The Americans with Disabilities Act requires buildings and facilities to install some type of alarm system or visual signal appliance near restrooms, hallways, lobbies, and any other general areas designed for common use. Make sure your building is up to code with this overview of accessibility guidelines for ADA-compliant alarm systems.
Buildings and facilities equipped with audible emergency alarms are required to utilize an appliance that produces a sound exceeding the sound level in the room or space by at least 15 dbA or exceeds any maximum sound level for a duration of 60 seconds by 5 dbA. However, the sound levels for all audible alarm signals may not be greater than 120 dbA.
The ADA requires that visual alarms be incorporated into the current alarm system and adhere to the following photometric and location requirements:
- Lamp shall be xenon strobe or equivalent.
- Color should be clear, unfiltered, or clear-filtered white light.
- Maximum pulse duration is two-tenths of one second with duty cycle of 40%. Pulse duration is characterized as time between the initial and final points of 10 % maximum signal.
- Placement 80 inches above the highest floor level or within 6 inches below the ceiling.
- Visual alarm should not be more than 50 feet from the signal.
- Intensity minimum of 75 candelas.
- Flash rate minimum of 1 Hz while maximum of 3 Hz.
Sleeping areas are required to have a visual alarm connected to the building’s current emergency alarm or a standard 110-volt electrical receptacle where the auxiliary alarm can be connected.
The best way to ensure that you are adhering to the Americans with Disabilities Act’s guidelines is to discuss your current detectable warning systems with ADA Solutions, Inc. For more information on ADA-compliant alarms, detectable warning systems, or truncated domes, contact ADA Solutions, Inc. at (800) 372-0519.