06 Apr Quick Guide for Fire Alarm Scenarios
Fire alarm systems are essential for the safety of people in a building. An emerging fire can put all the people in danger in minutes, therefore fire incidents should be detected early. With developing technology, high rise smart buildings are more common nowadays. So fire scenarios is a necessity in order to maintain security of people and the building itself in case of a fire.
As mentioned in EN 54-14:13, fire detection and alarm systems should trigger other systems in the building – fire extinguishing, HVAC and fire doors. Also according to EN 54-14:14.2, control of ventilation systems, fire shutters, and dampers should exist in case of fire which takes place in server rooms and other zones where there are computers and servers.
The first thing to do in a fire situation is the evacuation of people in the building. But if the building is high, evacuation should be done gradually. Otherwise there will be a stampede in the escape route. So people should be warned respectively according to how close they are to the fire incident. For example, if a fire incident happens on the fifth floor of a high rise building, people at the fourth, fifth and sixth floor should be warned first by sounders and beacons of the fire detection and alarm system. This fire scenario is generally used in high rise buildings.
Evacuation of people in the building is essential. However safety of people during evacuation is as important as evacuation itself. Many people are affected from inhaling smoke in a fire incident. So smoke should be removed from escape routes and aftereards from the building. Pressurization of elevator shafts and stairwells, and control of dampers may be done within the scope of fire scenarios.
Fire alarm signal can come from detectors and manual call points. Also information from other systems can be evaluated as fire alarm signal. For example, sprinkler systems are triggered when the heat of a place exceeds approximately 68 Co. So flow switches of sprinkler systems should be monitored by input modules. If a flow switch changes its position due to activation of sprinkler systems, fire alarm signal will be sent to fire alarm panel and fire scenarios will be triggered.
Fire scenarios should be determined according to intended use of the building and the number of people in the building. Also architecture, mechanical and electrical structure of the building are important parameters to consider while determining fire scenarios.
Examples for fire scenarios:
- Control of extinguishing system
- Control of elevators
- Control of sounders and beacons
- Control of HVAC systems
- Control of access control systems
- Control of dampers
- Monitoring of flow switches
Monitoring and control of other systems can be done by input and output modules of fire detection and alarm systems. These modules are generally designed for addressable systems. Also modules with short circuit isolator should be preferred for the safety of addressable system loop.
To conclude, fire alarm scenarios are very important for security of people and the building itself. Also it is very important that fire alarm system is designed according to pertinent standards like EN 54 or NFPA. Additionally, system devices should be approved by notified bodies according to laws and regulations of the country in which they are used.
Thank you to İpek Yavuz Konak of Mavili Elektronik Tic. ve San. A.Ş