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Need Help NFPA 1901.....making me nuts

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  • Need Help NFPA 1901.....making me nuts

    This is not another light bar thread but.....where do you place the amber beacon on the rear of the truck. I have look all over the Internet also have looked at 1901, ANSI, and a host of others. I also need to know why its placed in a specific position on the apparatus. Thanks for the help
    IACOJ Membership 2002
    {15}

    Mike IAFF

    The beatings will continue until the morale improves

  • #2
    I don't think you'll find what your looking for because NFPA doesn't tell you where to put anything. They give specifications for lighting packages in various zones. Some manufacturers have interpreted it to mean an amber in position X, every time. The major manufacturers of lighting all have standard NFPA compliant packages, pick one.

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    • #3
      Our amber lights are in a lightstick mounted to the rear of the rig. It is preprogrammed for different patterns and is an attention getter when approaching the rig from behind.
      ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
      Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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      • #4
        As was said before, it is based on light ouput in zones of the apparatus. You don't need it on there if you increase the number of lights to jump up your light output. We have them as rotators on the top rear of the apparatus on the passenger side.........
        The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
        We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
        IACOJ

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        • #5
          Just out of curiosity, any reason why some of you have them on one side of the apparatus instead of on both sides? And if it's on one side, why that side and not the other?
          Fir Na Tine
          Fir Na Au Saol

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          • #6
            Originally posted by needlejockey
            Just out of curiosity, any reason why some of you have them on one side of the apparatus instead of on both sides? And if it's on one side, why that side and not the other?
            Not sure how exactly they decided which side to put it on...... I know our 2 newest trucks came from the manufacturer with them on the passenger side. The Chief at the time was big on the "uniformity" so all apparatus was converted to have an amber on the rear passenger side........
            The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
            We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
            IACOJ

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            • #7
              Just out of curiosity, any reason why some of you have them on one side of the apparatus instead of on both sides? And if it's on one side, why that side and not the other?

              Why are some fire trucks red, some not ripe, and some have black roofs?

              It's completely a personal preference.

              The only reason an amber light is used because it has they have more effective candlepower (brighter) than a red filter with the same bulb behind it. I'm sure there's tons of design factors of halogen v. strobe v. LEDs, then what kind of LEDs (white with filters, v. actual colored LEDs)...but I've seen one Halogen Whelen product where simply changing the lense from red to yellow boosts the candlepower from 50,000 to 70,000.

              White doesn't tend to be a good color, especially down low where it could be flashing in the eyes of driver you just passed. Blue isn't that traditional of fire truck color and specifically illegal in a number of states. So amber gets the nod as a good compromise.

              "Hey, we're 20,000cp short!"

              "Ah, just change that lense to yellow."

              "Ok Boss."

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              • #8
                First off, NFPA does NOT require amber on the rear of apparatus. That is why you cant find the "required" location.

                The only thing NFPA 1901 says about color is 1, there can be no white (clear) light in the rear zones, and 2, any white (clear) in the front zone must be dissabled (shut-off) when in blocking mode (on-scene). I think I recall when the new 1901 came out some other language about only useing red, blue, amber and clear (no green) and that you cant have amber in the front zone. Not sure if thats up to date however.

                What NFPA 1901 does say is that there is a required minimum candela (candlepower) in each zone. Most apparatus only have two lights in the upper rear zone. Two red lights (or blue) do not meet the candela requirement. However, amber has a higher candela output and when placed with a red, meets the requirement. Thats why most new apparatus come with 1 amber and 1 red.

                There are other options. If you use more then 2 lights in the upper rear zone, you can have what ever color you want (except clear) as long as it meets the candela requirement. You can do what we did with our quint. It has 2 red rotators and an amber Signalmaster (arrow light) that comes on automaticaly when in blocking mode.

                Hope that helps...

                Now, if your going to use one red with one amber, IMHO the amber should be on the drivers side. That way when your sitting at the curb, the amber (the more visable light) is next to the traffic lane.
                Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

                IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

                "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
                RUSH-Tom Sawyer

                Success is when skill meets opportunity
                Failure is when fantasy meets reality

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                • #9
                  On our newest engine the amber light is a rotator on the driver side.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dave1983
                    Now, if your going to use one red with one amber, IMHO the amber should be on the drivers side. That way when your sitting at the curb, the amber (the more visable light) is next to the traffic lane.
                    Our last two trucks came with an amber lens on the rear driver's side rotator. We switched it to the passenger side. Why? Because the bright yellow flash in the driver side mirror was entirely too distracting. Yes, we could've blacked out the front facing part of the lens, but it was easier just to switch them. The red is much easier on the eyes at night.

                    Incidentally, basically all halogen rotators with red lenses, when used in pairs, meet or exceed NFPA's requirement for Zone C Rear Upper Blocking. Manufacturers sticking an amber lens on one of them was a trend started in the mid 90s and for some reason stuck and continues to this day. You do NOT need ANY amber ANYWHERE on the apparatus if you don't want it.

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                    • #11
                      Ours are on the rear driver's side. They don't interfere with our vision.
                      Real men wear kilts. www.forourfallen.org

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Chauffer6
                        Our last two trucks came with an amber lens on the rear driver's side rotator. We switched it to the passenger side. Why? Because the bright yellow flash in the driver side mirror was entirely too distracting.
                        On our newest rig, we mounted the lights on the back of the apparatus. The big benefit of this is that everything flashes backwards where it is supposed to and nothing reflects in the driver's mirror.

                        http://www.maumellefire.com/interactive2/index.htm
                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Chauffer6
                          Incidentally, basically all halogen rotators with red lenses, when used in pairs, meet or exceed NFPA's requirement for Zone C Rear Upper Blocking. Manufacturers sticking an amber lens on one of them was a trend started in the mid 90s and for some reason stuck and continues to this day.

                          Ummm, no. With all due respect, that is incorrect. It is not a "trend" started by a manufacturer. A single pair of red halogens does NOT, in any way, shape or form, meet and certainly does not exceed the requirement. Dont belive me? Check any of the lighting output charts, which are available on the net.

                          And for what its worth, this all came to my attention after I spoke to the Federal Signal rep at Fire Rescue East in 2001. The information was later confirmed by the lighting designer at the Pierce plant in Appleton later that year when I spoke to him about our quint and its lighting package.

                          Im sure that both these gentlemen know what they are talking about.
                          Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

                          IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

                          "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
                          RUSH-Tom Sawyer

                          Success is when skill meets opportunity
                          Failure is when fantasy meets reality

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dave1983
                            A single pair of red halogens does NOT, in any way, shape or form, meet and certainly does not exceed the requirement. Dont belive me? Check any of the lighting output charts, which are available on the net.
                            Ok.

                            Code3:


                            Whelen:


                            Code3 and Whelen, right out of their current NFPA package guides. Both for Upper Zone C. Both show 2 red halogen beacons meeting the requirement. Note in Code3's where it says "Red or Amber Lens", not "Red and Amber Lens" or "1 Red and 1 Amber Lens".

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                            • #15
                              BTW Dave, I'm not trying to be argumentative, there just seems to be some confusion about this. Maybe those NFPA packages are incorrect, or maybe the manufacturers have interpreted it differently.

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