Smoke Control Equipment Signage

Smoke control equipment is subject to the signage requirements contained in Chapter 9 of 780 CMR, the Massachusetts State Building Code.  Section 909.14 states that “detection and control systems shall be clearly marked at all junctions, accesses, and terminations”.  Section 901.9 requires fire protection equipment and room signage to be constructed of durable materials, permanently installed, with letters and symbols of at least 2” in height with coloring of a contrasting background visible from a distance of 10’ away.  The Boston Fire Prevention Regulations further elaborates on color contrast requirements, where signage should incorporate red letters on a white background or white letters on a red background.

The following should be considered as it relates to smoke control equipment marking and identification.

  • Fan signage should be located such that it can be read from no less than 10 feet away and should be conspicuously located to allow for easy identification by first responders and building engineers. It should indicate the fan tag and system it serves. e.g. “Stair 1 Pressurization Fan (SPF-1)” or “Atrium Smoke Exhaust Fan (SEF-1)”.
  • If the placement of the fan sign is not adjacent to it’s service disconnect, the disconnect should be identified with markings suitable for the size of the disconnect. e.g. “SPF-1 Disconnect”
  • Motor controllers or Variable Frequency Drives should clearly indicate the fan and system it is associated with. e.g. “SPF-1 VFD – Stair 1 Pressurization”. This signage should be as large as reasonably practical for the room it’s located within.
  • Labeling on fire alarm monitor modules, control relays and other associated fire alarm devices should be provided.
  • Junction boxes containing power or control wiring should be labeled in accordance with NFPA 70 and clear as to the smoke control system it serves.
  • Access hatches that provide a means of servicing concealed smoke control equipment should be signed.

Make sure to check with the local fire department to understand any specific life safety system signage expectations.