How do you maintain a fire alarm system?

Carrying out your fire alarm maintenance isn’t an option, it’s a necessity to keeping everyone on your premises safe. Whether it’s carrying out visual inspections, weekly tests, or your legal requirement of twice a year, it’s essential you’re carrying out your fire safety responsibilities.

The same fire safety responsibilities also apply to checking your emergency lighting, carrying out your fire extinguisher servicing, and ensuring your Fire Risk Assessment is up to date.

How often does a business need fire alarm servicing?

The British Standard: BS 5839 advises that your appointed, competent person carries out their duties at least twice a year.

Who can service my fire alarm?

No matter what your business, to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, your fire alarm servicing should be carried out by a competent person.

As a business owner of a small to medium-sized business, you might be solely responsible for inspecting and testing your fire alarms. However, if you run a large establishment with many employees, you might want to appoint someone to take on this role.

As this can be an overwhelming task at times having to carry the responsibility of keeping everyone on site safe, you may want to think about outsourcing this to a third party.

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What are the steps for maintaining a fire alarm?

To ensure you’re doing everything you can to protect everyone on your site, you should follow these essential checks on your fire alarms:

  • Check the condition and sound levels of all alarm devices so, in the event of a fire, everyone will be alarmed.
  • Check the condition and function of all detection devices so that a fire is detected at the earliest opportunity.
  • Test your standby battery and its link to the alarm centre to ensure it is connected properly so emergency services can get to your premises without any issues.
  • Highlight areas requiring improvement in your log book so any maintenance can be carried out as soon as possible.

What is the life expectancy of a fire alarm?

When deciding whether to replace, upgrade, or reuse the fire alarm system, you should consider the age of your existing system. Most fire alarm systems are manufactured to have a life span of 10-15 years, and batteries supplying the backup power only having a life span of 4 years. Hence why regular checks, tests, and inspections are so important.

How do you test a fire alarm system?

Your responsible person should carry out your weekly fire alarm test to make sure everything’s in good working condition.

In each weekly test, you should activate at least one fire alarm call-point and check that the alarm sounds and the control panel receive the signal.

How often should fire alarms be tested?

Regular fire alarm testing is different to fire alarm servicing because you’re regularly checking the workability of your safety alarms and logging any issues found during the tests so you can act immediately.

Whilst a fire alarm service is a thorough investigation of the whole fire alarm system, which may be completed by your appointed person or outsourced fire safety engineers, weekly testing is more of a ‘spot check’.

Having a fully operational fire alarm is a regulatory requirement for those premises that need them, which is why regular testing is important.

You could decide to test less frequently, but you’ll need to supply any investigating fire officers with your reasons for deviating from the BS 5839 guidance, should they pay a visit to inspect your premises.

How often should a business do a fire drill?

According to GOV.UK, you should carry out at least one fire drill per year and record the results. You must keep the results as part of your fire safety and evacuation plan.

Once you’ve completed your fire drill, you need to make sure all of your current employees are up to date with your findings and any new employees are fully trained to act when you’re conducting a fire drill.

How we can help…

We have BAFE qualified and FIA trained engineers, providing comprehensive and safe fire safety services for businesses across the UK. We will work with you to go through the standardised process for fire alarm testing and maintenance that confirms your alarm is fit for purpose.

Our end goal is to make sure your setting is fire-safe and meeting your legal obligations. But it doesn’t stop there. We also offer ongoing checks on all your fire safety equipment – like extinguishers and emergency lighting so you have peace of mind that you’re in good hands.

We pride ourselves on providing our clients with a 100% reliable service. We uphold rigorous standards, and our processes are continuously audited to make sure that you receive the same quality service every time. We know our stuff and we’re here to put your mind at ease from the very start. To book a Fire Alarm Service or for free advice, contact our service team here.