pull stations mounted on red.

the local target stores have pull stations mounted on red walls. today that would be against code, right? pull stations must be mounted on a different color according to modern codes, right? the red wall would need to be painted around the pull station?

Usually in that situation, a white box will be painted around the station to provide the necessary visual contrast. The idea is to make the station as visible as possible.

Whether or not it is “against code” is another discussion. It all depends on the AHJ’s implementation of the codes. Additionally, assuming that particular code does exist in your area, if the Target was built before it took effect, then it is not bound to that requirement. Unless the building is significantly remodeled, it is governed by the codes that existed when it was built, know as ‘grandfathering.’

if the target store in my area were to completely replace their fire alarm system would the new system have to meet current codes? if there were a code requiring that pull stations mounted on red need to have a white box painted around them, would they have to do it?

You’ve answered your own question :wink: . If the new system were required to abide by the current codes, then they would be required to make the change.

I have to say that I have never heard of that code for pull stations before. But then again, i haven’t really seen any red walls over here. :lol:

I may be wrong, but wasn’t that the reason why white devices (like Jared’s white RMS-1T) and silver devices (like the silver BNG-1R) were introduced? I don’t see any other reason why a pull station would be any other color except red for fire.

From NFPA 72 (2010 edition)

17.14.1 - Manual fire alarm boxes shall be used only for fire alarm initiating purposes - Unless installed in an environment the precludes the use of red paint, manual fire alarm boxes shall be red in color - Manual pull stations for initiating other than fire alarm shall be permitted if the devices are differentiated from the manual fire alarm boxes by a color other than red and labeling - Manual fire alarm boxes shall be mounted on a background of contrasting color

17.14.5 - Manual fire alarm boxes shall be installed so they are conspicuous, unobstructed, and accessible


One thing I have noticed within the past decade is the increase use of card access door systems that need to have an emergency release on the secure side of the door in case the “Request to Exit” device fails to operate. You can also have generator shutdown or HVAC shutdown switches that look exactly like a fire alarm pull station. These “non fire alarm” pull stations are yellow, green, or blue in color. I think the intent that NFPA is trying to put out here is to reserve red as the color for the fire alarm system.

adding to the codes lambda posted, with the introduction of the idea of mass notification and pull stations for lock downs, bad weather, etc. fire alarm pull stations now must be red. if mounted on a red wall they normally have a white box painted around them to comply with the codes that you can’t have red on red.

suppose it is installed on a wall that is not red, and then later the wall gets painted red? i’m sure that most painters won’t be aware of such a code and will paint red where the pull station is.

it should be marked up by the inspectors during their annual inspection, or if the fire marshal see’s it he’ll tell them to correct it.

How big does the square around it have to be?

I’ll let the experts give the exact answer, butt logically it’d need to be large enough to be seen from a distance.

So it might be an eyesore on the wall if they wanted it to be red.

True, but as the old saying goes,

Don’t forget about the old saying of the letter of the law vs. the spirit of the law. This principle should be applied to most of the grievances on this forum…

well that’s kind of the idea, it’s supposed to stick out instead of blending in. no architect wants a pull station to be noticeable, it takes away from his pretty wall. code states otherwise though, which means targets lawyers will state otherwise.

Then again, I can’t imagine them painting a wall with a pull on it red.