The EN 54 standard on fire detection and fire alarm systems is a mandatory standard that specifies requirements and laboratory tests for every component of a fire detection and alarm system.
However, there is widespread misunderstanding about the legitimate scope of EN 54.
While the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) mandates that fire alarm products should be EN 54-certified, the CPR also states that the regulation is intended for products used in permanent installation and not temporary products used to assist construction.
A contractor could install an EN 54 system on a construction site and it may not be fit for purpose. It is essential that a wireless system is appropriate for the unique demands of construction sites.
Below I’ve debunked three myths surrounding EN 54.
Myth #1. EN 54-25 requires that a fault is reported to the control panel within 300 seconds.
Due to moving plant and the nature of a construction site, radio signals can be interrupted and 300 seconds is too frequent. Our Cygnus Alarm System has been specifically designed with this in mind – it features a self-test system in which faults are reported if they are consistent for three consecutive tests.
Myth #2. EN 54 wireless products are required to have an anti-tamper function to send a fault to the panel if a product is removed from its fixed location.
Due to the changing nature of a construction site, contractors need the flexibility to move call points and detectors as work progresses. If this feature was incorporated within temporary fire alarms, the system would be constantly in fault.
Myth #3. EN 54 requires the battery life of wireless devices to last at least three years in normal operating conditions.
However, systems on construction sites need to operate in dynamic and difficult conditions, for instance underground or obscured by steel frameworks.
To achieve the reliability of signal on construction sites, substantial power is required. Therefore it is impossible to achieve the three-year battery life required by EN 54.
Our Cygnus system operates on a unique mesh protocol that delivers the reliability on construction sites with a battery life exceeding 12 months.
The myth has escalated from the misinterpretation of the small clause within JCOP 9th Edition, which advises that EN 54 products ‘should’ be used in TAUs: Point 13.8 Temporary buildings or temporary accommodation […] components of automatic fire detection and alarm systems should be marked as complying with EN 54.
In some cases, this clause has been taken out of context and applied as a mandatory rule, not only in TAUs (temporary accommodation buildings) but throughout entire sites. Following communication and guidance with the editors of JCOP 9th Edition, they admit this has been taken out of context and have stated that it was not intended to be extended outside of TAUs.
Business owners have many responsibilities but the consequences of neglecting your fire safety responsibilities are potentially unthinkable.
This guide provides:
- A beginner’s guide to the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order (RRO) 2005
- a guide to fire risk assessments
- There are also guides for fire doors, fire alarm systems, smoke detectors, fire escape signs, sprinklers and water-mist systems and fire safety training.
Make sure you know your fire safety responsibilities by clicking here.
The following content is provided by IFSec Global, you can view the original article by visiting the IFSec Global Website