SANS 10139:2012 and changes to BS 5839-1

As we are all aware SANS 10139:2012 is 6 years out of date and major changes have been made to the British standard that the South African standard follows. We highly recommend these changes be adopted and implemented into the industry until such time as the SABS make these changes.

 

 INDEX

CHANGE

NO

TITLE

SANS 10139

PARAGRAPH

1 Need for a fire detection system 4.2 c)
2 Variations from the standard 7.2 e)
3 Control and indicating equipment 8.4.2 g)
4 Detection zones 8.6.2.1
5 Communication with the fire service 8.8.2 f)
6 Communication with the fire service 8.8.2. n), o) & p)
7 Staged fire alarms 8.12.2.2
8 Manual Call Points 8.13.2 h)
9 Manual Call Points 8.13.2 b)
10 Types of detectors and their selection 8.14.1.3
11 Spacing and siting of automatic fire detectors 8.15.3
12 Spacing and siting of automatic fire detectors 8.15.3 i)
13 Detector spacing on honeycomb ceilings 8.15.3 k)
13A Detector spacing on honeycomb ceilings 8.15.3 k)
13B Detector spacing on honeycomb ceilings 8.15.3 k)
14 Detector spacing on ceilings with closely spaced beams 8.15.3 k)
14A Detector spacing on ceilings with closely spaced beams 8.15.3 k)
15 Siting optical beam smoke detectors 8.15.5 d)
15A Siting optical beam smoke detectors 8.15.5 3)
16 Siting for aspiration smoke detection systems 8.15.7 b)
17 Limits of ceiling height 8.15.9 (Table 4)
18 Limits of ceiling height  8.15.9 (Table 3)
19 Control and indicating equipment 8.16.1
20 Measures to limit false alarms 9.6.2.3
21 Measures to limit false alarms 9.6.2.3 h)
22 Measures to limit false alarms 9.6.2.7 b), d) & f)
23 Inspection and servicing 12.2.1


CHANGE No 1

NEED FOR A FIRE DETECTION SYSTEM

4.2 Recommendations

c) Where occupants of a building are going to need assistance from staff to evacuate the building (e.g. in residential care premises and hospitals), the fire detection and fire alarm system should be addressable if the building has facilities for more than ten people to sleep.

 

CHANGE No 2

VARIATIONS FROM THE STANDARD

7.2 Recommendations

e) Major non-compliances that are agreed variations should be clearly recorded in the logbook so that they are readily available for future reference by maintenance companies and any other interested parties.

 

CHANGE No 3

8.4 SYSTEM COMPONENTS

8.4.2 Recommendations

g) Control and indicating equipment should comply with SANS 50054-2.

NOTE 1: SANS 50054-2 contains optional performance characteristics which are not necessarily provided in all CIE, even if third-party certificated against BS EN 54-2. It needs to be ensured that the CIE provided has appropriate facilities to enable compliance with all the recommendations of this Standard.

 

CHANGE No 4

8.6 DETECTION ZONES

8.6.2.1 Recommendations applicable to all detection zones

a) If manual call points are located on the landings of an enclosed stairway, the manual call point on each level, other than a final exit level from the stairway, should be incorporated within the zone that serves the adjacent accommodation on that level. A manual call point located within the stairwell at a final exit to open air may be incorporated within the detection zone serving the stairwell.

 

CHANGE No 5

8.8 COMMUNICATION WITH THE FIRE SERVICE

8.8.2 Recommendations

f) In residential care premises, facilities should be provided for automatic transmission of alarm signals to an alarm receiving centre.

 

CHANGE No 6

8.8 COMMUNICATION WITH THE FIRE SERVICE

8.8.2 Recommendations

n) Where fire alarm signals are routed via the routing equipment of an intruder alarm system, the standby power supplies for the routing equipment should conform to the recommendations in SANS 10139:2012.

i.e. 24 hr standby capacity

o) If it is intended for the CIE to signal a fault from the fire alarm system to an ARC, the CIE should have a suitably monitored means of interfacing with the relevant fault routing equipment.

NOTE 9: Monitoring may be performed by the fault routing equipment. For example, the connection between the CIE and the fault routing equipment may comprise a cable from an input in the fault routing equipment to the common fault relay in the CIE, such that an open circuit fault in the cable results in transmission of a fault signal to the ARC

p) Faults in either the alarm transmission equipment or in the alarm transmission path should be displayed at the CIE.

 

CHANGE No 7

8.12 STAGED FIRE ALARMS

8.12.2.2 Recommendations applicable to staff alarms

b) In residential care premises, a staff alarm should not incorporate any delay in summoning of the fire and rescue service when the fire alarm system operates, but there may be a delay in the general alarm signal, provided all staff are made aware of the fire alarm signal.

 

CHANGE No 8

8.13 MANUAL CALL POINTS

8.13.2 Recommendations

h) NOTE 6 The figure of 1.4 m is arbitrary, but reflects long established custom and practice. A minor difference (e.g. less than 300 mm) in mounting height (e.g. to align with the mounting height of light switches) need not be regarded as significant, nor need it be recorded as a variation.

 

CHANGE No 9

8.13 MANUAL CALL POINTS

8.13.2 Recommendations

b) All MCP's should be fitted with a protective cover, which is moved to gain access to the frangible element

Expanded Clause 8.13 - To emphasize “place of ultimate safety”

MCP's should be located on escape routes and, in particular, at all storey exits and all exits to open air that lead to an ultimate place of safety (whether or not the exits are specifically designated as fire exits).

Some openings in the building envelope (such as a roller shutter door) are not normally considered as a pedestrian exit, but in an emergency are likely to be used as such.

 

CHANGE No 10

8.14 TYPES OF FIRE DETECTOR AND THEIR SELECTION

8.14.1.3 Smoke detectors

Smoke may also be detected by video techniques, in which closed circuit television cameras monitor the protected space; the signals from each camera are analysed electronically to detect the presence of smoke by the obscuration of part of the camera’s field of view that it creates. Detection therefore relies on appropriate and continuous illumination of the field of view (by normal lighting, specially installed infrared light sources, or a combination of the two). Such systems are still not common and no product standard exists to define their performance. They tend to be used as supplemental detection or for special applications where other detection techniques are inappropriate or ineffective. They may also be used as a means of verifying a fire (see Section 3). They require specialists to design and qualify their suitability and performance where they are the sole means of detection.

Video fire detectors can also be used as a means of verifying a fire.

Where they are the sole means of detection, they need to be designed, and their suitability and performance verified, by a qualified specialist.

Any lighting supplied for the video cameras shall be treated as part of the fire system.

 

CHANGE No 11

8.15 SPACING AND SITING OF AUTOMATIC FIRE DETECTORS

8.15.3 Recommendations for siting of heat and smoke detectors

e) NOTE 6 Wall mounting may also be adopted in those rooms or areas in which the protection afforded by a Category L2 system reflects only the recommendations for a Category L3 system, in that the purpose is protection of the adjacent escape route (i.e. other than in areas in which detector siting needs to reflect the objective of protecting the occupant of the room of fire origin, as is the case in bedrooms intended for disabled people, or giving warning in areas in which the likelihood of fire is high).

 

CHANGE No 12

8.15 SPACING AND SITING OF AUTOMATIC FIRE DETECTORS

8.15.3 Recommendations for siting of heat and smoke detectors

i) NOTE 9 Where a rack contains high-value or high-risk materials or where the height of the rack exceeds 8 m, the use of in-rack detection might be considered.

 

CHANGE No 13

8.15.3 Recommendations for siting of heat and smoke detectors

k) Detector spacing on HONEYCOMB CEILINGS

W = Width of cell

Honeycomb ceiling spacing 1

D = Beam depth relative to room height

Honeycomb Spacing 2

Table 1

Overall ceiling height from floor into cell.(to the nearest whole metre)

Maximum distance from any point to the nearest smoke (heat) detector)

≤3 m

4.5 m (3.0 m)

4 m

5.5 m (4.0 m)

5 m

6.0 m (4.5 m)

≥6 m

6.5 m (5.0 m)

CHANGE No 14

8.15.3 Recommendations for siting of heat and smoke detectors

k) Detector spacing and siting of detectors on ceiling with CLOSELY SPACED BEAMS

D = Beam depth relative to ceiling height

Beam detector spacing

Table 2

Overall ceiling height from floor into cell.(to the nearest whole metre)

Maximum spacing between any two smoke (heat) detectors measured across the beams

≤3 m

2.3 m (1.5 m)

4 m

2.8 m (2.0 m)

5 m

3.0 m (2.3 m)

≥6 m

3.3 m (2.5 m)

 

CHANGE No 15

8.15.5 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SITING OF OPTICAL BEAM SMOKE DETECTORS

d) Optical beam smoke detectors may be installed at a distance of more than 600 mm below ceiling level (or 600 mm below the apex of a pitched roof) in the following circumstances.

1) When the optical beam detectors are intended to provide supplementary detection of a rising smoke plume within a high space (e.g. an atrium).

In such cases, the width of the area protected on each side of an optical beam should be regarded as 12.5% of the height of the beam above the highest likely seat of fire.

NOTE 1 where there is no discernible fire load above such a layer of detectors it may be justifiable to forego the provision of detection at or near the ceiling.

2)  When the optical beam detectors are installed at an angle from the horizontal, pointing down from the ceiling, in order to provide supplementary detection of smoke stratifying and failing to reach the ceiling.

NOTE 2 in the most general terms, for every one optical beam detector at the ceiling a further two or three detectors angled through the space might be appropriate. (Further research required)

3) When the optical beam is positioned close to the apex of a PITCHED ROOF and the physical features in the roof space prevent it being installed within the top 600 mm

In such cases the vertical distance of the optical beam from the apex should be minimized (within the practical restraint of the building) and should not exceed the lesser of H/10 (where H is the height of the apex above the floor) and a maximum of 2.5 m from the apex.

Example:  Roof height is 10 m - maximum beam distance from the apex should be 1m

Where the physical features in the roof space prevent the optical beam detector being installed within 600 mm of a HORIZONTAL ceiling the above can apply as long as:

  • Reduce to horizontal spacing to 10 m
  • Use an optical beam of enhanced sensitivity
  • Introduce restrictions to flow of smoke across (and potentially along) the ceiling.

 

CHANGE No 16

8.15 SPACING AND SITING OF AUTOMATIC FIRE DETECTORS

8.15.7 Recommendations for siting of aspirating smoke detection systems

b) Where an aspirating smoke detection system is used to protect spaces with high ceilings (>25 m) and there is a risk that the smoke could stratify before reaching the ceiling, sampling should be provided at multiple levels using drop-pipe arrangements at the wall and, where practical, within the main space.

 

CHANGE No 17

8.15.9 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LIMITS OF CEILING HEIGHT

Table 4 - Limits of ceiling height

Category P systems and systems with 5 minutes fire service attendance

1

2

3

Detector Type

Generally applicable maximum ceiling height

10 % of ceiling height no greater than

Heat detectors complying with SANS 50054-5

   

Class A1

Other Classes

13,5

12,0

15,0

15,0

Point smoke detectors

15,0

18,0

Carbon monoxide detectors

15,0

18,0

Optical beam smoke detectors

40,0

40,0

Aspirating smoke detection systems complying with BFPSA code of practice for:

   

Category 1 aspirating detection systems

   

Normal sensitivity

Enhanced sensitivity

Very high sensitivity

15,0

17,0

21,0

18,0

21,0

26,0

Other fire detectors

As specified by the manufacturer

THIS TABLE HAS BEEN REMOVED

 

CHANGE No 18

8.15.9 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LIMITS OF CEILING HEIGHT

Table 3 - Limits of ceiling height

1

2

3

Detector Type

Generally applicable maximum ceiling height

Max ceiling height for 10% of ceiling area

Heat detectors complying with SANS 50054-5

   

Class A1

Other Classes

9.0

7.5

10.5

10.5

Point smoke detectors

10.5

12.5

Carbon monoxide detectors

10.5

12.5

Optical beam smoke detectors

Normal sensitivity

Enhanced sensitivity (alarm at 35% attenuation or less)

25.0

40.0*

28.0

43.0*

Aspirating smoke detection systems :

   

Category 1 aspirating detection systems

   

General limit

Class C with at least 5 holes

Class C with at least 15 holes

Class C with at least 15 holes

10.5

15.0

25.0

40.0#

12.5

18.0

28.0

43.0#

Other fire detectors

As specified by the manufacturer

* The use of supplementary detection is recommended unless stratification is minimal

# The use of multi-level sampling is recommended.

 

CHANGE No 19

8.16 CONTROL AND INDICATING EQUIPMENT

8.16.1 Commentary

In at least one multiple-fatality fire, it has been determined that some or all of the deaths could have been avoided if a diagrammatic representation of the premises (commonly described as a zone plan) had been provided in close proximity to the CIE. Accordingly, it is important to ensure that a suitable zone plan is provided adjacent to all CIE (including any repeat control and/or indicating equipment), unless the CIE incorporates a suitable display (e.g. an illuminated mimic diagram). The objective is to ensure that those responding to a fire alarm signal (including staff on the premises and fire fighters) are given unambiguous information as to the location of a fire.

 

CHANGE No 20

9.6 MEASURES TO LIMIT FALSE ALARMS

9.6.2.3 Recommendations for selection and siting of automatic fire detectors

In areas with high levels of dust and dirt which could contaminate detectors and/or lead to unwanted alarm, aspirating smoke detectors may be used which incorporate mechanical filtration of the air samples before they are analysed for the presence of smoke. It should be confirmed that the filters used for any such detectors are covered under the detectors’ approval to BS EN 54-20. Furthermore, consideration should be given to the consequences of blocked filters to the detection capability of the system and a rigorous regular maintenance regime established if needed.

 

CHANGE No 21

9.6 MEASURES TO LIMIT FALSE ALARMS

9.6.2.3 Recommendations for selection and siting of automatic fire detectors

h) NOTE 2 Smoke aspiration systems are often used to provide signals intended to be managed as a “pre-alarm warning” (to indicate that an alarm condition is approaching) or as a very early warning (to alert staff of abnormal conditions that are worthy of investigation). Such signals might not be suitable (or intended) to be managed as an alarm signal that triggers alarm devices and evacuation of the building. In fact, such pre-alarm warnings or very early warning signals can be used to avoid false alarms and unnecessary evacuations. In some applications in which Class A and/or Class B aspirating smoke detection systems are used, a Class C (normal sensitivity) signal is provided which is managed as an alarm condition.

 

CHANGE No 22

9.6 MEASURES TO LIMIT FALSE ALARMS

9.6.2.7 Filtering measures

b) Filtering should not be applied to signals initiated by manual call points, heat detectors or sprinkler systems

d) NOTE 1 in residential care premises, the fire and rescue service is summoned immediately when the fire detection and fire alarm system operates.

f) Any arrangements for filtering of automatic summoning of the fire and rescue service by an alarm receiving centre should not be applied to signals from fire alarm systems in residential care premises.

 

CHANGE No 23

12.2 INSPECTION AND SERVICING

12.2.1 Commentary

Routine servicing of a fire detection and fire alarm system does not constitute a fresh review of system design; it is a verification of the functionality and serviceability of the existing system. Accordingly, it will not necessarily be the case that non-compliances with this Standard will be identified at the time of routine servicing; in any case, the maintenance technician might not be aware as to whether an apparent non-compliance is, in fact, simply an agreed variation, particularly if the design certificate is not available. However, at their own prerogative, the maintenance organization may point out aspects of non-compliance.

Nevertheless, any such advice provided to the user by the maintenance organization cannot be regarded (by users, enforcing authorities or any other party) as an implication that the maintenance technician has identified, or has endeavoured to identify, all such areas of non‑compliance, or that there has been any review of the original design.

 

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