The function of a fire detection system is to detect fires as quickly as possible and to raise the alarm in order for appropriate measures to be taken.
In contrast, the purpose of a fire alarm system is to deliver audible and/or visible signals for building occupants who may be subject to the fire risk.
Fire detection and alarm systems may initiate the following actions:
- transmit the fire alarm as quickly as possible to the fire department,
- alert designated workers (response team) who have a specific task to accomplish in the event of a fire,
- immediately give all people present in a certain part of the building the order to evacuate the premises,
- automatically activate the relevant fire protection equipment.
It would be reckless not to protect yourself against the worst-case scenario by ignoring even the most basic means of protection. If this were the case, you would not be let off, and you would be reminded of the obligation to act according to good practices, i.e. compliance with the standards in force.
And NBN S 21-100-1 & NBN S 21-100-2 exist as rules to comply with in the event that a fire is detected.
As for the regulatory framework, the rule in Belgium is not to be prescriptive in this area, but rather to implement all means to guarantee the safety of people and response teams, especially through the application of the Code for Health & Safety at work (Royal Decree of 28/03/2014), whose first provision will, in most cases, be the installation of an automatic fire detection system.