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The future for smoke alarm devices: VdS 3438-3

Many of the innovative possibilities of smoke alarm devices are not supported by EN 14604 (published in 2005). VdS now harmonises the standard specifications with the opportunities of-fered by state-of-the-art technology: New guidelines VdS 3438-3 offer manufacturers precise, standard-compliant support for shaping this future market – and for utilising IoT opportunities.

The European product norm 14604 specifies requirements for manufacturers who want to sell smoke alarm devices in the EU states. The current version dates from 2005 – and thus lags behind the rapid technical development by more than a decade. The extensive possibilities of modern digitalisation and networking in this large and important market are not taken into account. For example, the standard was published two years before the first smartphone came onto the market, changing the entire user behavior significantly.

“There is a huge gap here between the relevant standard and the current possibilities of smoke alarm devices”, emphasises Ulrich Rabe, deputy head of the VdS fire protection laboratories. “Differentiation, e.g. through integration in smart home systems, is crucial for gaining market share, since the typical optical signalling principle has existed since 1976 and is therefore very well-established. In accordance with VdS´ innovation focus, we now support manufacturers with precise `Guidelines for Home Protection Management Systems – Fire Detection and Fire Alarm Function´, thereby combining the opportunities of technical development with the demand for maximum safety – at all times in accordance with EN 14604”.

VdS 3438-3 are also the first guidelines permiting smoke alarm de-vices to sound an alarm in the event of a break-in – naturally with a clearly distinguishable signal. Irrespective of all this, the top priority is, of course, saving lives in the event of a fire. Therefore, the core requirement is that the system always functions autonomously.

The new guidelines for the EN-compliant integration of smoke alarm devices in the booming area of smart building systems are now available free of charge from Europe´s No.1 for fire protection. The VdS 3438-3en can be found at

Exhibitor: VdS Schadenverhütung GmbH

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