Standard and approval for fire alarm system

Hi all,
Please help to explain the standard for fire alarm equipment.

  • The products with UL listed and FM approval mark stand for? UL is standard of products, FM is the third party to approve products meet requirement of safety? This products must be installed according to NFPA 72?
  • The products with LPCB mark? is this the third party to approve products meet EN54 standard? which standard need to follow when install these products.

Thank you all.

Hello and welcome!

The standards (usually known as codes) in the United States for fire alarm installations vary in different locations, as the local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) has the final say in regard to what codes systems in their area of jurisdiction will follow. However, in general it is safe to say that fire alarm installations in the US must follow NFPA Section 72. The NFPA provides the recommendations for codes, while the AHJ has the authority to adopt or modify these codes.

On the other hand, the UL and FM certifications you see printed on the devices are private approvals. In nearly all cases, the devices must carry one or both of these markings to be acceptable under the local fire codes.

  • UL (Underwriters Laboratories) is a private company that provides testing of new products and safety standards for electrical devices and components. Products must undergo testing to prove that they conform to the standards designated by UL. Fire alarm devices usually fall under standards 597B, 1971, and 955H.

  • FM (Factory Mutual) is a division of FM Global, a property insurance provider, which conducts testing in fire and explosion hazards, and hazards detection. These tests range from witnessing the difference in how products burn to how construction components perform in hurricane conditions.

LPCB is a British certification group that focuses exclusively on Fire and Security equipment. UK’s codes are handled by the Fire Protection Association, however, I myself am not certain how their code system is structured.

Hi friend,
First of all, thank you very much for your reply on my post.
I just want to get more information for clear about fire alarm standard and approval.
In our market of VIET NAM, there are 2 main kinds products presented, people say UL products and EN products. My question as follow:

  • For UL products:
    UL is public the standard for fire alarm system require the safety for product (UL521 for heat detector is the example). The manufacture want their products have UL mark, they need to follow all this standard. when products finished, the UL laboratory will test the products, if the testing past they will issue the certificate and the manufacture is allowed to use UL mark on the products. This is my understanding about UL mark on products. is it right?
    For FM approval: they have their own standard to approve product or they just the 3rd party approve products meet the requirement of the recognized standard (UL)

  • EN products with LPCB approval. LPCB have ther own standard or just approve product meet the requirement of EN standard.

Thank you so much!

Hi there,

Regarding UL testing the system for approval - UL will typically certify or UL list an installation company that verifies the installation is done within UL guidelines and other code standards. When the installation is complete, the UL listed company fills out the certificate of completion, sends it to UL, then UL will send an inspector out to verify the installation is done properly. One of the companies I worked for many years ago was required by the local AHJ to be a UL listed installer/supplier. Basically we just had to make sure all the equipment was from a single manufacturer (or UL cross listed to work together) and weas installed per current NFPA/IBC guidelines.

I am not sure about the FM and EN questions so can’t answer those.

Thank you!

National Canadian Fire Alarm Code and Standards
National Building Code of Canada 2010 (NBC);
National Fire Code of Canada 2010 (NFC), and
National Plumbing Code of Canada 2010 (NPC).

The following is a list of pertinent Canadian Standards for Fire Alarm Systems and fire safety related equipment.

ULC STANDARDS

CAN/ULC-S524

Installation of Fire Alarm Systems

CAN/ULC-S525

Audible Signal Devices for Fire Alarm Systems, Including Accessories

CAN/ULC-S526

Visible Signal Devices for Fire Alarm Systems, Including Accessories

CAN/ULC-S527

Control Units for Fire Alarm Systems

CAN/ULC-S528

Manual Stations for Fire Alarm Systems, Including Accessories

CAN/ULC-S529

Smoke Detectors for Fire Alarm Systems

CAN/ULC-S530

Heat Detectors

CAN/ULC-S531

Smoke Alarms

CAN/ULC-S533

Egress Door Securing & Releasing Devices

CAN/ULC-S536

Inspection & Testing of Fire Alarm Systems

CAN/ULC-S537

Verification of Fire Alarm Systems
STANDARDS BULLETIN 2006-03
INTERPRETATION: FIRE ALARM SYSTEM VERIFICATION — NUMBER OF
ORGANIZATIONS/COMPANIES (PARTIES) REQUIRED
CAN/ULC-S537-04

CAN/ULC-S540

Installation of Residential Fire Warning Systems

CAN/ULC-S541

Speakers for Fire Alarm Systems, Including Accessories

CAN/ULC-S545

Residential Fire Warning System Control Units

CAN/ULC-S548

Devices & Accessories for Water Type Extinguishing Systems

CAN/ULC-S552

Inspection & Testing of Smoke Alarms

CAN/ULC-S553

Installation of Smoke Alarms

CAN/ULC-S559

Equipment for Fire Signal Receiving Centres and Systems

CAN/ULC-S561

Installation and Services for Fire Signal Receiving Centres and Systems

CAN/ULC-S573

Installation of Ancillary Devices

CAN/ULC-S571

Flame Detectors

CAN/ULC-S567

Door Closers and Electromagnetic Door Holders

CAN/ULC-S575

Commissioning of Life Safety & Fire Protection Systems

CAN/ULC-S572

Photo-luminescent and Self Luminous Exit Signs & Path Markers

CAN/ULC-S576

Mass Notification Systems

National Fire Protection Association -NFPA 72 (http://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/all-codes-and-standards/list-of-codes-and-standards?mode=code&code=72)
A special mention about fire alarms and people with Autism spectrum disorders who are hypersensitive to sound and light.he objective of the literature summary was to provide information to the NFPA 72 Technical Committee to help them understand the impact of fire alarms on those individuals with sound and light sensitivities.
ULC -S561 is the standard for fire monitoring in Canada http://www.fire-monitoring.com/5-reasons-why-ULC-S561-is-the-standard-for-fire-alarm-monitoring-in-canada. NFPA Impact : March 2016 Recently there has been discussion on amendments to better serve firefighters. The NFPA’s new vision is to be the leading global advocate for the elimination of death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards.