Replacing or Updating Your Fire Panel? Don’t Let This Test Sneak Up on You!

Nobody likes unwelcome surprises, particularly in the world of fire safety!

A lot of building owners/managers have felt a bit blindsided by the need for a new integrated test, the CAN/ULC-S1001 Standard for Integrated Systems Testing.

You basically need this test in one of two situations:

1. A new build
2. A substantial upgrade or retrofit that impacts the life safety system

The second situation is where some of the confusion lies. This standard has only existed for a few years, which is why we’ve worked with a number of clients that were surprised to learn they needed an integrated test/partial test when updating/replacing their fire panel.

To ensure that this doesn’t happen to you, here’s everything you need to know.

The CAN/ULC-S1001 and Your Fire Panel

A very basic rule of thumb is, “If you change/replace anything that touches your life safety system, you need a test partial S-1001 test in addition to the verification.

Your fire panel doesn’t merely touch your life safety system, it is at the very centre of it. It’s probably the most important part, acting as both the heart and the brain.

Its job is to ensure that all of the various parts of your system work together in an integrated fashion, and the CAN/ULC-S1001 is all about integration. While other tests focus on each individual component (i.e. alarms, smoke control, doors, or elevators), the ULC-S1001 ensures that each individual component is communicating with the other systems, and that the proper sequential series of events is taking place.

Why is This Important?

First and foremost, it’s the law. The ULC-S1001 has been a part of the building code since 2020.

Second of all, we feel that the introduction of the CAN/ULC-S1001 is a crucial step forward in fire safety and keeping all of our buildings as safe as possible.

It’s easy to view this test as an inconvenience and an expense. However, from a building owner/manager’s perspective, there are two massive benefits to getting an integrated test:

1. ‘Hidden Issues’ are Found Before They Become Expensive & Dangerous Problems

In fire safety, there are few things more dangerous than a false sense of security. But that’s exactly what could happen in the absence of an integrated test! 

Your various components have all passed their respective tests, so you assume everything is great. Prior to 2020, there had not been a standard to ensure these systems are communicating properly or confirming that the proper sequence of events will be triggered.

For example, your elevators could pass an individual test. But if your alarms are not triggering your elevators correctly, you now have a very dangerous hidden problem.

We can tell you from first-hand experience that these hidden problems are alarmingly common. In fact, you can click here to read a cautionary tale about one of our clients who recently replaced their panel and ran into a litany of hidden problems.

2. Establish a Baseline that Simplifies Future Compliance

After your test, you will have everything you need to maintain your compliance for years to come. These test procedures and documents will also act as your baseline when it comes time for your mandatory 1-year and 5-year recertification.

It’s hard to stress how vital this baseline can be. In simple terms, it helps you achieve constant compliance by showing you how you can train your staff and implement the policies/procedures to sustain your compliance 365 days a year.

You don’t have to worry and scramble to prepare for sudden inspections! You have the peace of mind of knowing that your building, your documentation, and your team are all 100% where they need to be at all times.

Are You Replacing Your Fire Panel? We Can Help!

We are your integrated testing experts! FCS has the depth of knowledge and experience with integrated testing in HUNDREDS of buildings, which means we can help you with both Part 7 and ULC-S1001 – Integrated Testing Standard.

Want to know more? Feel free to contact us at 1 (800) 281-8863 or by clicking here.

COVID-19 Update

As a company whose business revolves around Safety and Prevention, we have been monitoring the COVID-19 situation as it unfolds. We have developed internal and external policies to keep our team and yours safe. We will continue to monitor this situation and are continuing to develop a variety of contingency plans which we will activate accordingly as necessary.
What we are doing to keep our team and yours safe:
What we ask of you:
We have every intention of continuing regular operation, with the safety of your team and ours being the top priority. We are taking steps to ensure no on-site services are impacted, however, will re-scheduling if necessary, based onsafety concerns or if quarantines are mandated.
The health and safety of both our team and yours is of the utmost importance. If you have any questions about our policies or would like to request more information about them please reach out to our team at

Safe Wishes,
Michele Farley
President & Senior Code Consultant
FCS Fire Consulting Services LTD