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How often should Fire Alarms be tested?

All fire alarm systems in commercial premises need to be tested weekly to ensure that there has not been any major failure.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, in article 13 subsection 1, requires that where necessary in order to ensure the safety of relevant persons, it is a legal requirement that “the responsible person” must ensure that the premises are, to the extent that it is appropriate, equipped with appropriate fire detectors and alarms.

It is vital for a regular test to be undertaken to ensure that there has not been a major failure of the entire fire detection and fire alarm system that may otherwise go unnoticed.

In subsection 3, it states that the persons nominated to implement these measures and to maintain them must be competent.  However, a responsible person (or person appointed by the responsible person) can carry out testing of the fire alarm system after being trained to do so correctly.

The British Standard BS 5839 states that all fire alarm systems in commercial premises need to be tested weekly to ensure that there has not been any major failure and that the fire alarm system is in working order. This is important because it ensures that your fire alarm system is fully operational. Testing will allow you to identify any system faults and keep you compliant with Fire Alarm Regulations.

Your responsible person or person appointed by the responsible person can carry out your weekly fire alarm test, although if you look after a number of properties, you may prefer to ask your fire alarm company to do this for you.

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

Weekly tests

  • Test a manual call point during working hours to check that the control panel and alarm sounders operate satisfactorily
  • Each week, a different manual call point should be tested
  • Voice alarm systems should be tested weekly in accordance with BS5839 Part 8.

If the system is connected to an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) for calling the fire brigade, it is very important that the ARC is notified before testing commences and when it is complete

Monthly tests

  • Any automatically started generator used for the fire detection and fire alarm system should be tested
  • Any vented batteries used as a standby power supply for the fire detection and fire alarm system inspected

The result of the weekly test should be formally recorded. Ideally, this would be recorded in a fire log book every week and retained for any future inspection by the local fire and rescue service or any other recognised third party. Any faults or deficiencies identified should be referred to a competent person for investigation and rectification.

If a lack of fire alarm system maintenance is proved – and a severe injury, damage, or fatality has resulted – then the responsible person could face prosecution and, potentially, a custodial sentence.

Got a question about Weekly Fire Alarm Testing? Need Fire Safety Compliance advice? Get in touch today!

For over 45 years, Fixfire® has been providing quality products, systems and services for Life & Property Protection. Whatever your requirement, please call our Compliance Team for expert advice and a refreshingly different approach.

Freephone 08000 891999

STEP 1:
STEP 2:
You provide a suitable up to date drawing of your building in either:
  • Hard copy
  • PDF
  • Or preferably AutoCAD (dwg) format
Depending on the availability of installation records and the complexity of the building, we arrange a visit to identify the zone number associated with each Fire Alarm Manual Call Point and Fire Detector (for practicality this may involve two engineers).
STEP 3:
STEP 4:
Fire Alarm Zone Chart is created.
Fire Alarm Zone Chart is supplied in A4 or A3 glazed frame for installation adjacent to your Fire Alarm Panel.

For over 45 years, Fixfire® has been providing quality products, systems and services for Life & Property Protection. Whatever your requirement, please call our Compliance Team for expert advice and a refreshingly different approach.

Freephone 08000 891999.

False Fire Alarms remain a huge concern within the education sector- interrupting already carefully scheduled, planned and well-prepared lessons or even causing major disruption and distress to exams.  

Clearly, these false alarms cause significant inconvenience and disruption to students, staff, and visitors. They compromise everyone’s safety in the school and present a significant risk to the local community since the Fire Brigade will prioritise the school over other emergency callouts.

Solutions you should consider:

Anti-tamper products

The first and most straightforward way is to use anti-tamper products.

Fixfire® supplies a wide range of solutions designed to protect Fire Alarm Devices from inadvertent damage or deliberate misuse/vandalism.

Products include:

  • Local plastic cover flaps which attach directly to manual call points.
  • The stopper consists of a clear, tamperproof, tough polycarbonate cover, frame and spacer that retrofits over a break glass call point. When lifted to operate the break glass unit, its optional battery powered integral sounder emits a piercing 96dB (at 1m). Immediate attention is drawn to the area and a prankster will either run or be caught!
  • A range of steel web stoppers designed to protect fire detectors and warning devices. They are constructed from heavy-duty galvanised steel rod which is plastic-coated for durability and external use.
  • A range of polycarbonate enclosures are available for the protection of devices such as fire alarm control panels and associated control equipment. The enclosures combine tough rugged construction with stylish design and offer excellent protection with a key lock for authorised access.

We also provide anti-tamper devices for fire extinguishers and associated products.

KeyCall® Call Point

KeyCall® is a patented anti-ligature Fire Alarm and Access Control call point. It is designed to use the same key as the doors, providing simple operation for staff whilst eliminating nuisance activations by service-users.

KeyCall® has been developed by Fixfire® specifically for approved applications where standard versions would be vulnerable to abuse.

It is one of the best solutions for SEN schools and it is also compatible with a wide range of Conventional and Addressable Fire Alarm Systems.

Conduct Fire Safety Training

Most fire safety courses offer a mix of classroom-based learning and practical training experience, educating attendees on how to respond in the event of an emergency.

 In order to fulfil your obligations under current Fire Safety Law, it is essential that you have a documented regime of Fire Safety tests and checks and personnel who are suitably trained to respond correctly in the event of an emergency.

All Fire Safety Training is provided by experienced, time-served and qualified persons from a Fire Safety background.

Video surveillance

Even if the cameras don't identify the culprit, they can identify who was in the area at the time of the false alarm activation. Fixfire® specialises in integration and will bring together your Fire, Access and Security systems providing enhanced functionality.

Fixfire® provides leading-edge integration with ancillary systems and equipment. Our mission is to deliver reliable, well-engineered installations that provide you with peace of mind 24/7.

Place fire detectors in the correct locations

Smoke detectors that are placed too close to kitchens, cooking appliances, locker rooms or bathrooms will most likely be accidentally activated by the smoke or steam emitted by these sources. Detectors might need to be relocated.

Smoke detectors are more sensitive and are installed in any environment where smoke or steam would not normally be present. Heat detectors are installed in areas such as kitchens where smoke detectors would constantly false alarm during routine cooking. Multi-sensors combine smoke and heat in one detector and offer immunity to false alarms in certain applications.

Use the right detector

New detectors have improved technology and can measure a range of conditions to potentially be more effective at detecting a fire condition.

Flush Fire Detectors ensure protection is not compromised in any areas where conventional ‘un-pluggable’ detection could be subject to abuse. It is widely used in SEN Schools.

Maintain your Fire System

Make sure the alarm system is properly and regularly maintained.

Fixfire® is BAFE accredited for the Design, Installation, Maintenance and Servicing of Fire Alarm Systems.

All works are carried out by our employed, uniformed and trained Fire Alarm engineers.
Following each visit, a Certificate of Inspection is issued.

Got a question about False Fire Alarms? Need Fire Safety Compliance advice?  Get in touch today!

For over 45 years, Fixfire® has been providing quality products, systems and services for Life & Property Protection. Whatever your requirement, please call our Compliance Team for expert advice and a refreshingly different approach.

Freephone 08000 891999

Fire Alarm Weekly Test
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