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CAN/ULC-S1001: Integrated Systems Testing of Fire Protection and Life Safety Systems

CAN/ULC-S1001: Integrated Systems Testing of Fire Protection and Life Safety Systems

Where fire protection and life safety systems are integrated with one another, the systems must be tested as a whole in accordance with CAN/ULC- S1001, “Integrated Systems Testing of Fire Protection and Life Safety Systems”. The primary purpose of the standard is to ensure that each of the different systems are communicating with one another as-designed. Since 2020, the S1001 standard is a requirement of the Ontario Building Code, Section for all new construction where fire protection or life safety systems have been installed. Existing buildings require integration testing if the system is being modified (i.e., through replacements, additions, or renovations). Retroactive integration of existing life safety systems is not required for existing buildings at this time, but may be incorporated into future by-laws or building code updates.

Prior to the S1001 standard, the individual fire protection and life safety systems were only required to be independently tested and verified (e.g., fire alarm system testing, sprinkler system testing, elevator commissioning, etc.). However, software-based systems may be changed post-verification, resulting in unintended consequences. The reality is, we see systems that are incorrectly installed at the time of on-site testing despite verification reports being previously provided. Integrated systems testing is intended to be completed at the end of construction to make any necessary corrections prior to occupancy.

Examples of integrated testing include:

  • Upon activation of an alarm condition, the elevator recalls to the ground floor, the in-car and hall call buttons do not operate, and the Fire Fighter Hat/recall light is illuminated. If the alarm condition is detected at the ground floor, the elevator recalls to the alternate recall floor.
  • Water flowing through the sprinkler system (e.g., by opening the Inspection Test Valve) activates a water flow switch, which results in an alarm condition at the fire alarm panel.
  • When the normal power supply is disrupted, emergency power systems come online to power select equipment (e.g., fire pump and jockey pump, sprinkler air compressor, pressurization fans, elevators, etc.). The equipment under emergency power is checked for normal operating conditions, a power failure is simulated, and the equipment is re-checked for correct operation under emergency power conditions.
  • For a commercial cooking equipment suppression system, a fire event triggers shut down of the fresh air supply (i.e., make-up air unit), activation of the interlocked exhaust fan, and the natural gas supply to the gas range burners is shut off.
  • Electromagnetic locks and hold-open devices are released in the zone where an alarm condition is activated and in the adjacent zones. For EM locks, those doors are to be unlocked and can be opened. For hold-open devices, those doors are to be fully closed and latched.


For more information and/or to obtain a proposal for services, contact:

Jeremy Taylor, P.Eng.
Manager, Building Science