The Saga of NFPA 72 vs. ADA
The Story of the Conflicting Codes
In the beginning was the code, named NFPA 72 – National Fire Alarm Code. And it wasn’t great, but it sufficed.
Then came the challenger, the intruder, the Great Cost Raiser, named ADA. And ADA conflicted with NFPA 72. For NFPA 72 stated wall-mounted visual appliances may be mounted between 80” to 96” – or on the ceiling. Yet ADA disagreed, and stated only a wall-mounted height of 80” was acceptable. This conflict persisted long, and it was a source of grief to fire officials and contractors alike.
And the years passed . . .
Then at the last the day came, after a long and dreary battle, that NFPA 72 forced ADA to the conference table – and ADA came to be enlightened. Then ADA agreed it had been wrong, and NFPA 72 knew better. Thereupon ADA not only complied with the positioning of NFPA 72 – but relinquished control over appliance location to NFPA 72 entirely. As a result, all jurisdictions which have received the joyous news now accept ceiling mounted visual appliances. At this time, this includes the magical lands of Nevada, Clark County, Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, and Boulder City.
But the story does not end there . . .
Many battle-weary warriors, too long locked in the conflict, do not yet fully comprehend the terms of the peace treaty. These poor soldiers still insist the battle wages on – and the only safe path is to adhere to an 80” wall mount height. These “inspectors”, as they are known, must be treated gently and with respect, yet carefully educated so they may understand and appreciate the new codes that are now in force. The aid of their partners-in-battle, the plan check and engineering departments, will greatly aid this education effort.
Therefore do not fear to place visual appliances on the ceiling (properly listed for the application, of course), but go forth confident that you are in the right and the truth shall prevail!
Should there still be any reservations over the use of ceiling mounted visual appliances – rest assured that AMFES will take whatever steps are necessary to ensure local AHJ approval of our designs without any cost-increases or delays.
Last updated: Sat 24 September 2022