’ve seen such a setup too: The international terminal at the San Francisco airport has remote strobes in areas covered by the paging system. Areas not covered by the paging system have speaker/strobes.

I think that I also have seen systems like that but just didn’t know it. If I can’t find an alarm in a building, I assume its in the PA system or its concealed. Never seen them with remote strobes though.

Just like Retired STR-SG said. We get asked all the time to remove audible appliances from OR’s all the time, the doctors don’t want a jump scare at a critical moment.



Currently getting approval to remove more speakers from operating sections of a brand new hospital right now.

Miriam Hospital which I have become VERY familiar with from my grandfather’s illness and eventual death in 2014 to my grandmother’s illnesses, has a mixed system. Some parts (I assume these were newly renovated) have Wheelock E70S and other parts (I think the older parts) have Simplex 2902-9234 chimes on 2903-9101 light or strobe plates. A few months ago when my grandmother was admitted, we came in during the tail end of a fire drill. I could only hear the chimes and nothing from the speakers.


Then it must be Wheelock CH70’s.

I guess that makes more sense. All I remember was wondering why there was no message. So I guess they were chime/strobes also.