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There is no actual requirement in either the Codes or Standards that specify that strobes (visual appliances) must be wired on a separate circuit from insuite buzzers (which would result in the operation of the appliances in the manner in which you describe). The only limitation I can reference is the output current for the isolator module or the common signal silence button (neither of which take into consideration the higher current draw of a strobe). If a design engineer was involved (in either a prior addition or the base fire alarm system), he may have referenced a requirement for independent circuits in which case the contractor would have to abide by the pre-existing sequence of operation in any new addition in order to avoid confusing anyone.
Reference is made to silencing AUDIBLE signals throughout the standards (both CAN/ULC-S524-01 and CAN/ULC-S537-04). An interpretation by the Authority Having Jurisidiction would be the suggested course of action in your case.
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