Fire protection systems are being tailored to more than exceed safety requirements
Article By: Robin Brunet
Umbra Engineering, a sister company to Williams Engineering, specialises in life safety, security, and fire detection and protection; it provides design, engineering, and commissioning solutions in virtually every building sector from highly secure facilities to hospitals, from shopping centres to airports, from mixed-use buildings to mines, and from universities to policing environments.
On the premise that life safety systems are more complex than ever and require full integration, Umbra has been focusing its attention on promoting and teaching the particulars of the National Standard of Canada’s CAN/ULC-S1001 Integrated Systems Testing of Fire Protection and Life Safety Systems process.
Joseph Rebstock, electrical engineer for Umbra, says, “S1001 will play a huge role in how fire protection systems are documented and tested, and its emergence is most welcome because given the complexity and diversity of these systems, at present the different people responsible for the different components wind up testing their own particular component, but there’s no guarantee all elements of the entire system will work together.” Rebstock adds that CAN/ULC-S536 and S537, which are the key standard to which fire alarms are tested, only test to the relay or input to a fire alarm system: it does not test the function of the interconnected system. “This left a large margin open for failure and was a danger to life safety,” he says.
Umbra is staging S1001 learning seminars that are reportedly growing in popularity, partly because they drill down into specifics such as smoke control and door hold-open devices. “Adopting S1001 will be a great benefit to the building sector, and the proper documentation of all life-saving systems contained in a facility will be a huge asset down the road when systems need to be replaced or upgraded,” Rebstock says.
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