ADT is reminding the industry, that as of 31 December 2013, it is now mandatory to conform to the requirements set out by the new standard EN54-23 from the European committee CEN. The standard is designed to test the methods and performance criteria of visual alarm devices (VADS) and ensure that for the first time, a minimum lux output is achieved within a stated coverage area.
In recent years, increasing numbers of visual alarm devices (VADS) have been installed. This is in response to the Equalities Act 2010, Building Regulations and their proven effectiveness when alerting hearing impaired people or those working in noisy areas should a fire occur. However, until recently, no EN standard existed and therefore confusion over a product’s performance was a common concern.
The EN54-23 standard covers planning, design, installation, commissioning and service and is intended to ensure that visual alarms are sufficiently bright to be effective as a primary means of alarm. Now, a minimum light level of 0.4 lux is stipulated on any surface, and manufacturers must specify the room size their product will cover with this level of illumination.
Moreover, the standard also calls for careful consideration of the colour of light emitted. Although both red and white light can still be specified, EN54-23 highlights that red LEDs can result in a loss of 80% of the light output, meaning red VADs are not energy efficient and drastically reduce the coverage area compared to white light.
“Anyone specifying VADs to help protect those with a hearing impairment as part of a robust and fit for all fire safety strategy, need to be aware that as of 31 December 2013, existing products on the market have been replaced with EN54-23 compliant products,” explained Peter Lackey, Fire Product Marketing Manager at ADT Fire & Security. “As such, we offer a range of conventional visual alarm devices that can be installed as part of an EN54-23 visual alarm system including both wall and ceiling category devices. Furthermore, we can provide specifiers with guidance and support to ensure fire detection and alarm systems are compliant and offer the highest levels of fire safety.”