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20/04/2019

New construction regs to help harmonise fire standards

Zug, Switzerland

Euralarm has welcomed a recent announcement from the European Commission of an “implementing decision” concerning harmonised standards for the Construction Products, which includes the long-awaited citation of two core Fire Detections standards hence confirming them as harmonised standards under the Construction Product Regulations (CPR). This announcement closes off the first step in a strategic plan which has evolved out of cooperation between CPR stakeholders (represented by CEN/TC72 and Euralarm), CEN-CENELEC Management and the European Commission.

This citation of EN 54-5:2017+A1:2018 for heat point detectors and EN 54-7:2018 for smoke point detectors in the newly reformulated Official Journal (OJ) for the CPR reflects the steady progress being made by the EC to reduce the backlog of uncited candidate harmonised European Norms (hEN’s). The fire alarm industry is pleased that the EC understands and acknowledges the issues that the fire industry has with strict pursuit of the CPR ideals to achieve a “common technical language” for expressing the performance of products while not limiting or restricting their performance, unless such limits are first formalised into EU law using a Delegated Act.

The EU OJ dated 21st March 2019 states that the 31st August 2022 is the deadline for products to comply with the new revisions. That means that all manufacturers can start with the update of their corresponding external certificates and internal declarations by applying the latest version of EN 54-5 and -7 to their products. In due course, all manufacturers of heat and smoke detectors will be required to apply to authorised Notified Bodies for a Certificate of Constancy of Performance to the new revisions so they can then update their DoP’s (Declaration of Performance).

Both the fire alarm industry and the notified bodies are grateful that the European Commission has followed the industry’s advice to extend the coexistence period of EN 54-5 and EN 54-7. It allows both parties to handle all required tasks for (re)certification and declaration of the wide variety of smoke and heat detectors that are key components in most Fire Detection and Alarm systems available on the EU market.

While the EN 54-5 (Fire detection and fire alarm systems. Heat detectors) and EN 54-7 (Fire detection and fire alarm systems. Smoke detectors) are part of the recent citation, it is important to note that they do not follow the proposed “Open Description” (OD) approach being developed by CEN/TC 72. In fact, the standards are two out of three published revisions of existing harmonised standards which (along with the impending publication of EN 54-3:2019 for fire alarm devices) exceptionally follow the pass/fail approach for expressing the product characteristics. It is fully anticipated that they will in due course, along with other parts of the EN 54 series, be revised to follow the new OD approach. Open Descriptions is gaining traction as a viable solution to address the challenges associated with preparing standards suitable for citation under the CPR.


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