The Standards division of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) has, as part of its legislated mandate, published a revised version of South African National Standards (SANS) 10139, code of practice for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of fire detection and alarm systems in non-domestic premises.
It notes that this brings South Africa in line with fire safety standards similar to those in the UK and Europe.
The revised standard includes updated recommendations about the need for a fire detection system, variations from the standard, system components, detection zones, communication with the fire services, staged fire alarms and manual call points.
Moreover, there are updated requirements for smoke detectors and updated requirements for spacing and placing of automatic fire detectors.
There are also updated measures to limit false alarm and a commentary on inspection and servicing has been added.
“The revision of SANS 10139 will benefit the fire protection industry as it clarifies all requirements and will, ultimately, eliminate the confusion experienced by the protection industry.
This, in turn, will result in a more effective use of the national standard, thus improving firefighting and improving the job of saving lives and preventing the loss of property.
"The standard also aims to mitigate the risk of failure of fire detection and fire alarm systems in and around buildings,” SABS Technical Committee chairperson and member Laura Swart says.
She notes that the revision of the national standards was made possible through collaboration with the Fire System Inspection Bureau, the Fire Detection Installers Association and the South African insurance industry.
The SABS adds that this revised SANS comes at a time when the country witnessed two devastating fires - the wildfire in Cape Town and an incident at Johannesburg’s Charlotte Maxeke Hospital that resulted in 700 patients being evacuated.