Having recently launched its own fire systems commissioning service, ESP’s managing director Neil Baldwin, provides a more detailed look at the area of commissioning, as outlined in the BS5839 standard documentation.
The process of commissioning involves thorough testing of the installed system to ensure that it operates correctly in accordance with the recommendations of this standard and with the purchasing specification. At completion of commissioning, it also needs to be confirmed that all relevant documentation has been handed over to the user. The organisation responsible for commissioning the system might, or might not, be the same organisation that designed and/or installed the system, but the responsibility for commissioning needs to be clearly defined prior to the start of the installation work.
It is not, in general, the responsibility of the commissioning engineer to verify conformity of the design, or of the installation work, to this part of BS 5839 (i.e. with Section 2 and Section 4 of the standard). In general, the responsibility of the commissioning engineer is to verify that the system operates correctly in the manner designed and that the installation workmanship is generally of an adequate standard. However, in practice, it might be difficult to ensure that the system complies in full with all recommendations of Section 2 until the time of commissioning. For example, commissioning might represent the first (and only) opportunity to determine whether the number and distribution of fire alarm sounders is sufficient to enable compliance with ‘clause 16.2’ in respect of sound pressure levels. Similarly, commissioning presents an opportunity to ensure that structural features of the building, of which the designer might have been unaware, do not compromise the effectiveness of the system as it was originally designed.
Accordingly, it is necessary for anyone responsible for commissioning a fire detection and fire alarm system to possess at least a basic knowledge of fire alarm design practices and of the recommendations of Section 2 and Section 4 of the standard. It is also necessary for the commissioning engineer to be provided with the specification for the system. In view of the importance now attached to the avoidance of false alarms, it is also essential that the commissioning engineer is able to verify compliance with, at least, the principles discussed in Section 3 of the standard.
Already offering a comprehensive range of fire protection systems for the professional electrical contract market, the launch of ESP’s new commissioning service means that all installed ESP systems operate correctly and are fully compliant with the latest BS5839 regulations.
This latest development means that ESP now offers a full fire alarms systems package, with access to a free design service, a vast choice of products including the latest two-wire systems, the new commissioning service, plus technical support from a team of qualified and experienced engineers.
There is much more to commissioning a fire protection system than simply turning it on and setting detector addresses. It involves going through a comprehensive step-by-step checklist to ensure full compliance with the correct British Standard and carrying out a range of tests to ensure reliable and trouble-free operation.
ESP’s new commissioning service will ensure that a qualified engineer will confirm that the system has reached the relevant British Standard, and they will issue a certificate on completion of the project prior to system handover. Dedicated ESP commissioning engineers are located throughout the UK to provide access to this new service to a wide-reaching audience.
ESP has been developing and supplying fire and security related products to the UK electrical industry via the wholesale channel for more than 20 years. The company has continued to grow its MAGfire Fire Protection category and today offers a range of products and systems that covers conventional, addressable and the latest two-wire fire alarm system range.
ESP’s extensive fire protection product range is broadly divided into three categories – the MAGDUO two-wire fire alarm system, which is aimed at small to medium contractors, offering them a highly flexible and adaptable system; the MAGfire conventional, or four-wire, fire alarm systems – traditionally used in smaller properties such as shops and restaurants; the MAGfire addressable systems – suitable for large, commercial premises and more complex networked systems.