Fire & Life Safety

Weekly Fire Alarm Testing

Ensure your fire alarm system meets safety standards with fire alarm testing. According to the British Standard BS 5839, weekly fire alarm testing in commercial spaces is mandatory!

Weekly checks guarantee your system’s functionality, averting major failures and ensuring it’s fully operational when needed most.

Trust RACAM’s expert fire safety services to keep your fire alarms in working condition and your business safe.

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    How often should your fire alarm be tested?

    The British Standard BS 5839-6:2019 mandates a weekly fire alarm system test for optimal functionality. Testing ensures the system operates effectively in case of a fire. Familiarise yourself with the alarm panel’s location to guarantee smooth operation and timely fire detection.

    A fire alarm engineering company should conduct a detailed inspection every six months for a thorough check. Trust the experts to keep your system in prime condition and secure your premises against potential risks.

    Types of Fire Alarm Systems and How to Test Them

    The different types of fire alarm systems mainly include:

    Conventional Fire Alarm Systems:

    These divide the building into zones. Each zone has multiple detectors, and when one triggers, the specific zone’s information is displayed.

    Addressable Fire Alarm Systems:

    In these systems, each detector has a unique address, allowing precise identification of the triggered device’s location.

    Wireless Fire Alarm Systems:

    These operate without physical wiring, relying on radio signals to communicate between components.

    Testing these systems involves:

    Manual Call Point Test:

    Activating the call points to check if they trigger the alarm and signal the control panel.

    Detector Test:

    Verifying individual detectors by generating smoke or heat near them to ensure they detect these elements and trigger the alarm.

    Audible and Visual Alarm Test:

    Testing sirens, strobes, or other alarm signals to ensure they activate properly.

    It’s important to test a different call point each time to make sure your entire fire alarm system is functioning as it should be!

    Regularly testing these systems, following manufacturer guidelines and national standards, helps ensure they’re ready to protect lives and property in case of a fire. For detailed and accurate testing, consider professional fire alarm services to guarantee system reliability.

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    How should my weekly fire alarm test be carried out?

    Carry out your fire alarm testing using these 10 easy steps:

    Read Instructions: Always start by checking the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper testing procedures.
    Notify Staff: Inform your team before conducting the test to avoid unnecessary alarm.
    Scheduled Testing: Test the system at the same time every week for consistency.
    ARC Connection: If your alarm connects to an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC), inform them before testing and put the system on ‘test’ mode.
    Prepare Key: Have a manual call point reset key ready to reset the activated call point after testing.
    Record Details: Keep a record of the test, noting the zone and call point tested.
    Activate Call Point: Trigger a manual call point to initiate the alarm.
    Confirmation: Check the alarm sounds, then reset the call point using the reset key.
    Control Panel Check: Confirm on the fire alarm control panel that the activated call point address and zone are accurate.
    Silence and Reset: If everything is correct, silence the alarm and reset the fire alarm control panel.
    Remember, test a different call point each week to ensure the entire system is functioning. Regular testing guarantees your fire alarm is ready to protect when needed. For thorough and professional testing, consider engaging fire alarm service experts to ensure your system’s reliability.

    Ongoing Fire Alarm System Maintenance

    Your company’s designated fire safety professional (generally the property manager or fire warden) holds a legal obligation for regular service and maintenance of the fire alarm in a building.

    To ensure the system’s efficiency and durability, a competent specialist, approved under BAFE SP203-1, must conduct this maintenance.

    Keep a detailed logbook of weekly tests and service visits to maintain a comprehensive record of the fire alarm’s upkeep. Trust our qualified experts to maintain your system effectively and safeguard your premises.

    How should fire alarm testing be logged? 

    Keeping a detailed log ensures you have a clear history of the fire alarm system’s testing and maintenance, aiding in compliance and ensuring the system’s reliability. Here’s what you need to do to record your fire alarm testing:

    Logbook: Maintain a dedicated logbook specifically for fire alarm testing records.
    Details: Note down the date, time, and details of each test performed, including the zone or specific devices tested.
    Results: Record the outcome of the test—whether the alarm activated, any issues encountered, and actions taken.
    Service Visits: Include details of professional service visits, noting the work done and any adjustments made.
    Consistency: Ensure regular entries after each test or service visit to maintain an up-to-date record.

    Preventing false alarms

    Reducing false alarms is crucial for fire safety. Most automatic fire alarms detect various elements beyond fires, leading to false alerts from steam, smoke, or aerosols. These false alarms divert emergency services from real crises, posing risks to public safety.

    To minimise false alarms:

    Appropriate Alarm Type: Ensure the fire alarm suits the building’s needs to avoid unnecessary triggers.
    Regular Maintenance: Keep the alarm system well-maintained to enhance its reliability.
    Thorough Investigation: Investigate every false alarm to identify causes and take necessary corrective measures.
    Filtering Process: Implement a safe process to investigate alarm triggers before contacting the fire brigade. This ensures a cautious approach to alarm responses, reducing unnecessary emergencies.

    By choosing the right alarm, maintaining it diligently, investigating false alarms, and introducing cautious filtering processes, you can significantly decrease false alarms, ensuring a more reliable fire alarm system and the safety of occupants and emergency responders.

    For expert fire alarm system advice, get in touch with our engineers today and install your business property with effective fire alarm systems!

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    Fire Alarm Testing FAQs

    What is the legal requirement for fire alarm testing?
    In the UK, fire alarm testing is a legal obligation under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The responsible person, like a building owner or manager, must ensure regular testing to ensure the alarm system is in proper working order, creating a safe environment for everyone inside the premises.
    What is the procedure for fire alarm testing?
    How much does it cost to test a fire alarm?
    How often should smoke alarms be tested?

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