Code Violation?

I found LED wall mount Wheelock Exceders at a hotel we recently stayed at. They have no FIRE lettering, Is this a Code Violation?
They are for the fire alarm system.

Could be as the exact purpose of the device is not indicated as a result (especially for the hearing-impaired, which is important).

But don’t all Fire Notification Appliances need the word “FIRE” On them. If it was going off, most would wonder what it was for, some would know code 3, But not everyone. Plus the hearing impaired would also be confused by the strobe with out reason.

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they could have at least put the running man on there

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That’s basically exactly what I said.

Now that I look at them those are actually Edwards’ new LED Genesises, not Exceders (the Exceder LED series isn’t even sold anymore: the Eluxa-series is Wheelock’s current line of LED NAs).

bro that’s a genesis

In this context, I’d say no. Per Section of NFPA 72, “notification appliances used for signaling other than fire shall not have the word FIRE, or any fire symbol, in any form (i.e., stamped, imprinted, etc.) on the appliance visible to the public.”
So, that means that if you aren’t using it for fire, the letting can’t say anything else. Doesn’t actually say that it must be labeled “FIRE” if it used for fire.

The annex gives additional guidance: “The intent is to prohibit labeling that could give an incorrect message. Wording such as “Emergency” would be acceptable for labeling because it is generic enough not to cause confusion. Fire alarm systems are often used as emergency notification systems, and therefore attention should be given to this detail.”

If having a FIRE alarm signal labeled “EMERGENCY” or “ALERT” or “EVAC” is allowable, then having no labeling at all is also acceptable providing that there is no confusion of signals. We are starting to see this in places like the Department of Defense, where their own requirements will outright say to not have any letting on their devices at all.

Besides… what if someone doesn’t read English? Or read at all? What if they decide to refit the system down the line to add mass notification, but keep existing strobes where possible?


That may be the code but to me it makes very little sense not requiring fire alarm notification appliances to be labeled “FIRE” since otherwise how would the average person know what them flashing & sounding means? (particularly hearing-impaired individuals who wouldn’t be able to hear the alarm even if it specifically tells them “This is a fire emergency” & “Please leave the building by the nearest exit” (as a voice system would), & an unlabeled NA’s strobe flashing wouldn’t tell them anything either, just as it wouldn’t for a non-hearing-impaired person)


The thinking goes - right, wrong, or indifferent, is that by this point the temporal-3 coding pattern has been ingrained into people’s memory for so long, that hearing that pattern is meant to be enough of a signal for “fire”, and combined with a strobe, is meant to convey fire. If someone is hearing impaired, they may very well be accompanied by a hearing person, or by this point in their lives they may come to associate a strobe of any sort with the need to evacuate. At this point the lettering sort of becomes secondary. Again - what if you don’t read English? If there is “FIRE” lettering, then that’s not going to help you either way!

Counterpoint - who, besides enthusiasts or people with an extreme attention to detail (e.g. people on the spectrum) would look up at a fire alarm and pay attention to whether it has lettering on it or not, until it’s going off? By that point should its intention not be self-evident that there’s a need to evacuate?

To say “who knows what the flashing and sounding means?” kind of assumes (sometimes correctly, but not always) that the average person is an idiot. Be that as it may… people often ignore alarm signals even if the device is lettered, so is the lettering really the issue here?

The question was asked if it was a code violation. Per the letter of the code, no. You could maybe argue that it’s ambiguous by the spirit of the code, but as I said before more and more systems are being installed without any lettering at all, so I don’t think there’s necessarily anything wrong here.

In addition, the NFPA isn’t law itself, jurisdictions have to adopt it, and can make their own modifications, like Chicago. So, if the jurisdiction the hotel OP stayed at is in adopted NFPA 72 without any modifications, it’s perfectly fine. If it was modified to say that fire alarms must say fire, then it would be a violation.

However, as Robert said, with the context provided, this is perfectly acceptable and up to code.

Just the same that may not be the case considering how Hollywood has for years upheld the falsehood that fire alarms instead sound like bells ringing continuously & have no accompanying visual signals.

I think at this point most people probably know what the word “fire” means even if they don’t know any other bit of English.

Really? I haven’t seen any if that’s the case: ones with “FIRE”-marked signals still seem to be standard (except in the case of mass notification systems of course where they say “ALERT” instead).

I mean, I’ve worked on projects where the specs say that the notification appliances shall not be lettered.

It’s not something that’ll happen overnight and it won’t be for every new installation, but again, nothing in this thread is “against code”, nor should it be. Close enough for jazz.


They’re actually Kidde LED Strobes. They’re basically 2nd Gen EST Genesises.


that’s what i’m sayin’!

I’ve seen this exact same setup violation before. Except they also had EST Genesises without FIRE lettering.

I think that fire alarm NAs should be labeled FIRE especially if the NAs aren’t red.

Then get a job with the NFPA or your local jurisdiction, and argue for it to be added

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I don’t think it is. Because my school has ceiling mounted Wheelock RSS’s in some rooms without any fire lettering. As long as it’s not painted or broken it should be fine.

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I have never seen any fire alarm NAs with strobes in my area that had no FIRE label. I have seen remote horns and remote speakers without a FIRE label. With remote speakers, a label is not so important because the voice makes it clear what the speaker is for.

Would explain why most speakers aren’t made with fire lettering.