The last years all manufacturers of Fire Safety and Security Systems follow strict regulations in the development of fire detection products in order to fulfill all the requirements and have precise responses in case of fire. There are two regulations that are applicable in fire detection systems, the European Norm EN54 and the USA standard NFPA. The fire detection products must be manufactured according to one of these standards and certified from a third party laboratory for their performance.
When it comes to infrastructure projects the automatic fire detection systems are necessary to be installed in order to prevent and protect the human and building in case of fire. The automatic fire detection systems that are installed in all projects consist of the sensing elements, usually smoke, heat and flame detectors or more specialized sensors like aspirating smoke and linear heat detectors, the audiovisual devices like sirens and beacons that provide the indication in case of alarm and the monitoring panels that combine all the signals of sensing elements and provide the appropriate indications of the operation of the system in their display and the activation of audiovisual devices in case of alarm. In this range of products more peripherals are added in order to increase the functions and capabilities of fire alarm systems like gas detectors, fire curtains, flow switches, fire dampers, electrovalves etc. and are all monitored from the main fire alarm panel.
The NFPA and EN54 standards have certain parts that provide guidelines in the manufacturing process of all above devices and the third party laboratories test the conformity of the devices with these regulations. All fire detection equipment that is about to be installed in a building, should be checked to have up to date certifications that prove the conformity with the regulations.
Olympia Electronics SA is a European manufacturer specialized in Electronics Safety and Security Systems since 1979. With exports that exceed the 70% percent of total sales and projects all over the world, Olympia Electronics possesses an important position in the international market of Emergency Lighting and Fire Alarm Systems. The fire alarm range of products is manufactured and certified according to European Norm EN 54 since the company’s sales are mainly distributed in countries that follow the European Standards.
The EN54 Standard is being followed in all European countries, in many countries in Africa and in many Gulf countries, so an in depth analysis of this standard will follow. All fire detection systems are divided into two main categories, the conventional fire alarm systems and the analogue addressable fire alarm systems.
The fire alarm panels of both analogue addressable and conventional systems should be manufactured according to EN 54-2 and EN 54-4 parts of EN54 Standard, that specify requirements, test methods and performance criteria for control and indicating equipment and power supply of fire alarm systems. Audio indicating devices like sirens, bells and sounders should be developed based on EN 54-3 part while visual devices like beacons follow EN 54-23 part. A lot of attention should be given in combined audiovisual devices like sounders with integrated beacons, that should fulfill the requirements of both standards EN 54-3 and EN 54-23 and be certified for both of them. Sensing elements like optical smoke detectors should be manufactured according to part EN 54-7 that includes guidelines for point detectors using scattered light, transmitted light or ionization. Heat detectors, both rate of rise or static response, should follow the EN 54-5, the combined function smoke and heat detectors should follow EN 54-15 part and the flame detectors should be in accordance with EN 54-10. The special categories of aspirating smoke detectors and linear heat detectors should follow EN 54-20 and EN 54-22 parts accordingly.
The manual call points should be manufactured according to EN 54-11 part that specifies the requirements and methods of test for manual call points in fire detection and fire alarm systems in and around buildings. It takes into account indoor and outdoor conditions, the appearance and operation of the manual call points for type A “direct operation” and type B “indirect operation”. Peripherals like short circuit line isolators that are essential in analogue addressable fire alarm systems in order to protect the devices in case of short circuit, should follow the EN 54-17 part of EN54. In cases where the analogue addressable devices have an integrated short circuit isolator, the devices should fulfill the requirements and be certified for EN 54-17 part too beside the EN54 part that refers to the main fire detection device. The addressable input and output modules are necessary in order to connect conventional devices like fire curtains, fire dampers, gas detectors, electromagnetic door holders etc in the analogue addressable fire alarm systems and should fulfill the requirements of EN 54-18 part.
When it comes to the designing process of a fire alarm system in a building, all fire safety engineers and designers should be based on EN 54-14 part of EN 54 that provides guidelines for planning, design, installation, commissioning, use and maintenance of fire alarm systems. The same part of EN standard is used by maintenance staff in a building in order to preserve the components of the fire alarm system in a good operation.
In some occasions, both standards NFPA and EN 54 are applied in installations and usually when some devices that are specified in the project are not covered by a part of one standard and are precisely explained in the other standard. So in these cases both of standards are met and followed according to the specifications engineers require.
So when it comes to the design of a fire detection system in a project, the fire safety engineers should be based on EN 54-14 for planning, design and installation of the system and all the components described in tender specifications should fulfill the EN 54 parts and be certified for their performance according to these regulations.
Olympia Electronics SA has a complete range of conventional and analogue addressable fire alarm products manufactured according to EN 54 standard and certified from notified bodies all over the world like LPCB, VDS, EVPU and HEEQAC.
For more information, go to www.olympia-electronics.gr