Fastrack Your Fire Alarm Testing

Are fire alarm testing and fire alarm servicing the same thing?

No they’re not. Fire alarms must be serviced at least every six months but have to be tested every week. A service is an in-depth investigation carried out by a competent engineer. A test is a quick check to ensure things are working and is carried out by you.

A fire alarm is perhaps one of the most important ‘safety systems’ in your business and it’s very important that it doesn’t fail the very time it’s actually needed. Any part of the system could fail perhaps days our hours after a service has been carried out. It is not okay to wait six months until the next service before this problem is discovered. That’s why weekly servicing is a requirement of BS5839.

What to do before the test

You need to nominate a person within your company to carry out the weekly tests and a second to act as substitute for holiday cover or illness. Weekly they will carry out a test but daily they should notice that the power LED is lit on the fire alarm control panel. Before commencing, if the system is remotely monitored, place it on test with the monitoring station.

So what is involved in fire alarm testing?

Each week you should activate a fire alarm call-point by inserting the test key. Make sure this activates the control panel and sets off all sounders in the building. It is important to notice that the alarm can be heard everywhere; in a large building it may be necessary to ask each department after the test if they could clearly hear it sounding.
Each week a different call-point should be tested until eventually you start at the beginning again.

Fire safety records

Weekly tests must be recorded in your fire-safety log, noting which call-point has been tested. Should any problems occur these need to be recorded too and then call your maintenance company.

Scheduling fire alarm testing

The frequency of testing is weekly but a specific day and time must be chosen and testing will be carried out at that time every week. Staff must be instructed on induction and reminded afterwards when testing will take place. Also they should be told that if the alarm does not stop within a few minutes to treat it as real and not a test.

Who can carry out fire alarm testing?

It is fine for a member of your staff to carry out weekly testing. However if you find it too onerous and time consuming then we would be happy to provide a quotation for weekly testing. Just call or visit the [CONTACT] page now.

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