RIPCI LAUNCHES NEW FIRE PROTECTION INSTALLATION REGULATION – RD 513/2017

Launched on 22nd May 2017, the new Royal Decree 513/2017 which governs fire protection installations brings these new features which are detailed further: 

A new structure 
• RD 513/2017 - a single law containing provisions: Launching the new regulation which repeals previous regulations and establish enforcement measures. 


• Chapter I: Purpose, scope of application and definitions. 


• Chapter II: Requirements for fire protection products. 


• Chapter III: Requirements for installation and maintenance companies. 


• Chapter IV: Conditions of installation, commissioning and maintenance of the facilities. 


• Chapter V: Minimum periodic inspections of the facilities. 


• Chapter VI: Penalisation system. 


• Annex I: Requirements related to the characteristics and installation of equipment and systems. It includes a list of UNE standards for all types of equipment and all protection systems. 


• Annex II: Minimum maintenance program for fire protection equipment and systems. 


• Annex III: Human resources of the installation and maintenance companies. 
 

The main points are detailed below: 

RD 513/2017 - a single law containing provisions  

The General Director of Industry and Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) will prepare and update the non-binding technical guide with clarifications for the practical application of this regulation. (Published for public consultation, a period to submit comments will remain open until November 10). Exceptionally, the General Director of Industry and SMEs may authorize the use of guides and technical provisions with alternative technical solutions to those of the Regulation approved by this Royal Decree, provided that they provide an equivalent level of effectiveness in terms of the operation of fire protection installations. 
 
The General Director of Industry and SMEs is empowered by resolution to update the list of UNE standards and other internationally recognized standards, which appear in the appendix of Annex I. Importantly, where there is no such resolution, it will be understood that the regulatory conditions also comply with the edition of the standard subsequent to that which appears in the list of standards, provided that it does not modify basic criteria and is limited to updating tests or increasing the intrinsic safety of the corresponding material. 
 
Chapter I. General provisions. 


Purpose and scope of application and definitions. 
 
The detail of the purpose and scope of application has been extended.  The purpose of this Regulation is to determine the conditions and requisites required for the design, installation/application, maintenance and inspection of the equipment, systems and components that make up active fire protection installations.  However, as an exception the regulation on safety for state owned road tunnels shall be governed by Royal Decree 635/2006 May 26. 

 
Chapter II. Fire protection products. 


Requirements for fire protection products. 

 
The equipment, systems and components that make up the active fire protection installations must comply with this regulation, its annexes, conditions and requirements already established in the European Union regulations. 

Accreditation of compliance with the safety requirements of fire protection products. 
 
The fire protection products (equipment, systems or their components), included in the scope of application of EU Regulation No. 305/2011 or other European directives that are applicable to them, shall bear the CE marking provided that have a corresponding technical specification, or a corresponding standard. 

However, products that are not included in the EU regulation discussed above or other European directives of application, or within this scope of application, do not have a corresponding technical specification, must justify compliance with the requirements established in this Regulation by means of a conformity mark to a standard, granted by the national accreditation body ENAC.  

Finally, for non-traditional or innovative fire protection products for which there are no standards and carry a risk, must justify compliance with this regulation through a technical assessment of the suitability its intended use, made by organisations authorised for this purpose.  

Unique models 


The conformity mark will not be necessary in relation to this regulation or by means of a certificate from a favorable technical evaluation of the suitability of fire protection equipment and systems when they have been designed and manufactured as a single model for a given installation.  

In this case, the project must be signed by a competent qualified technician with the specific content and submitted to the relevant services in the Autonomous Community of the installation before implementing the system. 
 
Control of products 


In accordance with article 14 of Law 21/1992, of July 16, the corresponding Autonomous Community may carry out technical checks, in order to verify the adequacy of the product to the security requirements established under the present regulation.  

Should a breach of the requirements of this regulation be verified, the manufacturer, importer, distributor, organisation involved in its certification and technical evaluation or the installation company of the relevant product, will be penalised according to the law 21/1992. 
 
Chapter III. Installation and maintenance companies of fire protection systems. 

 
Installation companies. 


In this new regulation, it is indicated that fire protection systems must be carried out by duly authorized companies, except in the following cases: 
 
Movable fire extinguishers and fireproof blankets. 
 
They can be installed by installation companies, maintenance companies or their manufacturers, with the exception of surfaces of less than 100 m2 or residential homes, where the user can install them. 

Developments in the requirements for companies (valid for both installation and maintenance companies). 
 
• Personnel hired, according to activity level provided in Annex III of the regulation. 


• Provision of a quality assurance certificate of the quality management system implemented, issued by an accredited certification body. 
 
Note: Regarding maintenance companies and the activity of extinguishers, the certification body will take into consideration the additional requirements established in UNE 23120. 
 
• For the installation/maintenance of extinguishing systems using fluoridated gaseous agents, qualification certificates under the EC Regulation No. 517/2014, and Royal Decree 115/2017 are required as well as certification of those professionals who use them. 

  • For emergency lighting systems, installation/maintenance companies must comply with the provisions of the Low VoltageElectro TechnicalRegulations. 

Regarding obligations for installation companies, the key points are: 
 
Equipment and systems which do not comply with the applicable regulations, the installation company must inform the buyer/user in writing they cannot be installed.  Works cannot resume until those deficiencies are corrected. 
 
If during the work, the installation company considers that the project or technical documentation does not comply with the provisions of the Regulation, it must in writing, inform the author of the project/documentation and the owner. In the event of a disagreement between the parties, the competent body in the Autonomous Community will resolve it within a maximum period of two months. 
 
Chapter IV. Conditions of installation, commissioning and maintenance of the facilities. 
 
The entire process is regulated, from the project fulfillment to the commissioning and maintenance by standard UNE 157001.  
 
With regards to commissioning, in addition to the certificate provided by the installation company, it is also necessary for the maintenance contract to be signed with a duly authorized maintenance company that covers, at least, the maintenance of the equipment and systems relevant under this regulation. 
 
Chapter V. Minimum periodic inspections of the facilities. 
 
New in this regulation, it states that owners of active fire protection installations that are not subject to inspections under any specific regulation should request an inspection at least every ten years from an accredited control body with the exception of a series of buildings based on their use, surface and the type of risk. 

Chapter VI. Penalisation system. 
 
The penalisation system is established according to industry law. 
 
Application of this regulation also applies to equipment or systems previously installed. 
 
Those installations which were not subject to the requirements of previous regulations will fall under the jurisdiction of the new regulation.  A period of 2 years from the enforcement date of the new Royal Decree will be given to meet the new requirements. 
 
Equipment or systems already installed or with a work license application date will only be measured by those provisions related to maintenance and inspection. Maintenance activities not covered under the Royal Decree 1942/1993 must comply with the new regulation within 1 year of its enforcement. 

Application of this regulation to installation and maintenance companies already authorized 

Installation and maintenance companies already authorised, will have a maximum period of 1 year from the enforcement date of the new regulation to adapt to the new requirements. 
 
Initial inspection of existing facilities 
 
Existing fire protection installations are subject to periodic inspections, and must undergo an initial inspection after ten years in operation.  Those facilities which have reached ten or more years since commissioning shall be referred to an initial inspection within the following timeframes: 

  • Age ≥ 20 years => 1 year.
  • Age ≥ 15 years and < 20 years => 2 years
  • Age ≥ 10 years and < 15 years => 3 years

 

ANNEX I: Requirements related to the characteristics and installation of equipment and systems. 

 
In this annex, as well as an updated list of UNE standards, it is also worth noting the appearance of new equipment and systems, such as: 
 
Smoke and heat control systems 
 
The classification is established according to the strategies regarding the movement of combustible gases, as well as the implementation rules. 
 

Classification: 
 
• Buoyancy of hot gases (high-ceiling buildings) 


• Differential pressurisation (evacuation routes) 


• Horizontal ventilation (buildings of reduced width, such as tunnels or car parks) 


• Extraction of fumes (in car parks or after the operation of a fire suppression system) 
 
Water mist extinguishing systems 
It should be mentioned that in addition to the description of this system, it is indicated that they will conform to the UNE-CEN / TS 14972 standard. 
 
Condensed aerosol fire suppression 

In addition to the description of these systems, it is indicated that they must comply with Royal Decree 472/1988 March 30 and Royal Decree 1381/2009 August 28. 
 
Fire retardant blankets 


Included in the description, the lifetime of the product must not exceed 20 years and must be clearly indicated on the packaging from the manufacture or importer. 

 
Emergency lighting 


Its function and purpose is highlighted, also indicating that it will comply with the specifications of the Low Voltage Electro Technical Regulation. 
 
For the remaining equipment or systems present under the previous regulation, they will require a more detailed description of each system indicating updates in each case, regarding  application rules and in some cases, new design and installation parameters . 
A second section includes new luminescent signage systems, making reference to it in each previous section in each system. This exclusive section for signaling describes these systems, indicating their function, purpose as well as, standards that must be met. 

Finally, an extensive list of UNE standards is included as an appendix, thus updating those contained in the previous regulation, and adding other internationally recognized ones. 
 
ANNEX II. Minimum maintenance program for fire protection equipment and systems 


The inclusion of maintenance for new systems already mentioned in Annex I, as well as the luminescent signaling in a new table III on an annual basis. 
In general, the inclusion of maintenance programs for UNE standards, such as: 23120 (extinguishers), 23007-14 (Detection), EN 673-3 (BIES) and EN 12845 (Sprinklers). As well as, the series of standards UNE 23580 for use as a follow-up to the programs established in Tables I, II and III. Indicating that records based on the rules, must be signed by the maintenance company and the owner. 
 
In particular, it is worth mentioning for the detection systems, the acceptance of a remote connection to a maintenance service management center.  Additionally, a 10-year lifespan is set for detectors, unless the manufacturer states otherwise. Similar to the detectors, hoses are set at 20 years and signaling 10 years. 
 
ANNEX III. Human resources of the installation and maintenance companies 


A new annex is included, which requires a minimum workforce to be contracted by installation and maintenance companies, indicating the minimum qualification of at least one technical officer (a technical degree or equivalent, with professional competence in the subject), and operators with a minimum qualification in each of the systems for which they are working in both installation and maintenance. 


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Note: 
To access the draft technical guide, click on the folder icon that appears in the header of this article.