Property owners’ eager to protect their investments and the people who live in or frequent them will find fire prevention is a critical consideration. So, too, is ensuring that any fires sparked are quickly detected and extinguished quickly. This is why routine fire alarm testing is so very important.
Fire alarm testing is not an optional pursuit for many property owners. Commercial buildings, for example, are required by law to undergo routine inspections as specified by BS5839. These regulations provide guidance for fire detection and alarm systems in buildings. Most commercial properties are required to maintain multi-component systems that include:
- Smoke detectors
- Heat detectors
- Manual call points
- A central control panels
These more elaborate fire alarm systems are described as “Grade A” under the regulations. Property owners are advised to conduct daily fire alarm tests on these systems. In-depth tests, generally conducted by a licensed electrician, are required every six months to ensure system integrity.
Daily fire alarm tests can be conducted by anyone capable, but major problems must be reported immediately to the appropriate people. These checks should include making sure the alarm panel is functioning correctly, checking for any faults in wiring and a visual inspection of the panel. These inspections should be noted in a log book with any required remedial action needed and taken mentioned.
Fire alarm system checks conducted at the 6-month mark should be carried out by a competent person, generally an electrician. This test involves a general system check to make certain equipment is functioning properly. A testing certificate to prove compliance will be provided by an electrician following this inspection. In addition, property owners are advised to conduct fixed wire testing at least once every five years. This may be performed during an electrical installation condition report inspection.
Maintaining a fire alarm system in accordance with the law cannot prevent fires, but it can help property owners detect and extinguish them more quickly. By maintaining fire alarm systems in accordance with the law, property owners are doing their part to protect people and their investments alike. To find out more about more in-depth system testing, consult with a licensed electrician that offers fire alarm system inspection services.