VADS, Accessible Rooms and WCs. 

We often see designs coming out which show a sounder/beacon base in Accessible rooms and WCs. The devices must comply with both EN 54-3 Fire Alarm Device, Sounder and EN 54-23 Fire Alarm Device, Visual Alarm Devices. While most if not all sounder/beacon bases are EN 54-3 compliant, not all are EN 53-23 compliant. If a non compliant VAD is installed it should really be noted as a variation on the commissioning certificate.

I.S. 3218:2013“Where it has been determined (on the basis of consideration of hearing impairment) that a visual alarm device (VAD) is to be employed then the VAD equipment shall comply with the requirements of I.S. EN 54-23.”

Carbon Monoxide Detection

Some designs we encounter appear to employ Carbon Monoxide detectors either as an alternative to a Toxic Gas detector or proposed as a replacement for smoke detectors as a means to mitigate the likelihood of false alarms.

I.S. 3218:2013 6.8.5“Carbon Monoxide detectors shall not be used for the purpose of detecting carbon monoxide as a toxic gas (e.g. incomplete combustion in boilers)."

I.S. 3218:2013 6.9.5“Carbon monoxide detectors shall not be used as the primary detector for the purpose of detecting carbon monoxide as a toxic gas where generated by defective heating or other appliances (boilers etc)."

In spite of this we frequently see CO detectors proposed and installed in Boiler Houses.

These are better employed in an enclosed space, where there is a risk of a deep seated smouldering fire or stratification.

They cannot detect fast burning fires due to low CO levels produced.

The lifecycle of the cell of a CO detector is typically 5 years.

Remote Monitoring of FDAS

 It is prudent to have Fire Detection systems communicate with a monitoring station/keyholder. This more often than not is achieved by piggy backing with the security system. It's even specified like this.

One question often overlooked is whether the telephone line, or indeed any of the cabling from the fire alarm system is fire rated. Chances they are not!

Another more obvious issue often encountered with this method is where in the event of a fire alarm activation the intruder alarm sirens are also activated. As one would expect this is a source of confusion with the already panicked occupant.

The obvious solution is to have the FDAS communicated directly via it's own device.

CIE Control and Indicating Equipment

I.S. 3218:2013  “the height of the display and indications shall be a minimum of 1.4m and a maximum of 1.8m from finished floor level"

Manual Call Points

I.S. 3218:2013 6.2  "In general, call points shall be fixed at a height of 0.9m to 1.2m above the floor."

Air-lock entries

I.S. 3128:2018"In Category L1 and L3 systems, toilets/WCs with two access doors (air-lock style) shall have protection in the toilet/WC area. Additional detection will not be required in the air-lock provided the Fire Risk Assessment has ascertained that there is no fire risk associated with the air-lock and the air lock is less than 2m sq."