White/Red fire alarm

I always wondered what is the difference between white and red AV devices. Is there any codes regarding it or is it up to the archietic based on appearance.

Whatever looks pretty! Really up to the architect/designer. I have seen black smoke detectors (factory) to match black ceilings. But from what I understand they are $$$!

In the case of places like museums that have white walls so that the focus is on the art rather than the wall, it makes for a more unobtrusive, less invasive appliance. People don’t notice the fire alarm if it’s white on a white wall, especially if it has a thin profile.

Other than that, it’s just aesthetic choice. My MS for 7th and 8th grade had white ZNSs; they very well could have red ones. My dorm (and plenty of other buildings across campus) sport white ceiling-mount speaker-strobes, so that there’s nothing obtrusive on the walls.

As stated before, white is often used if appearance is a concern. If appearance is a concern and the walls aren’t white, then you get custom colors. Stan Hywet Hall (built as a mansion by the founding family of Goodyear) in Akron, OH has brown SpectrAlerts on the first and second floors. The New York State Capitol in Albany has brown EST Genesis speakers in parts of the building with brown walls. Most grade schools in New York use red, but I don’t know if that is a requirement.

Some jurisdictions require red, but the code doesn’t have any requirements. generally you’ll see white on the ceiling and red on the walls.



some jurisdictions also require red fire alarm panels, but for most the color doesn’t matter.



pull stations have to be red though, and they have to be mounted on a contrasting color.


Really? I’ve seen silver BNG-1s all over the place, and I think RSG makes a white pull station. Are those to be used if the walls are red?

It’s a requirement starting in the 2010 code, you’re probably finding pulls from before then. if the walls are red you have to paint a white square to mount the pull station in.



there are other pull stations connected to the fire alarm system that are different colors, a severe weather pull station might be blue, or a lockdown pull station might be yellow.

AHEM! These pulls beg to differ.

Like Chris said, those were likely installed before the 2010 code took effect.


That White RSG tbar.. I wonder who sold you that ;)

Do these pull stations exist? I have never seen a lockdown pull station before…

I’d imagine you could custom-order a colored pull station from someone like Sigcom.

Sigcom and RSG make them in a variety of different colors and styles. I think you could probably find them with a quick Google search. I’ve seen blue, yellow, and green…I think I’ve even seen a gold RSG.

We’ve put them in before, they’re becoming more common in higher ed. The RMS series from RSG can be ordered in multiple colors without the “FIRE ALARM” print, but I don’t see it on their website anymore.

Sigcom still has them on their website in yellow, blue, and green, with a footnote stating “contact factory for other color options”. RSG states “all are red unless otherwise specified”, so they might make other colors.

Wasn’t that Tbar mine at one point? lol

I believe so… :slight_smile: I had to send it to the museum! :lol:

While on the subject of custom made devices, and for those who haven’t seen it on Facebook, how about a black alarm?


Ooh I remember when that was up on ebay. Almost got it, but you definitely deserve to have it.

Is it the same model number as the 4251-20 ?