These ‘Minor’ Updates to Your Building Have Major Fire Testing Implications

Fire regulations change all the time, and it can be hard to keep up with them if you don’t work in the industry like we do.

As such, we strive to educate building owners, managers, and boards about a relatively new test, the CAN/ULC-S1001 Standard for Integrated Systems Testing. A lot of people have felt a bit blindsided by the need for this new integrated test.

Basically, if you’re planning a new build, or a significant upgrade/retrofit that would impact the life safety system in any way, you will be required to list your integrated testing service provider or submit your integrated test plan at the permit stage.

Most of the people we talk to are at that stage. They have applied for a permit for their new building or their major upgrade, and many are learning about this new test for the first time.

However, we are also meeting some people who have learned they need an integrated test for some much smaller upgrades to their building.

This includes…

ANY Changes to Your Building’s Life Safety System

This standard’s purpose is to test the various parts of your life safety system to ensure they all work together in an integrated fashion, and the proper sequential series of events occurs.

So, if you make changes to any single part of your life safety system, you need to make sure it’s working properly, triggering the next event(s), and playing its role in the overall bigger picture.

This could be as small as new mag locks! Even adding one magnetic lock to an existing system would mean you need an integrated test.

We’re actually working with a client now in the healthcare sector. They were essentially repurposing two rooms in that facility and the rooms required magnetic locks in an existing system. Those two new mag locks meant they needed to have their entire magnetic lock system tested.

Of course, you would also need a test if you’re changing or upgrading something larger like your fire alarm control panel.

Your Building’s Generator

Your generator is a crucial part of your building. It’s what keeps the lights on when the power goes out, and it plays a huge role in your life safety system.

If you’re upgrading your building’s generator, you are definitely going to need an integrated test so that you can ensure it’s fully functional, and ensure it will remain that way and operate your critical life safety systems in an emergency situation when you need it the most.

Your Building’s Elevators

There is something called an elevator retrofit, in which you don’t necessarily have to change the cars, but you have to update them based on the latest TSSA or fire code.

The Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA, the governing body for elevating devices) said that after 2010, pull stations were not allowed to ground elevators anymore. They did grandfather in some time, which meant that not everybody had to rush to update their systems.

But when it does come time to do it, it doesn’t necessarily mean a brand-new elevator car. But it means new programming and all kinds of other equipment, which would 100% require an integrated test for your building’s entire life safety system.

So as you can see, there are basically two rules of thumb for integrated testing:

  1. If you need a permit for it, you probably need an integrated test
  2. If it touches your life safety system in any way, you need an integrated test

The tests themselves are very complex, but that is a simple way to look at the changes that would probably trigger the need for a test.

Do You Need an Integrated Test?

You may be planning one or more of the upgrades we’ve covered today. Or, you may have recently applied for a permit and found out you need an integrated test plan.

In either case, we can help!

We’re proud to say that we were Canada’s first UL Listed CAN/ULC-S1001 Integrated Systems Testing Provider, and we’ve already helped a number of people just like you.

You can start the process right now by contacting us at 1 (800) 281-8863 or 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