Electrical Contracting News (ECN) July 2017 - Page 36

SPECIAL FEATURE When selecting a beacon, room coverage, flash colour and current consumption are the key measures. FIRE DETECTION & SAFETY STANDARD ADVICE Don’t fall behind on fire regulations – make sure you are up to date with the latest EN54-23 product standard, says Neil Baldwin, sales director with ESP. B S EN54-23 stipulates the requirements, test methods and performance criteria for visual alarm devices (VADs) in fire detection and fire alarm systems. In order to comply, manufacturers now need to present their products’ performance data in a uniform manner so that they can be directly compared and their suitability assessed for particular applications. EN54-23 gives an independent assessment of a beacon’s performance in the same way that EN53-3 does for sounders. With this standard, systems designers, risk assessors and installers can assess what the requirement of a beacon must be in order to deal with a particular application and then have 36 | July 2017 confidence in choosing the right device for the job. For example, compliant beacons and sounder beacons are designed for areas where people with hearing difficulties may be alone, environments with high levels of ambient noise, and areas with restricted access. The development of EN54- 23 required a fundamental change in visible alarm technology to ensure that the light output from warning beacons is sufficiently bright to attract attention. EN54-23 allows for three product classifications: W (wall); C (ceiling); and O (open). The key performance indicators are that the output of the device must be greater than one candela (cd) and less than 500cd; the flash rate must be between 0.5 and 2.0Hz. The critical requirement from a manufacturer’s point of view is that each model must be tested to demonstrate compliance with the standard’s requirements. For ceiling mounted devices, the manufacturer must define the maximum height at which it can be installed, set by the standard 3m, 6m, or 9m. A wall mounted device must be installed at a minimum of 2.4m from the floor in the same way a sounder is today. The coverage volume, defined by the manufacturer, is that