Debunking the EN54 myth

on 31 August, 2018

Bradley Markham, Director at Bull Products, explains the reasons why EN54 does not apply to temporary use on construction sites.

The EN54 standard on fire detection and fire alarm systems is a mandatory standard that specifies requirements and laboratory tests for every component of a fire detection and alarm system. However, there is a significant misunderstanding about the scope of EN54.

The Construction Products Regulations require fire alarm products that are EN54 certified, but the CPR states that the regulation is intended for products that are used in permanent installation and not temporary products that are used to assist construction.

The CPR doesn’t include items used to assist construction such as temporary site offices, acrow props, scaffolding and temporary alarms fall into this category too. A contractor could install an EN54 Alarm system on a construction site but it may not be fit for purpose whereas a wireless alarm system for temporary use is appropriate to meet the unique demands of construction sites.

Taking this into account, and along with extensive knowledge of all relevant fire safety standards, our Cygnus alarm system has been designed outside of the scope of EN54 to make the product more practical for temporary use on construction sites as EN54 standards are very restrictive when applied to an alarm system for a construction site. For example; EN54 requires a 3-year battery life, however, this is very difficult to achieve when a powerful radio is used, which is essential for temporary use on construction sites when an alarm will be moved but still needs to remain connected to the system. EN54 also requires a tamper alert on alarm devices which is not practical when they need to be moved frequently as the project progresses.

Whilst the Cygnus system is by far the most advanced temporary system available on the market and offers many features of a comprehensive fire alarm, it also has many features that have been developed in conjunction with construction companies – these features fall outside of the scope of EN54; for example, the first aid alert function and our patented PIR intruder sensor device.

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