Testing and maintenance of your fire alarm is both mandortory under the fire safety order also a requirement within BS5839-1 2017, the standard for fire detection and alarms in non-domestic buildings.
You are obliged to complete testing on a regular basis, some of these checks can be complete in house by an appointed person. You should on a daily basis check the fire alarm control and indicating equipment has a Green LED illuminated to show the panel is healthy & free of any fire or fault conditions with no Red or Amber LEDs flashing respectively. On a weekly basis you are expected to complete a test of the system by activating a manual break glass call point with a test key, this will trigger the panel into a Fire condition alerting all sounders/bells, activating all peripheral devices (Alarm Receiving Centre, Door retainers, Access Control, Gas Shut off, lift return to ground floor, music shut off etc). On completion and return to healthy status, a record should be recorded of the test and which unit, zone was tested in the fire log book.
When to check your fire alarm
A five-minute check of your fire alarm system should ideally be carried out once a week. In terms of an inspection and servicing visit this should be carried out every six months – otherwise the fire alarm system won’t be BS 5839 compliant and puts lives at unnecessary risk.
What does a professional assessment involve?
A professional fire safety engineer should be fully compliant in the fire industry. This means he or she will be aware of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO) and, of course, the requirements of the BS 5839.
These outline the UK fire alarm regulations, stating that detectors should be tested to ensure that @FireIndustry: “products of combustion are capable of passing into the sensing chamber of the detector and this testing should be carried out by a competent person.”
The fire alarm system under BS5839-1 2017 is subject to a minimum Bi annual maintenance inspection by a competent person, the number of visits can be increased to Quarterly dependent on Fire Risk Assessment. The National Fire Chief Council recommends use of a Third Party Certified Contractor, we are pleased to tell you Firerite are Certified to complete works to Fire Detection and Alarm systems under NSi Gold ISO9001 2015 and BAFE SP203 Scheme.
Over the course of a calendar year every device on a system has to be checked and tested a minimum once.
After an inspection and service a certificate should always be presented, with the date clearly recorded for future reference.
There are of course a pleferer of manufacturers on the market, Firerite have a wealth of knowledge and experience to call on in ensuring your system remains compliant. The major concern for customers over the last Twenty years has been the advent of protocols and what they mean to the client.
As an industry we have seen the rise of closed protocol systems installed by Companies who manufacture, install, commission and maintain. This has lead to clients being tied into lengthy expensive contracts with the client having little option to go else where if not getting the Customer service level they require or paying over market value for service.
A Managed Protocol is where a system is manufactured and the software is only released to a Contractor if they have completed the training, have third party certification and can demonstrate integrity and competence.
Thirdly is an Open protocol system, as the name suggests the system is open to anyone and software can be purchased with Life Safety systems worked on by any personnel who wish.
At Firerite we are a systems house installer of Life safety Equipment, what does that mean for you? We design and choose the correct application for the environment taking into consideration false alarm management and use of the premises. We have also built up a portfolio of software and system knowledge so you have piece of mind that we can work safely on your system with staff who are competant.