Kerry Duddy, KDS Fire & Security
As is the case across the board in today’s ever developing security industry, compliance with the latest standards and certifications is mandatory for commercial premises owners seeking to put in place the kind of infrastructure that is designed to provide life safety, protect their building and employees while simultaneously providing reassurance to their insurance company.
The National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) have adopted a specific European (EN) standard relating to fire detection and alarm systems for buildings – this standard is called I.S. 3218:2013 and it sets out the requirements that installers of fire alarm systems must comply with in order to meet this standard.
For business owners considering buying, renting or leasing a commercial building, it is important to ensure that the fire alarm system put in place is installed by specialist providers to meet all of the I.S.3218:2013 compliance requirements.
Depending on the nature of the business and the type of building that we are protecting, business owners will be advised to put in place the appropriate category of fire alarm system. An understanding of the level of protection provided by each category of system is essential for a business owner in ensuring that they make an informed choice which meets the standard.
Catagory L4 – Is the lowest form of protection providing protection for escape routes only and is to be used only where the occupants of the building are awake, alert and suitably trained for evacuation.
Category L3 – Is designed to further protect the escape route and adjoining rooms. Escape routes can be “defined” and “undefined”. A defined escape route is a normal stairs, ramp or corridor. An undefined escape route is an area which a person will have to pass through to reach a defined escape route from the building.
Category L1 – Is the highest form of protection providing detection throughout the entire premises with automatic detectors placed across the entire building. Hospitals and Residential Care Facilities are good examples of buildings that would have this type of system.
At KDS Fire & Security our industry experience ensures that we are well placed to best advise commercial customers in relation to the installation and category of fire alarm system that they should have in place.
A recent and relevant example of an installation carried out by KDS Fire & Security took place in a well known college in the greater Dublin area. This was a fully wireless extension of a category L1 system. We were able to successfully tie in with the existing wired legacy system. The walls in this building were over a metre in diameter so our wireless solution was designed specifically to function within this environment. With repeaters installed throughout the premises, our commissioning showed the system to be functioning with exactly the same effect as the wired system. The Customer was happy with the Hybrid system, and also with the reduced labour costs and installation time which resulted from their choice for this solution.