- 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 220.127.116.11 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.
Fire protection and life safety systems are of paramount importance for owners, occupants, emergency personnel and the general public. They have been historically overlooked but functioning, integrated systems ensure specific lifesaving actions are taking place immediately upon discovery of potential dangers. Examples of our integration reviews include:
- Detection of smoke on the main level of a structure will result in the elevator recalling to the second (or alternate) level to ensure potential evacuees are not delivered into an active fire.
- Loss of pressure in sprinkler piping will trigger the fire alarm. This pressure loss indicates that either an active fire has started or the integrity of the sprinkler piping has been compromised.
- Confirm and document that the fire alarm monitoring centre is receiving the alarms in a timely fashion. With legacy buildings, a risk exists that physical lines may have been cut and/or subscriptions have elapsed.
- Confirm and document that emergency generators engage and alarm is announced during a fire or low-fuel conditions. It is critical to the functioning of all life safety systems that the backup power generation be capable of indicating when it’s operability is compromised.
- Confirm and document that when primary power is interrupted the emergency generators engage and power critical life safety systems such as alarms, fire pumps, elevators, and air handling units. Ensuring backup power generation is timely, of sufficient capacity, and properly functioning can be the difference between an incident and a disaster.
- Confirm and document that the air handling unit disengages when fire or smoke is detected. Preventing the conveyance of smoke, ash, particulates or the fire itself through the air system substantially improves resilience in an emergency situation and protects personnel. Additionally, we will confirm and document that areas requiring pressurization (such as stairwells and other emergency routes) are functioning as designed during emergency conditions.
For more information and/or to obtain a proposal for services, contact:
Jeremy Taylor, P.Eng.
Manager, Building Science