How Often Should Fire Alarms Be Checked?
Fire alarms, in domestic and commercial properties are lifelines. Yet, many individuals fail to check theirs, especially in large premises where multiple fire alarm systems are present. The excuse commonly surrounds time. Yet, testing a fire alarm doesn’t take much time at all, yet can save the lives of many.
Here at Peninsula Electrical Services, we are extremely passionate about electrical standards, and health and safety. With this in mind, we’ve created a go to guide covering fire alarm testing, ensuring that everyone knows exactly how to test theirs. From how often should fire alarms be checked, to the exact testing process to follow, see our guide below.
If you have any questions regarding fire safety or would like help with installing a fire alarm system, get in touch with our team. We are specialist, NAPIT qualified electricians, prioritising functionality and safety.
The legal requirement for checking fire alarms
Within public areas, including workplaces and shops, to schools and hospitals, fire alarms should be checked regularly to ensure they are functioning properly; to ensure they are ready and responsive to notify the signs of a fire, and in worst case scenarios, fire detection.
Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) order 2005, all facilities, buildings and equipment should regularly be maintained, with weekly testing by a competent person. Additionally, under the British Standard BS 5839, fire alarms, battery power and full fire alarm systems should be maintained and inspected by a competent person, at least twice a year. It is imperative that arrangements are made to have your alarms serviced, with knowledge that they are within working order.
It is the duty of care of that responsible person to ensure that accurate, consistent testing of fire alarms are maintained, ensuring that each fire alarm can detect smoke and fire. It’s imperative that the selected competent person is up to date with health and safety standards, fire safety legislations, fire alarm testing processes and fire risk assessments.
How often should fire alarms be checked and how?
In short, fire alarms should be tested once a week by a competent person. Following legislation, false alarms should be made to test the functionality and safety of fire alarm systems. Weekly fire alarm tests will identify if battery power is present, helping the alarms work to full capacity.
In tandem with this, fire alarms should be checked and inspected at least twice a year. Like arranging a boiler or car service, an alarm service will ensure that full measures are in place for fire detection, following health and safety guidelines. For greatest reassurance, monthly, quarterly and 6-month tests will help you keep on top of your fire alarms functionality.
All fire alarm tests should be completed by a competent person. The best way to check the usability of a fire alarm is by activating the alarm. Here, the competent person will need to check the condition, the sound and the link of the fire alarm system. Areas to consider include the exterior condition and structure of your fire alarm, the strength of sound, alarming from the device, and the safe connectivity of the device.
All tests should be logged by the competent person, including the date and time, and if any faults were present. From here, the alarm must be deactivated and set to its default setting, ready to use.
It is the duty of care of the competent person to ensure that each test is up to standard, following the recommended testing process. It’s important to remember that your logbook, logging your fire alarm tests can be called upon by an enforcing authority at any given time. Therefore, it is mandatory that you maintain your legal requirements when concerning fire safety.
Recording the results of fire alarm checks
Once a fire alarm test has been completed, it is essential that this is logged. Here the competent person, who is completing the test should note down details in the fire alarm test logbook.
However, further details, alongside regular tests should also be noted. See below a list of details which should regularly be included:
- The date, time, cause and duration of any incidents where the fire alarm has triggered.
- Details of any faults which have been found in the fire alarm system, and if any, what actions have been completed to resolve this.
- The date and time of any periods where the fire alarm device has disconnected.
- The date and time of weekly alarm tests.
- The date and time of monthly, quarterly and 6-monthly alarm tests and inspections.
- The date and time where for any occasion, the fire alarm has been altered.
- Any evacuation drills which are followed, using the fire alarm system to hand.
It is imperative that this information is kept up to date within the logbook. Even if alarm tests have been carried out, it is vital that it is noted. Without an accurate fire alarm logbook, you’ll fail to possess an audit trail, promoting your legal responsibilities.
Our services here at Peninsula Electrical Services
Here at Peninsula Electrical Services, we hope that the above has helped you understand how often should fire alarms be checked, and the accurate process to complete.
If you’re looking for a specialist electrician to install a fire alarm system for you, feel free to contact our team. We have a range of fire alarms available, varying in size and functionality, suitable for both domestic and commercial purposes.
All of our fire alarms adhere to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, along with the Wiring Regulations BS 7671. Before the installation, our electricians will complete an assessment of your premises, ensuring that the correct system can be selected. From here, the installation will take place, along with providing advice on safety measures and fire protection.
To arrange the installation of your fire alarm system, get in touch with our team today. Alternatively, if you have any questions regarding fire alarm tests, we are available and qualified to offer guidance.