Fire Alarm Strobe, FIRE Marking

We are putting in a Mass Notification Evacuation system in a high school. I have strobe only devices that will be used only it the case of a fire alarm. In other locations, i have speaker/strobe combination devices that can activate on both fire alarm and voice evac. systems. I am familiar with the code section that states that the speaker/strobe combination devices are not permitted to say FIRE, but can say ALERT. My question is, can the strobes that are only used in a fire alarm also be permitted to say ALERT. I have not found any code section as of yet stating that fire alarm notification devices need to be labeled FIRE in cases where it is only being used for fire alarm. If anyone is aware of any code stating this, please link it to me. Thank you.

I think with alert you could pass for both.

The only thing the code states is something marked FIRE can’t be used for anything other than FIRE.

Chris is right as far as I can tell. Alert goes both ways, fire is just for fire and nothing else. Alert could just be used for fire if you really wanted to, but realistically is used where you have MNS/fire in the same panel.

Keep in mind, ALWAYS check your local codes if working on an actual life safety system.

I am in Colorado Springs, CO. I work on K-12 School fire alarm systems.

We aren’t allowed to use the term “Mass Notification” . It is a military standard that if adopted requires all sorts of other things.

We use “Voice Notification”

Our jurisdiction adopted a Mass notification standard so they won’t allow use to add voice clips for any of the required drills.


Speaker systems are now required for school. We started adding voice notification to our schools 2 years ago.


We use simplex 4100es panels. Standard display, and a intercom bay, On high schools we have intercom bays on the annuciator cabinets.


We also added duress buttons. The duress buttons trigger blue “alert” strobes. This is a shelter in place.

The blue strobe is just a blue cover on a standard strobe. The housing is marked alert.

(side note:we are also adding a lot of CO sensors.)


Any other drills can be (Human) voice over the voice notification feature of the fire alarm system. This does not activate the strobes.


I have been planting the concept of a School mass Notification Standard. This would be a standard based on K-12 Educational occupancy and would be based off of the Mass communication Standard accepted by our jurisdiction. If we had one then all drills could be standardized as we upgrade to the 4100ES panels thruout the district.