Electrical Business

Features Codes & Standards News & Updates

CAN/ULC-S531-14 “Standard on Smoke Alarms” 3rd Ed. is released

February 25, 2014 | By Anthony Capkun

February 25, 2014 – ULC Standards announced the release of the 3rd edition of CAN/ULC-S531-14 “Standard on Smoke Alarms”, saying it is of interest to anyone who manufactures, distributes, uses, regulates or inspects smoke alarms.

The standard was approved by the ULC Committee on Fire Alarm & Life Safety Systems, and has been published under the date of February 2014. It contains requirements for electrically operated single- and multiple-station smoke alarms intended for open area protection in indoor locations, in accordance with Installation of Smoke Alarms, CAN/ULC-S553; National Building Code of Canada; and National Fire Code of Canada.

S531-14 evaluates both single- and multiple-station smoke alarms (e.g. ionization-type, photoelectric-type, smoke alarm with supplementary heat detection type, combination smoke type, multi-criteria type), and this edition has been enhanced to specifically define and differentiate on single- and multiple-station smoke alarms, and provides clarity on which devices are not covered by the standard.

ULC goes on to explain the 3rd Ed. contains enhanced test methodology and acceptance criteria through the addition of expanded Informative Annexes (six in this edition), which provide manufacturers with more detailed acceptance methods and criteria for more consistent product testing “so as to ensure a more reliable device”.


S531-14 also provides for improved smoke alarms by way of updated testing requirements, says ULC, including requirements specific to multi-criteria smoke alarms, which include supplemental functions such as CO gas detection and unique alerting capabilities. Further changes in this edition include requirements specific to the gas sensor, sensitivity and velocity-sensitivity tests, and in-service reliability testing.

This edition also includes new areas such as automatic drift compensation for smoke sensing, comprising compensation parameters and requirements, alerting methods and sensitivity requirements. Also, there are provisions for smoke alarms to indicate end-of-life, with unique signalling requirement and reliability prediction requirements for compliance of wireless alarms. Along with these changes, the standard also covers all remote accessories that are to be connected (where applicable).

CAN/ULC-S531-14 “Standard on Smoke Alarms” can be ordered for $294 (hard copy) or $245 (PDF) though ULC Standards. For additional information, contact Valara Davis at valara.davis@ul.com or (919) 549-0921.

Print this page


Stories continue below