Regulation for Fire Alarm Systems
Regulation 305/2011/EU lays down the requirements applicable to all construction products within the EU, including fire safety products. It is widely known that CE marking is mandatory for all products on the European market. What this directive does is to establish how CE marking is achieved specifically for this type of product.
In contrast to other areas, such as Intrusion and Hold-Up Alarm Systems (I&HAS), where the application of harmonized standards is voluntary, Regulation 305/2011/EU (known as the Construction Products Regulation, or CPR) stipulates that CE marking for fire safety products must be based on compliance with the corresponding harmonized standards.
The Regulation on Fire Protection Installations (RIPCI, for its initials in Spanish) transfers these requirements to Spain and establishes the conditions and requirements relating to the design, installation, maintenance, and inspection of all equipment and systems that make up fire protection installations. Royal Decree 513/2017, of 22 May, approves what is currently the latest version of the RIPCI. In 2018, the Ministry of Economy, Industry, and Competitiveness also published a Technical Application Guide for this regulation in order to “provide a reference for the application (…), containing clarifications for practical application of the provisions of the regulation”.
EN 54 family, harmonized standards
The appendix to Annex I of the RIPCI Technical Application Guide lists the regulation’s mandatory standards that are in line with those required at the European level. Specifically, for fire detection and alarm systems, the required harmonized standards are those belonging to the EN 54 family.
The EN 54 family of standards describes the general requirements for fire detection and fire alarm systems and includes specific standards for each type of product, including everything from fire alarm control and indicating equipment centers to acoustic devices (sirens), manual push-buttons, and heat and smoke detectors. As mentioned earlier, the CPR stipulates mandatory compliance for all products that have a harmonized standard already in place.
However, in order to encourage innovation, the RIPCI provides for the possibility of using non-traditional products for which no harmonized standards exist. This is the only case where CE marking is voluntary, and not required. CE marking is a guarantee of quality that can provide a competitive advantage on the market. In order to guarantee this quality, if a manufacturer decides to use CE marking for products not covered by harmonized standards, the technical requirements must be justified using what is known as the European Assessment Document and the European Technical Assessment.
In either case, whether the product’s quality is validated by meeting the harmonized standards or through a European Assessment Document, an Accredited Body must be involved in order to ensure compliance with the standard.
Alter Technology as an Accredited Laboratory and Certifying Body
Alter Technology TÜV NORD has ENAC (Spain’s National Accreditation Body) accreditation to certify all products classified as Fire Detection and Alarm Systems according to the EN 54 family of standards, in accordance with Type 5 Certification Scheme as defined in standard UNE-EN ISO/IEC 17067:2014, as indicated in the RIPCI.
In addition to the ability to certify equipment to EN 54 standards, the company also has an Accredited Laboratory, which can perform the tests required by these standards and issue valid reports for certification.
If you are a manufacturer or are interested in certifying or testing equipment that is classified as a Fire Detection and Alarm System, Alter Technology can advise you on our certification services. Please do not hesitate to contact our team.