Having a fully operational fire alarm system installed in your business premises is a regulatory requirement. To ensure that it is fully operational in case of fire, doing a fire alarm test frequently and consistently is necessary.
Even the most expensive and advanced fire alarm systems can malfunction and wear out if it is not regularly tested and maintained. Failure to keep the system in good working condition can expose you to hefty penalties and even criminal charges. That’s why fire alarm tests are important and should not be taken lightly.
The UK government recommends that all fire alarm and detection systems be maintained in accordance with the British Standard, specifically, the BS 5839. Here’s everything you should know about fire alarm tests in the UK.
Inspection fire alarm systems should be done every 6 months
UK fire alarm regulations aren’t clear on how often fire alarm systems should be serviced. The law simply states that it must be “adequately maintained.” However, according to BS 5839, fire alarm systems in business premises should be inspected at least every 6 months or twice a year by a “competent person.” If the building you own is large, experts recommend a quarterly service because the system you have has more components, and therefore, higher safety risks.
Weekly fire alarm tests are also required
Aside from periodic fire alarm tests, weekly tests are also necessary. They may not be as thorough and comprehensive as periodic fire alarm tests done every six months, but they can help identify issues immediately. A quick test allows you to determine whether or not your fire alarm is in working order and address any problem as soon as possible. You don’t have to test all the fire alarms every week. You can just activate at least one fire alarm call-point each week, checking the alarm sounds and the panel that receives the signal.
The results of fire alarm tests should be recorded
The “responsible person” in your company should record the results of all the fire alarm test in a logbook. It should show the date, time, duration, and actions taken.