The adoption of smoke and fire detection systems is still incipient in the majority of Brazilian homes, but with the propagation of more integrated IoT solutions, a large and unexplored market has opened to companies developing these type of technologies.
Concrete is a very popular building material in Brazil, so massive fires engulfing entire buildings are not common across the country which could explain why fire safety has never been a top priority for rule makers. There is no national law requiring fire protection systems to be installed in buildings, and only in some states like São Paulo there are specific regulations demanding fire detection and protection systems to be installed in multi-storey buildings.
Even though the overall number of casualties caused by fire are relatively small in comparison to other diseases like cardiac arrests and even car accidents, Brazil ranks 3rd worldwide in deaths caused by fire or exposure to smoke, only behind the USA and Japan according to research by the Geneva Association. These figures show that new regulations are likely to be introduced across other states soon, and that there will be a growth in demand for affordable solutions, especially for more modern IoT integrated ones. The Brazilian government announced their National IoT plan in October 2017 so it is expected that this sector will experience a boom over the next few years.
Legal requirements for selling smoke and heat detectors in Brazil
All smoke and fire detection systems are required to obey standards defined by Inmetro and if the system is wireless, it also needs to obtain the homologation by Anatel. Inmetro is responsible for ensuring that the actual fire and/or smoke detection system is working in accordance to local standards, whilst Anatel will verify the data communication compatibility and safety. In this article we will focus specifically on the Anatel demands for certification of these devices.
Anatel classifies smoke and heat detectors systems as category II telecommunication equipment, falling under the restrict radiation equipment regulation. Anatel regulation applies regardless of the type of sensor used - in other words, photoelectric, ionization and heat detectors require homologation if they are used in a monitored system where there is data communications via Wi-Fi, SigFox or LoRa technology .
The main intent of the Anatel homologation is to ensure that the products commercialised in Brazil are:
- Electrical and electromagnetic safe
- Properly functioning in a telecommunication service setting
- In compliance and do not harm the local telecommunications services
- Ensure the correct use of the radio spectrum
This is achieved through a process managed by a third party company called an OCD, hired by the manufacturer of the product to obtain the homologation. Anatel demands both the transceiver and the central to be tested in a Brazilian laboratory. Only the OCD can define the exact tests that will be performed on your smoke and heat detector, but generally speaking, the most common tests are:
- Limits for maximum power for transmission
- Resilience tests to electromagnetic disturbances
- Compliance to Wi-Fi, LoRa and Sig Fox standards (Resolution 680/17, Act. 11542/17 in Brazil)
- Protection against overheating and electric shocks
Systems that are based on master-slave, or that are not considered to be smart smoke alarms do not need to be homologated with Anatel, since they do not use wireless connectivity to function.
Steps for homologation of smoke detection systems with Anatel
The certification of wireless smoke and heat detector or wireless sensors systems must be started by the manufacturer of the product or by its local representative in Brazil. The process is started by hiring an OCD that will be leading the homologation on your behalf. If you don’t have an OCD and need a recommendation, please contact Master Certificações, which is an OCD that has been working with Anatel homologations for over a decade in Brazil.
The OCD will request your product specifications, datasheets or manuals to assess what type of tests the product will require. OCDs will arrange the tests and handle all the logistics related to submitting the samples to the laboratory, which by request of Anatel, must be based in Brazil. If your smoke detector belongs to a product family, you may consider performing the homologation of the entire family of products as Anatel allows the homologation of them all through a unique process. In this case, all systems are required to be listed in the homologation, including internal and external photos of all the products.
Upon completion, the tests are analysed by the OCD to verify the product's compliance with Anatel requirements. The homologation with Anatel is issued based on a certificate issued by the OCD called a conformity certificate, so if the product is in compliance, the OCD will issue this document.
Anatel will verify the conformity certificate along with the other documents that the agency deem necessary to approve the homologation. Only after this evaluation will the homologation for this product be issued, and the manufacturer can start to include the Anatel seal to the products to be commercialised in Brazil.
Homologation of category II products are granted for a period of two years, so the manufacturer must request the homologation renewal 6 months prior to its expiration date. Renewals are also managed by the OCDs.
Details about Anatel homologation in Brazil
If you need more information about the homologation processes for smoke and heat detection systems or any type of wireless or telecommunication equipment, we recommend you contact Master Certificações. Master is an OCD assisting foreign entities and local representatives to issue hundreds of homologations with Anatel annually, with a team of top rated experts in Anatel’s quality assessment reports.